MINI-COURSE: FACE YOUR PROBLEMS WITHOUT FEAR! HOW CHANGE CAN AFFECT YOUR HEALTH, AND HOW TO DEAL WITH IT - PART THREE.
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LESSON # 3:
HOW TO PUT IT BEHIND YOU AND LET GO
In the first 2 lessons of this Mini-course, you've learned how various changes can affect you, how you can get clarity about them, and how you can handle them. This last lesson will be about how you can put things behind you and let go.
Tip #1: Be flexible.
The tree that is flexible bends in the storm.
The tree that is hard, falls or gets uprooted.
Hypnotherapist Ursula Markham says that first of all, in order to be able to stay positive to changes that occur in your life, it's important that you are as flexible as possible. The more you are able to develop a flexible attitude towards life and all its changes, the more you will not only survive these changes, but see them as another important step in your personal development and growth. And in order to become more flexible, it's important that you develop your ability to put things behind you. Let them go.
I believe this is true. But letting go doesn't just mean that you're able to forget about things that have happened, but that you're also able to ...
Tip # 2: Let go of old beliefs about yourself and other people.
The world is full of people who like to put others into certain categories. Not just because of color, religion or nationality, but also because of how they dress and talk, what part of town they're from - and a lot of other reasons.
The problem is that it's so easy to categorize people, and we get so influenced by others. Media or people with very strong specific views might repeat their opinions so often that we end up believing they are the truth. And here's my point: If we can be influenced by others to believe certain things about other people, it is also very easy to start believing the same things about ourselves.
Whether we like it or not, we are all influenced or "programmed" by other people's beliefs from our early childhood. How we view ourselves and others is often created by other people, circumstances and events in our life. If we want to learn how to put the past behind us, we must also learn to let go of any misunderstandings that may have been created in this way. And I believe that any individual who is old enough to understand how the past has influenced his or her self-image of today, has the ability - and the right - to work on this self-image and change it.
Now, that is a topic that it will take some more time to dig into. In this context I just want you to understand that the way you handle changes can have a lot to do with how you think of yourself. If you believe that you are a person who is not capable of doing this or that, it will affect the way you handle things. Or if you always believe that the occuring changes are bad, or that someone else is to blame for them, - then of course this will also greatly affect how you handle these changes.
So for now - without going any deeper into what specific beliefs about yourself or other people you might need to work on and let go - I just want you to accept that you might not be able to see the full picture of why this change is happening right now. Then just decide that you will A) stop thinking negatively about yourself and other people who are involved in this situation, B) that you will let go of the things you can't do anything about right now, and C) just focus on what you can do.
Use the techniques you learned in Lesson #2 to get clarity about what you can let go of right now and what you should focus on. I mean: Write lists. Get it down on paper. Because like I said in Lesson #2: It's amazing how much clearer things get when you write them down.
Then put away the list of things you can't do anything about. Put it in a drawer, or throw it away - or burn it! Just forget about those things altogether!
Then focus on the second list - the one with the things you can do something about - and make a plan for how and when you will deal with them.
Then take one step at a time.
Rest assured that you will get through this.
Like Marie Forleo says: Anything is figureoutable!
And that's it, really! It's important to break things down and not over-complicate!
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So let's sum up what you've learned in this Mini-course:
- In Lesson #1 you learned about various changes that you might
experience in your life, and how they can affect you.
- In Lesson #2 you learned how you can get more clarity about
the changes you experience and how you can deal with them.
- In this lesson, which is Lesson #3, you've learned how to put
things behind you, let go of the things you can't do anything about
and focus on the things you can do.
Congratulations! You can be proud of yourself! By going through these lessons and doing the things I've told you to do, you have increased your own capability of handling any changes that might occur in your life in a much better way! You now have some useful tools that you can make use of whenever you need them in the future.
I hope you found this mini-course valuable! If so, fell free to share it with someone else, and follow my blog to make sure you don't miss out on any future articles, courses or events! I also recommend that you sign up for my Newsletter!
See you soon!
MINI-COURSE: FACE YOUR PROBLEMS WITHOUT FEAR! HOW CHANGE CAN AFFECT YOUR HEALTH AND HOW TO DEAL WITH IT - PART TWO.
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NOTE: I started this mini-course on my blog yesterday, and this is Lesson # 2. If you haven't read the first one yet, I suggest you do that before you move on to today's lesson. You can find it here.
But now, let's move on to today's lesson:
HOW YOU CAN GET CLARITY ABOUT YOUR SITUATION
Change is part of life. Change can help you grow and express yourself on a practical and spiritual level, whatever your religious or spiritual belief is.
Life itself is a learning-process, and everything that happens is a part of that process. How much we learn will of course depend on each and every one of us and our own ability and willingness to see the importance or significance of the changes we experience. It will also depend on our own ability and willingness to incorporate the changes into our lives in the best possible way.
ARE YOU FACING A PROBLEM OR CHALLENGE RIGHT NOW?
If you're facing some challenges in your life right now, a positive attitude to a negative problem can get you a long way. Easier said than done, you say? Well, maybe ... But I believe that you really want to solve the problem or challenge that you're facing, and in order to do that, a positive attitude will be very helpful.
To achieve that, this is what I want you to do:
# 1) Make a list of the challenges you are facing.
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Why? Because it's amazing what writing them down can do for you. Your problems or challenges simply don't seem all that big anymore when you see them in front of you on paper instead of chasing them around in your head. And when you look at each problem separately, one by one, it can bring about great relief when you can later cross them off as solved.
Example: Let's say your partner or spouse of many years has left you.
This is what your list could look like:
Problem /challenge # 1: Money
How will I manage?
Problem / challenge # 2: Practical things around the house
What will I do if something happens with the house, like a burst pipe or something like that?
Problem / challenge # 3: New place to live
Where will I live? Can I afford to move to a new home? Who can help me?
Problem / challenge # 4: Friends & family
How am I going to tell them? How will I relate to them from now on?
Problem / challenge # 5: Loneliness
How will I handle it?
Of course, your list could look very different, depending on what your problems / challenges are, but this is just to give you an idea of what a list of challenges / problems can look like.
