30 days to a happier you – Day 10 – things to do for free

Sweet and sour

sweet and sourThe other day I heard some children talking about peoples’ reactions when they played their game of sweet and sour.

 

 

Apparently sweet and sour game is where you sit in the back of a Volvo and wave at strangers in others cars. If they wave back they are sweet and if they don’t they are sour! I heard about how one man had showed them a doughnut and another man did a salute. They thought this was great. Children find lots of ways to have fun for free.

Adults can have fun for free too. You might get some funny looks if you play sweet and sour but here are some ideas of things you can do for free.

  • Go to the sea
  • Take a course, there are free courses available at future learn
  • Cook something or invent a new dish
  • Cloud watch…….. Oh sorry I’m back. I just got distracted by some clouds!
  • Put some of your favourite photos in a collage
  • Read. Even if you hate reading there must be a book that you would enjoy. There are sites that find books you might like. Try whatshouldireadnext
  • Music changes your mood in 3 seconds. Choose a belter and sing your heart out. These girls are funny!
  • Be a tourist in your own city. I did this recently in Brighton and had a lot of fun
  • Make your Family tree. Free at most libraries
  • Walk in nature

nature

  • Go window shopping to see what you don’t need to buy!
  • Create something. A scarf, pen pot, book, shed
  • Find a group near you on Meet Up. If you can think of it, there’s a group for it!
  • Watch inspiring Ted talks
  • Look at some art to inspire you or make you wonder what it is!

weird art

 

 

 

 

 

  • Explore. On foot. On a bike. In the car
  • Exercise
  • Try creative writing or even a blog
  • Create a new outfit out of your existing clothes
  • Watch animals
  • Learn a new skill
  • Try some adult colouring
  • Create a mission for yourself – maybe see all the Royal Parks or local parks in your area? Visit all the libraries? Find the local markets?
  • Help someone else – Radio 1 have a great thing at the moment where you can give an hour to help others
  • Grow something

Peter Glazebrook from Newark kisses his world record breaking onion that weighed in at 18lbs 1oz, beating his previous world record by almost 2ozs, at the Harrogate Autumn Flower Show. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday September 14, 2012. Glazebrook took six first prize awards in the Giant Vegetable classes at the show. Photo credit should read: John Giles/PA Wire

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You will notice that most of these you can do alone. This is because if you make your own fun and happiness first, you become self-sufficient in your happiness and rarely bored and lonely.

I would love to hear your ideas of free things to do. Please add them to the comments and share them!

Here’s the plan:

  • Read your gratitude list often
  • Make sure Mind COP is on patrol
  • Pick one list from the list, do it and see how you feel
  • Feel free to share this post on facebook or twitter!
  • Like me on facebook

Happy hug 🙂

Honey

30 days to a happier you – Day 9 – you tell fibs

30 days to a happier you – Day 9 – you tell fibs

Is this your Mind COP?

Yesterday you met your own mind COP by imagining what you mind COP looked like, sounds like, wears…

Maybe one of these?

coprobocop1dogcop

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today we are going to look at how your mind COP will catch those criminal negative thoughts and keep your mind safe. For the past week you have been keeping a note of your negative mind chatter in your notebook. Now is the time to have a good look at what you have written and start working on making some changes to how that chatter might make you feel bad.

Let’s see mind COP in action.

Catch them: You’ve been catching mind chatter for nearly a week. You should have a pretty good idea of what yours is saying to you and who your criminals are.

Own them: These are your thoughts. You created them. You can acknowledge them. Consider them and choose whether to discard them or whether to arrest them.

Protect yourself: You protect yourself by arresting the negative thoughts, examining the evidence and deciding whether to charge them or give them a warning.

Here’s an example based on the losing your job example negative thoughts we looked at yesterday. Read each thought from left to right to see how Mind COP works.

Catch them Own them Protect yourself
‘I should have worked harder’ I did work hard though Maybe they didn’t really appreciate me?
‘Why didn’t I take that course to learn more’ I did a lot of development in that role This is a chance to learn something new
‘I’m no good’ Is everything I’ve ever done no good? I’ve achieved a lot
‘I’m unpopular’ With those that love me? I matter to the people that matter to me
‘Why me’ I was one of 10 I will find a better fit
‘I’m not clever’ I was the problem solver I need a new challenge
‘I’ll never get another job’ Have you tried? I wonder what job I will love?

