I might just be speaking for myself (although I doubt it) but I actually feel like a real functioning HUMAN during the summer holidays. For a few weeks I get to live as if I don’t have a job, much like a Real Housewife of Brighton or something like that. I see friends I have neglected during term time, I eat healthier because I can be bothered to shop and prep, I sleep for at least 8 hours, I go to the gym regularly and actually WANT to go…. incredible.
I was talking to a good friend the other day and we were saying how you can often gauge your mental health on wether you can be bothered to floss or not. Usually I’m so drained from the day, it’s lucky if I use a face wipe – but not in the holidays, oh no! I am an angelic face washing, tooth flossing, kale eating wonder.
So whilst I’m on this roll, here’s a few things I like to do to make my day better.
1) Brekkie to go (more time to lie in)
When I’m a working human (not a relaxed real human) I need to maximise my sleep time, so breakfast-to-go is a regular for me. Save jars after you’ve used them and fill them with bircher muesli or make overnight oats
Smoothies are always a good option here too – my favourite at the moment isn’t completely angelic but the majority of it is full of the good stuff (think about the 80/20 rule). I use a banana, half tsp raw cacao powder (an amazing anti-oxidant), scoop of hemp protein, spoonful of nut butter (2x protein fix), handful of spinach, squeeze of honey, almond milk and a shot of fresh coffee (there’s the naughty – but so so nice). BAM.
2) Make Time for Movement
I’m loving the feeling of actually wanting to go to the gym at the moment – usually I spend my journey home from work with an internal battle of “but you should go, but you’re so tired, but you didn’t go yesterday, but you’ve been on your feet all day… etc etc.” In the attempt to find balance in my exercise routine, I try to have the yin yang approach. Yin is my serene yoga sun-salutations whilst the Yang is me punching the crap out of some poor sod with pads. Its important to have both because in isolation, both approaches have their limitations. Without some fire and force in your program, the super-yin yoga junkie might not get the full effects of cardio endurance. Without some flow, strength and mindfulness, the super-yang fitness nut is bound to get injured, burned out — or both. For me, Boxercise Bootcamp in Hove meets all my needs – hardcore ‘warrior workouts’ are balanced with blissful yoga sessions – 2 separate workout spaces with one membership. Wicked (and also angelic.) The instructors are literally top notch – I’ve been to a fair few gyms in my life and this is definitely one of the best in terms of quality and choice of classes – even when I have my internal battle of should/ shouldn’t go, I NEVER regret a session.
3) Brush That Bod
I could do a whole post on body brushing benefits (in fact I might) – all you really need to know for now though is it’s SO good for you. Your skin is your largest organ so taking care of it is a must. Using a body brush and circular motion towards the heart stimulates lymphatic draining – the ‘lymph’ picks up the waste from the circulatory system and gets rid of it – super detoxifying. Also your skin sloughs off tens of thousands of dead skin cells every MINUTE! It does this as your fist line of immune defence. Help it along by sloughing some off yourself to get rid of toxins (or let the dead skin cells sit there… gross)
4) Hugs are the Best
This is a must for me – I tend to hug people when I first meet them (whether I know them or not) and I usually apologise and say ‘sorry, I’m a hugger’ when in fact I should be saying ‘you’re welcome!’. Recent studies have shown that you need at least 8 hugs a day to release the optimum amount of oxytocin in your body. Oxytocin is a wonderful hormone – that works through the dopamine reward system – it basically combats feelings of isolation, anger and lowers stress hormones which can in turn support our immune system, reduce blood pressure, increase tolerance for pain and perhaps even speed up how fast wounds heal! And there’s more… if you hold a hug for an extended time it lifts your serotonin levels – happy feels all around
5) No More Wipes.
CONFESSION: my skin care routine is pretty shocking. Thank god I love water. I’m a bit of a lazy girl when it comes to beauty. I can never be arsed to paint my nails, I can’t be bothered to moisturise my whole body and I have used face wipes and nothing else for as long as I can remember. This was mainly due to the fact that when I’ve used cleansers in the past I’ve just come out in spots so I’ve steered clear. Until I realised how gross that is (see gross skin cell fact ^^^). So I invested in a massive pack of flannels from Ikea and a new cleanser – this La Roche-Posey is the real deal. It’s a slight foam but its so silky and leaves your skin fresh but not tight. I’m really loving my clean habit now and my skin is thanking me for it.
6) Take 10.
There were times this year I was really struggling to cope with how busy my life had become. I was trying to cram in so much into one day that I felt I didn’t even have time or room in my head to think. Now if this continued it could have become dangerous, as stress, anxiety and depression can sneak up on you at any time. It therefore seemed counterintuitive to add yet ANOTHER thing to my day. But I did. And it had an amazing effect. I used the Headspace app to guide me into 10 minutes of meditation a day – I can’t recommend it enough. It helped me rise above the clouds in my mind and find the clear sky above
7) Water and lots of it.
I love water! Of all kinds – the sea, lakes, falls, heavy rain, the drinkable kind. As a young kid it was always my drink of choice – theres literally NOTHING better than a cold fresh glass of water when you’ve been running around playing hares & hounds or whatever other childhood game you played. So now when people ask me why my skin is good, I honestly believe its because of my constant water-love. I can’t stand how drowsy and blah I feel when I haven’t had some water for an hour or so. And my god do you need the stuff – your brain is 90% water, your body is about 70% water, the majority of your blood and every cell in your body is composed of water. Drink up!
Ahhh, isn’t your day better now?