We All Need A Holiday

You NEED your holidays and time off…

It doesn’t matter how much you love your job, you need time out to refresh the batteries and come back with new ideas, a new lease of life and focus.

I am really guilty of this, it’s now nearly the end of June and this is me taking my first proper time off since the start of the year!

I can feel it and my body is showing signs of stress too… My eczema has flared up, dark circles under my eyes and I am more forgetful than usual.

I also had some tests recently because my skin flare ups are inconsistent and the results of them coming back, my stomach acid is low which is making me nutrient deficient and more sensitive to foods that I have a low tolerance for…

The most likely cause? Stress!

Perfect timing for me that I am heading off on holiday today.

Bit of sightseeing, bit of lying on the beach doing nothing but listening to good music and reading… Of course there is a music festival or 2 happening that I am going to but the day times will be all about doing not much.

I have been recommended to add in walks in the country, yoga and meditation to my weekly routine which will be added in when I get back to my schedule and it will be in my diary to remind me so it becomes part of the routine.

How are you feeling generally? Are you getting any skin break outs? It could be spots, eczema, psoriasis etc. Are you bloated after eating?

These are all symptoms that could be a sign you need some time out…

If you don’t have anything booked to go away, schedule in some time off, take yourself away for the day, get along to a low intensity, low impact class, download some guided meditation and go exploring the countryside, breathing in the fresh air…

Have a happy stress free day

Jen x

 

 

 

Look At The Horizon

Look up at the horizon…

How much of your day do you spend with your head tipped forward looking down?

At your keyboard / laptop when you are sitting at your desk? Walking down the street looking down at the ground, in shop windows or at your phone?

We have a few problems here.

  1. You are putting a lot of strain on your neck
  2. You are at much higher risk of getting a hump back
  3. You are in your stress physiology more than you need to be
  4. You constantly have a double chin (harsh I know, but for 99% of us it’s true)

Notice how often today you sit up and take notice of what is going on around, look up and out at the horizon. The further out you look the more upright you will be, opening you up more, letting you breathe properly and relax a bit.

I know that we are busy and have a never ending To Do list to get through and sometimes we need to be heads down to get shit done, but we also need to breathe and feel better to help us concentrate more.

Take time to have a look at the scenery, people watch, at night look at the stars and the moon (if you can see anything through the clouds).

Being aware of your surroundings helps put things in to perspective, we are just tiny little things on this planet and it lets you see and appreciate lovely things…

Take notice of the world around you this weekend

Have a good one (and hope there is good weather on Saturday night, I am doing the moonwalk in Edinburgh!)

Jen x

 

Step Away From The Scales

You wake up, look in the mirror thinking I am starting to take some shape, waist looks like it’s getting smaller, clothes are fitting nicer… you feel good and are liking what you see staring back at you… THEN you get a genius idea to go and stand on the scales… just to see what the numbers say…

BAD IDEA!!

The number staring back at you is not what you expected / hoped / wished for…

How can that be right? 60 seconds ago you felt good, maybe even fabulous… and now… you feel like shit…

Believe me ladies, the scales f@#k with your happiness.

As a personal trainer I don’t obsess with numbers on a scale or even numbers on a tape.

If a client wants to track their numbers that is fine by me but I am more interested in how they feel, and one thing that de-motivates and squashes your happiness is ruling them by the numbers.

Yes, they can be an indication of you moving in the right or wrong direction over a longer time but week in week out even from the start of the day to the end the numbers fluctuate.

If standing on the scales dictates your mood, I suggest you ditch them or only stand on them once a month – it needs to be the exact same day every month within your cycle and at the exact same time when you have done the exact same things the few days before (including what you eat and volume of fluids).

How you feel about yourself when you look at yourself naked, how you feel in your clothes and how you feel day to day is a much better guide to how you are treating yourself.

If you feel down and bloated, chances are you have not been eating great and you need to get your shit together and start looking after yourself.

If you are happy, feel great in your clothes, have loads of energy (that doesn’t come from red bull or coffee) then you are doing something right so keep doing that.

We are all meant to be different shapes and sizes – it’s what makes us beautiful and individual.

Have a look at the pages of the bikini models and figure competitors in the weeks leading up to their photo shoots and competitions – they are generally not happy, they are stressed, they kid themselves on they are excited about eating a bowl of oats. They struggle, they cry, they have mood swings and some of them don’t even have periods any more…

Getting in to that kind of shape is not healthy, for most it’s not even safe for long term health.

