The power of connecting with nature

To finish off week two of the Women’s Wellness Challenge, which is all about connection, I want to share the importance of connecting with nature for our wellbeing. Connecting with yourself, with others around you and with the natural environment are all essential elements of creating a healthy and balanced life. When we are feeling low or stuck in a rut, getting out into nature and remembering we are part of this greater whole can be just what we need to come back into alignment.

These days, it’s so easy to get caught up in the artificial environment we have created in cities and through technology. We can spend all day working in front of a computer and our leisure time on the phone or watching TV. If we aren’t careful, we can easily go a whole day without seeing the sun. Especially at this time of year in Northern Europe! However, making the effort to get out into nature, to feel the sun on our skin and breathe fresh air (i.e. life!) into our bodies is so important.

We are a part of nature

Despite being highly evolved beings, we are still a part of nature and our bodies are designed to operate within her cycles. We have our circadian rhythm which pushes us to be active during the day and sleep at night. We are also influenced by the lunar cycles, especially in the case of menstruating women who experience monthly cycles with phases which can align with the phases of the moon. Every year we experience several seasons that impact us in obvious and more subtle ways.

As much as we try to separate ourselves from nature and make our lives more convenient and predictable, we ultimate depend on it and remain part of it. We rely on natures’ eco-systems to provide the food we eat, the water we drink and the air we breathe. The energy from the suns’ rays brings life to our planet and to us humans too. Sunlight regulates our endocrine system and helps us to make vitamin D to keep our bones strong and preserve our immune system.

Nature represents the feminine energy that we all have within us that brings the qualities of surrender, flow and spontaneity. It reminds us not to take everything so seriously and to live in awe in the wonder that is our Earth. Not only that, but spending time in nature has been proven to improve our health by lowering blood pressure, reducing stress and anxiety and calming our nervous system. Distancing ourselves from our home, the natural environment, can leave us feeling lost and spiritually empty, whether we realise it or not.

Ways to connect with nature

The beautiful chaos of nature is the perfect antidote to the over-rational, linear lives that most of us live these days. If you feel like you need to connect with nature, here are a few simple ideas of how you can do so:

  • Watch the sun rise or set whenever you can
  • Ground your bare feet on the earth
  • Go walking in any natural environment you have access to such as the forest, mountain or beach
  • Watch out for wild animals in the area that you live
  • Take note of the changing phases of the moon
  • Go out on a clear night and look at the stars
  • Let go of artificial lights in the evening and try candles instead
  • Open the window and let in fresh air every morning
  • Try a weekend break in the countryside with no smartphones
  • Do a nature photoshoot in your local area
  • Plant a seed and watch it grow

If you have any other ways you like to connect with nature, please share in the comments below!

My natural world

I love going for daily walks in the local park and getting out to hike in the mountains or stroll along the beach whenever I can. With my partner we also like spending time with the garden and have been experimenting during the pandemic with growing our own food. There is nothing better than drinking fresh juice made with fruits you just picked from the tree. Or maybe building a salad with vegetables and herbs you watched grow from seeds. For me, it connects me to the magic of nature and makes me feel like a kid again

Today’s challenge: Get out into nature

Your challenge for today (and over the weekend as it is Friday!) is to pick at least one way to connect with nature and go out and do it. Even if it’s cold and rainy, get yourself out there and connect with Mother Earth. Pay attention to how you feel in the natural environment. Watch your breathing slow, your nerves soothe and a smile arrive on your face.

Over to you…

  • Comment: What is your favourite way to connect with nature?
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Nurture your connections with others

Yesterday, I shared about the importance of a strong connection with ourselves. Equally important is the connection we have with others in our lives. Having positive relationships helps us to feel supported, loved and like we belong which is extremely important for our wellbeing. Not only that, strong social connections improve your physical and mental health, reduce stress and help you to live a longer and healthier life.

Nurturing your relationships is therefore a key part of any journey to better wellness. Remember- no man (or woman) is an island!

Connecting with others

Nurturing your relationships isn’t necessarily about having lots of friends or an extreme social life. You don’t need to become an extrovert or a social butterfly to feel like you have a strong social network. Connecting with others can come in many different forms including:

  • Friends and family
  • Romantic relationships
  • Work or school colleagues
  • Sports teams or hobby groups
  • Neighbors, community groups
  • Religious community

Having a variety of social connections helps us to feel like we are part of a community. I’m sure you can all appreciate the importance of these connections after passing nearly two years of COVID restrictions. We have all spent more time alone or only with our closest ones during this period and many of our other connections have been cut off or extremely limited.

Personally, I moved abroad last year which meant leaving my friends and job behind. I also couldn’t take part in the hobbies I enjoy which dramatically changed my social life! I definitely realised the importance of having those strong social connections to help me feeling grounded. So this year I am determined to continue working on making new connections and strengthening the relationships I have made.

If you have been feeling alone or like you don’t belong in recent months, definitely try to implement some of the suggestions from this post.

How to feel more connected

  1. Make space for others

    It’s so easy these days to fill all of our time with work, daily chores, self-care plus TV and social media that we don’t have time for building our relationships. I know I have surely been guilty of this in the past! But strengthening connections with others takes time and energy. We are all so busy and life can be exhausting that we forget to make that phone call or arrange a meeting with friends. Equally at home, there are always dishes to be washed, clothes to be cleaned or meals to be prepared meaning that we don’t get as much quality time with our families and partners. But we have to be willing to put in the effort and prioritise time with loved ones. Let go of the need to do everything and realise that sometimes slowing down and creating space for others in your life is what is really important.

  2. Put yourself out there

    When it comes to making new social connections, there is no short cut. You simply have to put yourself out there! Don’t be afraid the awkwardness or worry about what people will think. Be ready to give invites and to say yes if people you meet invite you to do things. Sometimes this can feel difficult, especially if you have been spending more time than usual alone. But often all it takes is to get the ball rolling and find that social momentum. Why not try organising a local event such as a coffee morning, a hike or a trip to the theatre or cinema. Even if you don’t see yourself as an organiser, you might have a hidden talent! If this feels really uncomfortable, you can always find a local group or club and join one of their meetups. Social media is especially helpful for this and has been a lifesaver for me here in Athens!

  3. Be open-minded

    This one might seem obvious but it can be a barrier to going out and meeting others. If you are afraid you won’t meet people just like you or that you won’t fit in, you might not feel like putting yourself out there. But remember that not every person you meet has to become your best friend. It’s ok to go out and meet people with no expectations. You can simply enjoy being with other people and be curious about who their lives. Approaching people with an open mind and without making assumptions means you have many more options when it comes to making new connections. You never know, you might learn something unexpected or have an interesting story to tell! These days, we tend to over identify with our beliefs to the point that we judge others or can’t connect with them if they don’t think like we do. But life is much more fun when we embrace the variety of humanity and don’t limit our connections by age, gender, nationality, religion etc!

