August172017

Why you’re tired and what to do about it

 

We all go through stages of feeling exhausted at times – life’s busy and it’s easy to put your mental health second when you have a lot going on. If you find yourself constantly feeling tired, however, it’s time to take a look at what you could be doing differently. Here are a few things that may be wearing you out.

 

Iron deficiency

If you don’t have enough iron in your diet, your red blood cells are unable to carry a sufficient amount of oxygen around the body. This leads to tiredness, among other things. Try to absorb as much iron naturally as possible. This is best achieved by incorporating foods into your meals that are rich in iron like spinach, red meat, legumes and nuts. Alternatively, you can supplement your diet with iron tablets.

 

Perfectionism

If you’re a bit of a perfectionist, it’s likely you tend to overwork yourself and subsequently wear yourself out. When you raise the bar just that little bit too high, too often, you constantly push yourself over the edge. While it’s important to do a great job in everything you do, it’s also important to look after yourself and know when to call it a day. Similarly, if you have too much on your plate and feel like you never get any down time, learn to say no. Remember – you’re number one.

 

Dehydration

Probably the biggest factor of tiredness is dehydration. If you aren’t getting enough water, your body suffers – it’s as simple as that. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Popular studies recommend around 8 glasses of water a day, though this varies according to body sizes. Drink enough so that you feel energised and healthy. Your skin will look amazing, too!

 

Bad food habits

Two of the most common and easily fixed causes of over-tiredness are skipping breakfast and eating unhealthy food regularly. If you eat foods that have little nutritional value – or even worse, don’t eat at all – your body becomes sluggish. Our bodies need fuel to allow us to go about our day effectively. Without a healthy diet that includes consistent meals, functioning at our full potential is nearly impossible. Eat three balanced meals a day and enjoy light snacks such as nuts or fruit in between.

 

Using technology before bed

This one’s directly related to sleeping. It has been scientifically proven that looking at screens shortly before you go to bed can cause you to sleep poorly. Not only are the harsh lights of phone and laptop screens bad for your eyes in artificial light, your mind is given no time to switch off and relax before you go to bed. Instead of scrolling through Instagram or checking emails, read a book, listen to soft music or have a short meditation session.

 

July302017

Spring Cleaning: Your Need-to-Know

It’s that time of year where we welcome the new and say goodbye to the old, assessing our possessions and getting rid of unnecessary items. Not only does spring cleaning help declutter your surroundings and highlight what’s really important, it works wonders on the mind. When you clear out the things that aren’t needed in your life, you create space and inner peace. Your mind will naturally de-stress when it’s in a more calming environment. Minimise the chaos in your climate and you’ll be content in no time!

 

Wardrobe

Clearing out your wardrobe is very therapeutic. I recommend doing this at least once a year, because it enables you to get rid of disused or outdated items and prioritise timeless and beloved pieces. And, of course, it means there’s room for new, trending clothes! Begin by pulling everything out of your wardrobe and going through each individual item. Ask yourself how long ago you wore each item, how often you wear it and whether you realistically foresee yourself wearing it multiple times in the future. If it isn’t a basic or versatile piece, remember to check if it’s in season, too. Try to be firm with yourself – I know it can be difficult, especially when there are memories tied to certain pieces or you find something you forgot you had. Keep in mind that what you throw away could be a blessing to someone else. And by donating old clothes to your local charity, you’re also doing an act of good.

 

Workspace

Once you’ve decluttered your wardrobe, it’s time to get to work on your workspace. This might be a room at home, or an office in the building your work. Start with your desk. Are there folders and pieces of paper everywhere? Read them and assess their relevance. If they’re no longer important, recycle them. If they need to be kept on hand, create a filing system, or add to your existing one. Try to keep your desk as clean as possible. This increases productivity, as you’re able to find things much faster and have a clearer head from the lack of clutter. Examine the rest of the room, too. Could the walls do with a changeup? Are there unnecessary items on the floor? Are your plants alive and well? Tidy up your workspace and you’ll definitely notice the difference.

