Sunday, 30 November 2014

The happy formula

So, what is my happy formula? 
What positive actions can I do do easily each day that in fact create my very own wellbeing focused happy chappy formula?

A good breakfast
A few minutes calm before work
A good facial moisturiser and decent skincare routine in general
Feeling refreshed
Warm drinks
A few happy connections throughout the day
Sitting at the table for dinner.
A Good nights sleep.

In General:
Healthy balanced diet
Self Care

When thinking about what makes my happy formula, I just quickly wrote down exactly what I thought. I didn't question it, I just wrote it down and took a moment to reflect. Repeatedly it seems like the beginning of the day is centered around self care and I know this is true.
When I have a good breakfast and have completed my ideal skincare routine I feel always well fed and refreshed, I feel set up for the day ahead. I love Herbal Teas and can often be found sipping them throughout the day at work. It keeps me content and happy (it is the little things).

Getting a text from someone during the day is always a pick me up, alternatively I may think of a someone to text and brighten their day, its a bit of give and take when it comes to communication.

Sitting down for dinner at the table helps me unwind and leave the work day behind. I find sitting at the table helps me focus on eating dinner and also talking to the boyfriend about our working day and leave it at the table.

Sleep is really important. I'm trying my hardest to disconnect from the internet before bedtime. If I check social media right before my head hits the pillow, I find that my head is then processing all those images and words as I am trying to relax before bed. Instead have been flicking through to a random page in the little mindfulness book that I keep by my bed side. As I fall asleep I focus on what I have read for a little while and then just think of sleep. As you make have noticed it takes me a long while to fall asleep, but this does seem to help.

Taking a moment to just focus on the small things, those small easily fulfilled actions that can change your day for the better. My aim for the next month is to create the time to make sure that I fitting in what has turned out to be "my happy formula". Obviously this, in my mind is a very slimline version of what could be a very detailed life size scaled happy formula. However, for now it is pefect to focus on daily comforts and happiness. Which will in turn make life that little bit better.

What is your happy formula? I'd love to know!

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Feeling Rubbish

For the first time in ages (which is actually lucky thinking about it) the past week has been rubbish.

It played out like this:

I became unwell and very run down- I still tried to go out jogging and made myself worse.
Que in massive mouth ulcers that swelled up my cheek-attractive.
Next-I start feeling very sorry for myself
Feeling sorry for myself leads to eating all the biscuits. Ginger cookies. Diving but naughty!
Because I'm still unwell I don't do any exercise.
I then feel bad because I feel I have lots out on over a week on progress.
I'm now back at stage one.
Then I feel the pressure
I'm running a marathon and I don't even feel like training right now.
I feel like a knob.
I eat more biscuits.
I doubt myself
I have no self control at the moment.
I binge watch T.V for the weekend and eat some tacos.
Tacos are one of my faves, tacos give me mild food poisoning.
I feel sick again
More telly watching
I start to feel bored.
I realise I have not written a post for a while and then feel shit again.

It's a cycle that I am having to break. I'm the only one that can. I still don't feel like running. But I have found some aerobic exercise routines that I'll be trying out in the meantime and this Saturday a country park walk/jog has been put in the diary.

I think you have to ride the wave sometimes and more often than not you come out the other side wanting to improve on things.

Yes I needed a rest. But I didn't need to eat tons of junk food and not move for two days straight, except to go get more food. Bluergh. Any way at least I'm being honest with myself. it's time to get back on the whole foods and get an exercise routine established again.

WHY is it so cold just as I need to go out and train!? DAMN YOU WINTER AND YOUR ICEY WINDS.

On a side note. As I am starting to find more beauty products I like would regular readers like to read more about said products? It will always be a mix of green and cruelty free. What do you think? Should sharing my liked products become more of a thing on wellmeaningbeing?

It is always good to have a brain dump/rant. I'm feeling better already! Toodle pip.

Monday, 17 November 2014

London Marathon Training : Week One

I knew that my fitness was not great. But gosh, I am unhealthy. I eat a balanced diet, but exercise had slipped to just walking an hour a day so I was in for shock this week.

I managed a mile non stop by the end of the week. It was no ten minute mile but I got there. I got there by shouting at myself when I wanted to stop. Shouting out loud. Yes I am weird. But if weirdness is going to help me push myself, then I'm all for it.