  4. Face to face is best

    It is amazing that we have so many options these days to connect with others. I don’t know what we would have done without video calls and zoom meetings during the pandemic! But this trend towards replacing “real” connections with virtual ones began way before the social distancing measures and have only been accelerated in the last couple of years. We prefer to text or email instead of calling or seeing someone face to face. We chat in groups on social media and never attend any of the in-person meetups. We can follow along with exercise classes online, work remotely and do our shopping online which means we never actually have to see anyone. These are all great and convenient options for when we need them but nothing beats the real thing! If you feel like you are missing some of these connections, try going out of your way to see people face to face, even if it takes more time or effort to do so.

Today’s challenge: Reflect on your connections

For today’s challenge I want you to grab your notepad or journal and map out your social connections. Include all the example I mentioned above plus any extras you can think of. Then rate your feelings of connection on a scale of 1-10. If you score 7 or below, ask yourself what you need to increase your rating. How can you make new connections or strengthen the connections you do have?

Write 1-3 commitments that you can make to yourself to improve your feelings of connectedness, whether it is to call a friend each week, arrange a weekly date night with your partner, organise a family dinner or join a community group. Create the space in your schedule and plan it in so that you don’t forget!

Over to you…

  • Comment: What is one thing you can do this week to improve your connection with others?
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scenic view of ocean during sunset

How to find true connection with yourself

The second week of the Women’s Wellness Challenge is all about connection. That is connection to our inner selves, others around us and the beautiful planet we call home. Feeling connection with yourself is such an important aspect of our overall wellbeing. Without connection we can feel lonely, isolated and unsupported. On the other hand, feeling connected boosts our energy and vitality. It gives our lives meaning and allows us to experience shared emotions such as joy and love.

These days, it is more important than ever to focus on nurturing our connections. We are living in an era of loneliness where the combination of social media, loss of community and more recently the pandemic have made it so easy to become disconnected and distracted. It takes effort to keep connections going when our daily interactions are so limited. But it’s one of the most important things we can all do for our health and wellness right now.

The importance of connection with your self

We will get to connections with others and your community later in the week. For today we will focus on deepening your connection to yourself. It is important to start with strengthening this foundational relationship with yourself. This enables you to go out into the world without losing a sense of who you really are. Without this relationship to your true self, you can end up living in a way that feels inauthentic. You say and do things that you think you should rather than listening to your own intuition.

Conversely, when you feel connected to yourself, you know who you are, your values, what you like and dislike. You aren’t swayed by others opinions or what is deemed acceptable by society. Rather you are able to truly tune into your own inner knowing. You feel a sense of inner peace and confidence that who you are is ok. On top of that, you are less likely to fall into the trap of self-comparison or judgement. This means that you are also more likely to accept others as they are, knowing that we are all unique but part of the same greater whole.

How you can lose connection with yourself

With all of the intensity and stimulation of society, we can easily lose sight of ourselves. The demands of a career, family or just the fast pace of daily life today is enough to leave us feeling lost and wondering who we are. We go through life on auto-pilot acting mindlessly out of habit and distracting ourselves with social media or any other addiction. Trust me, I have been there!

Some common ways you can lose the connection with yourself:

  • People pleasing i.e. over accommodating the demands of others
  • Trying to fit into society norms
  • Periods of intense stress or big life changes
  • Over identifying with particular roles in life
  • Too much technology or other distractions

This is a very normal process that we all pass through at different phases in life. Being able to recognise when we are falling in to the trap of disconnection and taking actions to re-connect will make these periods pass more quickly and with less impact. Feeling uncertain, unable to make decisions or overly anxious and afraid are all signs that it is time to to re-connect with yourself.

How to reconnect with yourself

  1. Time alone

    One of the most important factors for re-connecting with yourself is spending time alone. We are constantly bombarded by information from others and the world around us. Whether it is in person or online, we barely go an hour without reading or hearing opinions from others. Although it is important to listen to others opinions, without time spent alone it is difficult to process this information and form our own opinions about things. Even though connection with others is important, we need time alone to connect with our spirit. Being in nature can also take this to the next level!

  2. Journaling

    Journaling can be a very useful tool to support you in connecting to yourself. Through writing in a journal, you can start to unlock your deepest thoughts and feelings that you might suppress during every day life. A journaling practice can be as simple as asking yourself “How do I feel today?” or “What are my true thoughts/feelings about X?”. You can then free write until it feels complete. It is better to write with a pen and paper and write quickly, without reading or editing as you write. This way you allow your inner voice to take over and you write in an uncensored and unfiltered way.

  3. Personality tests

    Personally, I find personality tests so useful in understanding who I am and how I behave. Of course they are made by others and are always a generalisation but some of them are very detailed and have been heavily researched by psychologists. My favourite is the 16 personalities test which you can take for free here. The results tell you which personality type you are most like inluding personal strengths and weaknesses, tendencies in work, family and love life. It can be very useful to see things from this perspective and you might learn something about yourself that you had never thought of. Always AHA moments galore with these tests!

  4. Meditation

    Finally, meditation is the ultimate way to connect with yourself. Through meditation practice, you are able to witness your thoughts, sensations and emotions. You realise that the true you is actually separate from all of this. Your deepest inner self is an observer, the one who experiences everything through the lens of your senses and the filter of your mind. When you connect with this deep part of yourself in meditation, you realise that no matter what happens in the outside world, no matter how painful something might be you will always be ok. Meditation doesn’t have to be complicated. It can be as simple as sitting in silence, focusing on your breath and observing anything that arises in your experience.

Be your own cheerleader

Connecting with yourself in this way will help you to become your own cheerleader. By this I mean you will be there for yourself and stand up for yourself no matter what. Feeling this strong anchor point inside helps you to navigate difficult times and know that you can make it through. You are able to listen and attend to your own needs which then allows you to go out into the world and support others from a place of fullness. It is important four your wellbeing to know when it is time to give and when you need to receive.

Feeling connected to yourself and confident in who you are will also support you in making any change you want in your life. If you are aware of your strengths then you can use them to your advantage. On the other hand, if you know your weak points you can plan ahead and put strategies in place to support yourself through any difficulties. As I always say, this is not about judging yourself but about knowing and supporting yourself. This also means not taking yourself too seriously and being able to laugh at your quirks and “flaws” knowing that it is part of being human!

So that is all for today, tomorrow we will be moving onto the topic of connection with others and the importance of belonging for your wellbeing. If you have been feeling alone recently and feel like you are in need of more connection in your life them stay tuned because this one will be for you!

Today’s challenge: Identify your strengths and values

Your challenge today is simple! Make a list of 5-10 character strengths that you possess. Some examples include:

Optimistic Hard working Organised Ambitious Friendly Adventurous Creative

Loving Kind Persistent Focused Patient Resilient Practical Generous

Feel free to choose from this list or add your own. It’s better to do this by yourself if you can but if you feel stuck you can ask close friends or family for their ideas. Once you have your list, see if you can narrow it down to your top 3. How can these strengths support you in reaching your goals? How can you use them to your advantage?

