A new year post from the lovely Phillipa Taylor & guest blogger from feelfab.direct
“I just don’t feel like me anymore.”
How many times have you said or thought this?
Traditionally this is the month to make resolutions (most of which will be binned by the end of the month) and to be faced with endless new year, new you articles in the media. Personal development is something which should, in my opinion, be part of your everyday life and not just for January – but it’s got to be simple to do or it won’t stick as a habit in my opinion.
Part of personal development is recognising that you need to look after yourself properly first: it’s no accident that you’re advised to put on your oxygen mask first before helping others on a plane should the worst happen!
Looking after yourself covers a multitude of areas and today I’m going to focus on wellbeing. For those of us who are of a certain vintage, we may be finding that we haven’t got the same levels of wellbeing that we had when we were younger.
A recent survey says that Brits believe that you stop being young at 35 and start being old at 58 – not a huge window of time to be middle-aged! We all age at vastly different rates with some people being much older or younger than their biological age.
Wherever you are on this spectrum, there are a number of actions you can put in place to feel as fab as you can.
- Sleep: According to research by the Sleep Council, nearly half of us are getting just six hours sleep or less a night. Jason Ellis, Professor in Psychology at Northumbria University and Director of the Northumbria Centre for Sleep Research has these simple tips for better sleep:
- Check that your pillow hasn’t reached its sell-by date and still gives your head and neck the support you need. Test your pillow by holding it out longways in front of you. If you’ve got pillow droop, buy a new one!
- If you can’t sleep, try a taxing task such as counting backwards from 1,000 rather than counting sheep
- Turn off all your electronics so there isn’t any blue light in the room. Don’t have a clock facing you when you’re in bed or you’re likely to clock watch
- Leave at least two hours between exercising or having a bath and going to bed so that you have a chance to cool down which will aid sleeping
- Regulate your liquid intake before bedtime so that you avoid nocturnal bathroom visits
- Choose your mattress carefully – you spend a third of your life in bed so take care and time when selecting a new one
- Exercise: Find the activity that you love and you’ll never exercise a day in your life. Take a moment and think about the things you love: are you quite sociable and enjoy being amongst people? Activities with a strong social element like Nordic walking, running clubs and Bootcamp would likely appeal to you. Prefer something a bit more dance-related? Zumba, Jazzercise, Ceroc, Ballroom or Hip-Hop classes would be straight up your street. Fancy something quieter? Pilates, yoga or stretch classes would fit the bill.
- Treats: Simple ways to feel fab when you want to treat yourself include a bath with your favourite book, a glass of wine and some candles; a long walk in the countryside; good food with friends on a Friday night – there’s no need to spend lots of money on pampering or expensive evenings out when small treats will give you the life-affirming lift you need.
- Health: Private healthcare companies offer pricey medical assessments, but most of the time the lifestyle and diet advice you end up with is just common sense. Keeping up to date with important medical appointments – like a smear test, breast screening, eye test or dental hygienist appointment – and speaking to your doctor if you feel run down are simple ways to feel fab and stay healthy.
- Your figure: Stop yo-yo dieting by taking control of what you eat. Keep an honest food diary for a week, writing down everything that you eat and drink. By the end of it you should be able to see where you’re wasting those calories. A study shows that the ages at which we are most susceptible to putting on weight start at 38 for women and 44 for men so it makes sense to monitor your calorie intake to still enjoy a little, not a lot, of what you fancy!
- Anti-Ageing: Have you ever cut open an apple and seen it go brown? It has oxidised after being exposed to oxygen in the air, which has caused a rapid increase in its ageing process.
We already know that we age because of the oxidative stress on our cells. Scientists have known for years that antioxidants are the key to reversing the ageing process. While antioxidants help neutralize the free radicals that lead to oxidative stress, just taking more antioxidants can only neutralize one free radical at a time. That’s like trying to bail out a sinking ship with a bucket.
A simple way to feel fab is to lower your oxidative stress levels by taking take the little yellow pill (which is made from a synergistic blend of turmeric, green tea, bacopa, ashwagandha and milk thistle) every day and is clinically proven to trigger the cells in your body to naturally increase the production of antioxidants: better sleep, better energy levels and better recovery are the most commonly reported benefits.
The science behind the little yellow pill has been proven and validated with 23 peer-reviewed clinical trials and patents across the world so you can rest assured that it does what it says on the tin!
I’d like to share an exercise with you that may help you evaluate which areas of your wellbeing would benefit from a 2018 reboot. I’d like you to choose a year which, with 20:20 hindsight, saw you at being at your wellbeing peak: perhaps it was the year you got married, went travelling or were successful in something you enjoyed doing?
Got one? Good. Mine is 1999 when I was 38. I was representing GB in dragon boating so was as fit as a butcher’s dog, working in a PR agency in a role I loved, and looking forward to getting married the following year. Or I could have chosen 1983 when I was 22. I was in my second year at Uni and was enjoying reading for most of the day (I did an English degree!), rowing for my college and partying more than I ever had before, or since come to think of it!
Take a few minutes and jot down some notes on how you felt then. Leave the list and go back to it another time and complete the Now column. The simple ways to feel fab which you can put in place now to boost your wellbeing may jump off the page at you or you may want to ask a friend/wellbeing expert for some advice. The most important thing is that you recognise which areas of your life need a boost and then action the simple ways to feel fab on a daily/weekly basis.
|LIFE AREA||THEN||NOW||ANY SIMPLE CHANGES YOU CAN MAKE?|
|Fitness level: stamina, recovery, flexibility, strength|
|Food and drink|
|Enjoying yourself: me-time|
While I can’t turn the clock back for you, I hope that this simple exercise has highlighted some areas of your life which you can revisit to feel as fab as you did back in the day. Keep it simple and you stand a chance of sticking with it.
Happy New Year!