Working in a fast-paced, digital and stressful environment can take its toll on your mind body and soul. This is a platform to share experiences from working in the media landscape and tips I apply to keeping balanced.
I am not a professional but I do follow these practices myself. Take what you need and merely see it as advice. If you are struggling with something that is deeper please do seek professional help. These are merely guidelines.
Live life balanced
Since moving to the other side of the world, Podcasts have truly been my saviour! Informative, quirky, funny or educational – we are truly spoilt with what is to offer out there.
Podcasts have allowed me the opportunity to switch off from my environment but also lean in on topics, subjects and conversations that I’m interested in. From a mindfulness perspective, it can really help me take control on certain moments in the day by giving me the freedom to engage in what I am most interested in. Continue Reading…
Ohh it is getting chilly outside! Who knew – cold in Australia!
When the seasons change, I love to embrace that freshness that gets breathed into your life as you adapt to the change in temperature. It gives you an opportunity to spring clean your wardrobe, mentality and current situation and adapt to a new look, view and future.
As the Northern hemisphere opens their doors to Summer, in the Southern Hemisphere Winter is here. I love Winter for the colours, the coolness and the warm snuggly feeling you get as you wrap your body in layers.
I love to pair warm colours with natural fibres; embracing the season for its natural shift in colours. A creature of habit, I often will stick to the same accessories, however, my new JORD (pronounced YOAD) has snuck into my style sheet for this fall.
The Maple FIELDCREST watch is made of all natural wood. The blonde hue really brings back reminiscence of warmer sunnier days as a constant reminder through Winter that the sun will be back.
JORD create beautiful pieces for both men and women, using natural materials in varying styles to suit most looks. The watches come beautifully packaged with a little oil to keep the wood in good condition.
Wooden Wrist Watch
~ Most watch backplates can be engraved! All Cedar humidor presentation boxes are engravable as well!
~ The watches may be sized for the recipient
~Most watches have additional options for customization–mixing and matching faces and woods!
~ Every watch comes with a one year warranty and options for return & exchange
~ Free worldwide standard shipping!
This little time piece (yes pun definitely intended) and other equally beautiful wooden creations can be found on JORD website.
As a little gift to you, I have done a little partnership with the team to run a competition to win $100 off one of their pieces.
Stress has always been a part of human nature. It is the
sensory cue that told our ancestors whether to fight a bear or run from a bear
(fight or flight). However, in 2019, where there are no bears in a natural
habitat, our response to stress is still just as strong. We are more stressed
out than ever before with stress being one of the main causes of illness both
physical and mental.
April is Stress Awareness Month, and I have had the chance to catch up with Karen Newby from Alchemy Super Blends to share her thoughts and advice on why stress is so harmful to the body and what we can be doing to support ourselves.
What do you think is the main trigger for stress for you?
The life juggles! Balancing work, children, seeing dear
friends and our general 24/7 lifestyle. Work now follows me everywhere via my
phone – luckily, I love my job, it doesn’t really feel like I’m working, so
that is an advantage, however as a business owner it does take its toll when I’m
still working on my laptop at 9pm at night or thinking about work when I’m with
my children…the guilt then manifests!
Stressed out? Head to Alchemy Super Blends Stress Reducing Retreat this May.
For 10% discount use code: RETREAT10
Do you think we put too much stress on ourselves?
I think technology has a lot to answer for. Technology has made us so connected but we also live in an age where we’ve never felt so alone. Don’t get me wrong I think it is hugely positive in so many ways – especially if you have your own business – but screen time can take up so much of your time if nothing else! Time that could be spent in more productive ways. The blue light is classified by the WHO as a carcinogen! It can increase our stress hormone release via the retina of our eye which is why it’s so hard to sleep if you’ve been in front of your screen late at night…
3) What 3 tips do you follow to reduce your stress?
I always say to my patients in my clinic that I can’t do much about their external stress, but I can help the body deal with it better. This is what my Retreat in May focuses on – how to become more resilient to stress. I like to remember that stress can be a positive force if you can adapt to it.
Caffeine: If you drink caffeine, have it with food. This lessens the metabolic effect dramatically. Caffeine increases the ‘fight or flight’ response so keep it to a minimum or choose a time of day when you really need it and have with food.