 

You can see how Mind COP is examining each thought and looking at it in a different way. One thought does not make a truth. One thought may seek evidence from the subconscious to support it, but Mind COP doesn’t fall for this.

Mind COP is objective and realizes that thoughts tell stories but their alibi is weak when questioned. Mind COP wants to hear from the witnesses and sort out those criminal negative thoughts.

You tell fibs

You see when you tell think a negative thought it’s probably not true and your Mind Cop might make this face!

youthinkwhat

So the next time those pesky criminal negative thoughts are doing a ‘wrong un’ in your mind, just see them scarper when Mind COP comes along and bangs them to rights.

Your time is precious, don’t waste it

How much of your precious life are you going to spend thinking negatively?

Think about it, how much time are you going to think about negative situations, obsess about the things that went wrong it your life, worry about things that happen or might never happen? Two hours a day? Which is 14 hours a week. Which is 60 hours a month. Which is 730 hours a year. Which is 30 DAYS A YEAR of feeling bad. What could you do in 30 days? A lot! In our example of losing the job, that is 30 days of enjoying the freedom of not working and exploring options for a new career whilst feeling happier.

Life is full of twists and turns, ups and downs and change. By learning to manage your thoughts you will be more resilient in the tough times and happier on the whole. You are not your past, your current situation or what people say about you. You are so much more than that and you can shine.

  • Write your own table of negative mind chatter in the same format as above and set your mind COP to work
  • Read your gratitude list often
  • See you tomorrow

Happy hug 🙂

Honey

How to introduce daily mindfulness into your life

How to introduce daily mindfulness into your life

Do you want to introduce daily mindfulness into your life?

Isn’t life busy….. Rushing from one thing to the next with a massive to do list and thoughts whizzing round in your head. And you just want to stop. Just for a bit. And recover, refresh and regain control.

You’ve probably heard of mindfulness but you might not know what it is. Or you might have tried to do it already but got a bit lost, or maybe it didn’t work or you didn’t keep it up consistently so didn’t feel the benefits. Mindfulness is one of the easiest ways to reduce stress and relax but it does take a bit of practice and dedication to make it part of your everyday life. That’s why it’s called a practice I guess 🙂

So what are the benefits of mindfulness?

Research from Harvard Health Publications says that Mindfulness improves well being, physical health and mental health. some of the key benefits are listed as:

  • Being mindful makes it easier to savor the pleasures in life as they occur, helps you become fully engaged in activities, and creates a greater capacity to deal with adverse events.
  • By focusing on the here and now, many people who practice mindfulness find that they are less likely to get caught up in worries about the future or regrets over the past, are less preoccupied with concerns about success and self-esteem, and are better able to form deep connections with others.
  • help relieve stress
  • improve sleep

And it can help with easing depression and anxiety which are two of the most common things I treat in my Hypnotherapy practice in Sussex.

So how can you practice mindfulness easily on a daily basis?

sunrise

 When you first wake up in the morning and you are still in bed, notice your breathing and take five breathes. Notice each one.  

 Be aware of any changes in your posture. Notice if your limbs and loose or stiff. Heavy or light. Notice what changes when you move from one position to the next.

 

Be aware of sounds around you. Really notice them. Whether it’s a phone ringing, a bird singing, a train passing, laughter, a car horn, the wind, the sound of a door closing—use any sound as a signal to be mindful and present.  

Over the course of the day, when you are distracted, remember to come back to your breath and notice your breathing and take five breathes. Notice each one.   

Before you eat something compose your breathing and notice it so you are fully present. Realise that the food was connected to something that nourished its growth. Think about what made that food grow. The sunlight, the rain, the earth, the farmer….. Eat slowly and conciously and be mindful that what you are eating is going to nourish every cell in your body.  Notice the smell and taste of every mouthful and take the time to chew and swallow slowly.  

Be aware of the movements of your body throughout the day. When you move, walk, stand or sit. Notice your posture and feel your feet connected to the ground. Notice any breeze on your face and in your hair and maybe the sound of the wind, rain or other noises. Be aware of your speed. 