An important thing to remember is that you can always add to the list, and that you don't have to handle all the problems on your own. Whether you ask for help from family, friends or professionals, you should never feel completely isolated.
Even though we often feel like we're the only person with our particular problems / challenges, our logic tells us that this isn't true. There is no problem on earth that is not shared by at least one other person.
I'm not saying this to take away the significance of your problem or challenge, but to ensure you that there already exist methods and tools to help you solve them.
And remember: There's no shame in asking for help!
Coaches, counsellors and consultants are there for a reason, and real friends will be only too happy to help you. Would you turn your back on a friend who asked for your help? Probably not! Would you think less of him/her for having that problem? Of course not! You would be glad to offer your help if there was anything at all you could do, - right? So allow your friends to do the same for you!
2) Now take a look at that list you wrote and see if you can think of some solutions to those problems.
I'll use the list I wrote as an example, and give you some ideas of what could be some possible solutions:
Problem / challenge # 1: Money - how will I manage?
If your partner / spouse has left you and you own a house together, you could sell that house and then you'd get half of the money. This would probably also solve Problem # 3, because it will enable you to buy or rent a smaller house or apartment. You may not be rich, but you will most likely manage quite well.
If you haven't been working while you've been with your partner, you may need to start looking for a job or start some kind of business in order to earn money. Depending on where you live, you could register as an unemployed and at least get some financial help while you're searching for a job, or you could try to find out if there is some funding you could apply for if you want to start a business.
Problem / challenge # 2: Tasks around the house - what do I do?
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If this is something you've been used to having your partner / spouse handle and you worry about what you'll do if something should happen, - try to think about what could make you feel more at ease around this problem right now.
Would you feel better if you knew someone you could call? If so, try to put together a list of plummers, electricians, carpenters etc. in your neighbourhood, and put the list in a place where it's easily available. In this way you'll know exactly who to call in an emergency.
For other possible situations, a good tip is - for example - to make sure you also have all the user manuals for your electrical equipment available, like the user manuals for your freezer, your stove, your washing-machine, your TV, etc. And make sure you know where you can turn off the main water- and electricity supply if needed.
Just prepare, and you'll feel so much better already! Problem solved - at least for now!
Problem / challenge # 3: New place to live - will I be able to afford to move? Where should I live?
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Make an estimation of what kind of home you think you'll be able to afford, and whether you should buy or rent one.
Decide where you want to live. Should you stay in the area where you live now, or move somewhere else? This is a decision only you can make. It might depend on a lot of things, like if you have kids and want to stay in the same area because of their school and friends, - or maybe you want to stay in the neighbourhood that you're familiar with and maybe like very much ... Or maybe you will find it refreshing to make a clean break and start a completely new life in a different place.
When it comes to the practical sides of moving to a new home, you have several options: You could contact a realtor, a lawyer, your bank, a moving company ... There are plenty of professional people who would be more than willing to help you.
Problem / challenge # 4: Friends & family - how will I tell them? How will I relate to them from now on?
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You may find it extremely difficult to tell your closest family about a break-up, whether it's your children, your parents and siblings or other relatives, - or people who have been friends of both you and your partner / spouse ... But it's more than likely that they already know of someone who's been through this before, and maybe they've even had the same experience in their own life. So even if it's a challenging situation for everyone involved, it's not exactly uncommon these days and people will probably not be all that shocked by it. And people who really care about you will neither condemn or critisize you.
Anyways: The wise thing to do in this kind of situation would probably be to tell your family and friends as soon as possible. Some people might become "bitter" if they find out from someone else that someone they cared about (you) has been going through personal trauma without telling them about it, because they might feel that you haven't "trusted them" with it and made it possible for them to give you their personal help and support.
You can write down beforehand what you're going to say, and then either email, text them or phone them - or tell them in person - as soon as possible. You probably know what each of them would prefer. But just do it, and then you can cross it off of your list. Problem solved!
Problem / challenge # 5: Loneliness
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It's natural to feel stressed out and afraid of being left alone when a long partnership or marriage ends. Maybe you're afraid that old friends will stop inviting you or that they will no longer stay in touch now that you're on your own ... and that often happens. I know, because I've been there.
So what can you do about that?
If you're a grown-up woman it can of course be difficult to find new friends, so try to keep in touch with the ones you already have and who are more your friends than your spouse's friends. But if this turns out to be a challenge and you get a feeling they don't really want to stay in touch, then try to seek out new people that you can become friends with.
For example, taking a class that you're interested in could turn out to be a place where you'll find like-minded people and new friends. Or start something new and invite people to join you. Or join an organisation of some sort...
I'm sure you can think of more options yourself.
If you like to travel and don't want to do it alone, there are lots of trips for single people and also theme travels that you can sign up for.
Nowadays, meeting people on social media is another good option, like joining groups of people who share your interests - like The Society of Female Life Designers!
So: If you ever face a challenge or problem that fills you with fear or worry, grab a pen and a piece of paper and start writing a list. Seeing your problems written down in front of you gives you something concrete to work on. And to do something - however small it might seem - will give you a feeling of accomplishment and reduce your worries, because you realize that you do have control over your own life.
3) If you find it hard to pin-point your exact challenges, use the following questions as a starting-point to get clarity:
# 1) What do I worry about?
# 2) What sides of the matter can I do something about?
# 3) What are the advantages - however small - in this situation?
# 4) What do I fear the most?
# 5) What can I do about each of these things?
4) When you've dealt with some of the most immediate challenges / problems, it might be useful to think a little bit further ahead.
Think of positive future aspects about your situation. What can you look forward to?
If you notice that negative thoughts occur, don't try to force them away. Just ask yourself what you can do about those things if they should happen. You'll probably never have to use those plans, but it might make you feel better to know that you're prepared.
5) Try to look at change in a positive way.
Whatever it is that has brought the change about, try to see it as a new and exciting challenge. Life would be boring if nothing ever changed, wouldn't it? If we didn't have snow in the winter, would we appreciate the flowers in spring in the same way? And isn't it wonderful to watch all the beautiful colors in the autumn, even if the falling leaves tell us that a colder period is on its way?