I'm currently working towards a 5k, then 10k and then I will follow a 17 week marathon training program. I have chosen the London marathon 2015 program as it was easy to digest and made sense. I need simple.

Simple steps will hopefully get me to where I want to be.

What I like about running so far:
The freedom I feel when I have my music on and I am just moving
The time it frees up to just think or not. It is at times almost meditative.
Feeling accomplished when I have done it.
Cute gym gear. Especially when it is on sale or from TK Maxx.

What I don't like about running so far:
I can tell that as training progresses it will get in the way of daily life. I need to be dedicated.
I don't like being cat-called or call a prostitute, just because I'm wearing running leggings. My jiggling booty is not a sexual invitation.
I've realised that I am very self conscious and feel eyes are on me. I need to get over it.
I don't like running in the rain. I will do it. I have done it. I hate it.

I have never done anything like this before, nor have I tried to fund raise a large amount or had a target amount set for me. It is scary. I'm not going to lie about it. I'm currently thinking of ideas to fund raise for the run.

These include:

A car boot
A Charity pub quiz- planning already in motion
A Raffle-at said quiz
I have already sold 31 dvds to music magpie- resulting in a whopping ....wait for it.... brace yourself...
£14.70! as they say, every little bit helps. I may do this with book as well.

I'm currently brainstorming. If anyone can share their running / fundraising tips. It would be greatly appreciated. Also how do you stay motivated to run when it gets colder. Or do you use a tred mill instead?

If you would to sponsor me, you can here. Thank you.

Why it all started

This wellbeing blog started as a space to create a welcoming place for anyone wanted to find a little bit of encouragement and a little bit of calm.

Almost a year ago, when wanting to find a little bit of calm for myself  I attended what I thought would be a yoga class. It turned out to be meditation class, which turned out the be a  orientation for a community that is widely seen as a cult and have a very dark past and an even more unsettling present.

So, not being discouraged by this negative experience, I set out to look for "wellbeing blogs" something that I could liken too.

As I looked into it, I couldn't easily find anywhere that spoke of relaxation, wellbeing and daily life without a heavy focus on spiritualism. Don't get me wrong I think you can find a level spiritualism in most things in this world. However, I wanted to find blogs, websites, articles that encouraged personal wellbeing of the self. Yourself, myself. No ego, higher self or the like.

I wanted to find a space that was separate from it but could also be linked when wanted/needed with other theories and practical routines that encompass wellbeing. Because after all everyone's wellbeing is important. It doesn't have to be sprititual at all. Wellbeing can be and  should be both practical and attainable.
It is unique and different for each and every person. You should be able to meditate how you want and not have to say Namaste. You should be able to focus on your wellbeing and not worry about the fact that you don't to like yoga. Wellness doesn't have to be a fashion statement, you don't need the mala beads or the green smoothies, if you don't like them. What it can be is finding a routine, little actions to add positivity to your day. That make YOU feel better. Wellness can be a lifelong practice that will keep you ticking over happily.

Your wellbeing practice does not have to be about being one with the universe. It's okay if you want to be your own person and not take part in the concept that you are just an actor in this play that is life. It's okay to be a contradiction and light sage but not say a prayer. You can meditate and not be a buddisht. You can do some morning stretches and not be a yogi.

Of course if you want to be any of these things that's your prerogative, if it brings your life meaning and peace. That is fantastic. I just feel that there is gap for those who want to focus on themselves and their wellbeing without feeling the need for it to have definitive spiritual focus.

Similarly this kind of wellness doesn't have to be selfish as it sounds. I know my view of personal wellbeing seems very secular and yes predominantly it is about looking after yourself, whether that be with eating good food, pampering yourself with great beauty products, dressing in your favourite styles, reading inspiring literature, exercising or making time for friends. What ever it is that makes sure that you are number one in your own life. It all sounds very greedy.
 But it isn't, what I find happens, is this;
 When you are kind to yourself. You are kinder to others. When you give to yourself, you are more willing to give to others. You are happier and spread happiness around you.

When you work on your own wellbeing. those around you will be affected. Little ripples will follow. You will be happier, when you find things that work for you, it will feel like you are becoming a better person, a better version of yourself. You will wonder why you hadn't started sooner.