Cook: Doesn’t have to take ages (lots of quick recipes on my Karen Newby Nutrition Facebook page). I’m a big believer that food = love. Taking time to nourish ourselves with more plants and more food in season helps to nourish our guts reduce our sugar cravings and to help us develop a deep-rooted sense of happiness that comes from a healthy gut. Reason is that serotonin (the ‘happiness’ brain chemical) is mostly made in the gut. Cooking for friends and family also equates to community and boosting our limbic system which all helps to calm our nervous system.
Sleep: Easier said than done for many. Get rid of your phone in your bedroom. Buy an alarm clock instead. Even having a phone in your room even on airplane mode still makes us THINK about work! Magnesium – nature’s tranquilizer – from green leafy veg for supper or as Epsom Bath salts in your evening bath.
What one change would you recommend people take to help
minimize their daily stress?
Take time for a proper breakfast! Eating more at this time of day, more protein and good fats, greatly effects our blood sugar balancing. If you just have tea and toast (which so many of us do!) then this causes a spike of blood sugar followed by a crash – it is at these crashes that we can start to feel more anxious and irritable and less able to deal with tricky clients or work presentations! It also helps to minimise the need for so much caffeine which can affect our sleep. Lack of sleep is also a stressor…
Stress is everywhere – it exciting, it keeps us on our toes, however, when you are imbalanced and you start to get stressed out it is a big issue.
Use this month to reflect on what the main stresses are in your life. What can you do to reduce them? What can you do to support yourself? What can you do to present your best you to the situation?
Do you know How to Hygge? – pronounced “huugha” is the be new buzz word or hashtag of 2017. Coming from the Danish word which translates to ‘cosiness’ books have been popping up in January 2017 lists about the concept.
I first came across the idea when I picked up Signe Johansen book How to Hygge: The Secrets of Nordic Living where Signe walks us through her interpretation as a Scandinavian living in London.
Being a city girl and constantly having to balance work + play – the idea of introducing a little cosy in my life sounded right up my street!
I thought I would share with you the aspects of Hygge which resonated with me.
Be kind to yourself
One of the first things that struck about the idea of ‘how to hygge’ is the positive angle it takes on living your life. The emphasis on living rather than restricting – i.e. the food and chill – differentiated the idea from other books that quite often tell you to start doing this and stop doing that.
Instead of joining the latest diet fad, or stressing your body in the gym or being too rigid – it explores doing what feels good for you in that moment. Being in tune with your body is very important and I think we could all use this in our lives.
This may not sound so easy when you live in a city but there are a few ways you can trickle a little of the Great Outdoors in your day to day life! How to Hygge in the city can be done by taking a few little steps – here are my suggestions.
Walk to work
Headphones in – Sunnies on – and get in those paces. Less stress on the tube or stuck in a traffic jam and as I always say ‘saving £££ and losing lbs’
Stroll with friends
Meet friends on the weekend and go for Brunch and a stroll. Get your post brekkie coffee to go and head to your nearest park or flower market and peruse while you chat
Use your lunch break
Get up from your desk and just get outside. The fresh air and getting your blood circulation will give you a burst of energy rather than just sitting all day.
Make time to chill
This is one of my resounding goals for the year -albeit – I haven’t yet mastered it. Making time to relax is very important in keeping your life balanced and for all around wellbeing. If you are not sure how to start put chill time into practise – here are my top tips.
Set diary invites for you time
Put time in your diary 2-3 times a week (seems like a lot but will pay off) that is dedicated to YOU time or just relaxing. This could be reading a book, learning a new skill, catching up on your favourite box set or just doing whatever makes you feel happy. If you don’t pay yourself with time first – no-one else is going to do it for you.
It is ok to say NO
Linked to the point above. If you feel guilt of saying NO it is time you start to put it in to practise. Your time and energy is precious and if you spread yourself top thin then you can help no-one. Learn to say no to certain situations in order to give your all in other situations
Be kind to yourself
It’s ok to CHILL!
Buy some candles
Say Yes to Coffee and Butter
This point I liked. We are all guilty to saying No to certain tasty treats but as long as its not all the time it is great to say Yes!
Sure, we cannot live on butter and coffee alone but don’t beat yourself up over enjoying a little sweet treat here and there.
Want to know how you can also Hygge?
