7 Mindful Tips That Helped Heal Me

7 mindful tips to help you heal

Screw you lockdown…..I need to heal and calm my anxiety!

I’d been struggling with anxiety as it is. My youngest had his first year of school in 2020 and as with all other preppies (and everyone else for the matter) it wasn’t an amazing first year of school. So, heading into grade 1 and with “unprecedented” times” [gosh if I hear that saying one more time I’ll scream] I had anxiety about settling him into his new class with a new teacher who knew nothing about him (unlike existing teachers at the school) and I wasn’t even allowed to be onsite in the class room. Having a special needs child is emotionally exhausting because we live our lives planning ahead, commentating life, and anticipating meltdowns day in and day out. So not being able to have a plan for him in his first week back was hard.

7 mindful tips to help you heal

I woke at 230am the night before school started. Wide awake, feeling anxious about the week ahead. There’s that feeling in the pit of your stomach, your heart is beating and you’re pacing around the house trying to remember why you walked into the bedroom or laundry. You’re exhausted and overtired yet you can’t sleep and are wide awake all hours of the morning overthinking everything and stressing about the fact you can’t get to sleep.

You finally get to sleep and then wake only a few hours later to go through the same cycle. Becoming more and more exhausted and sleep deprived but so over tired that you can’t get back to sleep night after night. It goes on for days and days, sometimes week whilst you’re racking your brain as to why. Why the F*** can’t I sleep, why am I exhausted and why am I feeling so anxious??

But this time I knew why I was anxious. It was a new school year, new teacher, no plan…..and then add to that a trial at athletics where again I was anticipating a meltdown if he didn’t win. The excitement of school was real. He loves going to school to see his friends and teachers but each evening was a battle. I get it, all young children are tired readjusting to full school days again but the meltdowns and fierce anger started. So it was an afternoon bath to relax him…..I should have been in a bath doused in lavender oil myself lol.  The nights for me in the first week were extreme. Managing meltdowns as well as my own anxiety and exhausted-ness (is that even a word).

As things started to ease towards the end of week two…..BAM the announcement we all dreaded. “Circuit Breaker 5 Day Lockdown” hits. And like every Melbournian came the words “Oh for FUCKSAKE, not again”

There was something different about this lockdown announcement for me. I wasn’t going to let it define me or consume my way of thinking this time. Last time I emotionally ate, cakes, chocolate, plenty of coffee and any carbs that would come my way. I decided I was going to take care of me and choose to see it as a 5 day long weekend and maintain some self care and wellbeing for my own mental health.

I’d joined the gym and started enjoying Aqua HIIT, was walking every day for a minimum of 30 minutes, was creating more, studying online, doing visual meditations and felt more calm overall. I get it, not everyone is there yet or has the time for all of that but what I found was things I genuinely enjoyed doing that gave me clarity and filled my cup.

December 2020 I also started seeing an acupuncturist and my goodness I couldn’t recommend acupuncture enough. My first session I walked in a blubbering mess, offloading and verbal vomiting all that had been going on. My body was in shut down and with stored trauma for a number of reasons but with a number of sessions I was starting to heal.

I finally started to feel me again, with clarity, healing from the trauma of 2020 and finding myself. I was honouring my feelings and stepping into them. I’ve become the crier. I’ve never been a crier. I was one of those people that really only cries at a funeral or in an extreme situation but I’ve fast found myself crying at all the TV shows, my kids growth and achievements and more. It’s like a build up of tears just come out now for the smallest reason.

Why am I sharing all of this you’re probably asking? Because I get it, I get anxiety and stress too. Life isn’t all roses and as we all know social media plays a big role in mental health and how we perceive things. I try to share real and raw things with you all, hence why I’m writing this blog.