Every change has a positive side to it, and you have the ability and the right to choose which side you will focus on.
If you're facing an inevitable change in your life, there's no point in raging about it. That will only increase your own stress and feeling of misery. You need to accept it, so that you can move forward and control your own future as much as possible.
This was the end of Lesson # 2.
In the last lesson, Lesson # 3, you'll learn how you can develop the ability to put things behind you and let go.
See you tomorrow!
If you found this blog post valuable, feel free to share it with someone else and also follow my blog! I also suggest that you sign up for my Newsletter, to make sure you're among the first to get notified about new articles, events, courses and more.
MINI-COURSE: FACE YOUR PROBLEMS WITHOUT FEAR! HOW CHANGE CAN AFFECT YOUR HEALTH AND HOW TO DEAL WITH IT - PART ONE
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There is one thing in life that is absolutely certain: Everything is uncertain. Practically all things keep changing all the time. Throughout your whole life you must live through changes, and the way you handle them is vital to your health and wellbeing.
Change happens in a lot of different ways. Some happen by your own choice, like if you decide to get married, move to a new place or change your job. Others are more or less forced upon you, like losing your job, having a car accident or experiencing a partner breakup or sudden death in your family.
Some changes in life happen suddenly and you can't really prepare for them. Others happen slowly, over time, like the fact that you're getting older. Whatever the case is, it's importat that you handle change in a good way so you can benefit from it instead of getting hurt by it.
Some changes can be very positive, but - as you know - they often feel negative. However, even negative changes can have positive aspects in them and turn into something good, because they force you to start thinking in a new way and maybe take some positive action in a new direction.
To make this content digestible for you, I've created it as a Mini course over several days.
Today, let's take a closer look at various types of change that you might experience in your life, and how they may affect your health and wellbeing.
1) Conscious / chosen change
This could be anything from the most insignificant thing, like a new haircut or choosing to take a different way to work, to the more significant things like moving to a new home, starting a new relationship or quitting your job. The consequences and the impact these changes will have on you will of course vary from person to person. But at least those are changes that you've had some time to prepare for, because they are all changes that you have chosen, and you've been planning them for a longer og shorter period of time according to what you've considered necessary. Even if the result doesn't always turn out quite the way you had pictured it, a thorough estimation of various options will help you avoid a lot of stress and trauma that are normally connected to change.
2) Unwanted / forced change
If you have (for example) been in an accident, have suddenly lost your job or have been left by someone you love (like a partner or spouse), you've experienced negative, unwanted change in your life. Or - like we have all experienced recently: A global pandemic occurs.
Positive unplanned change could for example be winning the lottery or meeting the man of your dreams. Both of these changes seem wonderful, don't they? But the impact this kind of change has on you could sometimes feel just as traumatic as the impact or consequence of negative change, because you haven't been able to prepare for it.
3) Progressive change
Some changes are inevitable. We all get older. We all have to deal with the loss of a loved one at some point in our life, and we are all going to die eventually. We realize all this quite early in life.
But none of these changes necessarily have to be considered negative. They could all be seen as just parts of a larger pattern that we gradually become more aware of as time goes by.
4) Short-term / temporary change
Of course there are some changes that are only temporary, and then things will go back to normal. But not always.
Maybe you've had a short stay in a hospital, a quarrel with your partner, or a conversation with a relative. You wouldn't think that these things could dramatically change the status quo, would you?
But no change in life is completely without consequences for the people involved.
Maybe your stay in the hospital created an anxiety in you regarding your health, - an anxiety you didn't feel before...
Maybe the quarrel you had with your partner made you look at him in a completely different way ... and not in a positive way.
Maybe your relative told you something about a family member that totally changed the way you think or feel about that person from now on...
Each in their own way, short-term changes can have an equally dramatic impact on you as those changes that are meant to be permanent.
5) Permanent change
Wether the permanent change in your life is chosen, forced upon you or progressive, you'll probably still feel that either you or your lifestyle has been turned completely upside-down by it.
However: The fact that the change is inevitable, seems to somehow make it easier to handle it. Once the change has happened, it's amazing how quickly most people adapt to their new situation.
This doesn't necessarily mean that they blindly or passively accept it. It's more a matter of facing the situation with a positive mind and treating it like a challenge that has its own, special reward.
How change can affect your health
Change - whether positive or negative - stir up a lot of different emotions, like excitement, anxiety, anger, guilt, grief, happiness or joy. In order for those emotions not to put too much pressure on you, it's of vital importance that you learn to acknowledge and liberate them. Don't try to oppress or hide them, because this can 1) lead to physical and mental problems in the future, and 2) send the wrong message to the people around you so they don't know what you expect from them and therefor they are not able to help and support you.
All change can be stressful. Even when it's related to the happiest event of your life, like getting married. Wedding preparations can put a lot of pressure on those who are most involved, as we can all imagine.
You'll learn more about how you can handle change as we move on through this Mini-course. Lesson # 2 will be available tomorrow, so make sure you don't miss that.
See you then!
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Imagine browsing through skincare aisles and finding that one, perfect product that boasts of all-natural ingredients. Then you read the label, expecting to find a virtual salad, but instead you find yourself reading benzoic acid, butyl stearate, and some totally unpronounceable names. You're no botanist, but you're quite sure that all that stuff doesn’t grow on trees. This is because most commercial items meant for skin care nowadays contain preservatives and other chemicals to maintain their consistency and shelf life. Problem is, most of these chemicals can actually irritate more sensitive skin.
So what solution is there for this kind of crisis?
Simple. Mix your own, homemade skincare line.
There's really nothing to it, as most ingredients are found in your fridge or fruit basket.
All-natural skin recipes are easily found on the Internet or even in magazines.
Usually, these skincare mixes are composed of a combination of one or two fruits. Combinations like these can include either the fruit pulp, fruit juice, or both. Milk, water, or honey are usually added to smoothen the mixture. Add-ons such as oatmeal, wheat germ, brown sugar, and dried herbs are also included for more specialized effects such as a pimple treatment, flaking, and oily skin.
