Whilst bathing the kids earlier, I got to thinking about the ways I’ve improved my life, lately. You know those moments where you completely lose yourself in thought and feel truly content…well I wanted to work backwards and pin-point how I got here, to feeling this happy.
In truth, it’s both down to external factors and a culmination of changes I’ve personally made to my life over the last year, months and weeks that have impacted on mine and my family’s lives. I’ve shared them below in case they might inspire you!
1. Moving/ Change of Scenery
So it’s only been two weeks since we moved from Yorkshire to Windsor but hands down, this change in our lives was the right decision for the whole family.
I miss my best mates and folks madly but they understand and support our decision.
Windsor is the most picture-perfect, tranquil town (bar the bustle of tourists on a weekend) and we’ve settled in so well, I’m surprised with how much ease we’ve taken to the place.
We walk pretty much everywhere and as we live close to the Long Walk and Windsor Castle, we are surrounded by greenery and achingly beautiful views on our doorstep making life for the most part, feel easy and breezy.
Windsor is just a 30 minute train ride to Paddington too which has made my work-life a million times easier. If I need to be on telly with short-notice now, I can be, and meetings/shoots and general fun in the capital is but a short car/train ride away (unlike the 7 hour round-trips I was doing from near Harrogate-eek). Sometimes you simply have to push out of your comfort zone, change scenery and Nike style-just do it! (Obviously I understand not everyone wants nor can move but a change of scenery is as good as a move, it allows you time to regroup and return with renewed zest and joie de vivre).
2. Taking Intolerance Tests
Taking intolerance tests has helped my own health and that of my kids, tremendously. Cutting out foods that were causing me inflammation and bad gut health has meant I now have clearer skin, a lot more energy, have lost weight and sleep better than before. I’ve tried to reintroduce the trigger foods as recommended now several months have passed, but to no avail. My body ‘no likey’ those foods still, and that’s OK because frankly gluten, yeast and dairy in my case, isn’t good for most of us. Dairy came back as a 50/50 trigger for me, but having read a lot of material and spoken to PCOS experts (including author of The Balance Plan by Angelique Panagos), dairy just isn’t a wise choice for me (or my hormones).
Eliminating these foods has meant a fair bit of weight-loss but most importantly, an improvement in my emotional health too, as I feel more relaxed, calm and in control. Even my PMT is better. I’ve been taking Premtesse high strength vitamins too on the advice of Maryon Stewart which has helped, as we are what we eat right?!
I completely trust in functional medicine and using food as a preventative for illness meaning eating what makes me feel happy and healthy is paramount to me.
3. Not Sweating the Small Stuff
Last year was a shocker. A close relative was incredibly unwell and now another loved-one is too. Life can be so incredibly unfair and cruel which is all the more reason to simply ‘Let It Go’ Frozen style when it comes to the little things in life; to stop worrying about what others who don’t know you, think about you, and to keep being yourself and ‘walking in your own truth’ remembering that integrity is everything. Just do you, OK?!
4. Going with my Gut and Avoiding Negativity
The former points leads me to this one and trusting my gut more. I bang on about this a lot yet have a kind-heart as my Dad always likes to remind me meaning I’m endlessly giving people second-chances with the hope they might change. Some people can, most can’t. If you’re gut is telling you something is off, please trust in those visceral feelings as they’re there for a reason. To protect you. Some people’s energies simply don’t mix. Face that fact, move on, avoid negativity and keep your chin up. There’s someone (and often, lots of people) for everyone.
5. Learning When To Switch Off
I’m a workaholic because I love what I do but that immense passion can mean switching off is never easy. There’s always one more email to send, post to write (case in point with this one at 23.49 pm) and photo to take. I’ve learnt to chill my beans a bit more. To turn the computer and phone off earlier at night some nights (it’s impossible every night as a lot of my writing happens late) but I have greater balance than I once did. I hang out with my husband more, take more time off and I make me-time as consistent ritual in my week be it getting my hair and nails done or going for a run.
All work and no play isn’t the answer long-term, however much you love what you do.
You need to live life in order to feel inspired and motivated. I’ve never felt more creative than whilst writing my book Mumboss, out next year. I’ve poured love, time and a ton of energy into that book and I hope it empowers and supports entrepreneurial mums and dads out there.
By having greater structure and time out to recover, you can think and see more clearly, prioritising what and who matters. That’s the key to a happy, productive and fulfilled life as far as I’m concerned.
So there you have it, my own happy-makers. Life’s a journey right, I’m a work-in-progress, as are you but we’re all working hard on being the best humans we can be, and these changes, both big and small have improved my life hugely. I hope they help you too.