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Wellbeing: Topp 10 Pamper Tips

"Hello Everyone! It is lovely to be back with another article for you all. If you are anything like me, life is pretty busy! The demands of work, family, friends, running a home and children can leave you time-poor and neglecting yourself a little (or a lot!). I also find, often, that women and mothers tend to put their own needs last!! I have had to learn to look after myself too. You can’t give away what you don’t have! If you are at your best, you are better for everyone around you. It can be hard to find the time for day spas or a long trip to the gym, so I want to share with you the simple ways I have found to nurture myself. 1. I like to start my mornings early! I get up about an hour before the kidlets (now aged 10 and 12) and I do half an hour of yoga before they wake up! It is so nice to carve out a tiny bit of time in a busy day for yourself. After I make a lovely cup of green tea and watch the sun come up. Then it is time to go and wake up mon bubs for the day! I always feel so great when I start the day this way!

2. I know we are busy and mornings can be CRAZY!!! But DO NOT SKIP BREAKFAST!!! It is like expecting your car to function well with no petrol. I have a lovely smoothie which I call ‘Health in a Cup!' I throw in half a banana, blueberries, mango, baby spinach leaves, Udos oil, lsa, cinnamon and rice milk…. blend it all up and VOILA!!!! It's a quick, easy and healthy breakkie!!! I LOVE IT. 3. Get out in nature. This is SO recharging for the soul! I have a beautiful park nearby and I love going there a few times a week with my pups for a long walk amongst the trees. Find a nice little spot to sit for a while, take some deep breaths and RELAX. I also love going to the beach and getting in the ocean…. washing away all the stress of the week. Find your special place and go and soak it all up! 4. Buy yourself a bunch of your favourite flowers, just for NO reason! You are worth it. Put them in a beautiful vase...somewhere you can see them all the time and SMILE!!!! (below: Simple white flowers in several sizes of vases add the finishing touch to this bedroom at the Ritz Carlton, Paris).

5. Get yourself a beautiful journal. In it you can write your dreams, worries, hopes, about your life, things you want to remember, sketches, anything you like! It can be very cathartic to empty yourself into a diary. I have kept one since I was very young and they are lovely to look back over. I encourage both of my children to keep one too (and, I promise I don’t peek!). It is wonderful for sorting your thoughts and letting go of any stress before you go to sleep at night. 6. Fill a bath (or a small foot-bath vessel) with lovely warm water. Add some Epsom salts which are great for detoxification and relaxing tight muscles. Also add some of your favourite essential oils and light a few candles. Slide in with a cup of tea (or wine) and maybe a book, or just shut your eyes, soak and relax!!! Wonderful to do at the end of a busy day.

7. Meditate!!! I must admit, I have always struggled with this one! I have a very busy mind and can struggle to shut it off sometimes (all the time!). A friend recently taught me a very easy and simple technique which has been working wonderfully! While lying down, or, simply sitting, quietly, with your eyes closed, breathe deeply. Start with focusing on your toes, breathe in and say in your mind ‘I am relaxing my toes’ (I do two breaths for each body part). Keep doing the same thing and work your way up your body, your feet, ankles, knees, thighs and so on, all the way to the top of your head. If you wake during the night and have trouble dropping back off this is incredibly effective! I usually only make it to my knees and I’ve drifted off! Give it a go! I find keeping it really simple is best.

8. Spoil yourself by updating your look! Get a new hair cut or colour, try a new lipstick or nail polish shade. Treat yourself with a new scarf or pair of earrings (op shops aka "thrift stores" or "secon-hand/ vintage shops" are treasure troves and the money goes to charity! WIN WIN) I truly believe when you look good, you FEEL good. When you feel good you make others feel good, which is WONDERFUL.

9. Spend some time catching up with your friends. It can be so easy to let this slip. Meet for a walk together in the park, for a coffee, for a drink after dinner or a Sunday picnic. Good friends understand that life is busy and you won’t have oodles of time to hang out, but nothing is better than a heart to heart with someone who loves and understands you. 10. I know I said you need to look after yourself. I also believe it is important to be kind and help others too. Giving is its own reward and it FEELS GOOD! It doesn’t have to be anything formal like volunteering for a certain charity. It can be as simple as minding your neighbour's baby for an hour so they can have some time out, picking up an elderly person's dropped cane, letting the person behind you in the queue (who may only be purchasing just a few items) go ahead in front of you, (when you have a whole trolley load), distracting a screaming toddler so his Mummy can get her things through the checkout or visiting your elderly neighbour for a cup of tea. SO many ways to be kind. If we all just did a little bit more of this, how wonderful would the world be! So there are my Topp Ten ways to pamper yourself! I hope you found something to help nurture yourself. I find the easier it is to do, the more likely you are to actually DO IT!!! Why don’t you pick one thing from this list and do it today! Breathe, smile and go forth and love yourself." Until next time, Xxx Lucy

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