Skincare using natural ingredients offers great variety. There are facial cleansers, scrubs, moisturizing creams, and face masks. Don't worry, because indications for use are usually found with the recipes. The recipes indicate whether the mixture is for normal, dry, oily, sensitive, and acne-prone skin. Some are even more specialized as blackhead removers or whitening solutions.
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Natural skincare routines have many advantages.
# 1)The ingredients are easily available and the choices are great.
They are also natural, thus, greatly reducing risks of allergies or skin irritations.
# 2) The ingredients are cheap, which translates into more savings for you.
# 3) You can modify the recipes to suit your needs.
Since the risks for irritations are minimal, experimentations are relatively safe.
# 4) Vitamins and antioxidants are naturally found in fruits, while milk and honey have restorative
properties. Therefore, you get the same vitamins found in commercial products while limiting
or eradicating chemicals.
As these skincare recipes use natural ingredients, they require refrigeration and can only keep for a week. However, it is better to make these in small quantities or batches for immediate use. In addition, these recipes contain natural hydroxy acids and vitamins for direct and instant skin rejuvenation.
Last, but not least: Don't forget to keep fit by exercising, having a balanced, healthy diet, and regular sleep. With these prerequisites and your new skincare solutions, you're on your way to having healthy skin that can top what science can offer. Now, that's what you call natural.
I hope you found this article useful to you! If so, I hope you'll follow my blog and also share this article with someone else who might be interested in it.
If you want to read more articles on skin-care, and if you're interested in how French women do it, check out my article on How to do skin-care like French women.
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Have you tried over and over again to create a morning routine, but you just can’t stick with it? Me too! But I’ve figured out how to do it. And so can you!
The key is to make it flexible.
Now, you may think that sounds strange – it’s a routine, shouldn’t it be … not flexible?
Well, the answer to that is yes and no.
It’s also important to make the routine manageable. There’s no point trying to make working out in the morning a routine if you don’t have time for it.
Why flexibility is important
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You may think the point of a routine is to make different actions into habits. And that’s one way to look at it.
Another way to look at it is that a routine helps you have time for the things you want to do more of. It’s also self care in the sense that you take time out of your day to do something for yourself.
That may be reading, it may be to cook a healthy lunch, or working out. It all depends on what YOU want.
But a strict routine doesn’t take into account that not every day is the same. You may oversleep, or you may have slept bad and you don’t have the energy to go through a whole routine.
That’s why having a flexible routine is important.
Create your perfect morning routine
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So, imagine your perfect morning routine. You feel rested and energized and you have enough time.
It’s a good idea to write this down. Because now, we’re going to start messing with it.
The idea of a perfect morning routine is great, but, as I touched upon, not all mornings are perfect. That’s where having a flexible routine is useful – and when I figured this out, it was a revelation.
Some people talk about having a “habit menu”, and there is also a book by Stephen Guise called Elastic Habits.
So how do we take the perfect morning routine and make it flexible?
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The key to making a flexible routine is to make alternatives. I think it’s important that all alternatives involve some of the same elements, because it’s not really a routine if not, is it?
If you just do different things every morning, it’s not a routine. And instead of maybe give you a nice start to the day or help you reach your goals, you’re just doing random stuff.
Lateral and vertical flexibility
The variations of your morning routine should involve some of the same elements, but there needs to be both lateral and vertical flexibility.
What I mean by that, is that you need variations on how much you do, and how intense it is.
An example: If you want to work out in the morning, you can have a small, medium or large goal. But you can also vary the intensity.
So, say you’re pressed for time, but are really energetic, you can work out for 15 minutes with high intensity. If you have more time, but less energy, you may want to do a 30 minute yoga session.
Both of those activities belong in the category of “working out” as part of your routine (if that is something you’ve included).
Examples and inspiration to make your own perfect, but flexible, morning routine
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Earlier, I asked you to imagine your perfect morning routine. But maybe nothing came to mind, you just know that you want to make a routine to get a better start to your day. So, I would suggest taking a few minutes to think of what you want to achieve with your morning routine. Do you want to have a calm, relaxing start to the day, or do you want to feel like you’ve achieved something first thing in the morning, or maybe you just want to make your mornings run more smoothly?
Examples of some alternatives
There are a few things I want to incorporate more of in my life. Working out, reading and learning a new language are some of those goals.
But I also want to be kind to myself. Therefore, my routine(s) have elements of both working on my goals, and having a relaxed morning.
So a low energy morning routine may look like this:
A high energy morning routine may look like this:
And a low on time morning routine may look like this:
As you can see, you can vary the amount of time or energy you spend on an activity, depending on how you feel and what you have time for.
Picture by Ivan Samkov from Pexels
Right now I don’t have that many items in my morning routine, but If I’m really short of time or am really low on energy, I may completely omit a habit that day.
That’s the great thing about a flexible routine – it allows for you to stick to the same elements, but vary them depending on time and energy.
And that’s how you stick to a morning routine, you have to make the routine work for you.
I hope you found this article valuable! If so, feel free to share it with someone else who might like it, too. And of course I would be very happy if you would follow my blog and subscribe to my newsletter!
See you soon!
In my previous blog article I wrote about why I don't think you should make new year resolutions and what I think you should do instead. Today's article is kind of a follow-up on that, and today I want to focus on the resolutions many people make when it comes to improving their health, such as to lose weight, stop smoking or join the neighborhood health club.
While it is common to set high goals, experts say that setting smaller goals could do more for our health. James O. Hill, Ph.D., Director of the Center for Human Nutrition at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, says (and I quote):
"Small steps are achievable and are easier to fit into
your daily routine. They are less overwhelming than
a big, sudden change."
Here are 10 small steps I suggest that you try:
Step # 1: Keep an eye on your weight
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I don't mean that you should get obsessive about what you weigh - quite the contrary, actually, because the scale might lie or not give the full picture. It's really your measures that are most important. But still: Keep an eye on your weight and work on making sure you are not gaining extra pounds / kilos. Even if you gain just a pound or two every year, the extra weight adds up quickly. That being said: When you're trying to lose weight and you might have taken up exercise and you're starting to build muscles, be aware that your muscles add weight, too, so that's why I'm saying the scales might lie.