At any opportunity, on hold on the phone, in a queue, cleaning your teeth, getting dressed, cooking, waiting at traffic lights or in traffic. Be aware of how you feel. Are you tense or relaxed? How is your breathing? Where is your breathing high or low in your body? 

 Notice any tension in your body. Where is it? Can you relax it? Notice the difference that makes. 

Be aware of any points of tightness in your body throughout the day. See if you can breathe into them and, as you exhale, let go of excess tension. Is there tension stored anywhere in your body? For example, your neck, shoulders, stomach, jaw, or lower back? If possible, stretch or do yoga once a day.

At bedtime, once you are in bed and still, notice your breathing and take five breathes. Notice each one. 

As you can see, it doesn’t take long to be mindful and it’s easy to do. give it a go now. Just shut your eyes (hold on read this last bit first!) and notice yourself. Your feet connected to the floor, your breathing and your posture.

If you need more than mindfulness…

Even mindfulness can’t get you thought some stuff so if you need help to overcome your depression or anxiety please do get in touch and I can help you.

Or you might like to try my free relaxing download which gives you deep relaxation in just 12 minutes.

Sending you mindful healing vibes.

Honey

x

Healthy eating day 21 – What type of eater are you?

child eating chocolate

What type of eater are you?

Just as we have different personalities, we are different types of eaters. Here I have taken a look at just a few, but it would be great to hear about others you think of.

If you want this blog emailed to you simply sign up to my newsletter at the bottom of the blog. People are loving that!

The waste eater

coffee-creams

‘Don’t worry about the leftovers, John will clear those up.’ Are YOU John? Does your appetite know no bounds and you just cannot leave any leftovers. Kids don’t finish their tea… no  problem you are there to finish it! Macmillan cake morning, you finish ALL the leftover cake? Or maybe you actually eat the coffee creams that are left in a box of chocolates?

The emotional eater

Bad day at work and you reach for some ‘comfort food’? Or maybe you are feeling the stress and munch through biscuit after biscuit. Or you are feeling lonely and food becomes your new best friend. Food is a much used emotional reliever but unfortunately we can get to use it a bit too much and gain weight as a result. Which then causes more emotions about feeling bad about our bodies. A vicious circle!

The plate loader

eat as much as you like plate of food

Maybe you love ‘eat as much as you like’ restaurants? How exciting being able to load your plate with a wide variety of foods and as high as you like! You merrily eat your way through one plate and then go for seconds even though you are not at all hungry. After the second plate you hold your stomach and moan that you are over full! But you just have to have a go at that chocolate fountain don’t you? After all, how often do you get to use a chocolate fountain? And it’s free!

The sugar addict

Coco pops for breakfast or chocolate spread on toast, that gives you that early morning sugar kick that you need. By mid morning a chocolate biscuit seems like a good idea, but one or two are never enough and that ends up at 5! Few cups of tea with sugar throughout the day and a nice sandwich and creamy chilled desert for lunch. Now what’s for tea? Maybe a sweet & sour sauce on something but definitely ice cream for pudding. And there’s that nice big family bar of chocolate waiting in the fridge for later….. And in a sweet shop you are well, like a kid in a sweet shop!

The sniffer dog

Your partner is out. You know there must be some goodies in the house somewhere and you are going to find them! Wow those cupboards are dusty up there but nope, not there. Surely there must be a stash somewhere? So you put your best hunting skills to use and eventually find something. You want it but you don’t want them to know you’ve had it. This dilemma plays on your mind for a while but in the end you think you will replace it tomorrow and scoff it anyway.  You cannot be trusted around Easter and Christmas with all those Easter eggs and selection boxes around!

 

These are just a few light hearted types of eaters that maybe you can relate to. Just like our personalities, self awareness is key and often the first step to making changes if you want to.

Over the past week we’ve heard from 6 different guest bloggers.

Here they are if you want to catch up:

Jill Howie from Porchester told us how she changed her diet and changed her life. Read it here  

Carol Hunter from Worthing shared her bread making secrets with us. Read it here

Maggie Albrecht from London told us how she put positive thoughts into her vegetarian food. Read that one here

Rebecca Boulton a nutritionist from Yorkshared a day in her food life. Read it here

Healthnutgirl Rachel Kieffer from New York City gave us some easy healthy eating tips here

Ayurvedic practitioner, Julie Rawnsley from Ditching, near Brighton shared her Ayurvedic day with us here

It’s been wonderful hearing from so many different people about their healthy eating andover the next 9 days we will hear from even more.