 

Everything Else!

The rest of the home deserves your attention as well. This means tackling your living room, kitchen and bathroom in the same manner. Bathrooms are generally quick – maybe update the magazine basket and get rid of old shampoo and skincare bottles, then you’re good to go. The kitchen, however, is always a big one. Go through your pantry and fridge and throw out any expired foods. Check your appliances and kitchenware, and clear out items that aren’t needed. Lastly, sort out your living room by removing excess pillows and blankets, recycling magazines and the like. A clean and tidy home makes for a clear, focused and peaceful mind.

June292017

Healthy Snacks for Women on the Go

Eating well is extremely important to fuel your mind and body and ensure you feel great from the inside-out. A nutritious diet encourages brain growth and works as an energiser. If you are a busy woman on the go and want to maximise your potential, try supplementing your diet with healthy snacks. Here are a few of my favourite snacks for inspiration!

Vege Sticks and Hummus
The classic health snack! Hummus us a simple, delicious way to spice up raw vegetables. Chop some carrots, celery or broccoli into pieces and dip in a hummus of your choice – I personally love butternut hummus and beetroot hummus.

Raw Energy Balls
There’s a reason raw energy balls have become such a popular snack among foodies – they’re tasty and easy to throw in your daily bag. Try Tom & Luke’s balls for some scrumptious flavours like Mint Chocolate and Salted Caramel – you’ll feel like you’re eating a treat but they’re all natural!

Berry Mix
It’s hard to beat berries for a sweet, fresh snack. Berries are high in antioxidants that help keep your brain sharp and contain a number of vitamins. I love a mix of raspberries and blueberries, but blackberries are great if you’re looking for a little more tartness.

Avocado and Tomato Crackers
Wholegrains are an important component of your diet, so snacking on some crackers made with wholemeal flour and grains is a great idea. Slather them in avo, add a slice of tomato and some cracked pepper and you’re good to go!

Seed and Nut Medley
Last but not least is the much-loved nut mix. Nuts and seeds are a fantastic way to add protein, good fats and nutrients to your diet – plus they taste great! Mix together some cashews, almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds and chia seeds for a healthy and filling snack.

 

November292016

Be the Kind of Person You Want to Know

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When you think about yourself and the life you lead, are you happy? Do you view yourself in a positive light? Do you think of yourself as a good person? Are you proud of who you are and the way you treat others? This week, my blog is all about being the type of person you want to know.

 

Be Someone You’d be Proud to Call a Friend 

Try to be the sort of person you would be thrilled to know and call a friend. Look at the special people in your life and consider what you love most about them. Do you also exhibit some of those qualities? Be someone who lifts others up, tackles challenges head-on and lives life with a positive outlook. Remember to practice what you preach. If you value friendliness and patience, enact those values. Live by your beliefs and show commitment to your passions and goals.

 

Be Generous

If we were all generous, the world would be a much better place. Learning to give to others is a positive trait that benefits both you and the receiver. Consume less and give more. Be generous not just in the literal, gift-giving sense, but with your time and your advice. Talk less and listen more to those around you. Show that you care by offering your support and bringing positivity into other’s lives. Generosity is beautiful thing!

 

Be Kind 

Kindness is one of the keys to living a fulfilled life. Not everyone believes in karma, but I truly do. When you do positive things with your life, the universe sends positive things your way. Kindness is infectious and can make someone’s day just that little bit better. Plus, you can’t help but feel good when you do something nice for another person. Be selfless, not selfish. You, the world and those around you will be better for it!

September162016

Relationships: When to Get Out

relationships-when-to-get-out

We have all been, or will be, in a romantic relationship at some point in our lives. In fact, many us will be in multiple romantic relationships. Wherever you are right now you need to remember that there are times when you do need to let go of a relationship in order to prioritise yourself and your ultimate happiness. When you are the one involved in the relationship it can be extremely difficult to see if you are being treated poorly or deserve more. So, from an outsiders point of view, here are a few examples of when it’s time to get out.