Pick up one of these books and see how you can apply this Scandi principle of cosiness to your day-to-day life.
delay or postpone action; put off doing something.
Procrastinating, to procrastinate, to effectively delay yourself from reaching your goals through the fine art of laziness. We are all guilty of it. We set a goal and say to yourself ‘I’ll start tomorrow’ or ‘I’ll start on Monday’ or ‘when I get paid’.
These are all genuine reasons but over time are they preventing you from actually reaching the things in life you want?
I have procrastinated over a ton of things in my life but with the New Year settling in I have taken action to really look at the things that I want. I set out how I want to achieve them and these are the tactics I have found which have truly helped me to reach my goals over the last year.
Check them out;
1: Micro Goals
Setting micro, bite size and achievable goals are often better than setting over arching goals such as Lose Weight, Make More Money or Travel More. Instead, small micro steps such as; walk 10,000 steps a day, only by 3 store bought coffees per week or save 10% of my wage toward my next holiday.
Small micro-goals make smaller but significant steps closer to the over arching goal which at the time may seem un attainable and thus makes you procrastinate toward doing the daily tasks to get you there.
There are loads of useful resources out there to help you set goals. Stores like Kikki-kGoals/ Dream books or ASOS Best Me For Life Journal.
2: Reasons Why
I touch on this in my article on how to deal with a change in lifestyle and I think it is just as relevant here. Knowing your reasons why is always fundamental when making any changes. Your ‘why’ is your motivation, it is your catalyst for change.
By keeping the WHY in mind it will help you get off your butt and start making that change.
3: Think About the End Goal
Think about the end goal – think about that feeling. What does it look like? What does it feel like? Does it make you feel good?
Use that feeling as your motivation to make change.
Feeling confident and sexy in a bikini on the beach? Think about that when changing your eating habits! Waking up on beach/ top of a mountain/ incredible new country? Think about that when you’re spending your wages.
If you think forward and reflect backwards you can start to give you the motivation to stop procrastinating and get the wheels in motion.
4: Just Do It
At the end of the day being a procrastinator comes down to you. You wanna get something done – just do it.
Good things come to those who do something about it. Things, unless you’re super lucky, don’t just happen, you make it happen.
You can write every list in the world, promise yourself you will start tomorrow, make all the pledges to take action but if you don’t just do it – you’re still procrastinating.
Weird question to ask right? But one, that in the last few months, I have been personally thinking about a lot.
Being “social’ is an interesting concept. At times, you pray for a night off, one day where you have nothing is planned in your iCal. Yet, when it happens, that all consuming FOMO descends and out comes the phone to find out what the world is up to.
Moving from London to Sydney, one of my hopes was that I would slow down. Living in the Big Smoke, I started to have to schedule nights an actively plan to have down time for my own wellness. However, temptation and my inability not to help a friend in need out, I would often break this and I was starting to burn out.
Alcohol, late nights, poor sleep, bad nutrition and no down time all add up. It starts with your morning energy, then your skin, then your body-mind-soul and worst case scenario…makes you sick.
If you feel you are heading toward this place… continue reading.
Take time to be alone
People love being around people. It is what makes us human. However, depending on how introvert/ extrovert you are – determines how much of this you need.
Whatever you align to more, taking time to be alone is very important to charge all of your batteries.
According to Harvard Health Letter blue light from digital devices is actually zapping our natural circadium cycles by suppressing our melatonin secretions (crucial for good sleep). In some cases, “the blue light surpassed melatonin for twice as long”, which means that even when you think you are having down time – if you have your phone out, you are still preventing yourself from getting that good night’s sleep.
“the blue light surpassed melatonin for twice as long”
Leave you all your connections alone and do something which doesn’t involve technology. Cook, bath, read or paint/draw/chill.
Say no, it doesn’t make you an asshole!
It really doesn’t. In fact, it sometimes makes your presence at the next event more poignant at the next event. Kick FOMO (fear of missing out) to the curb and welcome in JOMO (joy of missing out) in your routine.
Practise reinforcing your power to say No.
People respect you when you are true to yourself and when you come willing, fresh and ready to bring energy to the next social event you head to.
Alcohol – no matter how much ‘you can handle it’ – messes with your sleep, you inhibitions/ anxieties, body’s ability to function and costs a ton.