Over to you…

If you would like to work with me to balance your hormones and improve your health, contact me to set up a free 15 minute discovery call. I am a nutritionist, yoga teacher and women’s wellness coach. We work together using a combination of modalities to support your individual needs and help you to feel your best.

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ayurveda healing

Nourish your spirit with Ayurveda healing

To end week 1, we will focus on nourishing your spirit through Ayurveda healing. This is an ancient Indian holistic health practice and system of medicine. At it’s heart, Ayurveda has the principle of understanding your individual constitution. There are then many practices to maintain balance through appropriate diet, exercise and lifestyle choices as well as herbal medicine.

It takes many years of study to become an Ayurveda healing practitioner, however there are some simple principles that I have learnt through yoga teacher training which I will share with you today!

Ayurveda healing and the spirit

I love that Well College Global include an introduction to Ayurveda healing as part of their personal wellness course. Even for those who are not interested in yoga or Eastern philosophy, there is so much to be learned about the world and yourself through the lens of Ayurveda. It helps us to understand that we are part of something greater and that we are all unique expressions of nature. Instead of judging and critisising ourselves, we can learn to self-reflect with curiosity and live in a way that brings out our best self.

Understanding your Ayurveda healing constitution

There are three main life forces or doshas according to the Ayurveda healing system: Vata, Pitta and Kapha. All of us as individuals are made up of a combination of these forces which relate to the five basic elements and their qualities.

a) Vata consists of the elements air and ether

b)Pitta is made up of fire and water

c) Kapha is governed by the elements earth and water.

These combinations give rise to qualities such as cold, hot, dry, oily, quick, slow, sharp, dense and light which are expressed in all of nature, including us as human beings. Typically we have one or two doshas whose qualities clearly dominate our physical, mental and emotional tendencies.

I explained the doshas in more detail as well as how to identify your own constitution in the post What is your Ayurveda body type?. Learning about your true nature helps you to accept who you are and know that you are part of the beautiful tapestry of life! It eliminates comparison with others and helps you to appreciate your own strengths and make the most of them.

Adapting your lifestyle for Ayurveda healing

Once you understand your constitution, you can adapt your lifestyle to restore or maintain balance. This is empowering information as no longer will you listen to external sources telling you exactly what you need. Instead you will be able to tune into your own inner knowing. This is Ayurveda healing at it’s core!

There is simply no one true way to live that supports everyone. People can thrive on many different diets, exercise routines, work styles, family life etc. We all have different needs, personalities, preferences and once we understand these we can work with them rather than against them to increase our energy and vitality.

Understanding your constitution also helps you to observe imbalances as the difference between your natural and your current state. If there are imbalances present, this is the first step on the path to disease. Ayurveda teaches to identify imbalances and remedy through lifestyle changes to avoid more serious illness and to create a state of wellness.

Ayurveda healing practices can be used to:

  1. Maintain a healthy balance of the doshas, as per your natural constitution
  2. Correct any imbalances which could later lead to disease

To understand this, we focus on the idea that like creates like. For example, adopting a lifestyle with vata-like qualities will increase vata dosha in your system. If you naturally experience high vata, you want to make lifestyle choices which balance out this dosha by increasing the qualities of the other doshas. We always want to avoid extremes and maintain a sense of balance.

Lifestyle to support Vata dosha

Vata dominant individuals are spontaneous and creative but tend to experience cold and dryness in their body as well as a chaotic mental state. Therefore, it is best to make lifestyle choices that are warming, grounding and calming.

DIET: Consume warming and easily digestible foods including dairy, oils, salt and sugar and avoid excess raw vegetables

MOVEMENT: Keep a consistent movement routine including calming, grounding practices such as yoga, tai chi and gentle walking

ENVIRONMENT: Avoid excessively cold and dry or windy environments

MINDSET: Practice grounding meditations and body scan techniques to get out of your head and into your body

SLEEP: Focus on a relaxing evening routine to calm an erratic or anxious mind before sleep

Lifestyle to support Pitta dosha

Pitta dominant individuals are energetic and ambitious but can be quick to over heat and anger as well as experience excessive acidity in the body. Therefore, they want to make lifestyle choices which are cooling, calming and promote moderation.

DIET: Choose foods which have a bitter or (natural) sweet tastes and avoid excess spicy, oily or salty foods. Stay hydrated and avoid excess coffee.

MOVEMENT: Get plenty of movement, especially in the morning hours to burn excess energy. Strength training is great for pitta types

ENVIRONMENT: Avoid excessive hot sun or humidity and try to keep the body cool

MINDSET: Practice calming breathing techniques and avoid heated conflict or unnecessary anger

SLEEP: May need less sleep than other doshas but avoid working in the evening hours and minimise stress which can impact sleep

Lifestyle to support Kapha dosha

Kapha dominant individuals are calm, steady and reliable but can fall into the trap of laziness or stagnation. Lifestyle choices which support dynamic energy flow and a feeling of lightness are supportive

DIET: Opt for lighter foods including lot’s of vegetables and raw greens and avoid over-doing it with heavy foods and sweets as these increase kapha qualities

MOVEMENT: Move in a way that increases the flow of energy and reduces stagnation in the body e.g. cardio outdoors in the fresh air

ENVIRONMENT: Keep warm and dry, avoid overly chilly and damp environments

MINDSET: Focus on gratitude, trying new things and challenging your thoughts to avoid getting stuck in a rut

SLEEP: Try to keep a consistent sleep routine and avoid over sleeping or daily napping

Following a lifestyle adapted to your dosha as well as to the changing seasons and environment will support you in connecting your spirit and to nature.

Thank you to Well College Global, My Vinyasa Practice and the Ayurvedic Institute for inspiring this post!

Today’s challenge: Understand with your dosha and Ayurveda healing lifestyle

If you found this concept interesting, you can put it into practice by identifying your constitution. You can then make some simple changes to your lifestyle if you desire to support your being with Ayurveda healing and bring yourself into balance. I recommend taking the dosha quiz by Chopra as a starting point. Books by Vasant Lad and Sahara Rose are also great places to learn more!

If you’re interested in learning more about your constitution and which foods can support your health, I am a training Ayurvedic Nutritionist. I offer online and in person Ayurveda inspired nutrition consultations where you receive a detailed Ayurvedic assessment to identify your natural constitution and any imbalances. I then prepare a tailored program of diet, yoga and lifestyle practices to improve your health.

Over to you…

If you would like to work with me to balance your hormones and improve your health, contact me to set up a free 15 minute discovery call. I am a nutritionist, yoga teacher and women’s wellness coach. We work together using a combination of modalities to support your individual needs and help you to feel your best.

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self kindness

How to nourish your mind with self kindness

So far we have covered in depth the topics of nourishing yourself through food, movement and rest. Today we are shifting the focus slightly onto nourishing the more subtle bodies, particularly the mental or emotional body aka Manomaya kosha. Specifically how to nourish your mind with self kindness.

