If there was a healthy magical supply of energy that we could reach for whenever we needed a pick me up, we would be grabbing at it with all possible hands, right? Well, then this next read is for you - how to get energised whenever and wherever. Before the gym, in the middle of your workout, in the morning before work, important social occasion after a full day of work? I’ve got you covered.
Emotions, interpreted for their purest intentions, are messages. They are a complex conversation between your mind and body, seeking to influence behaviour as they inform you of how you feel/ think about a situation.
They’re the group chat between your physiology and psychology, as your body physically responds to your mental state and vice versa. An effective message sent with honest intentions, which I would like to believe is what our bodies are trying to do for our minds, would not send a message without any content. You would never purposefully send someone an empty email or blank text message. Similarly, our emotions should not be interpreted as ‘just feelings’.
I was recently asking during a podcast interview with Travis Barton what was in my wellbeing toolkit so it got me thinking. I’ve spent a lot of time over the last few years immersed (read completely down the rabbit hole and not coming out anytime soon) in learning about different wellbeing practices, techniques and working with a wide spectrum of practitioners. And much like anything, there’s been a huge amount of trial and error within that exploration. Some experiences have been wonderful, even life changing, and others, what have felt like a total waste of time and money. Whilst in reality, there’s no such thing, simply lessons learnt and experiences had, which had not met my own personal expectations of what that wellness modality or practitioner could or should have offered me. What is should anyway? A conversation for another time perhaps. Back to our wellbeing toolkits…
Today is World Mental Health Day. Now in its 25th year, this day encourages people to talk about, destigmatize and prioritise mental health. And this year’s theme is workplace wellbeing.
This topic is something which is incredibly close to my heart and one of my core missions with Death By Lycra.
We all want to do well, step up, shine and be recognised for our efforts but what happens when work takes us to a place of overwhelm, burnout, anxiety, and even depression?
Sometimes, (okay a lot of the time) life is overwhelming, it leaves us feeling stressed out, burnt out and frankly, in need of an escape. More often than not, it’s not always possible or practical to just hop on a plane (she says, finding herself in Sydney after just spending the best part of 30 hours on a plane).
Sure, Frou. Sure.
Why do we Stretch?
✖️Stretching helps to increase range of motion and to open the body,
✖️Releasing any tension in the muscles,
✖️Relaxes the mind.
Energy balancing stretching is primarily about embodiment - (Nourishment, Movement, Presence, Sensuality, Nature) and exploring different ways that you can be more “in your body.”
Being in the body, inhabiting it, feeling it, sensing it, knowing it, being curious about it, noticing it, exploring all the sensations of bodily existence, and letting the body speak to you on its own terms.
This last fortnight I've been working with various clients on different ways to address adrenal fatigue. Hormones are imbalanced, the body can suffer from hypoglycemia, a weakened immune system, foggy thinking and quite often depression. In order to overcome adrenal fatigue you need to follow a well thought out recovery exercise programme but the following two stretching exercises are great grounding starting points - put on some relaxing music and try to tune into what feels good when you move in your body.
Legs Up the Wall:
▫️Lie on your back with the edge of your bum touching a wall.
▫️Feel free to elevate your hips with a pillow if more comfortable.
▫️Walk your feet up the wall until your legs are fully extended.
▫️Try to relax.
▫️When you notice your mind wandering (it will) try to be an observer of your thoughts. As though you were watching yourself from a distance. Having music helps as you can focus on the beat. No crazy dubstep tunes though please 😬🤔
▫️Stay in this position anywhere from 2-15 minutes.
▫️Lie on back, bring knees up for 45 degrees.
▫️Push hips up so that your shoulders, hips and knees are in a straight line. Keep shins vertical.
▫️Slowly drop pelvis back down, as low as you comfortably can and then bring hips back up to ceiling.
▫️10 second hold / 10 second relax.
▫️Don't forget to breathe 👀 this exercise is predominantly about the breathing.
▫️Aim to do this 10 times.
Words by Frou Williams.