Step # 2: Walk more / add more steps
Take more small steps. Use a pedometer to count your daily steps; then add 2,000, the equivalent of one extra mile. Keep adding steps, 1,000 to 2,000 each month or so, until you take 10,000 steps on most days.
Step #3: Eat breakfast.
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Breakfast eaters tend to weigh less and have better diets overall.
For a filling and nutrition-packed breakfast, eat whole grains, for example oatmeal, with fresh fruit slices and low-fat or fat-free milk. A little bit of yoghurt is also a good option, preferably fat- and sugar free ones like Greek yoghurt.
Step # 4: Go nuts!
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Nuts are good for you. They are a great source of necessary nutrients such as protein, fat, vitamins, minerals and fiber. Some nuts you could eat are walnuts, hazelnuts, pecan, pistachios, almonds and peanuts, A handfull a day, or as little as 7 walnuts, are enough. Add some berries or fruit, and you have a delicious and easy snack meal.
Step # 5. Have at least one salad per day
Have at least one green salad every day. Eating a salad (with low-fat or fat-free dressing) is filling and may help you eat less during the meal. It also counts toward your five daily cups of vegetables and fruits.
Step # 6: Cut down on the fat
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Fat has a lot of calories, and calories count. Purchase lean meats, eat poultry without the skin, switch to lower-fat cheeses, use a nonstick pan with only a little bit of oil or butter.
Step # 7: Consider calcium
by including two or three daily servings of low-fat or fat-free milk or yogurt. Dairy calcium is good for your bones and may also help you lose weight.
Step # 8: Downsize
The smaller the plate or bowl, the less you will eat. This can keep you from over-eating.
Step # 9: Keep track of your eating.
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Write down what you eat over the next couple of days and look for problem spots. Often, just writing things down can help you eat less.
The last step is something to consider only if you are over-weight - otherwise you can skip this:
Step #10: Lose just 5 to 10 percent of your current weight.
The health benefits are huge: lower blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol and triglycerides.
Overall - and this could be an additional important step:
Move your body more!
A great way to make sure you do that, is to try my FREE 12 Days of More Activity Challenge and also get my FREE downloadable Year of Activity Calendar for 2022.
I hope you found this article useful.
If losing weight is something you want to do, but you don't really know how to go about it in a healthy way, I have written an article about just that: How You Can Lose Weight The Healthy Way
I have also written other articles about health and nutrition, and a good follow-up on this article that you've read here, is the one that I've called How To Put Together A Meal Plan And Eat Your Stress Away, - and if you want to learn how to get lean and strong like a French woman without even breaking a sweat, you can read more about that here.
I would be happy if you would follow my blog, and also share this article with someone you think might find it useful.
See you soon - or as the French say it:
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What you do on Sunday can determine the week ahead of you. If you spend your Sunday prepping for the following week, you can set yourself up for success. And it doesn’t need to take more than an hour.
Over the past few years, I have realised that the way I spend my Sunday greatly affects the rest of my week.
“Spend your Sunday wisely, and you’ll set yourself up for success in the upcoming week”.
But what does that mean, and isn’t Sundays for relaxing?
Yes, Sundays are for relaxing. But I find that if I spend all of Sunday relaxing, I feel unprepared for the week when I wake up on Monday.
And so, spending just one, maybe two hours out of the whole day, in order to prepare for the upcoming week is what helps me.
What to do, the breakdown
What you need to do to feel prepared for the week may differ from person to person. But I like to break it down in categories: making the house feel fresh and ready, going through papers and digital clutter, making a game plan, and making myself feel fresh and ready.
Making the house feel fresh and ready
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When preparing for the upcoming week, I like to start with the house. This is usually what is most time consuming and labour intensive, so I like getting it out of the way.
What I do depends on a few factors, but I always make sure to take the rubbish out and clean the kitchen. Which means, I’ll start by emptying and reloading the dishwasher and wash any dishes that needs washing by hand.
I then continue on to scrubbing the sink and wiping down the counters.
The rest depends on what needs doing. I might tidy up things that are out of order or fold and put away clean laundry. Because we all know laundry takes 4-5 days, right? 1 day to wash and dry and then 3-4 business days to get folded and put away, haha!
Picture by Sarah Chai from Pexels.
By doing these little things, the house feels fresh and ready for the week.
Going through my papers and digital clutter
Picture by Anete Lusina from Pexels. Picture by Monstera from Pexels.
Papers and digital clutter have a tendency of sneaking up on us. That’s why I like to spend a little time just going through them to see what I need to do with them.
Papers are easy enough, you know: checking my notes, checking if there is a bill that needs paying, is there any junk mail that I haven’t thrown out yet?
Cleaning up digital clutter may take a little bit longer, depending on how much there is, but I strongly recommend you take 10-15 minutes to go through it.
I like to go through the screenshots on my phone to note down what’s important and delete what’s not.
I also sort and delete e-mails and unsubscribe from newsletters. And I’m quite hard on newsletters, I unsubscribe from both the ones I don’t want, but also the ones I signed up for because I wanted them, but never end up reading.
Making a game plan
Picture by Peachy Boss from Pexels.
After cleaning, tidying, and going through my papers, I sit down to make a game plan for the upcoming week. And when I do, I ask myself these questions:
- What are the chores I need to get done?
- Do I have any appointments I need to remember?
- What will I be making for dinner?
- Is there any particular workout I want to get done?
I plan these things out, because it takes the decision making out of the day-to-day. When I have written down what needs doing, I can spend my energy on different things.
Usually, I also try to not have any more than 3 items on my day-to-day to-do lists. Any more than that, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed.
I also prioritize the list, so I have one important task every day. The rest are “nice to do” if I have the time. If not, they can be done some other day.
Making myself feel fresh and ready
Picture by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels.
As I touched upon earlier, Sundays are for resting. Which is an important part of feeling fresh and ready for the upcoming week.
It depends a bit on my mood, but on Sundays, I actually prefer having a quiet morning and mid-day, before doing the prep-tasks in the afternoon.
