What comes to mind when you think about the word ‘ritual’? Birthdays, Sunday roasts, weddings, full moon manifestations or perhaps your morning routine?
During this time of a global pandemic and confinement, many of our social rituals are limited. What about your personal rituals? While communal rituals give us the comfort of familiarity, solidarity and shared experience, personal rituals can also create a feeling of connection in the grand scheme of things. What if you could transform how you feel, bringing more resilience and happiness to every day through everyday rituals?
Ritual can help as a remedy to anxiety. Chronic uncertainty increases stress. That is where ritual comes in. Rituals are highly structured and involve repetition which means they are predictable. So even if they have no direct influence over the physical world, rituals provide a sense of control and certainty.
Through the practice of...
Want to live a longer, healthier life? Don’t restrict entire food groups. Be balanced.
The Mediterranean approach to eating puts emphasis on small portions and freshness, as well as the pleasure of eating. This is one of my key food guidelines: have fun — eat with enjoyment and gratitude in order to feel nourished.
Adopt a Mediterranean eating style without moving to the French or Spanish Riviera;
A typical Mediterranean-diet day would look like this:
This month I really felt the urge to share more about energy and what it means to us, in all its forms.
Many of us, myself included, have had up and down relationships with our energy levels, and right now, given the current pandemic that we are living through, as a society everyone just seems to feel drained and the words ‘exhausted’ or ‘dead tired’ appear in many more of my conversations these days.
Energy levels are the foundation of our physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing, and that concept seems so simple - yet it is incredibly powerful.
When our energy is high, we can move mountains. When it is low, we become demotivated, sick, and tired. Without energy our body is so much less productive or resilient, and it can even influence the way we think, our health, our mood, and our overall happiness. Low energy is bad news for us as human beings and it affects every part of our life.
Our ability to lead and succeed is directly proportional to the energy...
When did you last eat with enjoyment, for pure pleasure? When last did you eat something without obsessing about every calorie and micro-nutrient going into your body? There’s so much nutritional information in circulation, and often such a judgmental culture around what everyone’s eating, that most people struggle to eat without some element of guilt or anxiety.
Most people struggle to eat without some element of guilt or anxiety. But eating for pleasure is entirely possible.
And then there’s the phenomenon of comfort eating – which, as Nigella Lawson has pointed out in one of her cookbooks, is really discomfort eating. We use food as a form of self-medication, to swallow our feelings, often binging on foods that we mindlessly gulp down without pausing to check whether we’re really enjoying them.
Food is fuel, of course, but it’s also one of life’s greatest pleasures!
Can you even...
When life is uncertain, and we’re stressed and anxious, often we drive ourselves crazy with ‘what if’ scenarios. This proves us living in the past with worry and possible regret or in the future causing more concern. There’s another way to question our situations that is positive, and which can help us to find solutions instead of fueling our anxiety even further.
How? Through staying calm, and asking questions from a point of curiosity. It’s about asking the right questions, and controlling the controllables.
To begin this process, we need to adopt a stance of what psychologists call radical self-acceptance. It works like this: we have never been through what we’re going through at the moment, so there is no right and wrong, there’s no roadmap. That’s good news, because it means that actually, you can’t get this wrong.
Next, tapping into the...
Our everyday language has been telling us for decades that our brains and stomachs are connected – we digest difficult news, or talk about butterflies in our stomachs when we’re nervous. We go with our gut when making a decision.
But now scientists know that there’s a strong biological tie between gut and brain – so much so that they’re now calling the gut the ‘second brain’. And it’s not just your stress that has an impact on your digestive system – your digestive system can also affect your mental state.
It all comes down to the microbiome each of us carries around with us – a system of millions of bacteria, some good and some bad, that live in our digestive systems. And it’s all about keeping those in balance.
When things get too out of balance for too long, then you have a problem – with links to a plethora of conditions...
Well-being isn’t just about physical health. Eating well, exercising and getting enough sleep are vital, of course, but it’s also about managing our emotions. Your emotional diet, so to speak. And in these times of great upheaval, where we’re suddenly confronted with a host of new demands, many people are struggling with their emotional well-being.
There are simple ways to make living and working less remote ‒ and more remarkable ‒ which I’d like to share. I use them in my work with a range of business owners, entrepreneurs, and leaders, and they are tried and tested.
It’s important to remember that there’s a very strong mind-body link, so your emotional health can have an impact on your physical health, and vice versa. For instance, generally, when we’re feeling stressed, we can spend a lot of time in our heads and get quite anxious. That sets off a chain reaction in your body and brain: your blood pressure...
Are you feeling down in the dumps? Are you battling to bounce out of bed in the morning? Don’t have the get-up-and-go to get to the office, the gym or, worst of all, a new client meeting? What you may need is a quick boost, something that can raise your energy and help adjust your motivation in an instant.
Mood booster: Breathing Boost
Time till mood boost: Immediate to several minutes
Feeling down? Take a breath. A deep one! Deep breathing is one of the fastest tension busters around, lowering levels of hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol. Try the 4-7-8 technique. Inhale deeply through your nose for a count of four, hold your breath for a count of seven, and exhale through your mouth for a count of eight. Repeat five times.
Mood booster: Eat a Balanced Breakfast
Time till mood boost: 15 minutes.
Starting your day with a balanced breakfast will not only boost your energy, it will most definitely lift your mood too,...