If the athlete’s are your motivation, again you need to consider how much training they put in to be good at their job, for them it’s not how they look, it’s how they perform to be elite – that is a  full time job training 4+ hours a day…

If they are your motivation, think about what they put their bodies through to get there then decide if you would rather have some curves, lumps and bumps and a piece of cake…

Have a look at yourself again in the mirror (with your kit off)… What is it you really want? How do you want to look? What are you prepared to do to get there?

If bowls of oats and eating out of plastic containers on public transport is for you then knock yourself out. If getting up at 4am to train your ass off to compete is for you then get that alarm set…

Whatever it is you want or need, you have to be prepared to make the changes.

At the end of the day it is you that has to be happy but obsessing or letting numbers dictate your happiness is going to be a fail.

Jen x

PS If you know someone who will benefit from these emails or from the Warrior Woman Project please send them over to www.freedomintraining.co.uk to sign up for my emails

 

 

In This Moment

This moment contains all the moments’. C.S Lewis

Every single moment in your life is the only moment. It shapes the moments of the future and happens because of the moments gone past…

What you decide right now is the only thing that is important.

If you have read The Power of Now, Eckhart Tolle tells you that the Now is the only important time, not to live in the past or the future but right now…

There is part of that I get and I agree with, but, my understanding of what he was saying was to just delete the past and not even consider the future or make goals or plans…

That bit I don’t fully agree with.

What I believe is we have to accept that the past is gone and it can’t be changed and we should have goals and plans for the future to give us something to work towards, give us some drive and motivation.

I also believe though that we can’t control what is going to happen in the future so although we work toward something what we get might not be what we planned, I do believe though that what we end up with is way better than we planned – that is often down to us not believing our full potential.

Did you do yesterday’s task? Did you do your negative list and destroy it and create your achievements?

How does it make you feel looking at your achievements? I would like to think pretty proud – this is one of my reasons I don’t think we should completely forget the past… We have achieved so much, and grown and learned and shaped our character through mistakes and achievements.

We want to bring all those moments in to our present moment, use them to shape this moment to create more amazing moments in the future.

Have an amazing Wednesday

Jen x

Set It On Fire

Yesterday I mentioned about doing things on your own and how it can challenge you and build character… I also mentioned that it can bring some of your self-doubt crap up, the things that make you question ‘are you good enough?’

What I want you to try today is start getting rid of that crap.

Write it down, empty your head, all those negative thoughts, the doubts, your worries…

Then you are going to burn that bit of paper (in a safe place of course, please don’t have any house or office fires – we have all seen that Valentines episode of Friends) OR put it through the shredder.

Whatever you do, destroy that bit of paper, it’s one, it’s over, it’s rubbish.

Then I want you to write a list of all the things you have achieved, challenges you have overcome, things you have done that you never thought you could…

This list is one you keep.

AND,

Keep adding to…

This is your reminder of what you can do when you put your mind to it.

I will leave it up to you if you want to add to it Things To Do, these are your goals, dreams things you want to achieve. I like to have these so I can tick them off and add them to the achieved list.

I will also let you decide where and how you do this, mine is on a spreadsheet and also on a whiteboard.

Have a heads up Tuesday, do great things

Jen x

PS If you know someone who would benefit from these emails please send them to www.freedomintraining.co.uk to sign up

Stand Alone

Sometimes you have to do stuff on your own, even when you don’t want to.

Being self-employed can be a lonely gig at times, especially when there is no one around to bounce ideas off, have a giggle with, or get distracted by. There are times that I wish there was someone there to hold my hand and I question what the hell I am doing, BUT I look at all the stuff I get done, the difference I make and how far I have come on my own and feel mega proud of myself.

When you do achieve things on your own you get that wee buzz, the sense of satisfaction that you pulled the big girl pants on and this is all you… Yeah you need to high 5 yourself, but that is ok… You did it, you are strong, confident, and independent and you remember why you are doing it.

About a month ago I went to a wedding reception on my own and that was tough, I didn’t want to go alone but it was Nicole’s  40th birthdays and I had double booked myself – I really wanted to drop by Mic and Gemma’s wedding… They are a couple so in love and happy that I am inspired by and they give me hope so wanted to go and celebrate with them. I went along to see for an hour, I got to see them cut the cake and have their first dance. I didn’t really know anyone else there so stood at the bar drinking my water but feeling proud of myself and happy that I had done it.

