I am a little late in the ‘Resolutions’ posts but that is not such a bad thing. In fact, now that it is February I am happier to write this post in the knowing that my intentions have not changed. We all do it, the last days of December when we feel we could literally be rolled into the gym due to the over consumption of all things nice and fattening over the festive period and realistically we couldn’t feel any more unhealthy. The climax of toxins has been reached and your body is crying out for a break, we start the lists of resolutions, some realistic and some far from realistic. We often pen down resolutions that really are not achievable in our busy lifestyles and even more unrealistic to our wallets. Therefore, this year I didn’t go through the motions of making resolutions that I ‘should’ be making. I focused on ‘intentions’ rather than ‘resolutions’ that I wanted rather than should be making. I also decided that rather than needing changes to be phyical in physique that this was a year to make changes mentally to contribute to happiness. As we all know Happy Mama equals happy children.
When I sat down down to jot down the lists of intentions I wanted to have I realised that it was more subtle and simple changes I needed to make to be more healthy and whole. I also found that by subtly changing aspects of my living could then lead to the bigger changes I may want to make.
Of course, like every other year I wanted to be healthier and to start of by eating healthy. In general, day to day I do eat healthy. Like us all however I do find on certain days I may eat through emotions and not through my needs. I don’t know about you, but some days I could easily eat for the sake of it. An example being, opening the cupboard and finding a pack of crackers and devouring half the box without even needing them. This would usually boil down to an emotion and not the actual hunger to eat the said crackers. I decided to have a plan in place for this emotional eating whereby if I found myself about to eat for the sake of it I would instead make a cup of tea and during the cup of tea write down my thought and ask myself do I really need that half a box of whatever it is. Is it far off my next meal? Will I feel better if I eat all that? Is it fulfilling my nutritonal needs? How will I feel when I eat it. This all sounds pretty simple but I do think a lot of you reading this can relate to emotional eating. I know, for me, there are often days where my whole day is consumed with emotional eating rather than healthy eating. I also find that having a meal plan worked out for the week ahead, saves time, keeps me organised and on track. to know in advance what my next meal is gets me through the week without impulse eating. Of course a shopping list of what exactly is needed and no rubbish in the house is imperative to healthy eating.
Another intention to contribute to my health has been sleep. Having two smallies who are known to waken their Mammy several times a night I have been pretty exhausted. Sleep deprivation takes its toll and it is very easy to reach for the biscuit tin rather than the fruit bowl. Despite knowing I get many the wake up in the night I still went to bed too late. I now have a designated time for getting to sleep by and winding down from technology and the phone at least half an hour before bedtime. Again this sounds simple but how many of you looked through social mdeia last night right before falling asleep? Would you have been asleep earlier had it not been for technology? I know as well as anyone it can be hard to part with social media but our brains need the rest. We need to come down from our day and get back into the present and I really do think I mental healthy craves the break from technology. A good nights sleep not only contributes to our mental health but also to our skin, our energy, you name it. We know the obvious outcome but we do choose to ignore it.
Last but not least for my New years intentions was focusing more on mindfulness. As a worrier by nature keeping my mind in the present is a task in itself. However I am extremely aware of the detrimental effects of rumination and worry and how it increases and contributes greatly to anxiety. Mindfulness is becoming extremely popular in our society due to the stressful and busy llifestyles we live. It stems from buddhist traditions where it is used to enhance self knowledge to aid the freedom of suffering. With all of this in mind I took myself off on a yoga and meditation retreat day at a local Tibetan Buddhist centre Jampa Ling. I can honestly say the peace and calm I felt on the completion of the retreat gave me a new inner strength. I felt whole and it was just what the doctor ordered. My phone was switched off and I had a day where thoughts were pushed aside and I focused on the here and now. It gave my mind the rest it needed, the removal of thoughts it needed and the awareness of my needs. In the future I really intend to make mindfulness a part of my every day living to focus on the present and expel unnecessary worry and over thinking which eats into happiness and allows anxiety to thrive. As a young mother to two little girls I want and need my mind present as these years are disappearing way too fast. When I am with them I want to be present in mind and be there for them in the best possible way I can. I don’t want to be worrying about the to-do lists and all of the things that distract me and draw my attention away from special moments. Being present is as much for me as it is for them.
Again, in theory these changes may seem simple but it is the implementation which leads to success and makes every day life happier, healthy and whole.
I hope you enjoyed this post and that you too are implementing changes for you to enjoy life and live to the full and for you.
Are there simple changes you have made which are contributing positively to your life?
Until next time,