Having the perfect diet and workout regime can only get you so far if your mind is full of toxic thoughts, stress and fear. It is just as important to take care of your mental health as it is your physical body if you want to experience true wellness. This includes managing stress but also regularly checking in with the way that you speak to yourself. Words are powerful!

Facing your inner critic

One of the most harmful mental programs that we all experience to one degree or another is that nasty inner critic. You know that mean girl voice that hides out in the corners of your mind and likes to tell you you’re not [Insert society standard here] enough or you don’t deserve [Insert goal/dream here]? Perhaps your inner critic speaks loud and clear and you are very familiar with what she has to say. Or maybe it’s a more subtle whisper that you don’t even notice.

Either way, listening to your inner critic is a fast track way to low self esteem and feeling stuck in your life or unable to make change. If you feel that you are constantly bogged down by the opinions and demands from others then it’s likely your inner critic is in control. Because that is all it is in reality. If it weren’t for the influence of others, whether that is people in reality or media messages, you would have no reason to criticise yourself. Without a standard to compare to, there can be no comparison.

Learning to face your inner critic head on and understanding that what she says is not reality will help you to release self-judgement and find true inner peace. The truth is that we are all unique individuals. We have different strengths and weaknesses, dreams and desires. If we were all the same, life would be extremely boring! So whatever trait you have that you dislike or you feel is socially un-acceptable is really nothing more than part of the interesting spectrum of humanity.

All thoughts are energy, therefore allowing your inner critic to run wild is a waste of your precious life force and will leave you feeling exhausted and drained, both physically and mentally. Releasing the bonds of this self-judgement will free up that energy for your creativity, relationships and your community.

Are your thoughts ones of self kindness?

Practice observing your inner critic and realise that you are the witness of your thoughts, not the thoughts themselves. As my yoga teacher tells me “You are the awareness in which everything is arising”. Get in touch with this part of you, the part that is separate from your appearance, identity, personality or life circumstances. Once you have created distance between your Self and your thoughts, you will be in a position to start questioning whether they are true and replacing any critical thoughts with those of self kindness.

I am sure you have heard before the idea that your thoughts create reality… I would take it a step further and say that your thoughts are your reality. We all experience the world through the filters of our senses and our mind. We rarely experience true reality as unfiltered conscious awareness, although this is a goal of yoga and meditation practices! Rather, we perceive everything based on the inputs from our senses and what our brain interprets them as based on past memories, knowledge and stored emotions.

Our minds love to be right and often play tricks on us. We can believe that something is true without a doubt, even when it is not reality. Optical illusions are a great example of this! Even when we’re told that the two lines in the image below are the same length and even if we take a ruler and measure them to prove it, our eyes cannot see anything different than the top line being longer than the bottom one.

So next time you are experiencing an unhelpful or self-critical thought, think of this illusion. Know that no matter how real it may seem, your mind does not always see things as they really are. You can CHOOSE to see events and experiences through the lens of self kindness.

Practice self kindness in your thoughts

Once you know you have the power to change your thoughts, you have the choice to think differently and create a new reality. Filling your mind with positive thoughts of self kindness will nourish your whole being and leave you feeling energised and confident. Perhaps this will not happen over night but gradually over time you can train your mind to be your ally and not your enemy.

One tool you can use to practice self kindness is a mantra or affirmation. These are positive statements that you repeat either in your mind or out loud which can help to:

  • Break the habit of negative self talk
  • Create new mental pathways
  • Improve your confidence and wellbeing

That’s not to say that you will never have another negative or critical thought again. But when you do, you will be able to let it go and come back to your affirmation rather than getting sucked into a downward spiral. You can choose affirmations that are appropriate for you and your goals.

When I was going through eating disorder recovery in my early twenties, I used self kindness affirmations whenever I felt fear around food or my changing body or doubted my ability to make it through hard times.

Top tips to practice self kindness

Here are some top tips for creating self kindess affirmations (based on advice from Well College Global):

  1. Use “I am” statements
  2. Keep it short and simple
  3. Use positive (I am/I will) not negative (I am not/I will not) statements
  4. Be specific to you and your goals
  5. Invoke emotion

Affirmations can also be future-based, if it feels unrealistic to affirm something in the positive right at this moment. This way you are acknowledging the journey that you are on and the progress you are making without saying that you are there yet. For example:

“I hate my body” becomes “I am beginning to accept my body”

“Why bother” becomes “I deserve nourishment”

“I can’t do this” becomes “I am learning to do this”

“I am so stressed” becomes “I create my own calm”

Repeating these statements might feel unnatural at first but like anything, persistence creates a habit. Notice any changes in the way you feel and celebrate even the slightest improvements in your mental wellbeing. Once you realise you have the power to change your thoughts through self kindness you will know that anything is possible!

Today’s challenge: Create a self kindness mantra

Your task for today is to choose a self kindness mantra that feels relevant to you and your goals. Write it down on post it notes and stick them anywhere you might see them throughout the day e.g. the car dashboard, the fridge door or inside your diary. You could even create a graphic and save it as your phone or desktop background as a constant reminder.

For me, I am starting a new job on Monday which I am equally excited and nervous about. I am anticipating the rise of the inner critic with all it’s fears of failure. So my mantra for the week will be:

Over to you…

If you would like to work with me to balance your hormones and improve your health, contact me to set up a free 15 minute discovery call. I am a nutritionist, yoga teacher and women’s wellness coach. We work together using a combination of modalities to support your individual needs and help you to feel your best.

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The importance of deep sleep and rest!

Over the last couple of days, we have covered two foundational topics for your wellbeing. These were eating nourishing food and moving your body. Today we are talking about the third factor: getting enough rest and good quality sleep!

We all know that a good nights’ sleep can do wonders for our energy and mood. During sleep, both your body and mind undergo a full recharge and reset for the day ahead. Unfortunately, most of us have experienced the horror show that is trying to get through the day on very little sleep. Lack of sleep can affect your energy levels, mood, concentration and cognitive abilities. You can have the best diet and workout regime in the world but if you aren’t getting enough sleep you will likely feel terrible!

How much sleep do I need?

We often hear the magic number of 8 hours per night, but is this correct? In truth, the amount of sleep you need depends on your age as when as your individual make up. Babies and young children need the most sleep, sometimes up to 18 hours per day! Adults over the age of 65 need much less sleep and may get by on 5-6 hours per night.

Most adults need between 7 and 10 hours per night. However, that’s quite a big range and only you know the amount of sleep that is right for you. If you go to bed at a reasonable hour, wake up feeling refreshed and have energy throughout the day, you are probably getting enough sleep.

What if I’m not getting enough sleep?