Picture by cottonbro from Pexels.
Usually I prefer doing tasks and chores before relaxing, but there is something special about a quiet Sunday morning with a nice cup of tea or coffee.
After completing my prep-tasks in the afternoon, I like having a shower or a bath to relax, and spend the evening reading or watching a movie or a tv-show.
It may seem daunting, but do it anyways
Doing all of this may seem daunting, but it really doesn’t take as long as you think it will. I usually spend less than an hour on tidying, cleaning, sorting papers and planning.
And when everything is done, I get to relax more.
Spending ONE hour on Sunday preparing for the upcoming week, just makes everything run more smoothly.
I hope this article was of value to you! If so, I hope you'll follow my blog and also share the article with someone else who may be interested.
Are you especially stressed out right now because of the upcoming Christmas season? Check out my Christmas planners! They can make it easier for you to plan 1) Advent Calendar Gifts (maybe a bit late, but there's still time!), 2) What you are going to clean, 3) What you are going to bake, and 4) What you are going to give as Christmas presents this year. The planners are totally FREE! Just download and print them from this link, and you're good to go! They're my present for you!
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For the last decade or two I've been struggling with overweight. It's been frustrating, and even depressing at times, because I've felt that the person looking back at me in the mirror has been kind of a stranger. It's not been me. Not the real me. Because I've always been lean and strong and fit, and that just hasn't been the case for the last 10-20 years. My overweight hasn't been extreme, but it's definitly not been healty.
Sometimes I've wondered "What the heck happened!?" - and I've tried everything to get back in shape, - but I actually do know what happened: It's been health issues that have prevented me from being active the way I used to, and stress and worries around that have just added to the equation. I've been struggling with fatigue, and also dizziness, and this has made it hard for me to exercise the way I used to. I've also had a few periods where I've been through some difficult times emotionally concerning other areas of my life, and this has also added to the stress, - and it's actually been scientifically proved that stress has a tendency to add to the weight gain, especially around the waist.
I haven't really been obese, but I'm not so tall (I'm 163 cm), so going from being a person who never weighed over 60 kilos up until the age of 40, to then gaining almost 20 kilos extra over a very short time, - was definitly not good for me. I didn't really notice it at first, but going from always having been an active person to suddenly - almost over-night - not being able to do much exercise due to (among other things) fatigue and dizziness (caused by a blow to the head which resulted in Post Concussion Syndrome) - it soon got me into a state of overweight and a negative development healthwise. My BMI (Body Mass Index) has been around 28 (the BMI of obesity is around 30), so I've not been happy with the situation. (You can read more about BMI and obesity on WHO's website.)
I don't want to get too scientific in this article, because my main focus is going to be on what you can actually DO to lose weight in a healthy way, and which is the way I myself am slowly but steadily getting back into shape now. Let's just look at a few facts first to get this topic into perspective and why I find it so important to address it:
According to WHO (World Health Organization, worldwide obesity has nearly tripled since 1975. Let's look at some key facts published on WHO's official website - and I quote:
Until now, obesity continues to be a serious problem and is predicted to reach epidemic levels within a short period of time.
And here's the thing, and the reason why I decided to write an article on this, for you and me both:
One way to prevent this scenario is to make people aware of the risks of being overweight or obese.
So education on this topic is very important, and I've decided to get as much knowledge about it as possible, because I want to help myself and other people to heal from overweight and obesity and get our health - and our lives! - back.
Not to scare you, but here are some diseases that you are putting yourself in risk of if you are carrying a lot of extra pounds:
1. heart disease
Losing weight helps to prevent and control these diseases.
Photo by Pavel Danilyuk from Pexels
Let me just make it clear right away:
The quick weight loss methods which have spread like fire these days do not provide lasting results. More often than not, dieting methods which involve dietary drinks, foods and supplements or pills do not work. If they do, the results are just temporary. It is better to rely on a healthy weight loss option which will provide lifetime results. You have to set realistic goals and not expect to lose a lot of pounds in a short span of time.
Here are some tips on how you can lose those unwanted pounds the healthy way:
1. Do not starve yourself.
Photo by Inna Lykasevuch from Pexels
The key to a healthier way of losing weight is: Do not diet. You may seem happy and feel that you are losing those unwanted flabs on your belly and thighs by skipping meals. But remember that this would not last long. Your body cannot tolerate having insufficient food to fuel the energy that you use up everyday.
If you get used to skipping one or two meals a day, your stored calories will be used up instead of the energy that should have been provided by your meals. So if you
just eat one huge sandwich in one day, it will end up straight to your problem area (i.e. thighs, buttocks, hips).
2. Start your day right.
Photo by Life Of Pix from Pexels
Mothers always say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Have a healthy meal in the morning to jump-start your metabolism.
Your food intake after you wake up will be used to burn fat all day long.
3. Eat small, healthy meals frequently.
Five small-serving snacks per day is better than three hearty meals. Eating more frequently, and in small servings, can prevent overeating. This will also increase your metabolism and make calories burn faster.
4. Decide on how much weight you want to lose.
Keep your goals realistic. In the long run, it is virtually impossible for you to lose 40 pounds in 2 weeks. Have a mindset that you want to eat healthy to stay healthy for the rest of your life. Once you have decided on a weight loss plan or program, stick to it and make sure that you follow your own set of dieting rules.
5. Drink lots of water.
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels.
Your body needs sufficient water to burn fat and keep your cells hydrated and healthy.
6. Avoid too much sugar.
Plan your meals around lots of fruits and vegetables, some bread, rice or pasta for that carbo fix that you need, plus lean meat and protein-rich foods.
Sweets, sodas and pastries should be once-in-a-while indulgences only.
7. Watch your fat intake.
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Fat is not the culprit to being overweight. You need this to keep your weight at the proper level.
There is such a thing as healthy fats. Olive, peanuts and canola oil have them. Tuna, salmon and mackerel have omega-3 fats which is good for the heart.
