I had an amazing time at The Edinburgh Wellbeing Festival. It was an honour to share my story and host some of the weekend. I also attended some fantastic talks which reminded me why I am and always will be so passionate to stigma smash and help as much as I can whilst I am lucky enough to be here.
Pull a Nike
The topic of fear came up a lot throughout the weekend. People want to launch blogs or wellness businesses but fear is holding them back. Fear of being judged, fear of failure. I can’t stress enough how important it is that we keep talking, sharing and supporting. If you want to earn a living doing something you love in the wellness industry then take note – it is currently worth 3.7 trillion. There is plenty of room to come and make a difference in the industry. If you are prepared to put in the work. Because once you start that’s it – no going back. Just do it.
There is no denying that the mental health stats are shocking and the lack of support is terrifying. On a plus though – 70% of people recover from depression so please have hope.
Cut yourself some slack
Caring for someone with a mental health condition is intense. Cut yourself some slack and remember that sometimes people will only seek out help when they feel desperate enough. There is only so much you can do as a friend or family member. Whilst you may be carrying someone (you are amazing for this) – changes need to come from within. I spoke to some incredible people over the weekend who have been in the darkest place. They had to commit to making a change and it blows my mind what they have achieved and how many people they have helped. We need more of this when the NHS is so low on mental health resources.
There was some interesting research to show that cooked food is better for us and our digestion. Kale is way better for us when it is cooked. Stews and soups and warm comfort foods full of vegetables are a great start. Frozen vegetables are fantastic and in fact they have been my lifesaver already this year. My friend the batch lady agrees. From frozen onions, carrots, garlic and chilli – it is all fantastic for us and so economical.
I have been speaking about this loads on my daily Insta stories for the past few months. Strength training is SO important, especially once we get into our 30’s and our muscle mass starts to decrease by the decade. A lot of the fitness and health experts, such as Dr Chatterjee. stressed how crucial regular strength training is. I had a health MOT over the weekend and the specialist I spoke with reminded me that I also get a fix of cardiovascular training when I do weights as the sessions I do are working me really hard and my heart rate increases. Whilst I stand by the fact that I don’t want to be obsessing over scales, improved body composition through weight training and a balanced diet is my key fitness focus for 2018. I will still be running but weights is my priority. I am working with Trev Jones at David Lloyd and we are covering everything. From postural work to nailing all of the traditional weight lifting techniques. The last session we did felt so satisfying. He is teaching me how to really engage each muscle and warm them up so that they work as effectively as possible throughout each session.
Trev and I have discussed intermittent fasting as an option for me. This involves allowing the body a 16-hour break from food. This means if I consume my final meal at 6pm, I would eat my next meal at 10am. For me, that is a fairly good option for the majority of the week. Not all of it but some of it. Dr Chatterjee suggests that 12 hours would still make a huge difference to allow the body to rest and digest.
I did an exercise for my heart and we monitored how it responded to stress. When I stopped to breath in and out deeply for a minute, it made a huge difference to how my heart responded. Don’t forget to breathe. Even two minutes of deep breathing each day can make a huge difference. A great time to do this is at the start of the day, in a quiet place before you leave the house. I use a book which gives me a new inspirational mantra each day. I find it is nice to do the breathing as I read this in bed. It helps to clear my mind of the to do list.
Again, I have been speaking about this for the past couple of years. Screen addiction be it the phone or laptop is real and we need to be strict to get some time away from it. My issue has been that I use my phone as an alarm clock so need it next to my bed. I am currently looking into getting something else. As I have been so busy this weekend, I have not been on my phone a great deal. The break has been welcomed. A useful tip would be to select a day a week to cut out the screen for as long as possible. Such as a Sunday which can be used to go out and enjoy new places, away from technology. Whilst technology is amazing, we need to use it in a way than helps us rather than controls us. Have a hot shower in the morning before you check the phone.
You can only laugh when you are present.
The stomach is the second brain. Look after it. Fuel it well but also find the balance that works for you. It is better to eat a balanced diet and have good digestion over eating a super, strict diet and having poor digestion.
The human brain loves to focus on the negative, this was useful in the past to keep us safe from preditors. In the modern world it can be hugely damaging. A great tip would be to play a game at dinner, if you have kids this is great for them too. List something you are grateful about that is specific to your day and a person you are grateful for and how they made you feel.
I have SO many more tips in my head right now but I don’t want to keep you too long on the screen 🙂 Sending good vibes.