This is a real pot calling kettle black moment but something I too am practising.
People who stimulate you mentally, don’t need an extra push of alcohol to have fun. Try it. You never know you may enjoy it.
And, the benefits in how you look, feel and save all add up over time.
“Most alcohol is packed full of calories and will slow your metabolism”.
According to Dr Zac Turner, “Most alcohol is packed full of calories and will slow your metabolism”. If you are constantly socialising, drinking every day, sooner or later these calories will add up and start to affect the way you look and feel.
For those of us who are shy/ social anxiety, trust me, when you reframe the situation and try doing activities which usually require booze, you may actually shock yourself into how much inner confidence you have when you start being present in your own self confidence rather than relying on that provided by alcohol.
Set yourself micro-social goals
Don’t say to yourself ‘I’m not going to drink again’ or ‘I am doing a dry month’ if these are not realistic to you.
Starting a new habit means repeating the same behaviour until it becomes part of your natural routine.
2 nights out a week
2 nights drinking a week
3 nights scheduled nights in
Whatever it is you need – plan ahead and log it down.
You aren’t alone
As I sit here writing this, having a slight ‘you go girl’ attitude, I do actually have to face the reality I need to practise what I preach.
In a world where being BUSY is a power sign, having a social media feed full of fun activities increases your following and being a socialite is respected…take a step back and actually reflect what any of those actually mean to your life. In the grand scheme of it… if you’re getting out of bed feel like crap, looking like crap and getting sick. Ask yourself honestly… “Is you social life making you sick”.
Change. It is terrifying and not for the light hearted but quite often it is necessary. Life can throw many curve balls at us which require us to change. Sometime, change is done to us or we come to a cross road in our life when you wish to make a change to your lifestyle.
Be it a new fitness regime, change to your diet, end of a relationship, new job or moving to a new city or country; all of these can have big affects on your well being.
“Be the change you wish to see in the World” – Gandhi
Change brings opportunities and challenges us. It led me to think about the changes I have made in my life and how I went around dealing, working through and coping with those changes. It inspired me to share with you my top ways with dealing with change.
How To Deal With A Change To Your Lifestyle
Establish A Routine
When big changes are happening your life things can get overwhelming. Establishing a routine has been frequently recommended to those who are going through transitional times. It helps to ground you but also build good habits which provide a solid base for positive change.
Connection with people
“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.” – Tolstoy
Expect The Lows But Enjoy The Highs
It won’t always be easy
It is ok to feel low
Change is daunting, unknowing, grey area and worrying
Things will get better
When things feel great – savour the moment
“The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.” – Einstein
Reflect On Your Reason Why
Why did you make the change?
What were your reasons?
These will be a really good indication of when you are questioning yourself why you made the decision in the first place. It is sometimes easy to lose sight of your reason ‘why’ when you are going through a tough time. It is often easier to go back to comfort than to face the difficulties of a transition. This is often the reason why people never progress or achieve when making a change.
“Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.” – Rumi
Focus And Re-Focus Your Goals
Where are you in your journey – where do you want to go? What were your original goals? Are they still relevant now?
When you make a change to your lifestyle, whether it be a new fitness regime, diet, job or move city – just because you set original goals doesn’t mean you can’t be flexible and evolve them as you evolve.
“Nothing is so painful to the human mind as a great and sudden change.” – Mary Shelley
Always Be Kind To Yourself
Change is tough and change is for the brave. Many people go through life dreaming about the changes they would like to do with their lives but never turning those dreams in to reality. It is not always easy, nice, fun or enjoyable when making big changes to your lifestyle. With this in mind, be kind to yourself.
If things aren’t always going your way, don’t be too harsh. Things will go wrong, it may be tough, it may get rough and sometimes you may feel like you’ve made a bad decision. Whatever happens though, you have tried. There is a lot to be said for trying as unless you try something you will never know if it is right for you.
“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.” – Lao Tzu
Making a change to your lifestyle may result in an outcome you are not happy with. Never see failure as a trait of who you are, it just the result of something that has been tried or tested to find out what works better. It is not who you are.
Have you ever had that class you would like to attend but seen it starts at 6am so immediately know it ain’t gonna happen?
Have you ever had heart palpitations as you know you need to get up early but that time of day just mentally doesn’t exist in your mind?