Leave your car if you are only going a few blocks from home, take the stairs instead of the elevator, jog, cycle or skate. Use these activities and other home chores if you are too lazy to go to the gym and take exercise classes. Make sure that you do this regularly and you will not even notice that you are already shedding pounds with these mundane activities. It does not matter how much weight you plan or need to lose. What is important is
that you set realistic goals for yourself.
Go slow. If you have already lost 5 or 6 pounds, give yourself a break then try to lose the next 5 pounds.
Eat healthy, drink lots of water, have enough sleep and exercise. This will give you a higher chance of losing weight and improving your health, which would result in a new, healthier you.
I also suggest that you take advantage of my other FREE resource on this matter, which is my brand new Year of Activity Calendar 2022. Each month has a beautiful and inspiring picture of people doing some kind of activity and tips on what you could try that month. It's downloadable and printable and completely FREE! Get it now!
I hope you have found this article to be of value to you. If so, please feel free to share it with others and also follow my blog.
Other articles you might like: 12 Ways You Can Get Chic And Fit Like A French Woman Without Even Breaking A Sweat, 8 Reasons Why The French Don't Diet, And Why You Don't Have To Either, and How To Put Togehter A Meal Plan And Eat Your Stress Away
It’s easy to let one bad day ruin the rest of our week. But you know what? We get to start fresh EACH and EVERY day! If you reset your week instead of letting your bad days bring you down, you will see such a difference in your life over time. And this is how to do it.
I know that in the past, if I didn’t meet my goals of a certain week, I would think “I’ll start again on Monday”. But with that mindset, we let one bad day, maybe even just one bad HOUR, dictate the rest of our week.
And we all know that Monday rolls around, and then suddenly it’s “I’ll start next Monday”. But by letting each and every day be a fresh start we can change our lives and see so much more progress on the projects we’re working on.
Why you need a reset
It’s so easy getting stuck in that mindset of not doing enough, not managing or just failing. Because I think a lot of us spiral.
So, when we don’t achieve our first task of the day, it’s easy to drop the ball on the next task too, and the next one, and next one. You see where I’m going with this, right?
Most of us may let a bad morning affect the rest of our day. Because when we fail to do something, we feel it’s useless to continue with the rest of the tasks too.
Don’t let one bad moment or hour ruin the rest of your day and week.
What to do when you’re having a bad day
If you feel like you’re having a bad day and you’re not achieving your goals, take a time-out.
OK, so maybe you didn’t finish that project for work, or you didn’t work out this morning. Whatever it is that you feel you didn’t get done, take a small time-out.
Tell yourself this “I have not ruined my progress just because I didn’t reach my goal today”. Have a cup of tea, go for a short walk. Do something that gets you out of your own head.
By taking a step back and removing ourselves from the situation we can look at it with fresh eyes.
Why resets are helpful
When you complete a mid-week reset, rather than waiting to start again on Monday, you help yourself realise that it’s not all black and white. It’s not all-or-nothing.
“One small detour isn’t going to ruin everything you’ve been working on.”
In the long run, this way of thinking will help you achieve more of the things you want to achieve.
Why the all-or-nothing mindset is unproductive
Let’s use changing your diet as an example (because I think that’s something many of us can relate to):
So, Monday morning rolls around, and you have a goal of what to eat in order to change your diet and make it healthier.
And you may do well for three days, but because you maybe made your new diet plan too restrictive, you then crack. You eat something that’s not in your “plan”. And with an all-or-nothing mindset this will, more often than not, lead to you eating more of those things that are “not in your plan”, and abandon the new way of eating.
Then you think “Oh shit, I’ve ruined it. It’s no point, I’ll start again on Monday”. Maybe you even feel guilty for having abandoned your new eating plan so soon.
This is why we need to reset.
Anyone working with bettering people’s health, will tell you that what matters is what you do 80 % of the time.
So instead of having an all-or-nothing mindset, allow yourself to reset, and just try to make small changes at a time.
How to reset
Do the laundry...
So far I’ve told you why you may need a reset, and why they are helpful. But how do you actually do it? How do you reset when you’re having a bad day?
When I need to reset my week, I start by completing a small task. Usually, I pick something off my to-do list that I haven’t gotten around to doing yet.
My first task of any reset may be running a load of laundry, watering my plants, or planning out dinners for the rest of the week. You know, just something small to get you started.
It’s all about creating momentum. When you are successful at completing one task, it will motivate and inspire you to keep going.
It’s kind of like when people recommend for you to start your day by making your bed. By doing so, you start your day with a small achievement.
Give yourself a fresh start
Make a coffee or tea and take it with you outside... (picture by Keira Burton from Pexels)
I think a mid-week (or even a mid-day) reset is helpful because they give us a fresh start.
And fresh starts mean more motivation and higher spirits.
Just remember that my reset may differ from your reset. Maybe you want to do something completely different from what I’m doing.
If you want, you can even make a reset-routine. Because you might not want to do chores in order to reset. Maybe you just want to take a step back and take a break.
There isn’t one right way to do a reset, you just have to find what works for you, and what helps you getting out of a rut when you’re having a bad day.
For me that might be tackling my to-do list, for you it might be to make a coffee or tea and take it with you outside for 5 minutes.
It doesn’t matter. But I will highly recommend you to implement resets in your life, so you have a way of tackling bad days, and not have those bad days ruin the rest of your week.
If you liked this article, I hope you'll share it with someone else who might like it too, and also follow my blog.
When you’re stressed out, the foods that you’re turning to are most likely going to be traditional ‘comfort’ foods like big meals, take-away, fatty foods, sweet foods, and alcohol. I'm sure we’ve all found some comfort in a tasty meal and a bottle of beer or glass of wine when we’ve been stressed out or upset. This isn’t a good permanent solution, though.
If you’ve been feeling more stressed out than usual lately, it’s important to know which foods are best to choose and which to avoid when it comes to combating stress and helping you to deal with feelings of stress and anxiety. The best way to fight stress is to have a healthy, balanced diet which includes a moderate amount of each of the different food groups.
To ensure that your body gets the optimum amounts of nutrients to fight both physical and mental health problems, filling up on foods such as whole grains, leafy vegetables, and lean proteins as the basic staples of the diet is the best way. When it comes to choosing the foods to eat, some have a range of great properties which help the body to combat stress. Choosing these stress-busting foods will help to heal and calm your mind permanently, rather than providing a temporary fix.