So I wanted to share 7 things that have really helped me over the last 6 months:

  • Cry, let it all out because holding on to it causes body trauma. And with body trauma comes symptomatic pain which gets worse and worse
  • Try different treatments, whether it’s acupuncture, chiropractor, massage, psychology, traditional medicine, Chinese medicine. Keep trying different treatments until you find something that you like, and find helps you
  • Meditation, has really helped me. I’ve spoken in the past about not meditating every day but over the last few months I’ve worked hard to meditate every day. Whether it’s a 10 minute or 30 minute meditation, do what works. I started with short 5 minute ones and as I relaxed more, I expanded them in length. You can check out some basic meditations on our YouTube channel that I’ve created CLICK HERE
  • Read, Draw, Be Creative, I spent four (4) months studying so a lot of quiet time, reading, watching videos and learning about something that fills my cup and that has helped me. So do something for you, slow down and read, learn something new, draw. Whatever it is, it slows your mind yet keeps you occupied in the present moment
  • Affirmations & Intentions, at the end of each meditation I will say 5-10 affirmations and then set an intention with my crystals before putting them down my bra. I really just sit in a quiet place in the house and say them out loud (not screaming lol) but loud enough for my brain to process them. Intentions for the day….not long term intention. Really just small daily intentions to get through day by day.
  • Walking, I walk just about every day. Even if it’s only 30 minutes. Not to loose weight but more for mental clarity cos I also put a playlist on of fast paced, positive music that lifts my vibe. I’m a music lover. There’s something about a song that I really connect to. It impacts me alot. Whether it’s uplifting, heartbreaking, meditation, accoustic. You name it I connect with it so music and walking is something that’s worked for me. Don’t worry there has been times that I just haven’t wanted to, couldn’t be bothered but I just made a snap decision to do cos I knew I’d feel better for it afterwards.
  • Writing, whether you call it journalling, blogging, writing I’ve found it therapeutic to journal and blog. Getting it out of my head and onto paper has really helped. It’s often spoken that journalling helps yet if you are like me can sometimes get stuck with what to write. But the more I did it the more words just rolled off my pencil, Even now when I get caught overthinking things I’ll journal it out and then I find I don’t overthink or worry about that issue for the rest of the day.

I know some of these things are probably repetitive for you and some of you may be thinking “how am I going to do all of that” or “i don’t have time to do all of that”. I totally get you. I’ve been working on implementing mindfulness into my life for the last 6 years and it’s something I work on every day. I’m all about taking small steps for change as you know because I’m always banging on about small steps on social media hehe. I’ve taken small steps over the years which has helped get me to where I am now. Yes I still suffer anxiety and stress but I’m very self aware and know when and what I need to do to help myself.

So if you’re not quite there yet. Not ready to do all of the things, try picking 1 or 2 small things that you can do for 3 weeks every day which can help create a habit. Then as you get more confident at one of the strategies or tips you are using then expand to try something else. The more we try, the more we learn, the more we improve.

I hope in some way this has helped some of you, inspired you to take that first step or even just see that you aren’t alone.

Much luv and light, Kara

How to get your PEACH outta bed

One of the things I get asked the most is ‘Amanda, what’s your biggest tip on
actually GETTING out of bed?

It’s got me thinking. Other than the obvious, ‘You just do it’ or ‘what got you here
won’t get you there’ answers … how can people understand the value of the one
thing that will tick so many boxes for them? Having a solid morning routine is by far
the number one hack to living a calm and productive existence. Its where you should
start if you haven’t got any form of daily routine and its where you should improve if
you’re looking to level up.

So, when that alarm goes off an hour before you have to get up, how can you make
sure you actually pull the covers back and follow through with your intention?
A morning routine starts the night before

Before you get into bed of an evening lay your clothes out for the next day and put a
glass of water on your bedside table. If you really struggle to get up and include
movement in your routine sleep in your workout gear! (That’ll make it really hard to
not get it done. Zero excuses… You’re already dressed!)