 

Losing Touch

When your wellbeing and happiness are no longer your priority, you need to reconsider the relationship. It’s easy to become absorbed in a relationship, and if it is mutually loving and beneficial then that’s not such a bad thing. But when you are compromising your own values and beliefs, constantly privileging your partner’s needs over your own, or no longer pursuing the hobbies you used to love it is time to rethink things. Losing your sense of self is bad for both you and the relationship. You should be able to be your own person still, and if you lose sight of that person then you grow to depend on your partner. This can leave you feeling needy and lost. Stay true to yourself and remember who you are.

 

Complement Me

Do you and your partner complement each other? A romantic relationship should enhance both party’s lives, not impact them negatively. Is there still mutual respect and kindness between you? Do they still treat you as they did when you first began dating? Don’t accept anything less than the best in your relationship. Often after a long time together people begin taking each other for granted and forget to appreciate each other. Don’t make that mistake, and don’t put up with it if you are the one being taken for granted. You deserve to be treated as the amazing human you are, so don’t let your standards fall.

 

Conflicting Values

If you are involved in a romantic relationship with someone from a young age, you will grow and change a lot throughout your time together. Your twenties are the years where you really find yourself, and discover exactly who you want to be. You may find your values and ideals are now defined, or very different to those you had in your teenage years. The things that you had in common with your partner initially may no longer be there. If this is the case, it doesn’t mean the relationship should end. But if you have strongly opposing opinions about serious matters, which cause conflict in your relationship, then you should ask yourself whether that is something you can handle. You don’t want to start compromising your beliefs.

 

Sparks Fly

If the spark dies, it could be time to call things quits. The passion and excitement in a relationship will naturally die down a little as time goes on, which isn’t cause to worry. But if you no longer find your partner attractive or look forward to seeing them, then that’s an issue. Does your partner still make you laugh on a daily basis and give you butterflies now and then? Do you still perceive your relationship as special? That spark, or connection, is probably the best thing about a relationship so treasure it – and if it disappears, ask yourself why.

August122016

Grief: How to Cope

Grief - How to Cope

It’s a fact of life that at some point during our amazing journey, we will experience loss. No matter how big or small a loss is and how prepared or unprepared for it we are, it can have a serious effect on our happiness, perspectives and beliefs. Perhaps you lost a beloved pet, a friend or family member, or are put through a difficult breakup. These are all losses. Sometimes a loss can completely floor you. You may find yourself questioning who you are and what your purpose is on this planet. You may feel lost yourself. You may feel that you will never recover. As someone who has had her own fair share of grief, I am here to tell you that it does get better. Eventually, things will be okay again – different, yes – but okay. So whether you have experienced a loss already and need some support, or have been lucky enough to avoid one thus far, here are some words that I hope can help you.

 

The ‘Right’ Way

This is the most important thing to understand: there is no right way to grieve. When something horrific happens to you, you will naturally react differently to those around you. Maybe you will go into shock, maybe you will break down, or maybe you will remain relatively composed. However you personally respond is okay. Don’t think that emotional outbursts are weak or a lack of emotion is cold. Every one of us is different, so it is natural to handle things in our own unique way. If you are one of those people who needs to keep busy and ‘get on with it’, then do that. Stay busy, occupy yourself with your hobbies and interests. If you are one of those people who needs time to process everything, then take that time. Be on your own until you feel ready to face the world again. However you need to deal with the situation is up to you.

