My handsome colleague Danyal is convinced I’m taking medication. He can’t believe a person can be so upbeat and energized whilst being so busy! I’m not on medication as it turns out, but there are certain things that I do that make me function on all cylinders. I’m by no means perfect, and I certainly have my bad and low moments, but I want to share with you what I do on a regular basis to stay on fabulous form:
- Get my ‘5 a day’ – normally in a juice. I love ‘fast’ food. A juice is an easy way to get my 5 a day all in one shot. I need good nutrition to energise myself and set me up for the day. It also helps take away my cravings for not so good food throughout the day. I normally go with something green, like spinach, apple, mango or pineapple, cucumber, avocado with added supergreen powders like wheatgrass and spirulina. Then if I do eat cake later in the day, at least I can feel less bad knowing I had a good nutrient shot in the morning!
- Prayer and gratitude – The single biggest influence on my life and mood at the moment is prayer. Connecting to a higher source, asking for guidance and signs to be my best and give my best to others is very important to me. I understand not everyone is religious, so a daily gratitude ritual is also important. I am constantly feeling thankful for all I am blessed with. I make it a priority to write this down or recall 3 wonderful things every morning and every evening, and even at spare opportunities.
- I cry – I cry a lot. Sometimes in joy, often in sorrow. It’s very important to be in touch with your emotions. Repressed emotions can lead to stress, increased cortisol and increased risk of illness. Deal with your emotions by getting them out in the open. Connect with yourself. I’m not saying you have to cry on the tube to that lovely Heathrow Christmas Ad (sometimes I can be too in touch with my emotions!) but don’t suppress emotions. For those of you not quite as comfortable with free flowing emotion, you might prefer to write down how you are feeling and why in an emotion journal to help you understand yourself.
- Know yourself – I know myself better than anyone else does. I have good instincts, I trust my habits. For example, I know I’m not good in the mornings, so I have stopped telling myself I am going to wake up at 6am to go to the gym, only to feel frustrated myself that I stayed in bed! I make realistic goals for myself and work things into my routine. I always try and do more, I always want to push myself and sometimes I berate myself for not doing more, but at the end of the day, I do ok overall, so I need to stop trying to do more and instead fit things into my routine and what has worked for me time and time again.
- Supplements – I don’t over-supplement, but I keep my immune system up with B vitamins, magnesium, vitamin D3 and keep my gut healthy with probiotics and digestive enzymes. I take a hair and skin supplement over winter, and if I am feeling run down I take an immune booster. When I am stressed out I take some ashwaganda, an ayurvedic herb, that helps. I assess how I am feeling and then supplement appropriately.
- Be kind to myself – and to those I interact with. I try and be gentle with myself when I am stressed out or busy or eat a whole giant bar of dairy milk fruit and nut. One mad move doesn’t make me a bad person, and isn’t everything I am. I try to be kind to people I meet, I don’t always succeed and I’m not perfect, but I try. It’s more important to be kind than to be right. You feel good, and you’ll leave others feeling good too. I love doing things for others. It is rewarding, and stops me being too egocentric.
- Routine – I do better when I have a steady routine. I work better when I sleep and wake up at similar times. I work better when I schedule in regular exercise and prepare my juices. Life can get so busy and I have a slight self-destructive streak, but when it does, I come back to my routine.