Why sign up for my newsletter?

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See you tomorrow

Healthy hug 🙂

Honey

 

 

 

Healthy eating day 20 – What does an Ayurvedic practitioner eat? Find out here…

Julie Rawnsley is an Ayurvedic Practitioner from Ditchling, Near Brighton, East Sussex. Shes runs an Ayurvedic practice called Simply Ayurvedic. Here Julie tells us about her typical day.

A Day in the life of….

  Japanese Green Tea

What gets me out of bed in the morning is a cup of Japanese green tea. Of course it’s full of immunity-boosting anti-oxidants, but what’s really important is that I love the taste.

According to Ayurveda, when we are more or less in balance we will have healthy cravings; so by listening to our bodies we can stay on track. The tea is my early morning ritual and time for myself. To make a perfect cup of green tea, use a loose leaf tea and water at 80° rather than boiling as this allows the flavours to develop fully.

No ‘one size fits all’

Sourdough spelt bread

In Ayurveda there is no one-size-fits-all diet. There are three constitutional types: Vata, Pitta and Kapha: each comprised of different elements and each with differing dietary needs.

As I am predominantly Vata (air and ether elements), I need more earthy, grounding food to balance: Carbs! I make my own sourdough spelt or rye bread which I love. These grains are much easier to digest than wheat and the sourdough process makes it even better.

This morning I had one with tahini and another with homemade blackberry jelly: Heaven! But if I’ve eaten late and I need a lighter breakfast I might have an Ayurvedic Green Smoothie instead.

Mung on the move

Mung soup

When I’m working in London I take a thermos of mung soup. This is filling but very easy to digest. A protein-based meal helps to stimulate the neurotransmitters which make you more alert, so it’s ideal for a working lunch.

As I’m often seeing clients back to back in London with breaks at odd moments I will generally need an energy bar as a snack. When I’m at home I have a larger lunch and prefer not to snack in between as it can weaken digestion.

Mung Soup Recipe

I love my thermos!

thermos

Warm drinks support good digestion: Mine’s a roibos-based herbal tea.

“But why does our digestion need so much support?” I hear you asking.

Answer: Without good digestion, you can’t have good health.

I remember my first Ayurvedic Consultation:

“How’s your digestion?”

“Fine.”

 In fact it was anything but fine, but because I was so out of touch with my body I really had no idea. I would eat constantly, grazing, eating from boredom rather than hunger. No wonder I felt tired and out of sorts!

My evening meal

stir-fry-png

If I’m at home I’ll have my evening meal as early as 5.30 or 6.30pm as we eat with the kids. When you eat can be just as important as what you eat, and eating earlier allows your body plenty of time to digest before bed.

Carbs are definitely on the menu as they stimulate serotonin release, which helps you sleep well. We always eat together and I’ve never had problems with picky eaters. The kids love stir fry with basmati rice and eggy strips. Colourful, healthy and easy to cook: What more could anyone want?

Homemade biscuits

homemade biscuits

My ten year old had great fun making these biscuits. Making your own deserts means you can eliminate white sugar, which is more or less banned in this house.

Having said that, I don’t have any blanket bans as such, because I find rigid rules can be in themselves quite unhealthy and we tend to desire the things we forbid!

The emotions aroused by food can be quite intense. However, the Ayurvedic approach can help you to become more balanced, so that you actually prefer to eat foods that are good for you. Then eating a healthy diet becomes effortless and joyful.

 

A note from Honey

Thank you Julie for that insight into the wonderful Ayurvedic way of life.

What’s in this blog for you:

  • 30 days of blogs from a variety of people including experts to give you ideas and top tips for healthy eating
  • You can get this blog sent to you every day if you sign up here for my newsletter and you will also get a free relaxing recording

See you tomorrow

Healthy hug 🙂

Honey

 

 

Healthy eating – Day 18 – What food does Rebecca Boulton eat? Find out here…..

