Bolster, Boost and Balance
How do you achieve optimal wellbeing, when you're busier than ever?
On the day that our inspiring December issue hits shelves, I'd like to personally introduce you to a brand new, and very exciting collaboration - between Psychologies magazine, and leading women's wellbeing destination, Grace Belgravia. The experts who work under Grace's world-class roof are all leaders in their relevant fields, and having spent just 3 days there on a nourishing, healing and energising cleanse (with lots and lots of delicious food - this is about bolstering, not depriving), I left with a rebalanced gut, blissfully energised and motivated.
As a working mother of two young children, an author, a holistic facialist and, of course, an editor at Psychologies magazine, there's a lot crammed into my week. I am wholly blessed in that I enjoy every bit of it (family most of all!) and feel very fulfilled by my work, but that doesn't stop me getting tired, rundown, overwhelmed at times, when deadlines, sleepless nights, ill health all hit (often at once).
A year ago, while on maternity leave with my second child, I wrote my first wellbeing book - The Balance Plan - which is out in spring 2015. The seeds were sewn for a way of living that took into account modern pressures, but still managed to allow for them, and find ways to strengthen one's mental and physical wellbeing despite often feeling as though we have nothing left to give. Nothing left to give to ourselves, most commonly. My book is built on the principles of Ayurveda, and the gentle, gradual way it brings your body back to its centre - without shock to the system - really really appealed to me.
During my first meeting with Grace Belgravia founder Kate Percival, I explained how I am against raw food diets and extreme juice cleanses. Raw food and great raw juice has its place within every good diet, but our bodies are not designed to thrive only on raw, cold food. Kate introduced me to Grace chef, Keith Keiller, whose beautiful, seasonal So-Cal-inspired menu was a delight to my mind, eyes and stomach - at last, a health destination that was not about fads. Food that is always fresh, simply prepared, utterly delicious. During my time on the Grace cleanse I enjoyed everything from chicken curry and tom yum prawn soup, to coconut porridge and salmon sashimi. Nourishment - satisfying and soul-affirming - at its best.
This nourishing ethos, which starts with food, but extends to every element of what Grace provide - from personal training, yoga, mindfulness coaching, nutritional therapy... (the list is extensive) - means that one feels truly cared for, and can begin to flourish - even if (as I did) you have very little time to spare. My cleanse took just 3 days, between 9am to 3pm, but I've not looked back since. (And you can read all about it in the December issue of the magazine).
While it's not possible for everyone to experience Grace in person - the club is in the heart of London, and members only, so fees apply - I felt I wanted to open up Grace's doors to as many people as I could, and share the wisdom on offer in this special space. Utterly holistic in their approach to wellbeing, the Grace experts will now be sharing their knowledge, for free, on a regular basis - here, and in the magazine, every month.
This new dedicated LifeLabs channel is where you can tune in to the very best tips, exercises, recipes and advice to help get your busy body and mind in order, and to learn how to fit things into a working week. Make sure you bookmark it and come back to read up on our respective journeys... and please do get in touch - we'd love to know what you need advice on, what niggling issue Grace could help you with, or how you too are striving to better balance your busy life.
Grace experts begin by discussing the importance of addressing the body clock - and how we can feel instinctively off balance if we're not paying attention to our natural inbuilt rythyms. Give it a read - it's insightful stuff.
ps Lesson One - instead of rushing around saying 'I'm too busy' all the time, stop, breathe, reevaluate, and consider that you're not too busy, consider that you have ample time to get things done, that all you need to do is go about things in an ordered way, one by one, and you'll achieve a great deal. By letting thoughts of overwhelmedness enter our minds, it's self-fulfilling... we stop being able to cope! Wake up with a clear view on what needs to be done that day, and you'll achieve a great deal more.