Sadly, many people are not able to get the amount or quality of sleep that they need to support their physical and mental wellbeing. If you are one of these people, there are several reasons why you might not be getting enough sleep:

  1. You sleep late and have to get up early for work or other activities
  2. Your sleep is disturbed by external factors (including kids or pets)
  3. Internal factors prevent you from falling or staying asleep (insomnia)

If you fall into the first category, I highly recommend that you try to rearrange your life to make space for more sleep. This is particularly important if you are experiencing any of the symptoms of lack of sleep. But even if you feel fine now, consistently missing out on sleep can increase your risk of health issues down the line. If you really want to take your health, wellbeing and energy levels to the next level, I strongly advise you to gradually shift your bedtime earlier by 15 minutes a week until you have time for a minimum of 7 hours sleep per night.

For those of you in the second category and your sleep is disturbed by having young children or a job that requires you to be awake during the night, there is probably not much you can do at this moment in time. In this case, I recommend getting enough good quality rest (more on that later) as well as taking naps wherever possible throughout the day. Adding extra stress and worry about your lack of sleep will only make things worse. Instead, focus on nourishing your self and supporting your energy levels in other ways and trust that your body will catch up on sleep when the opportunity is available.

Finally, for all of the insomniacs out there, I recommend getting really honest with yourself about what is affecting your sleep. Perhaps it is something as simple as not having a comfortable sleeping environment. In that case, ensuring you follow the sleep hygiene checklist below might be enough to have you sleeping like a rock again.

If it is something in particular that is stressing you, whether that is work, family or other personal issues, I highly recommend getting in touch with a professional therapist who can help you to work through your struggles. Sometimes getting things off your chest and having a safe space to discuss your worries is enough to calm down your nervous system and allow you to drift off into a peaceful sleep.

Tips for getting a good nights’ sleep

The following sleep hygiene checklist are the tips I recommend for everyone who want to improve the quality of their sleep. Are there any simple changes you could make to get a better nights sleep?

  1. Ensure your bedroom is quiet, cool and calming
  2. Only use your bed/bedroom for sleep and sex
  3. Avoid caffeine (tea, coffee, dark chocolate) 8-10 hours before bed
  4. Avoid drinking alcohol 4-6 hours before bed
  5. Switch off all electronics 1 hour before bed and put your phone on flight mode
  6. Implement a relaxing and calming evening routine
  7. Create a consistent sleep routine (max 1 hour difference in sleep/wake times)
  8. Avoid heavy meals 3-4 hours before bed (consider a bed time snack if needed)
  9. Keep naps to 1 hour minimum and not after 3pm
  10. Don’t lie in bed awake if you can’t sleep, after 20 minutes get up and leave the room until you feel sleepy enough
  11. Make sure you get enough natural light during the day, especially in the morning hours
  12. Use an eye mask and/or ear plugs if your sleeping environment is bright or noisy

I know for myself that if I eat a big meal too late at night, drink coffee in the afternoon or I have too much screen time in the evening then my sleep will suffer. I also shamelessly take my eye mask and ear plugs wherever I go! As someone who experienced he effects of poor sleep for many years, it’s a subject close to my heart and sleep is a top priority for my wellbeing. I have written several other posts on the topic of improving your sleep for those of you who need more support:

Top tips to improve your sleep

Dealing with sleep disturbances

Bedtime snack ideas for better sleep

How to get a good nights’ sleep: a new perspective

Whether sleep is a major issue for you or you just want to get better quality of sleep to feel even better, the tips in this post will be supportive for you!

If you can’t sleep then at least REST

Rest is also an important factor to improve your wellbeing. If you can’t sleep, then at least focus on getting enough rest. By rest I mean time where you allow your body and mind to relax and unwind. We live in a society full of stimulation and tasks. We “relax” by watching intense TV shows, reading educational books or scrolling through social media. These things might feel like relaxation but we are still being stimulated by artificial light and strong emotions.

It is important to take time to rest during the day to allow your body and your mind to let go of stress and tension that builds up. I recommend at least a 30 minute period of rest each day, either in one block or as separate smaller blocks. During this time you can lie down, focus on your breathing, listen to relaxing music or the sounds around you.. anything that focuses your attention on the present moment. Worrying about the future or ruminating on the past can create mental stress and tension which if not addressed can affect your sleep at night.

Taking the time to check in, notice what is present and let it go throughout the day can help to prevent stresses building up to the point that they over flow. I love guided relaxation tapes and Yoga Nidra (yogic sleep) practices for the ultimate experience of rest. All you need is a comfortable place to lie down, a set of head phones to listen to the recording and maybe an eye mask to completely block out the outside world. For a quick relaxation practice, I love this guided meditation:

Or one of my favourites when I have a bit more time is this one:

If you try them out, let me know what you think in the comments below! I can’t be more grateful to The Mindful Movement for all of the supportive guided meditations they create.

Today’s challenge: Create a calming evening routine

Your challenge for today is to create your own simple evening routine that you can do every night before you sleep to help you to wind down and relax. It takes some discipline to create space for relaxation when there are so many other things you should or could be doing. But once you experience the benefits of a better mood and energy the next morning, it will be a habit you want to create!

Steps for creating an evening routine:

  1. Based on your wake up time and the amount of sleep you need, count backwards to find the latest bedtime for you to get enough sleep
  2. Decide on how long you have available for your evening routine (I recommend at least 30 minutes)
  3. Set an alarm for 15 minutes before and use this time to brush your teeth and get into your pyjamas so that you don’t have to do these after your routine
  4. Pick 1-3 relaxing activities that you enjoy doing to wind down

Some examples:

  • Reading a good book
  • Gentle stretching or yoga
  • Meditation or breathwork
  • Playing relaxing music
  • Lighting a candle
  • Having a cup of herbal tea

Commit to your evening routine every day for a week and reflect on any differences in how you feel in your body, mind and spirit.

Over to you…

If you would like to work with me to balance your hormones and improve your health, contact me to set up a free 15 minute discovery call. I am a nutritionist, yoga teacher and women’s wellness coach. We work together using a combination of modalities to support your individual needs and help you to feel your best.

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Move your body and be happy!

Exercise is another word that is often tainted with negative connotations. Why do most women exercise? Usually to burn calories, lose weight, tone up or compensate for over eating. Thinking about exercise in this way makes it feel like a chore or a punishment. It’s no wonder that it can be so hard to build healthy habits around working out!

As someone who has a history with chronic over-exercising and gym obsession, I prefer to use the words body movement rather than exercise. Exercise reminds me of pushing myself through intense circuits and hours of cardio all in the pursuit of weight loss. But moving your body has so many more benefits than burning calories. When done in the right way, body movement:

  • Boost your energy and vitality
  • Improves your mood
  • Helps you to get better sleep
  • Reduces your risk of chronic disease
  • Improves circulation, bone density and joint health
  • Helps you to live longer

What is the right way to exercise?