 

Time

Even though she’s now a pop princess in the midst of a media scandal, the old Taylor Swift certainly had some good advice. In one of her early hits, Fifteen, she offers a piece of wisdom that can help us here: “I’ve found time can heal most anything / And you might just find who you’re supposed to be.” When you’re hurting, chances are the old ‘time heals’ notion won’t feel very helpful. But it’s important to believe that, as awful as things might seem now, they will get better. They may not go back to normal – because a loss can seriously alter our perception, redefining what ‘normal’ actually is – but they will improve. When something huge happens to you, it’s likely you will never truly get over it. But you will, eventually, get used to it. It won’t be an obstacle in life you simply surpass, but rather something that becomes a part of you and your story. And when the time comes, you will feel joy again. You will feel happiness again. You will feel hope.

 

Wellbeing

Another significant thing to remember when suffering a loss is to keep looking after yourself. Taking care of your mind and body may seem like the least important thing right now, but it cannot be ignored. You will only worsen things if you stop taking care of yourself. Make sure you eat, and eat well. Stay hydrated. Get at least eight hours sleep a night. If you feel up to it, do yoga or meditation once a day – it will help your healing process. Go outside and get some fresh air. Being in nature is a great way to give yourself time to think, and to see the beauty of the world around you. Spend time with your friends and family – as much as you need. Lean on your friends. Real friends will always be there for you, no matter what. Give yourself time out at work if you need it. Place value on your wellbeing. Even though things are horrible right now, you will come out the other side stronger and more understanding of yourself.

August062016

It’s the Little Things

Its the Little Things

Sometimes, it’s the little things in life we need to appreciate. Those small, simple things that improve your day or enhance your overall experience in some way. We don’t always notice them, but undoubtedly we feel their impact. Ask yourself – what made you happy this week? Or what added to your happiness? These are the things we should hold onto and treasure, because they positively influence our lives – whether we realise it or not. I thought I would share a few things that brightened my week, so that maybe you can think of those that brighten yours.

 

Fresh Flowers

I love fresh flowers – they instantly boost my mood. I always make sure I have fresh flowers in my office and home. The smell is refreshing and they add a dash of colour to the room. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that flowers are only a gift – get into the habit of buying yourself flowers and you’ll be better for it!

 

Favourite Song

Putting on my favourite song never fails to enhance my happiness. At the moment I can’t stop listening to Jeff Buckley’s Hallelujah. It might be a sad sounding tune, but I love the vocals and think it’s an amazing piece of music.

 

Animal Time

A play with my dog Versace Stone always puts me in good spirits. There’s something about animal company which human company can’t provide. Animals seem to understand us and communicate without needing words. I swear they can tell when we’re feeling upset, or stressed. If you have a furry friend at home, why not spend some time with them each day and see how it benefits you?

 

Sneaky Shop

Yes, yes, yes – I do love to shop. A quick visit to my favourite dress store Glamour Boutique in Newmarket is sure to put a smile on my face. Quality, stunning garments combined with friendly, professional staff – what more could you ask for!?

 

Food and Friends

My number one ‘little thing’ – time spent sharing stories with my girls over good food. This week we visited our frequent, The White Rabbit on the Park, and wined and dined in style. Catching up with those you love is never a bad idea, and when you add some fine cuisine in the mix it’s bound to be a winner!

December162015

What a Girl Wants, What a Girl Needs

Tony Robbins ‘Six Human Needs’

Healthy Lifestyle. Portrait Of Happy Smiling Young Woman With Glass Of Fresh Water. Healthcare. Drinks. Health, Beauty, Diet Concept. Healthy Eating.

It is unarguable that each and every one of us is different, in our appearances, our beliefs, our interests and our mannerisms. The one thing we all have in common, however, is our status as a human being. When you strip away labels and signifiers, we are all, at our core, human. Stemming from this simple fact, life coach and motivational speaker Tony Robbins has established six basic human needs which affect us all. These six needs are fundamental to our role as human beings, and it is Robbin’s belief that we are all motivated – whether consciously or unconsciously – by our longing to fulfil them. I found these really powerful, because they can be related to all aspects of our lives, from family and work to extracurricular activities and relationships. Realising that these six needs are important to your mental wellbeing and overall happiness is the first step in allowing yourself to live a more satisfactory life. Now you can pinpoint what, if anything, needs working on in your life, and pave the way for a happier, more in-control you. 

