My Go-To ‘Pick-Me-Ups’

Hello beautiful people! I hope you’re well and you have some nice things planned for your (rather rainy) Sunday. We are having a slow one after a few very busy days and it feels really nice to take my foot off the pedal a bit and just be at home. We’ve got a delicious hunk of sourdough for lunch and I have some Thai Green Veggie Curry left from last night so no cooking required! Score!

Over the past few weeks and months, since River was born in fact, I have been taking some time each day to do little things that make me feel good. Being faced with a pandemic as soon as we left hospital with our shiny new baby was a bit of a shock and I knew that I needed to nurture and nourish myself, especially after the drama of an emergency c-section.

Whether negotiating the ever-changing terrain of lockdown or not, I really believe that it’s essential to take little self-care steps to bolster and energise our beautiful minds and bodies. I truly feel, as I’ve lived it first-hand, that it’s all the small changes we make that make big days and the rewards of taking our time, being gentle with ourselves and cutting ourselves some slack can have health benefits that are far-reaching and ultimately life-changing.

Thus, my beautiful friends, I would like to share with you some of the things I do on a regular basis to give myself a little pick-me-up. Things that, if I’m feeling a bit ‘bleugh’, are sure to give me a sparkly spring in my step.

• HYDRATE! Yep. Numero uno. The first thing I do each morning is drink a huge glass of water to re-hydrate my body after a whole night of detoxing, sleeping, dreaming, moving, breastfeeding. Break the fast. I add fresh lemon and mint if I have it to add a bit zing & zest. I follow this with a cup of tea because I quite literally cannot begin my day without a cuppa!

• MOVE. Walking has been a bit of a saviour for me since River was born. I used to run a lot but I needed to give myself time to heal after labour so jogging was off-limits. I’m so glad that I took things slowly and gently and clocking-up sometimes 16,000 steps a day with a buggy enabled me to stretch my legs, tone-up, lose weight and breath! River absolutely LOVES being outside and we go on adventures every day. Movement is so important for our wellbeing; both mentally & physically – a few steps outside each day can give us space & time to think and sort through the things that might be on our minds.

• WRITE. Writing down our thoughts & feelings can be a very worthwhile & cathartic exercise. Getting our thoughts on paper can help us un-jumble them and make sense of them. It can also create some distance between what we are trying to resolve and the way these things feel when they’re circling around in our brain! Repetitive thoughts, if un-checked can be unhelpful sometimes so I find it really beneficial to check myself and get my thoughts out when I need to.

• MAKE A CUPPA. Such a simple yet highly-effective way to chill the Eff out and recalibrate. I have to say, I am loving my daily cup of coffee at the moment. I cut-out all caffeine when I was pregnant but since River was born, I have been having one coffee a day. The whole ritual of making a nice drink, sitting with a book, a journal, a wedge of cake; whatever your preference, can boost your mood and allow yourself a little slice of time to re-fuel and re-charge.

• CREATE. I dusted-off my sewing machine, opened my fabric box and made a couple of things for River. I am also going to make some Christmas decorations – I used to make and sell them a few years back and I love taking something no longer used and making it into something new & fresh. River is my little helper and he loves watching me sew, draw, paint. It can be hard sometimes to set-aside enough time to let our creativity flow and it can take practice to make it a regular thing. I have 20 minutes a day (part of River’s afternoon nap), where I get out my craft items, (there are lots), and make something, anything! Next-up are our Christmas cards!

MUSIC. This one is really crucial for my wellbeing for sure! Namely House music, the stuff that reminds me of the best nights in Space! Music is the answer!

TALK IT OUT. Yup. Talk it through, over a cuppa, reach-out, speak your feelings, don’t feel like they are irrelevant, they are valid! Now, more than ever, it’s so important to voice how we’re feeling. I’ve found this extremely helpful over the past months.

NOURISH. Wholesome food, the building block of good health, the foundations upon which everything else resides, is my main go-to. Mixed with all the veggies of course, is cake! You’ve got to have some of what you fancy and have it every day if necessary! As long as it’s mostly balanced-out, it can be of huge benefit to our wellbeing. I am currently loving nutty energy balls, sometimes dunked in chocolate; they keep for ages and they are nutritionally lush and high in protein. Smoothies are a great way to drink your greens if you struggle and they happen to taste blinkin lovely! Chuck in some berries, nuts, coconut yogurt, a banana, some coconut nectar and a dahs of water…..Most of my smoothies are made from these simple ingredients.

BREATHE. Meditate, chant. I’ve been practicing Nichiren Buddhism for 8 years and it has been the most pivotal change I’ve made in my life. Chanting nam-myoho-renge-kyo each morning and evening for the happiness of myself and all people with courage, wisdom and compassion has enabled me to change some really deeply embedded things in my life. Creating value and unlocking the potential of my life has been and is amazing. Meditation is a great way to connect with our inner voice and calm the mind. Breathing exercises are tremendous! Take in a huge lung-full, sit with it and let it out slowly. Feel your CNS calm down instantly. This works for me every single day.

These are some of the things I do most days to keep myself feeling good. It really is an accumulation of little things that amount to the best change. When we repeat rituals and embed them firmly within our lives, we can reap the rewards for our hard work and persistence.

That being said, I do however recognise and understand that we’re allowed to feel less than chipper. It’s completely normal and necessary, in fact. There’s no light without shade and life isn’t as clean-cut as feeling either good or bad; there are a million different emotions on the scale of life. Knowing though that all things are transient and no feeling, whether good or bad (and all things in between), will be permanent, brings comfort.

Thanks for stopping-by.

One last thing: You’re AMAZING! Yes, you!

All my love and encouragement,

Holly xxx

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