5 Habits that super-boost my day
Suzy Greaves, Psychologies Editor is working on her wellbeing this month.
I’m very excited about our new June issue – out now. Not only do we have Julia Roberts as our cover star but we have also launched #360me, our new health and wellbeing section. It’s full of inspiration from the world’s top experts – everyone from Dr Weil to the energetic Hemsley Sisters, giving us their top tips on how to live well, as well as eat well.
This is perfect timing for me as I’ve been focussing on improving my health and wellbeing in the last few months. I’ve been working with Eve Kalinik (@evekalink), our Psychologies nutritional therapist on boosting my energy by eating the right foods as well as working with Kat Farrants (@mfml), our yoga expert and founder of Movement for Modern LIfe, as I work through our new 30 day yoga course. I’ve been working on building new habits and creating a new morning routine. Here are my favourite ways so far:
1. Eat, drink and be merry
I used to drink three cups of coffee – with sugar every morning – and eat no breakfast. Mornings (my whole day, if I’m honest) were a rollercoaster of high and low moods and energy. Under advice from Eve, I now drink a big glass of water first thing and then green tea before preparing a proper breakfast. Eggs feature strongly plus porridge. My blood sugar seems to be stabilising, I’m no longer feeling the need to raid our chocolate shelf at work every afternoon (maybe once a week?!) and I have lost a pound or two – by seemingly eating more. Result!
2. Writing a journal:
I love Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way and make sure I take the course every year. It’s a 12-week course, which week by week challenges you to leap over the blocks to being creative. It’s practical and grounded but also inspirational and enlightening. It’s not just about being more creative though, it’s about a whole approach to life – about becoming more open, more loving, more self-aware. One of the tools in the course is the ‘morning pages’ – 3 pages of stream of consciousness writing first thing every morning. It’s like a moving meditation. I can be grumpy, happy, bitchy but it all gets vomited on the page and I just get to be with whatever comes up. It’s the one tool I continue to use even when the course finishes. It’s the ultimate self-coaching process. It’s a way of building a strong and compassionate relationship with yourself.
I am just about finished our new 30-day transformational yoga course. https://lifelabs.psychologies.co.uk/courses/101 It’s been incredible. I’m new to yoga but I love it. I’m learning to use my breath to feel calmer. I know it can sound a bit inane – ‘just breathe’ but it’s all true! Just breathing some big belly breaths can bring me back from the brink of overwhelm. I remember when someone taught me how to do the alternative nostril breathing, I just laughed out loud. But this course reminded me how effective it is. I’m a complete convert. I’ve got my friends doing it, my son doing it, my team doing it. You may be cynical but just try it for 7 days and see if it makes a difference to your day.
4. Wake up with Chris
I love the weekly experiment that Chris Barez Brown, our new columnist has created. Every week, he gives us a new ‘experiment’ to try out to ‘wake us up’ - to challenge our every day ‘autopilot’ mode and feel more alive and connected. I log in every Monday to get my weekly inspiration – everything from spending my first 10 minutes of my day in my garden to doing some mischievous guerrilla gardening. It’s been a great way to set an interesting weekly intention for the week. https://lifelabs.psychologies.co.uk/users/994-chris-barez-brown/posts/4106-the-great-wake-up
5. Inside out!
It’s my birthday this month. (Isn’t May the best month for birthdays? The blossom is out and it feels like Mother Nature is celebrating with you.) I would never be one for Botox (not that I’m judgemental of anyone who has it but I’m just scared I’d look a bit strange without all my lines) plus I like to think I’m getting older and wiser, and want to embrace the process. I’d like to look the best I can so I’m experimenting with drinking a little bottle of award-winning Gold Collagen every day. It claims to nourish your skin and fight the appearance of early signs of ageing. Maybe not so early in my case. Collagen production begins to decline at a rate of about 1 percent a year in our mid-twenties and goes rapidly downhill in our forties. There is a whole raft of new products, which claim to boost collagen production. I am trying a 90-day programme and am 20 days in and I’ve had a few comments about ‘how well I’m looking.’ I keep mine in the fridge and a quick glug with my porridge every morning is my hopeful lurch for the holy grail of looking ‘good for my age.’