December Gifts (To Myself)
December is here and I feel simultaneously relieved that this year is almost over and slightly shocked that 2016 is already wrapping up. This is a year that has had its up and downs, but looking back, those highs have been incredible and I've had opportunities and experiences enter my life that I hadn't expected nor thought a possibility!
The final month of the year always seems to flash before our eyes, in a whirlwind of festive activities, holidays and indulgence, so for a moment, I'm hitting pause and going to shake up my usual monthly goals. Instead of looking at a check-list of goals to tick off this month, I am offering myself some "gifts"; things which I will incorporate into my routine and lifestyle which will reap rewards to my body and mind so that I can wrap up the year positively and emerge into 2017!
Three months ago, after a long time of feeling like something wasn't quite right in my body, I was diagnosed with PCOS and Level 3 Adrenal Fatigue. This hormonal disorder presents as an array of symptoms in the body and as a health and wellness enthusiast, my intuition pushed me to tackle this from a natural, holistic healing perspective, rather than submitting to conventional medical routes. (I will do a full blog post on PCOS in the new year, I have held off whilst I've been experimenting with treatments so as to offer a full honest review!)
This implication to my usual good health has pushed me through waves of ups and downs, there have certainly been many moments where I have been geared up to fight & heal my body and then suddenly I am overwhelmed by the lack of energy and symptoms my body is experiencing. As I kept pushing to fight against it all, my body and intuition have finally told me enough is enough and it is time to rest!
So listening to advice from my specialists and trusting my own gut, I have decided to allow my body the time to rest and heal, cutting back from my work schedule and commitments to clear time to make my health a priority. This wasn't an easy decision to make, in fact it stressed me out further having to make that decision. But this is my first gift to myself, to make rest a priority and take time out to heal properly.
Over the year I have explored and delved into meditation and whilst it is taking a LONG time to quieten my mind down, I'm finding the practice so beneficial to reduce some of the chatter and clear some headspace. So, this gift is to have a moment to Meditate each and every day - no matter the length or the form that evolves in, but to stick to it and create the habit.
I truly believe there are certain individuals who possess a spiritual power to heal others. In many various forms I have encountered healers over the years and in this space, I am going to continue to connect with a few key types - whether that be an intuitive yoga teacher, a wonderful acupuncturist or a comforting herbalist. These treatments can be expensive and require regular sessions to encourage changes in the body & mind, however I will shift around budgets as I know making the most of these healers is of upmost benefit to my body and mind. This is an investment that goes beyond material possessions, and in terms of long term health is truly a gift to the self!
This one is simple - spend less time on the phone & social media and more time interacting with the physical world and the special people around me. I'm unsure when this became such an obsession to constantly be "checking-in" but it is now time to detox from all the added technology and become more mindful about how and when I'm using these gadgets.
This will gift me with an array of benefits such as extra free time away from the mindless scroll, a good reality check to get out of the vortex of self-comparison that emerges from Social Media and a chance to connect to the world I'm really immersed within.
Back to the books
This is the gift of reading! Historically an avid book worm, over the course of this year I have noticed that I have spent less time with my head in a book and more time with my gaze down at my phone. Combined to help with the Techno Detox, I am going back to the pages and the written word, aiming to increase my current reading habits and exploring literature all over again to stimulate my brain and provide more scope for learning, relaxation and growth. So, it is time to embrace Hygge, cosy up on the sofa and snuggle in with a good old fashioned book!
Write it down
As previously mentioned in some of my other blog posts, I am a big fan of "To-Do" lists and recently got into the Bullet Journal scene - which has been a great way to keep track of my work, training and habits. However to expand this further I am hoping to journal or list some of the thoughts that enter my headspace each day. By addressing this internal chatter - whether that be positive or negative - and physically writing it down, it will make me realise what is logical and what is irrational self-talk which could be moved into a more productive space to help me continue to grow! So a little gift of self-awareness, to help change the emphasis of the ego and connect further to the intuition.
This, is a hard one for me, but for December I aiming to go coffee-free. Yes, I realise I recently blogged about "The Case For Coffee" and I stand by all the research in this article, however upon further re-evaluation, I was told to cut the coffee for a few weeks to helpdetox and reset my Endocrine System and hopefully assist in recovering from the Adrenal Fatigue.
At the time of writing this I am actually already a week in without coffee (the bonus of getting a Gastro bug is you don't actually crave coffee), so I'm hoping to keep it up in December, particularly during the weeks. HOWEVER, in my beliefs of not restricting anything in my diet, if I so crave a social espresso on the weekends I will treat that indulgence and enjoy every sip. But for the positive spin, I am fully embracing all of the herbal teas and alternative warm drinks - hello spiced mulled wine!
So this gift, is for my Endocrine and Adrenal systems - I hope you realise the sacrifice my mind & coffee loving soul is giving up for you!
This little gift will be the mantra for the next month. Now to some, this may seem abrupt or aggressive, however for me it is a way of releasing anxiety and control over situations or worries I have. When something pops up, I now simply ask "who cares" - from here I can categorise the answers; if it truly is something important to me, of course I will care and take action, if it is important to a someone I have a strong relationship with, I will also care and address the situation. However 99% of the time these moments are just my over-active brain and its better to let it flow off into the world without adding any extra attachment. So really "who cares?" is the gift of trying to let it go....
Finally the biggest gift to myself for the end of this year is a complete break. I'll be taking a month off from work and the daily London grind and will be heading back home to Perth, by way of Auckland for Christmas with my man and his family, for some time with all my loved ones. After another 2 years in London it is definitely due time to be spending some time at home, filling myself up on sunshine, ocean and happiness. I will be giving myself full permission to relax, switch off and enjoy every moment!
There we have it, my Festive Gifts to myself. Whilst yes, this does seem a little like another "Monthly Goal List", by embracing these ideas as "Gifts" I am able to feel less like they are chores or things that must be done, and rather as treats for my body, mind and soul, that will uplift, nourish and inspire me as we move into the final month of this year and set up for a positive 2017!
I would love to know some of the gifts you may give to yourself this month, reach out and let me know!
Happy Festive Times,