Have you found a great exercise class, have you started baking? You have found a new genre of film that you absolutely love? Are you amazing at make-up, do you love playing an instrument? What's you passion in life? Make sure you make time for it. For yourself.

Passion is spiritual. That's my opinion.
Passion feeds you spirit.
Passion is what keeps us going. Finding you own little passions in life will make it all the better.

I promise.

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

I'm running the London Marathon 2015

I'm running the London Marathon 2015!
The picture above was taken in July of this year. I had just completed 5K for Cancer Research with my best friend. We had set no target time, we just wanted to do it in memory of those lost and those currently fighting. Taking part in that 5k sparked something inside. So with positivity flowing through me I entered to complete the London Marathon 2015, raising money for Cancer Research. Why? many reasons that you can read about below and also I took it as a sign that I should apply because I have always wanted to take part and next year the marathon falls on my birthday.
As the ballot results came through, my application had not been picked. I was sad but put those feelings aside because I had to focus on my driving test in a months time. I failed my driving test, then in the same day, that afternoon an email popped up in my inbox. I had been put on a waitlist with the cancer research team and this was my second chance to receive a place in the London Marathon.
I got it.
Here is my why:
My Grandma was a fantastic woman, she worked hard all her life and always had a positive outlook. When she would baby sit me, we would bake cakes, have sleep overs and watch Disney and we would read books constantly. I would make up dance routines, using her old vinyl for backing music and practice my ballet routines for her. Together, we were a trio, me, my Mum and My Grandma
My last memory of my Grandma is me reading her Topsy and Tim books while holding her hand. When I had to leave, she grasped my hand so tightly. I thought she had been asleep, So I hugged her tightly and whispered I love you. I remember crying but I didn't think that would be the last time I saw her.  
I think of her almost every single day.  I am doing this in memory of her. I am doing it for my family
I know my story isn't unique, I know there are a lot of people out there that have lost family and friends to cancer. It is very likely that we have all been affected by cancer, we have all had to see the struggle.
But things are changing.
Over the last 40 years, cancer survival rates in the UK have doubled. In the 1970's just a quarter of people survived. Today that figure is half.
With great treatment and will power one on my best friends Jake has amazingly won the fight against cancer twice. He is one of the most friendly, upbeat people I know. He has also completed the marathon twice! What a nutter! In all seriousness, I love this guy, I am doing this for him.
There is a lovely woman in my life who I have known for 6 years and she doesn't even know the impact she has had on me. She often tells me to believe in myself.
She has recently had the all clear from cancer. Undoubtedly there were bad days but she remained up beat, welcoming you with open arms into her home and offering you a drink and a chat. The only thing different was that she was fighting cancer. She was still positive. Still strong. Still Julie. I am doing this for her.
I'm doing this for everyone.
Cancer Research's ambition is to accelerate progress and see three quarters of cancer patients surviving the disease within the next 20 years. This requires an ambitious new agenda of research, pioneering new approaches and ultimately investment. 
I know that everyone is fund-raising know a days. But if you would like to donate me the price of a birthday cocktail that would be amazing. If you want to donate a bit more and get me closer to my initial target of £2000. Thank You!  You can donate here.
It's going to be a hard slog and on the day, I'm sure it is going to be emotional. I am ready for the challenge. I am going to be committed to the training and will be posting updates along the way.
Well done if you got to the end. That was a marathon in it's self!
If you have any tips, they would be greatly appreciated!

Monday, 10 November 2014

Fallen Leaves : An Autumnal Reflection

I love Autumn.

I love hot drinks, scraves, jackets and boots. I was made for Autumn. (and winter)
It is also a season where I begin to think of the year ahead. As the leaves begin to fall making way for new ones, it symbolises that change is just around the corner.

The summer sun has faded, replaced with the crisp autumnal wind. I always find myself reflecting on what has happened in the past months and then happily look forward.

With time, new things will begin to blossom, it's time to start planning.

Not strict omg what am going to with my whole year? Instead it is time to start thinking about things you want to accomplish and experiences you may want to have the following year.

As we begin to hibernate during the winter months, wouldn't it be great to have some proverbial nuts squirrelled away.

Nuts? I hear you say. Stick with me.

Yes, little bits and pieces that keep you merrily occupied and motivated in the winter month. To keep the inspiration following.

Here is what I'm planning to do:

I am going make more time to read. I find reading lets my imagine run wild and I benefit from it creatively.