There are several factors that take the benefits of body movement to the next level. These are:

  1. Moving outdoors, especially in natural environments
  2. Social activities e.g. a walk with a friend, a group exercise class
  3. Moving at a non-stressful pace for your body
  4. Staying present and mindful during the activity
  5. Having a SMILE on your face as you move

The most important point is that movement should feel light, joyful and a chance to enjoy being in this human bodily experience. If exercising feels stressful, anxiety-provoking or is tied to the goal of weight loss of changing your body in some way, many of the additional benefits will be lost. Basically you are selling yourself short! This is a result of conditioning around what it means to exercise and your pre-conceived notions of fitness.

That is not to say that moving your body should never be challenging. Of course, it is good to push your limits but the trick is to do it gently. It should be so subtle that it doesn’t feel like a strain. You want to support and encourage your body into better health and fitness, not beat and submit it to your will. Perhaps at first, it will take some persuasion to get yourself off the sofa and onto the yoga mat or the hiking trail. But once you’re there it should feel good!

How much movement is ideal for health?

Most experts recommend at least 150 minutes per week of moderate intensity exercise OR 75 minutes of high intensity exercise. Personally, I recommend moderate intensity exercise as you also get the added benefits of stress reduction. Too high intensity exercise can actually increase your stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol which make you feel good in the moment but can cause a crash later on!

So 150 minutes per week is equivalent to 5 times 30 minutes per week – that should be achievable, right? However, over 40% of women in the UK don’t meet this recommendation. If you are one of these women then think about why? Perhaps because you have a conditioned idea of what exercise should be and it puts you off. I’ve lost count of the number of women who have told me they are too old, not fit or flexible enough to join my yoga class! Or maybe because life is already exhausting and stressful and exercise feels like another thing on the list that you don’t have time or energy for?

But as I said earlier, body movement can be many things outside of what we formally see as “exercise”. Simple activities such as walking to the shop, cleaning the house, gardening, walking the the dog, playing games with your kids all count as movement. Getting outdoors and enjoying nature through hiking, swimming, cycling or climbing are also great ways to move your body which don’t feel like formal exercise. Personally, hiking, yoga and dancing are the ways I love to move my body and they never feel like a chore.

You want to find ways to move your body that you genuinely enjoy and look forward to. That way, you will not have to rely on motivation and persuasion to get yourself moving.

What are some ways to exercise?

The two files below give some examples of how you can bring body movement into your routine. The first pdf shows low, moderate and high intensity activities and explains how you can minimise stress by keeping high intensity activities to only short bursts, whereas low intensity exercise can be kept up for longer periods of time. The second pdf shows the different types of movement (cardio, resistance training and flexibility/mobility) which each have their own benefit for your health.

Tips for creating habits around movement

As I shared in yesterday’s post about food as nourishment, habits are key to creating a healthy lifestyle. You want to make it as easy as possible for yourself to make choices that are in line with your goals. Ideally, you want exercise to be something you don’t deliberate on each time but you just do it because that’s the way you always do it. Some tips for creating body movement habits include:

  • When starting out stick to 1-3 activities and commit to them
  • Always do the activities in the same way in the same place i.e. create a routine
  • Start with a monthly schedule and stick to it i.e. make the decisions in advance
  • Involve a friend or exercise buddy to keep you motivated and accountable
  • Make sure you have the right equipment e.g. comfortable clothes and shoes
  • Have all your equipment ready to go so that preparing is not a barrier

Today’s challenge: Create a body movement plan

Now it is time to take action! Using the template below, fill in the activities you want to commit to over the next 4 weeks. You can either repeat the same schedule each week or change it throughout the month. I prefer to reduce the intensity of movement around my period (more on that in a future post!) and increase it during other times of the month so that overall there is a good balance of effort and rest.

If you are in the Moon Life Well Women Facebook group, I will be sharing some additional resources to support you in building healthy habits around moving your body. So enjoy and I will see you tomorrow when we will be moving onto to the topic of getting a good nights’ sleep!

Over to you…

If you would like to work with me to balance your hormones and improve your health, contact me to set up a free 15 minute discovery call. I am a nutritionist, yoga teacher and women’s wellness coach. We work together using a combination of modalities to support your individual needs and help you to feel your best.

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Food as nourishment not punishment

How many times have you started a new year by vowing that this will be the year you finally succeed on that diet? Perhaps you have signed up to Weight Watchers or bought a book about the keto diet and have committed to going all in? After indulging over the festive period it is normal to want to cut back a little but this cycle of over eating and restrictive dieting can be detrimental to our overall health and wellbeing.

For some reason, as humans we seem to like extremes. We so often think in black and white, all or nothing principles. We are either eating everything in sight or we are vowing never to touch another cake or chocolate bar again. Food can be a source of punishment, either harming us through over-indulgence or equally through deprivation and restriction. But what if there is another way?

Food as nourishment

Food can also be a source of nourishment for our body, mind and spirit. Think about it – what you eat literally becomes you! Your food provides the building blocks that make up your skin, bones, hair and all of your internal organs which keep you alive. What you eat also provides the energy for you to live a rich and fulfilling life, to work, to be creative and to maintain supportive relationships. It connects you to your environment, community and your culture.

Eating a low energy or low nutrient diet is the number one way to create a life that is low in energy and nourishment. My mantra when I was recovering from chronic dieting was “RESTRICTED EATING = RESTRICTED LIFE”. On the other hand, by consistently nourishing yourself with lots of healthy foods (without necessarily eliminating “unhealthy” foods), you will have the energy and enthusiasm to create the life that you dream of. As Geneen Roth rightly said:

Trusting your body

There are so many popular opinions about what a healthy diet is that it can be overwhelming. Fans of keto or Atkins diets say that carbs are the devil and a high protein, high fat diet is the way to achieve lifelong health and weight loss. On the other hand, doctors and dieticians recommend high carb plant-based diets to over come disease and stay slim. Weight Watchers and Slimming World advise to eat whatever you like as long as you stay within your points allowance for the day.

All of these diets “work” in the sense that they can help you to lose weight or in some cases to heal health conditions. But they all have one thing in common. A lack of flexibility and the transfer of power and motivation to something external. By following a restrictive diet, you are saying that you do not trust your own body to keep you healthy and that someone else knows better. I believe the opposite that our bodies know best. It is simply our environment that can make things difficult!

You might think that your food habits are a result of willpower. Either a lack of willpower or a strong will to eat healthily. However, recent research shows that most of our choices are based not on conscious decisions, our goals and motivations but rather on habit and environmental influence. Our brains like to conserve energy and the easiest way to do that it do put simple tasks, like eating, on auto-pilot. Simply put, we eat the way we do because it’s what we are used to.

Changing your food habits

This is why changing your diet is so difficult at first. You go from preparing and eating food automatically to having to think about every decision which takes a lot of effort! You might need to learn new recipes, go shopping more often and spend more time in the kitchen. But if you manage to convert these new knowledge and skills into habits, they soon become the norm and are much easier to maintain.

When I work with clients, we follow the VISION-GOAL-ACTION protocol.