Before you go to sleep set your alarm and say to yourself ‘thank you for the X (insert
your number) hours sleep I’m going to have. Its MORE than enough and I can’t wait
to feel energised when I wake up’. You might not feel it, but this mantra will set a
trigger in your subconscious when you wake up to follow through. Even if your alarm
flashes ‘Alarm set for 4 hrs and 37 mins’ don’t fall into the trap of convincing yourself
you’ll die with that little sleep. I mean, don’t make a habit of it, but while you’re
setting this habit you need to be consistent (also, go to bed earlier #justsayin).

Put your alarm on the other side of the room
This is particularly helpful if you have a partner who’s maybe not getting up with you.
They’ll for sure give you a nudge! There’s also only so many times you can hear your alarm relentlessly remind you that you’re being a lazy SOB who’s not doing the thing you promised yourself you would.

The big one… pull the covers back
Its time, it cant be avoided anymore. But, I have tip for you. Would I leave you at the
crucial moment? Never!

There’s no secret tip to actually pulling the covers back. No device that will do it for
you, you’ve got to do that all by yourself. But the good news is that that one simple
action will start the momentum for what’s about to happen.

Once you’re uncovered, sit up, plant your feet on the ground and say to yourself
‘Thank you for the perfect amount of sleep. I feel rested’. This will affirm your last
thought from the night before and switch your subconscious into ‘grateful’ mode.
Then, reach over and drink your glass of water.

Make your bed Straight away!! Every day.  This will cut the possibility of getting back in and block
your mindset of ‘just 5 more minutes’ or ‘but it looks so comfy’.  Now, before you
message me and say ‘But, Amanda, my partner/child/dog is still in the bed!’… it’s as
easy as making your side. Failing that, one foot in front of the other until you are
outside of the room also works. Easy as that. You’re ready to have a productive morning filled with intention (even if its as simple as some mindfulness.) If you don’t have a morning routine and have no idea where to start, message me or watch out for my upcoming blog ‘So, its 5am, what the hell do I do now?!’

Until then,
Let’s #BEBETTER together,

AH

Founder, AH Coaching

0402288374

www.ahcoaching.coach

 

How to boost your mood with what you wear!

As you all know I [Kara, Founder of My Mindful Year] am a colour lover as it impacts how I feel.  I’m not one for planning an outfit as I always dress to my mood, how I’m feeling, if I need a pick me up or some confidence etc.

I wanted to introduce to you the amazing Caitlin Marwaha, a Fashion Stylist who is sharing with us all how to dress to boost your mood. We met a few years ago through work and I love following Caitlin’s tips and fashion hacks for any budget and body shape. So, how do you boost your mood with what you wear? Keep reading…..

Can You Boost Your Mood with What You Wear?

Almost every day of this Global Pandemic I have been getting up and getting dressed with the sole intention of lifting my mood. Dressing myself happy, if you will. But does it actually work? Is it only about ‘Dopamine Dressing’ or is there more to it? Below I share my 5 tips for Positive Dressing.

1: Colour

There is no denying that some colours just make you happy, and this is why the idea of ‘Dopamine Dressing’ definitely holds water. In its simplest definition, Dopamine Dressing is “The practice of wearing bright colours in an extroverted style in order to lift one’s spirit.” The concept is pretty simple: choose colourful and fun clothes in the morning, don’t skimp on extravagance and enjoy the triggering of those happy chemicals in your brain. Now when most people think this, they immediately assume the colours need to be bright yellow, rainbows or fire truck red but in fact it’s more about how you feel in a specific colour rather than just finding the brightest items in your closet.

Go through your wardrobe and see if you can identify the colours that you feel great in, (often these are the pieces that you get the most compliments on too) and on days when you feel you need a little extra pep, choose these items. I always feel great in pink.

2: Body Shape

Build your outfit around your shape — this helps keep you comfortable and plays to your best features, which will both help to improve your mood. If you aren’t confident with how to best dress your body shape, focus on highlighting your favourite features as opposed to worrying about parts you want to hide. Often, we can get into a negative space as soon as we think about what to wear when we come from a place of hiding flaws. It is much more uplifting to focus on the features that we love about ourself and choosing outfits around highlighting them. It’s what I call body love, and it’s about actively embracing the best parts of ourselves.

