So after a week of wellness-focused articles, posts and takeovers, it would be pretty easy to assume that #BNSLiveWellWeek has not only explored the matter but also created a movement of BellaStylistas focused and determined to live their best lives. But beyond the likes, forwards and shares how does one take what one has learnt, seen or been inspired by and make it into something a little more long lasting? Can one live well beyond one week? In the spirit of sharing and caring, some nuggets (not chicken, golden people), gleaned from my own wellness journey and the little I have learnt along the way.
It’s a Marathon not a sprint. Ugh! How I hated those words especially with a basket full of organic, naughty-foods-negligible, seasonal goods, and that was just my foodstuffs. As I stood in the queue in the supermarket, imagining myself as a 21st Century clean and serene Earth Mother with a fire-fire figure I was focused on the instant and gratifying goal that is a flat stomach and the beginnings of a thigh gap. But beyond weight loss, eating right should be about equipping your body to work at its optimum. As one who has tried everything in my quest for keeping things ‘organised’ body wise, the idea of a slow, steady and holistic approach was not my top of the pops when I began my healthy eating tip, but if you are in the wellness game for the long haul it is essential that it becomes that way. One thing I have taken into my everyday is the power of roasted and baked vegetables with your favourite bit of protein on the side. Trust me, you will not miss potatoes or rice or that destroyer of many good intentions, dodo. Just put a tray of kale, carrots or beetroot, season them well-well, and roast for 20 to 45 minutes and boom! Carb who? This is not to say you will be skinny immediately, but chowing down on super-foods is definitely a short-cut to having a slamming body. If you are reading this after your twenty-eighth birthday then let me be frank and state that visible results will take longer. But, it will be worth it, especially as you pose for that bikini shot without having to suck everything in or have one leg slightly bent on your tippy-toes, in an attempt to look five kilos lighter.
There is power in a Goddess Hour. I was first introduced to the notion of the “Goddess Hour’ by my dear friend best-selling author and love coach extraordinaire Persia Lawson. In brief, the goddess hour is all about putting 101% effort into looking and feeling you’re very best, without the palaver of leaving your home. First things first, peel off some time for yourself, an hour minimum, more if you can manage and switch off your phone to ensure no interruptions/distractions. Next, turn your bathroom into as close an approximation of a luxury spa as you can. If you have a bathtub, now is the time to pimp your bathwater with bubbles, scented oils, heck even rose-petals if you can get a hold of some, if not make sure your shower has the best-in=class products you can find. Candles are an optional extra and will add to the general romancing-myself-vibe. After you have scrubbed, soaked, washed and conditioned, pad along to your bedroom where you may already have some music on your pre-selected playlist going and complete your beauty regimen. Check yourself out in a full-length mirror. This is not a time to critique your figure flaws but celebrate your good bits, and we ALL have good bits. Whether it is a move over Nikki, Kim and J-Lo booty, Sports Illustrated cover worthy boobs, a washboard stomach or legs that have been known to scatter the beholder’s mind, look admire and inwardly thank God that they are part of you. Often times we focus on the external responses we get from our bodies but Goddess Hour is about internalising those positive responses and celebrating them accordingly. By all means, go and meet bae afterwards, or call him up from the living room, but the purpose of this ritual is falling in love with you. And as every basic psychologist will tell you, it is only when your own personal love affair is in order that you will be in a position to be 100% committed and present for anyone else.
You are only as well as you feel. Feelings are often stuffed down, covered up or brushed over. We are taught, women especially, to get on with it, keep it moving or not make a scene, even if we are devastated inside. If we are wives or mothers we are advised to put husband and children first and to focus on making their lives as enriched and as comfortable as possible. Many friendships, though thankfully not all, are a dance of trying to sound ‘our best’ not ‘bore our friends with our problems’ and be as light and as witty as possible, after all getting a table at this cute brunch spot was so that we could enjoy and not download right? However, feelings shouldn’t be ignored and if your inner voice is telling you something, or you just don’t feel great or you want to burst into tears or punch a wall. Take a moment, pause and allow yourself to consciously feel the feelings. This is not to say you then do something. Especially, if it might cause injury to yourself or others. But just feel it. Don’t think too hard about solutions either. They will come later. But in the feeling it, acknowledging it and letting a bodily manifestation come to the fore (wailing, rolling on the ground or even conversely laughing out loud and jumping for joy) your feelings get centre stage. A word about positive feelings. It is not prideful or boastful or bad manners to be in a state of delight when something amazing happens to you. We live in a beautiful planet where awesome things are happening all the time, so take time to relish those feelings too. As the saying goes, we only have one go around the journey of life. And spreading the sparkle might just help lift the mood of someone who is in the mud and the mire.
There are many other elements to consider and embrace to truly live well, and of course as is the case with any life-changing habit-forming activity we won’t get things right all the time. But if each day can have at least a moment or an activity where we are practising these principles, then we are on the way to a better and happier life.
As for me, it is time to sign off, finish sipping my lemon, mint and water cure-all and get on with the business of having a blessed and productive week.
Wishing you all the same.
Photo Credit: Dreamstime