This means starting with an overall vision for your future health, setting some goals to motivate you and then deciding on simple actions that you can take daily to work towards those goals. This is a proven technique that actually works. Consistent actions, no matter how small, are what become your future positive habits that over time bring you closer to achieving your goals and becoming your vision of your healthiest self.

Some tips for creating healthy habits around food:

  1. Always write a shopping list and stick to it – It is much easier to use your willpower once to not buy things you don’t want to eat than it is to use it again and again to not eat the foods that are already in your cupboard

  2. Learn a few simple, tasty, healthy recipes – We all know that feeling of coming home after a long day at work and having zero motivation to cook a healthy dinner. Having go-to meals that you can prepare easily without thinking is so important for these situations

  3. Focus on what you can add to your diet – So often when trying to eat healthily we think about what to avoid but our brains are literally programmed to want what is forbidden. It is much better to focus on adding in healthy foods that trying to remove unhealthy foods!

  4. Make your meals a ritual – Mindful eating is the number one way to tune into your bodies’ intelligence. It knows what it needs and how much if you only listen. Eating meals in a peaceful, quiet environment without distractions makes mindful eating much easier

  5. Take pleasure from your food – This one should go without saying but sadly, many people think that healthy eating has to be boring and tasteless. In reality, a truly nourishing meal can be extremely satisfying and tasty one we let go of the idea that health is dry chicken breast and salad.

So what exactly is a healthy diet?

I prefer to keep things simple! There is no one-size-fits-all diet that can meet all of our needs. The amount of food, the ratio of food groups and how you should eat depends on many factors including:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Metabolic health
  • Activity level
  • Body composition
  • Life stage
  • Stress
  • Climate and season

I wrote more about this in a previous post: What is the perfect diet for humans?

To put it simply, the healthiest diet is one that consists of mainly whole, unprocessed food, includes lots of fresh plant-based foods and has plenty of variety.

This definition of healthy eating is not restrictive and can be applied to many different dietary patterns. Throughout history, humans have survived and thrived on a huge variety of diets depending on which location of the world they live in. But what they all have in common is that they eat an abundance of real food which come from the earth (including animals as well as plants).

Eating with the seasons

Something that has been lost in many developed societies is eating with the seasons. Historically, humans would have had a huge variety in their diet, simply by eating what was available to them in their environment throughout the year. Nowadays, we have huge supermarkets full of preserved, processed foods and produce imported from all over the world. We are spoilt for choice and although this does give us variety, it also cuts that spiritual connection with nature that we can experience through eating a more natural diet.

I first became interested in seasonal and local eating for environment reasons. I wanted to reduce the carbon footprint of my diet by eating less foods that had been transported across the world by plane. But I soon realised that eating with the seasons also has health benefits. Eating locally-grown produce means the food is probably fresher and as seasonal foods grow abundantly, they have usually been sprayed with less chemicals to protect them. I also feel like nature knows best and perhaps in the future we will find out that the nutrients available in foods at particular times of the year offer us particular nutrients just at the moment we need them!

Why not try making a list of a few foods you would like to include in your diet each season? Experimenting with new foods and recipes each season is a fun way to connect with nature and make sure you are getting a variety of fresh foods into your diet. If you’re in the UK, you can use the calendar below to find out which produce is available locally each season. BBC also have a seasonal recipes section which is great if you are unsure where to start. If you live elsewhere, you can Google search “seasonal foods” and you should find some helpful resources.

BBC Seasonal Produce Calendar

BBC Good Food Seasonal Food by Month

The best diet is the [insert your name here] diet

Overall, when it comes to the way you eat, it is important to find what works for YOU and not listen blindly to others. The only way to do this is to experiments with different food and eating styles and pay attention to how you feel. This might sounds obvious but how many times have you eaten a meal and genuinely observed how you felt after?

Usually we only notice if there is an extreme reaction, for example if a particular food makes us feel sick or causes bloating. But what you eat affect you in so many ways including your energy levels, stamina, mental clarity, mood and even the quality of your sleep. The amount of food you eat, the combinations of foods at each meal and even the timing of your meals can impact the way you feel throughout the day.

I shared in a recent post about the different body types according to Ayurveda and how particular foods can influence individuals in different ways. For example, one person might feel energised and clear on a diet high in raw fruits and vegetables whereas another might feel freezing and lethargic. Some people need more protein and animal-based foods to support their constitution, whereas others thrive on a vegetarian or vegan diet. Many people love three-square meals a day but some feel better with smaller meals and snacks.

All of this is to say that there is no simple right answer as to what to eat to be healthy. But this should be a good thing! You can shift your perspective from following dietary rules to asking your body what it truly needs to be nourished each time you eat. Every meal is an opportunity to support your physical, energetic, emotional, mental and spiritual bodies as I explained in yesterday’s post. If you learn to see food as nourishment, you will no longer be trapped in the cycle of dieting and over-eating but you will naturally come to a place of balance and find peace with food.

Today’s challenge: Complete a food diary

One of the tools I use with my health coaching clients is a food diary. Not as another way to count calories and deprive yourself, but as a way to see objectively what, when, why and how you eat. Today’s challenge is for you to complete a food diary for a minimum of three days this week, using the downloadable template below to:

a) Record when and what you eat throughout the day as well as how you were feeling physically and mentally before and after eating

b) Review your whole day of eating and check for the above principles. Did you eat mostly whole foods? Was there plenty of variety in your day or week? Did you include lots of fresh plant-based foods?

Hopefully this activity will be enlightening and you will see for yourself some simple changes you can make to improve your diet. It is important to do this task without self-judgement or criticism – what you eat says nothing about who you are as a person, it is simply the food habits that you have right now.

If you are in the Moon Life Well Women Facebook group, I will be sharing some additional resources to support you in making healthy changes to your diet. So enjoy and I will see you tomorrow when we will be moving onto to the topic of movement!

Over to you…

If you would like to work with me to balance your hormones and improve your health, contact me to set up a free 15 minute discovery call. I am a nutritionist, yoga teacher and women’s wellness coach. We work together using a combination of modalities to support your individual needs and help you to feel your best.

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What is whole being nourishment?

Welcome to the New Year Women’s Wellness challenge! If you’re not sure what this is all about read this post first. The first week of the challenge is all about whole being nourishment. When you think of nourishment, what comes to mind? Probably it’s food and that is definitely a good place to start but it isn’t the full picture!

The layers of your being

In yoga philosophy, a human is seen as not just a physical body but as 5 layers or koshas:

  1. Anamaya kosha (physical body)
  2. Pranamaya kosha (energetic/breath body)
  3. Manomaya kosha (emotional/mental body)
  4. Vijnanamaya kosha (intellectual/wisdom body)
  5. Anandamaya kosha (spiritual/bliss body)

Image credit:

The physical body is the solid material that makes up you: your bones, muscles, organs, nerves etc. This is the part that you can see and touch. It is also known as the food body as it is responsible for digesting and assimilating food into energy and for your survival instincts.