3: Personal Style

At the end of the day wearing what makes you feel like the best version of yourself is what ends up looking the best on you, no matter the cut or colour. Intentionally choosing outfits that bring joy and are an accurate representation of who you are can truly brighten little bits of the darkness. When you feel like the best version of yourself, you will be comfortable and confident and it will shine through. At the heart of Personal Style is creativity and confidence and I continue to see, first-hand how style and creative dressing can be powerful tools for improving self-image, self-confidence and a positive mindset. If you really want to increase your mood through your clothing choices, lean into the pieces that reflect who you truly are.

4: Project what you want to see

Hey, sometimes we’ve got to fake it till we make it and often something as literal as a happy slogan or a smiley face on a T-Shirt can help lift our spirits. Wearing something outwardly happy can have a similar flow on effect to colour. When you choose something bold, playful or colourful, not only will it brighten your day but it will also bring a smile to those around you. This smile will be reflected back to you and those good vibes just keep flowing. If an actual smiley face (think Justine Bieber’s clothing line ‘Drew’) is a little too literal for you, try choosing things that make you smile for other reasons. It could be a little cheeky, it could be an item with sentimental value or it could be a piece of your partner’s clothing that you’ve nabbed from their closet. There are no rules but choose what feels good to you and get dressed with that sole intention.

5: Start from the outside in

When we are dressed well and look good, we automatically feel better. When we feel good on the outside, we are more likely to feel good on the inside, which boosts our attitude and self-confidence, and supplies us with more energy to treat ourselves and others around us better. Clothing is far from a superficial past time. Think of getting dressed as self-care. Take the time to choose an outfit with the sole intention of setting yourself up for a great day. It may sound indulgent or luxurious but that is exactly what you are worth and the flow on effect of you taking that time for yourself will be well worth the effort.

Caitlin Marwaha

www.caitlinmarwaha.com

@bycaitlinanne

5 Top Tips for Mindfulness

top tips for mindfulness blog

Mindfulness….the technique and word that has become “on trend” and for many people starting their mindful journey can be so overwhelming right? They tell you to eat right, exercise, journal, stay positive, meditate, do yoga and a whole lot more. And if you’re anything like me when I started, you really don’t know where to start.

 

It can be overwhelming and when you’re not in the right headspace who even knows where to start. That was me. Six years ago when I had my break down and my psychologist told me to look into mindfulness, I looked at her blankly thinking “what are you even talking about and how do you think I’ve got time to do all of those things?”   Mindful living is living with intent, self awareness, being present in your thoughts and the ability to slow your breathing and nervous system to bring calm.

 

I started with some simple basic things to help me because I knew that doing everything at once was not sustainable for me. Once I started with these few fundamentals because they were simple things I could do as a starting point.

 

1: Positive Post Its: Start by writing positive notes or quotes on post it notes around the house. Seeing and reading positive things is a good reminder [and start] to getting in the right headspace. I’m not saying every day is roses or positive but when the chips are down and you go to the toilet and happened to see a bright coloured post it note with a simple little positivity on it, it can make a difference. I’ve since turned my post its into a set of Affirmation Cards so I can see them every day.

 

2: Create a Check Point: This might be carrying something in your pocket, a drink bottle, when you touch a door handle. Every time you touch, pick up or have a drink you take a few deep breathes to calm you down. Really deep breathes….in through the nose and out through the mouth. Shallow breathing is a sign of stress and anxiety so taking deep breathes calms the nervous system and helps you be present. I carry around a crystal in my pocket so it’s a good check point for me but after recently doing some coaching with Clair Hill she suggested the door handle which has also been a good one.