There are very few people (I know of none) who escape the rollercoaster of ups and downs surrounding self esteem, self worth and self image. I know it can be easy to look at someone else's life and believe that they've somehow worked out the magic formula and perhaps they have worked it out for them, but that formula is always going to be a work in progress which needs fine tuning every now and then.
It's also highly likely that your formula of self love and self acceptance is going to look and feel totally different for you because guess what?! WE ARE ALL UNIQUE!!!! And isn't that amazing and wonderful?! Who wants to be the same as everyone anyway? No sheep here.
It's also not something which happens over night. There's twists and turns, ups and downs, 1 step forward and 5 back, sometimes 3 steps forward and 1 step back. And I speak from experience when I say it's a work in progress. Of course it is. Some days we wake up feeling fat, frumpy, unattractive and that we've somewhere lost our sparkle. Other days we wake up feeling on cloud nine and totally unstoppable.
After years of feeling 'not quite good enough' and critiquing every inch of myself, I continue and will always continue to learn every day to be comfortable in being ME. I think it's about finding a balance and a place of acceptance within yourself.
A place which allows you the freedom to enjoy nights with friends, eat delicious food, move your body in a way that makes you feel fantastic and a place that doesn't leave you feeling guilty for not looking a certain way, for having that bread at dinner, that extra glass of wine or having that rest day.
What a wonderful place to be, feeling content and at peace in who you are and what you bring to the table of life. Surely that is something worth striving for?
If we could be kinder to ourselves and others throughout this journey, remove judgement around what should be and try to remain positive roles models for younger generations then to me, that's a much more happy and healthy place to be.
Today I'm feeling curious about the 500 year old art of kintsugi, or “golden joinery" a philosophy not of replacement, but in awe, reverence, and restoration. The emphasis in kintsugi is not actually on physical appearance, it is…the beauty and the importance that stays in the one who is left looking. Cryptic message I hear you cry?
Well, let's take a look at general Western consensus on broken objects, things and to an extent in our culture, 'people' (think a never ending conveyor belt of swipe left, swipe right dating apps), how these objects and people might have lost their value, tossed aside and paved way for the new but there's something quite charming and refreshing about the concept of kintsugi and believing that never ending consumerism is not actually a spiritually rewarding experience. Karmically speaking, we stink.
What exactly is eating psychology and why should I care I hear you ask? Well matey, mind body nutrition is a field that advances the practice of clinical nutrition by exploring the psychophysiology of how thoughts, feelings and beliefs impact nutritional metabolism and health.
It goes far beyond classical nutrition by focusing on the connection between brain, body, and behaviour. Simply put, what we eat is only half of the story of good nutrition. The other half is who we are as eaters.
I recently read an article based on research from the Children's Society's annual state of the nation review which found that more than a quarter of a million girls in Britain are unhappy with their lives “overall”.
And when it comes to appearance, the number of 10 to 15 year-old girls who do not feel happy with their looks reached a staggering 700,000 across the UK. This is up 8% from 2013/14 and 21% from 2009/10.
But this isn't just a UK issue. This is worldwide and it goes way deeper than just discussing how important it is for children to enjoy their childhood - which yes of course is essential - it is also critical to acknowledge that times have changed and the definition of 'childhood' is no longer the same as it was 50, 20 or even 10 years ago.
The proportion of boys aged 10-15 who are unhappy with their lives remained stable at one in nine and being unhappy with their appearance hovered at around 20%. Whilst these statistics are lower than that of girls, both boys and girls experience mental health problems in different ways. Boys aged 10 and 11 are more likely to experience conduct and attention/hyperactivity problems, girls experience anxiety and depression and become increasingly unhappy with their appearance as they get older.
We must encourage younger generations of both sexes to have a better relationship with self through positive body image reinforcement, self esteem and self worth. In order to create that change, we must first be positive role models and be the ones who embody that message ourselves
Self love comes from within but together we can create and share a message which inspires and encourages self love from a young age. Let's start a chain of consciousness - if this post resonated with you then please share and nominate up to 5 men and women who have inspired and motivated you in YOUR life and helped you, to be the best version of you that you are today.
What a wonderful feeling to know that someone out there is smiling or feeling a little bit more positive today and tomorrow because of something YOU said or did.