1. Certainty

The first need that Robbins describes is certainty. As human beings, we desire an amount of security or safety and tend to dislike uncertainty. We want to know that we can avoid both physical and mental pain, and that we can find happiness. To give you an example, think about when you are in a relationship with someone. During the early days of romantic involvement, we can generally handle uncertainty because we are just getting to know one another. We don’t expect things to last yet, and naturally protect ourselves in case it doesn’t work out. However, as things progress, it becomes normal to crave a level of assurance. We want to know that our relationship has a direction, and that we aren’t investing our time and feelings into someone who will only be in the picture for a brief period. Furthermore, we want to know that our future happiness is not in danger. Do you feel certain in your relationship? Why?

2. Uncertainty

Just as we yearn for certainty, we also desire an amount of uncertainty in our lives. Think about it – if we literally knew everything that was going to happen our lives wouldn’t be very exciting. So while certainty is a valid need, too much will lead to boredom and dissatisfaction. We need to have unexpected or unplanned events and experiences in our lives to stimulate us. Go on a road trip, read a new book, try a new hobby – pushing yourself to do something that you are uncertain about will likely cause excitement and fun. Robbins also describes uncertainty as variety, pointing out that humans need a balance of certainty and uncertainty in their lives to be content. We need enough variety in our lives to keep things interesting. This is why jobs which are very monotonous and unchangeable can be extremely un-motivating and even depressing – we need a bit of diversity to keep us content at work.

3. Significance

For me, this is a big one. Everyone deserves to feel important, special and loved for the unique person that they are. As Robbins asserts, we all want our lives to be meaningful and have purpose in every aspect – we need to know that we matter. There are many ways that we seek to achieve significance on a general level, from creating a distinct appearance to helping others and gaining qualifications. I think needing to feel significant is really important when it comes to relationships, both familial and romantic. If you are a mother, you want to fill that parental role and be acknowledged for it; you want to be known as ‘mum’ for the care you give to your child. When you are dating someone, you want to feel like you are beautiful and special – you want to feel valued by your partner so you know your relationship has a purpose.

4. Connection

Human beings are social creatures, so without companionship we would naturally become lonely and despondent. Robbins describes the importance of connecting with other people, stating that it is necessary in order for us to feel loved, wanted and cared for. We need to form bonds with others to prevent loneliness and allow us to feel significant. This is why friends, family and romantic partners are so important to being happy. Close relationships such as these allow us to feel like we are part of a community which appreciates and understand us.   

5. Growth

It is natural for human beings to want to learn, grow and progress throughout our lives. More than a ‘want’, however, we need to feel this way – it is vital to the way we view ourselves and the level of contentedness we feel with our lives. Imagine how mundane life would be without goals, achievements or the possibility of development. Everyone desires growth at different levels – some people are truly afraid of change, while others are just unmotivated. Yet the desire to advance is significant, no matter how small or big these advancements may be. For some, growth is determined by career progression or study, while for others it could be learning a new skill or hobby. It could even be as simple as learning to cook a new meal. Whatever the method or meaning, growth gives us something to aspire to and believe in, challenging us to seek accomplishment.

6. Contribution

Robbins’ final human need is simple: we want to make a difference and contribute something of value outside of ourselves. The basic need to improve the world in any way possible and give our energy to the greater good is found in everyone. Generally, it combines growth and connection, adding to our feeling of value and increasing ours sense of belonging or identity. Again, this need means different things to different people – for one person, it could mean putting more energy into a friendly or intimate relationship, while for another it could mean volunteering for a charity or donating money to a not-for-profit organisation. If you don’t think you are contributing enough in your life, now is the time to pick an area you think needs work – you will be amazed at how great it makes you feel.