Some of the best stress-fighting foods include:
Photo by Anne from Pexels.
Avocado is a creamy and versatile fruit which can be eaten in a range of different ways whether you enjoy it raw, made into sauces, dressings and dips, or in a smoothie. This nutrient-dense fruit have the properties to stress-proof your body, thanks to its high glutathione content which specifically blocks the intestinal absorption of certain fats which cause oxidative damage. Avocados also contain higher levels of vitamin E, folate, and beta-carotene than any other fruit, which boosts their stress-busting properties. However, be careful with portion control when eating avocado, as it is high in fat.
Photo by Angele J from Pexels.
Swapping chocolate or chips for one of the best superfoods is a great way to help you deal with your stress levels and achieve a higher level of calm. Blueberries have some of the highest levels of antioxidants, especially antho-cyanin, which means that this berry has been linked to a wide range of health benefits including sharper cognition, better focus, and a clearer mind – all of which can help you to better deal with stress.
Photo by cottonbro from Pexels
Of course, it’s not all about what you’re eating when it comes to managing stress; what you’re drinking can also alleviate or worsen the stress you're feeling. Drinking liquids which are high in sugars and caffeine, such as coffee, energy drinks or soda, can actually increase your stress levels if consumed regularly. Chamomile tea has long been used as a natural bedtime soother, and it has also been used in clinical trials, which determined that chamomile tea is effective in reducing the symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder.
Photo by Vie Studio from Pexels
Although it’s usually seen as an unhealthy treat, there is an undeniable link between chocolate and our mood. Studies have shown that eating chocolate can actually make you happier. However, that doesn’t mean that you can have a chocolate bar every time you're stressed out. Chocolate works best as a de-stressor when eaten in moderation and as part of a healthy and balanced diet. Dark chocolate in particular is best for you, as it contains more flavonols and polyphenols, which are two hugely important antioxidants that can help combat stress more than many fruit juices.
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Grass-fed beef is not only kinder to the planet and to animals, it’s also good for people, too. Grass-fed beef has a huge range of antioxidants, including beta-carotene and Vitamins C and E, which can help your body fight stress and anxiety. If you’re looking for more reasons to spend a little more money on organic, grass-fed beef, it’s also lower in fat than grain-fed beef whilst being higher in omega-3.
Photo by Keegan Evans from Pexels
Oatmeal is great in that it can be a filling comfort food, but it also has a large number of healthy properties to actually make you feel better from the inside out. As it is a complex carbohydrate, eating oatmeal causes your brain to produce higher levels of the feel-good chemical serotonin, helping you to feel calmer and less stressed.
Photo by Yusuf Arslan from Pexels
If you’re looking for a healthy snacking option thatwill help you to stay better in control of your stress levels, walnuts are a great choice. They have a sweet, pleasant flavor, and they can be a tasty snack for in-between meals or as part of a desert. Walnuts are also great for salads, or you can include them in a sweet treat such as coffee and walnut cake.
Photo by Anton Uniqueton from Pexels
Pistachios is another food which is great for snacking on and can also help to combat stress and anxiety in the long term. Studies have found that simply eating two small, snack-size portions of pistachios per day can lower vascular constriction when you are stressed, putting less pressure on your heart by further dilating your arteries. The rhythmic, repetitive act of shelling pistachios can actually also be quite therapeutic. :)
Leafy green vegetables
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Leafy, green vegetables should be an important part of any diet. Along with helping to combat stress, leafy greens are full of nutrients and antioxidants which help to fight off disease and leave your body feeling healthier and more energized.
Dark leafy greens, for example spinach, are especially good for you since they are rich in folate, which helps your body to produce more mood-regulating neurotransmitters such as serotonin, which is a ‘feel-good’ chemical. Making leafy greens a part of your diet will help you to feel happier and less stressed out overall.
Photo by Any Lane from Pexels
Last but not least, eating fermented foods such as yogurt can help to keep your gut healthy, which actually in turn will help to improve your mental health and reduce stress levels. The beneficial bacteria which are found in fermented foods such as yogurt, actually have a direct effect on your brain chemistry and transmit positive mood and behavior regulating signals to your brain via the vagus nerve.
Putting together your meal plan
Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels
Planning your meals wisely is key to not only staying physically fit and healthy, but also to staying mentally strong and being able to best manage your levels of stress. Knowing which foods to avoid and which are the best to reach for to snack on when you’re feeling worried and anxious is important to helping you get control over your emotions and fears.
Having stress-busting snacks such as fresh berries, dark chocolate, yogurt, walnuts or pistachios, or even a fruit smoothie with avocado and leafy greens in it, can help you to feel better in both the short and long term when it comes to stress. The most important thing is to make sure that for the most part, you're eating a diet that is healthy and balanced.
To stay on track, it’s a good idea to make a meal plan for your week. Plan ahead to make sure that you have a good selection of these stress-busting foods in your kitchen, so you can make meals and snacks from them when you’re feeling like stress-eating. Making sure that the majority of your meals include foods such as lean proteins and leafy green vegetables will not only make you feel healthier overall, but can improve your mental health and stress levels, too.
A good example of a healthy, stress-busting menu could be:
Breakfast: Oatmeal with berries or a fruit smoothie with avocado and berries.
Mid-morning snack: Natural yogurt with fruit or a handful of pistachio nuts.
Lunch: A whole-grain pasta salad filled with plenty of leafy greens.
Afternoon snack: Dark chocolate.
Dinner: Grass-fed beef with vegetables.
Before bed: Chamomile tea.
This was just an exampel of a menu, to give you a good idea.
Remember to exercise good portion control when eating foods such as nuts, chocolate, yogurt or avocado! As the saying goes, you are what you eat – so make sure that first and foremost, you’re filling yourself up with foods which are good for your mental health.
I hope this article was of value to you. I'll be writing more about health and nutrion on a regular basis, so if this is something you're interested in, I hope you'll like and follow my blog. Feel free to share it with someone else who might like it, too.