The energetic body is closely tied to the physical body and it represents the flow of energy, life force or prana which animates you. It is also known as the breath body as your breath and your life force are closely connected. We can nourish this layer through correct breathing or pranayama breath control.

The emotional or mental body represents what is often called the monkey mind or the mental chatter that you experience throughout the day. This is the limbic brain which is responsible for your likes, dislikes, feelings, fears, desires etc. which are responsible for most of your actions.

The intelligence or wisdom body is the higher part of your mind, your conscience, which is capable of rational thinking, making decisions, holding ethical values and creativity. If you pay attention, you can observe the difference between mental chatter and directed thoughts.

Finally, the spiritual or bliss body is the part of you which is most connected to yourself and all of nature. You access this body in moments of silence or awe when you move past the usual thinking and feeling state and time seems to stand still.

Whole being nourishment

These five layers or koshas make up your whole being. Nourishment is therefore about the body but also the mind and the soul or spirit. A major source of nourishment is of course food, and we will get to that very soon. But nourishment also comes from the thoughts you think, the air you breath, your feelings, actions, relationships, work, hobbies and everything that you experience through your five senses. You can eat the healthiest diet in the world but if the other elements are missing, you will never experience true wellness.

Throughout this week, and the whole of the wellness challenge, we will be focusing on different ways to nourish your whole being. The next three days will be about nourishing your physical and energetic bodies through healthy eating, joyful movement and good quality sleep. Following that we will introduce ways to nourish the mental and spiritual bodies which we will continue to expand on throughout the challenge. It is important to do it in this order as the energy you create through nourishing the physical body will feel into the other layers!

Focus on the feeling

Rather than focusing on the numbers (e.g. calories, weight) I invite you to keep the idea of nourishment in mind as you make lifestyle changes. Focusing on feeling good rather than on a particular outcome means that your motivation comes from within rather than on something external. This makes it much easier for you to stay committed because your lifestyle becomes a way for you to stay happy and energised instead of something that you struggle to keep up with when life gets tough.

This wellness challenge is about creating sustainable, supportive habits which you actually enjoy, not about punishing your body or following strict rules. I’m sure many of you, like me, have at some point in the past dieted or pushed yourself through extreme workouts to try to lose weight or look a certain way. But how long did this last? You can only maintain will power for so long and then what happens next? Your body starts to rebel and resist and you end up back to square one.

You cut calories or your favourite foods then end up binge eating because your body is starving and deprived. You go all in with an exercise regime and then get injured or exhausted and have to take weeks off. You lose weight and then gain it all back plus some. Instead of cycling between extremes, you want to find balance by creating simple and enjoyable habits that feel sustainable. This means it has to be a lifestyle which feels nourishing for all layers of your being.

Today’s challenge: Nourishing your body(S!)

Throughout the challenge I will be offering you activities to do or questions to reflect on. This is totally optional, but if you want to get the most out of this month and feel truly refreshed and recharged, I highly recommend it! Taking action is a way to integrate things that you read, hear and learn into your being. So grab yourself a notebook or journal to get started.

Today’s simple task is for you to make five lists, one for each of the layers of your being. Or if you prefer, you can simplify it to three lists: mind, body and spirit. In each list write down the things that nourish this part of your being. Some things might appear on more than one list, for example, eating fresh food will nourish your physical and your energetic bodies.

When you are finished, take 2 coloured pens and highlight:

a) The things that are already a regular part of your life

b) The things that you want more of in your life and commit to creating space for

If you are in the Moon Life Well Women Facebook group, feel free to share a photo of your list – I will be sharing mine!

Tomorrow we will be starting with the topic of healthy eating and nourishment through food.

Over to you…

If you would like to work with me to balance your hormones and improve your health, contact me to set up a free 15 minute discovery call. I am a nutritionist, yoga teacher and women’s wellness coach. We work together using a combination of modalities to support your individual needs and help you to feel your best.

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women's wellness challenge 2022

New Year 2022 Women’s Wellness Challenge!

It’s that time of year again… the deep winter when we take stock of the year that has passed and start envisioning what we want to create in the year ahead. This year, I have decided to take it up a notch! From Monday, I will be commencing a Women’s Wellness Challenge here on my blog and in the Moon Life Well Women Facebook group.

The women’s wellness challenge is inspired by Well College Global Personal Wellness Coaching course which I took last summer. Over 5 weeks we will progress though 5 areas of holistic health and wellbeing:

5 weeks of women’s wellness challenge

Week 1: Nourishment

The first week of the women’s wellness challenge is all about nourishing your body, mind and spirit. You will learn how to eat in a way that supports your whole being, how to move your body in a way that creates rather than depletes your energy and vitality and how to get deeply restful and rejuvenating sleep. We will also start to dive into mental and spiritual health through the lens of positive psychology and Ayurveda.

Week 2: Connection

In week 2 of the women’s wellness challenge, you will start to build deeper connection to yourself, others and the planet we call home. Connecting with ourselves means finding inner peace and understanding who we are inside, not just our physical appearance, life circumstances and conditioning. We are social beings and so holistic wellness also includes building supportive relationships and communities that lift us up and give us purpose.

Week 3: Compassion

We can have the healthiest lifestyle in the world, but if we are thinking negative thoughts or acting unkindly towards ourselves or others, we can never experience true wellness. Therefore in week 3 of the women’s wellness challenge, we will focus on building compassion, mindfulness and strong self-care foundation. You will learn how to create change from a place of acceptance rather than criticism and punishment as well as how to let go of the past to allow deep healing.

Week 4: Wisdom

The fourth week of the women’s wellness challenge is all about wisdom. Rather than being about becoming an expert or knowing everything, wisdom is about understanding that we don’t know everything and there are many things in life we cannot control. We will go into topics such as developing patience, light-heartedness and curiosity. I will also introduce you to the basics of meditation as a tool for accepting what is and connecting with your intuition.

Week 5: Transcendence

In the final week of the women’s wellness challenge, we will move into the more spiritual realm. Don’t be put off by the word spiritual! This week we will look at areas of full-being wellness including gratitude, life purpose, love and belonging. You will also learn how to awaken your more spiritual side through the lens of cultivating prana (energy), consciousness and understanding the masculine and feminine forces at play in all of nature.

How to join the women’s wellness challenge

The women’s wellness challenge is going to be a fun and enlightening journey. I hope you enjoy following along with me! I will be posting regular blogs here throughout the month so make sure you are subscribed to receive email updates. If you would like to dive deeper, I will be sharing extra tools in the Moon Life Well Women Facebook to help you to put the information into practice and truly integrate it into your life.

So enjoy the rest of the holidays and have a great start to 2022. Thank you for being here with me throughout the epic challenger of a year that was 2021 and I wish you every health and happiness that you deserve for the year to come!

Over to you…

If you would like to work with me to balance your hormones and improve your health, contact me to set up a free 15 minute discovery call. I am a nutritionist, yoga teacher and women’s wellness coach. We work together using a combination of modalities to support your individual needs and help you to feel your best.

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