I am going to work on my fitness. It's time to become aware of my body and establish healthy, active habits.

I am going to make sure I eat at least 7 vegan meals a week. I not vegan, but having this in mind helps keeps me be creative in the kitchen and I don't enjoy eating lots of meat anyway.

I want to learn a new skill or topic. I'm not sure what, but I will learn something new! I want to be confident in myself and my abilities.

I am going to save for a holiday next year. Looking forward to some sunshine, will keep the dull winter days from bringing me down.

Having these actions in mind will keep me on track and benefit my own personal wellbeing and hopefully those around me.

I looking forward to it already!

What are your plans for Winter? For the new year?

Thursday, 6 November 2014

You are doing really well

Remember that when beginning any new venture or learning a new hobby
There are going to be times that you will feel lost. That you are not getting anywhere.
When you start to feel like this it is important to remember that. . .

You are doing really well.

You are doing really well, because you are passionate. Because you want to move forward. Moving forward is exciting but you can get lost in thinking about the future and that is what makes completing new tasks in present seem so slow.

Slow moving. That no change is happening.

Change takes time.

Remember to take stock. Look back at what you have already acheived. I'm sure you will be reminded of something you have forgotten and have already accomplished.

When I am feeling down about not achieving what I set out to. If I think I have failed. I will make a list of all the things I have learnt. It often turns about that there is a lot to be happy amount. It might be hidden underneath the disappointment right now. But if you dig a little deeper you will find that you have accomplished so much already.

For example, I failed my driving test today. I am feeling pretty gutted about it to be honest. I could easily get stuck in negative thoughts and beat myself up about failing. After a little cry. I made my list. In a nutshell it showed that, six months ago I was prettified of driving and now I feel so comfortable that I cannot wait to pass my test and drive properly. That in itself is an amazing accomplishment for me. Yes, I failed. This time.
However, I can learn from my mistakes and use them to improve. If I fail again, I will do the same again.

Be mindful of negative thoughts and tell yourself that you need time to work towards your goals.

You are doing really well.

Monday, 3 November 2014

I am a walking contradiction

I am a walking contradiction.
Sometimes it confuses other people and sometimes myself.
It's okay
Live life your way
It's okay to be a total contradiction.

When it come to wellness, it isn't clear cut and black and white. It can often be quite contradictory but it works. It's balanced. Balance breads happiness. Contentment.

For example:

I love green smoothies but I happen to love the occasional pork pie.
I love cooking vegans meal but still eat bacon every now and then.
I rarely drink but when I do I'll be out all night.
I love quiet nights in but also get twitchy if I haven't had a night out for a while.
I am a lone wolf. Who can feel lonely at times.
I can be loud and hold a conversation. I'm also shy and am often keep quiet.
I try to be cruelty free but still use carmine and beeswax (I do try to avoid it) in a few products and still use my old conventional make up (when will I run out!?)
I want to be natural but use a normal deodorant.
I crave to be minimalist but I am a bit of a hoarder.
I will save save save my pennies and them go a bit crazy and splurge with my spending.
I am laid back, until I can't take the crap anymore.
I'm book worm and also a television nut.

I want to work within a field where I can dedicate by day to someone else. To make someone feel supported. Feel good in themselves. I have decided that this is the kind of person I want to be, this is what i want to do with my life. However, I know I still have much to learn. Especially when it comes to relaxing more and worrying less myself.

We are all walking contradictions. And do you know what? That is what makes the world go round. We enjoy all sorts of different interests and hobbies, we all have different motivations. We all live is the huge melting pot of difference and similarity, that's what makes us unique.

Don't feel down if you don't fit a certain mold or don't agree with someone else's opinion. Don't worry if the way you live your life doesn't match with what someone else is doing. If you find yourself fancying a fry up with your chia pudding, go ahead.

A side of bacon with that veggie burger? 
Why not? 
Do you see what I'm getting at? 

Putting limitations on your self, will get you no where fast. If a certain way of living is not working for you, alter it, tweak it until it fits with how you want to feel. With how you want to live.

Live your life your way. Even if one action or practice contradicts the other. If may confuse outsiders, who look in on what you are doing. It doesn't matter. What matters is that you are happy on the inside and that will beam out of you inside out!.

Go on, contradict yourself! There are no limits.
Live life your way.