1. Being healthy means eating and exercising in a way that feels good.
I am lucky enough to have been to several events by Ben Warren, Dr Libby, Julia and Libby and other influencers in the health and wellness world, soaking up a wealth of information about what it really means to be healthy. I’ve done my own research, reading books, articles online and studying anatomy and physiology. Basically I have learnt that you shouldn’t “eat barcodes” (too often), you should eat and exercise in a way that makes you feel good and you don’t need to take all the information out there too seriously… A bad day every now and again is not going to hurt you, it is what you do most of the time that counts.
2. You don’t have to be flexible to practice yoga.
I found yoga during my university studies, it quickly became a way I could get out of my head and escape the day. I signed up to Yoga Teacher Training, not fully knowing what to expect or if I actually wanted to teach yoga, just knowing that I wanted to learn more. The experience was more than I could have ever hoped for, not only did I learn about anatomy, cueing poses and eastern philosophy, I made some lifelong friends along the way and learnt that yoga is everywhere. It has become so important in my own self-discovery, finding the courage to guide a group of people through a class and developing my own practice further.
3. Travel allows you to learn and grow.
After living and working with international students for several years, it was inevitable that I would end up travelling myself again. It has taken some guts to make it happen, I think we wait to long for the perfect moment, thinking we have lots of time. But really there will never be a ‘perfect’ time, we have to make the most of now. Travelling is such a great way to grow as a person, meet new people, catch up with old friends and learn about the world through experiencing it.
4. I should read more often and disconnect from technology every now and again.
When I was little, I would read before bed, begging my parents for more time, then when the lights were turned out I’d sit at my bedroom door using the light from the hallway to continue reading. My Dad would say “you’ll need glasses if you read in the dark” (he may have been right). During university I very rarely read for pleasure, it was the last thing I wanted to do at the end of a day of studying and I often gave in to watching TV or pointless scrolling on social media. I started to get back into reading in 2015, I had a goal to read one book a month, it has now become a daily ritual. There is nothing better than curling up with a peppermint tea and a book.
5. That I am my own toughest critic: Be kind to myself
It is important to have the ability to show myself love and kindness. This is something that seems simple but it is something that many of us (including myself) struggle with. We can be so hard on ourselves when things do not turn out as we expect or want them to. But having self-compassion is about caring for yourself and treating yourself with the same love and kindness that you would for a really good friend or family member. It is about remembering to celebrate the small wins that are getting you closer to reaching your big goal. I realised that most of the time, I am my own worst critic, but it about remembering, I am human, I can’t get everything right first time, I can’t please everyone and I do not need to overwork myself all the time. Having kindness for yourself can be as simple as giving yourself time to unwind at the end of the day with a cup of tea!
Our true self is who we are when we let go of the all the stories and judgements that we have placed on ourselves and accept ourselves as we are.