 

3: Mental Stocktake: Basically a meditation….but again if you’re like me you aren’t ready to sit in a deep meditation because you start overthinking what you’re meant to be thinking when you are sitting in your own thoughts. For me I created a routine where I make my morning coffee and then pop on a meditation from Spotify (we have some on our playlist) that wasn’t deep, was only for 5 minutes and allowed me to dream. Meditation can be different for everyone so don’t put a high expectation on yourself of doing a deep 30-60min meditation when starting out. That’s why a basic Mental Stocktake can be good.

 

4: Gratitude: Again if you’re just starting out you might be thinking you have to write a list of 50 things you are grateful for. No. You. Don’t. Start by writing down at the end of each day, 1 thing you are grateful for in a journal [see Me Time Journal]. It might be your favourite song on the radio, that you went for a walk, that a friend made you smile etc. Once you’ve done this for a month, try extending out to 3 things per day.

 

5: Full Cup: We often are taking care of everyone else that we forget to take care of ourselves. Self Care is important, and something you should never feel guilty about. It doesn’t need to be costly or extravagant and can be basic things that make you smile or you love. Have a bath, watch your favourite tv show, read a book, do some colouring in, put your favourite song on and dance, or simply having a nap. So at the end of the week do something for you, to fill your cup.

 

These were all little things that I started doing when I began my mindful journey. One thing I must also remind you is that you don’t need to do them all together if it’s too much. Select maybe 1 thing and focus on doing that so it becomes a habit and part of your every day life. Small steps is better than no steps. Don’t overload yourself or compare yourself to someone else on the internet that may be further into their mindful journey than you.

 

I share many tips, techniques and strategies that work for me on social media so you can try what you resonate with. Some will work for you, some won’t. Like me, some have worked and I love and others I just can’t get the hang of, or I wasn’t a fan.

So that’s the basics to get you going, to help implement mindfulness into your world, to assist your mental health journey and becoming self aware and present in your thoughts.

I hope these top tips helped reduce your overwhelm and will get you on your mindful way.

Kara Vaina

Founder – My Mindful Year

3 Simple Things to help in “Uncertain Times”

I gotta be honest, if I hear “these are uncertain times” ONE more time, I’m going to scream. These uncertain times have been going on for months. Like the rest of the world, my mama brain is exploding with the distance learning, shared work space, my knickers no longer fit proper, how much wine is too much, we’re all going to need therapy, am I being mindful enough, somebody PLEASE eat the vege and stay away from the chips hourly mental loop. Enough!

I made a recent decision to focus on the one thing I know really well, gut health. If you’ve watched the news lately, you’ve heard scads about the importance of supporting the immune system via the gut. Bonus: G

ut health is connected to mental health. 😉

Hear my heart. I can easily go down a rabbit hole of 12 years of professional experience; but let’s not. Embracing imperfect has become my woman/mama/wife mantra. In these “uncertain times” don’t we all need a bit of simple?

If I can offer anything to our collective community, it’s my 3 Simple Things that support health from the inside out list and a couple nerdy bits ‘cause I’m extra like that. What if you joined me in focusing on one, then two, then three simple things we could add to our day? One day at a time.

 

3 Simple Things

drink a glass of room temp water when you wake

Seventy plus percent of your immune system lives in the gut. Water supports all digestive functions, flushes toxins, keeps ya poopin, and transports nutrients around the body. Bonus: Anti aging and energizing.

eat high fiber foods

Gut bacteria love fiber. The good microbes will flourish and kick the bad ones. Tip: Blend a cup of cauliflower or squash into your soup broth. When the vege doesn’t float, the kiddos won’t pick them out.

take a walk

Exercise increases the number and types of beneficial bacteria in your digestive system, improves digestion, reduces inflammation, increases happy hormones. Why not grab a friend and make it a non-negotiable date? Perk: Your kickers and inner mean girl will stop chattering that you’re overwhelmed and out of balance.

 

Want to learn more? Need some accountability and a good laugh? Pop over to my corner of the ‘gram and say hello.

https://www.instagram.com/aimeedarlingmnt/

See you soon, Aimée