There are different kinds of people in this world – from the early bird who love an early morning to the night owl – but due to the way the world works life just doesn’t take these into account. Sometimes, we have to be pushed out of our natural rhythms due to a work commitment of a social engagement.
Early Bird or Night Owl
Of the two, I am an early bird and I am fully aware of how rising early when you’re not a natural early riser can be really daunting. Therefore, I thought I would share with you my tips to rising early and getting that early morning without the tiring consequences.
Get to bed early – You still need 8 hours!
I would recommend starting to do this a week or so before you need to as it’s not just that easy. Start by zoning out from technology about 2 hours before bed. The blue light stimulates our minds and prevents us from fully switching off. There are a number of apps you can use to reduce the blue light on your phone – for a comprehensive list check out this link.
Think like a child and have a relaxing bath and put on a bed time podcast (story). A warm drink or caffeine free tea often helps me. My favourite has always been Pukka Night Time Tea, which you can find in all local food stores.
Reading is also a fantastic way to wind down. Lose your mind into the depths of the pages and you will often find yourself nodding off. My preference is a hard copy over a phone/ kindle – as getting your eyes away from the technology is pivotal for winding down.
You may think you will sleep through your alarm but if you choose an alarm, which starts gently and slowly increases, you will find you naturally start to awake from slumber.
You may be thinking… that ain’t gonna work for me! I used to live with a friend who’s alarm was loud enough to wake the street and she still slept through it. But try this and set a few alarms in increments of you think you may sleep through.
Arise slowly, wiggle your fingers and toes and smile. Works a treat.
Go and make a warm lemon water and sit by a window or go outside if it is warm – the natural light is what your body is craving.
Let’s be serious… I am human
I have mentioned above my top tips, however, you do need to take into account your circadian rhythm. This rhythm is impacted by whether you’re an early bird or night owl as it will affect when you feel most alert and most drowsy through the day.
Therefore, bare in mind that it can be a lot harder to change when you are going against your natural groove.
Early morning are a part of life and I do hope that these little tips may give you something for the toolbox that will ease you into the morning next time you have an early start.
When a big decision comes around it can leave us paralysed with what to do when weighing out the outcomes.
Indecision, sometimes, can be as hard as making the decision itself. It can leave you riddled with anxiety and immovable with moving forward.
Speaking from my own experience, I personally do not like change. In fact, I am often resistant to it. I am guilty of asking for other people’s opinions rather than making my own. However, in hindsight I often find out that my initial gut feeling was the right one anyway.
I may not know all the answers but here is my way of dealing with coming to the right decision when times seem tough.
How To Make Hard Decisions
Take time. If you feel people are pressuring you for an answer be firm and let them know you need time. I often find that sleeping on a decision allows you to digest and find your truth. Like with most things, a good night sleep can give you clarity and stop you from making a rash decision.
Weigh up the Pros and Cons of the decision
The good old pros and cons list is a fantastic weapon when coming to an answer when you are not sure. Instead of breaking down different factors into negatives and positives, break it down into your values, truths and ambitions.
Will it get you to where you need to be?
Will it bring you joy?
Will it be tough at first but give you reward?
Do not merely break things down into plus and minus as sometimes something which is tough in the long term can be more rewarding.
Think passed the decision
Similar to the above, sometimes most people will only think about the near future but not long term. For example, one answer could cause a huge upheaval in your life, bring about change and be quite challenging but in 6 months time be the best decision you have ever made.
Think forward, remove your mind from the here and now, and truly try and take an umbrella view. You never know what you may see in the future.
Ask for advice from a Friend/ Family
Your friends and family are your trusted committee who know you best. They may be able to guide and support you through the decision making process and help you find your answer. Alternatively, you can sometimes find by hearing what someone else thinks reinforces your own opinion if you disagree with them…
Trust your Gut feeling
Trust your gut. It is your second brain and is powerful for detecting your innermost voice. We all have had that moment when something doesn’t feel right…learn to trust it.
Whatever your decision is, remember, you can always change your mind. The wonderful thing about today is that we are in a dynamic society, which, is constantly metamophosing into something different. Nothing is forever, so know that even if it doesn’t work out, you can always take a new route.
Remember, life is going to be full of hard decisions, some we will make right, others wrong but always know that every decision you make you will learn from it.