Rebecca Boulton is a Nutritional Therapist from Yorkshire and runs Simple & Clean nutrition. She provides Nutritional Coaching for busy women struggling with hormonal imbalances who want to transform their bodies, health and lives with simple diet changes. So what food does Rebecca eat? Here she tells us.

The Day In a Life of a Nutritional Therapist 

My day always starts with a large glass of tepid water with a squeeze of fresh lemon and apple cider vinegar to help kickstart my digestion and support the liver. The best way to have this is on an empty stomach. I make sure I stay hydrated throughout the rest of the day with plenty of water, green and peppermint tea. I love coffee and for me it’s the hardest thing to give up, but I am quite sensitive it and it sends me cortisol levels up so I only have 1 (2 max) cups a day. I have good quality fresh coffee with coconut oil to help calm the nervous system and for some healthy fats.

I get up before the kids so I can get some exercise in and also do some meditation and journaling while I have some peace. I meet a friend at 6am twice a week for a HiiT workout and then a couple of days I do kettlebells in my garage. I’m a bit lazy so I like the quick workouts which give maximum results and those work best for me. Other days I’ll just have a bit of a stretch to wake myself up! I’m not naturally a morning person but I find this helps me start the day calm and energised instead of rushing around stressed out trying to fit everything in like I used to!

green smoothie

Breakfast is usually a green smoothie (with extra protein powder like Sunwarrior or Purition for workout days to help with recovery) made with spinach or kale, some berries or half a banana, almond milk and some flaxseeds and chia seeds. Often I add in some cacoa powder for magnesium or spirulina if I need an iron boost. So, I don’t wake the kids, I make it up the night before and store in the fridge as my nutribullet is pretty noisy and I don’t want to disturb them (or my peaceful morning!).

homemade muesli

I’ll follow the smoothie with either some scrambled eggs with avocado and spinach or homemade muesli with yoghurt and berries. For me, breakfast is the biggest meal of the day as that is when I am most hungry!

I understand the importance of mindful eating

Once I’ve got the kids to school, I spend the rest of the morning at my desk until lunchtime. I usually break about midday and have a walk around, stretch off and some lunch. Long gone are the days of scoffing a sandwich at my desk without even noticing what I’m eating, while still working!

Nowadays I understand the importance of mindful eating and ensuring I focus on what I’m eating and when I’m full up. One of the things I’ve found with my clients is that they are no longer able to recognise the signs and just eat until they have emptied their plate. Stepping away from your desk and taking time to breathe and relax is also important for you mentally and emotionally in helping to reduce overwhelm and stress.

Rebecca's lunch

Lunch is an omelette (if I haven’t had eggs for breakfast!), a salad with chicken, salmon or prawns or some quinoa with roasted vegetables. I plan all my meals in advance and pre-prepare as much as I can which always helps me make better choices. I take a couple of hours at a weekend or after school to prep veg, chicken, fish, make a healthy cake or muffins and protein balls to keep in the fridge. It saves time, money and stress!

After I’ve picked the kids up, we always have an after school snack (usually oatcakes and hummus, fruit with some nuts or a Nak’d bar if we’re in a hurry). We often go a long time between lunch and dinner and it’s important to make sure your blood sugars don’t crash as this can make you tired, irritable and find it difficult to concentrate. As I don’t normally eat until 8pm I need something to keep me going or I am grumpy mum and just want a snooze on the sofa.

Dinner time

salmon and vegetables

 

Dinner is usually fish or chicken with roasted vegetables, a stir fry or a curry. We’re big fans of the quick and easy option. I also love my slow cooker and use to make big batches of chilli, stews and roasting joints of meat.

For me, it’s all about keeping it as simple as possible, being prepared so I get everything my body needs without it taking over my life, and allowing room for the odd chocolate, glass of wine or meal out!

You can find Rebecca on facebook

 

A note from Honey

Thank you Rebecca for sharing your food day with us and that steady energy sounds great!

What’s in this blog for you:

  • 30 days of blogs from a variety of people including experts to give you top tips and inspiration for healthy eating
  • You can get this blog sent to you every day if you sign up here for my newsletter and you will also get a free relaxing recording

See you tomorrow

Healthy hug 🙂

Honey

 

 

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