I would have been annoyed with myself if I had chickened out of going.

When you are challenged, it can feel like an uphill struggle and brings up a lot of questions but pushing through, doing it anyway makes you thankful after. It just made you stronger. It just made you realise that you are capable of a lot more than you give yourself credit for.

Whether you are working towards a goal, running your own business, fighting for that dream, remember that these are all yours and only you alone will have the passion and determination to make it happen.

Be proud that sometimes standing alone is a good thing and you are always building character.

Jen x

 

A Change In Attitude

We care far to much about what other people think about us, say about or to us…

Time to develop a ‘fuck it’ attitude – there is a brilliant series of books available on Amazon titled that F**k It (click on the title to link you through) If you are just doing a search, make sure the search is in Amazon and not Google… I have no idea what will appear on your screen through that search! And probably don’t search on your works computer…

To stress less you need to focus your time and energy in to doing the things that make you happy. This is not a new philosophy I am bringing to you… I am all about doing what makes me happy. Yes, there are times that I need to do housework, but that gives me a clean house and clean clothes. And yes, I need to sit at a computer for a few hours, but that lets me get my message to you… These things don’t stress me out.

The other day I deleted my Facebook app off my phone. I found myself passing time scrolling through the timeline, unmotivated, getting annoyed so I deleted it. I can still access it through the online option on my phone but that doesn’t give me notifications… I don’t miss it, I check it less and I have stopped wasting so much time and I don’t feel stressed about it.

To stress less you need to stop caring about what other people think of you. If you are being a good person, not harming anyone or anything, doing the things you love, then it is really none of your business what other people think of you.

Follow your dreams, they are your dreams no one else’s meaning they don’t have an opinion.

If you are always people pleasing you are not you pleasing. If people don’t like you, who cares, there are lots who do.

If people drain you, or make you feel down or bad about yourself, stop talking to them… It doesn’t need to be a dramatic fall out, it’s just you not making a call or sending a text or arranging to meet up with them. Don’t give them space in your head.

Delete all things that have a negative impact on your day. I know it sounds simple, and it is simple. Things only get complicated when you choose to make them that way.

I hope these tips in how to have a less stressed life have helped this week.

Have a lovely weekend

Jen x

PS If you know anyone who would benefit from these emails please send them to www.freedomintraining.co.uk to sign up

 

Eat Well Stress Less

Food can also play a bit part in stress. What you eat can stress you and stress can make you overeat or under eat depending on how you react to things.

Starting with eating to help reduce the amount of stress in your body…

Avoiding processed foods, these are often high in salt and or sugar and send your blood pressure and blood sugar levels off the scale meaning that your body has to work really hard and bringing the levels back to normal.

Making sure that you have enough magnesium, zinc and omega 3 oils in your diet are really important.

Magnesium rich foods include bananas, dark leafy green veg, nuts, seeds, avocado and dark chocolate. You do only absorb about 14% of the magnesium available in the food so having an eposom salts bath or getting a magnesium spray to apply to your skin is a good way to boost the magnesium, your body takes on about 80% through the skin.

Zinc rich foods include meat, eggs, legumes, and oysters.

Omega 3 oils are found in your oily fish: tuna (not canned), salmon, sardines, mussels, trout, krill, sea algae, flaxseed and chia seeds.

You can supplement with these but I would recommend that if you are on any medication that you speak with your Dr first, and then when buying supplement make sure that they are a good quality brand, especially with the fish oils (if you would like recommended brands please get in touch with me and I can point you in the right direction) but eating whole foods is always your best first step.

Allowing yourself to have the occasional treat is good for your stress levels too. Knowing that you are looking forward to cake and coffee with your friend to have a catch up is a great way to de-stress.

Remember, as soon as you tell yourself that you are not allowed or that you are depriving yourself of something you start to get stressed about it. Treats are just that, not rewards or punishments.

When you eat, you should feel satisfied, full, energised and nourished… If you are still hungry, leave it 20mins then have something else, if you feel sluggish, bloated, sleepy or guilty then you might want to look at what you are eating and see what small changes you can make to make it a better meal for you.

Eat well, stress less

Jen x

Sleep Better Stress Less

How did you sleep last night? It’s recommended that we get 7-8hours of sleep a night for optimal health, resetting the body and reducing stress.

I don’t know about you but I sleep a lot less in the summer than I do in the winter, I seem to wake up with the sun even with blackout curtains, I was not overly delighted on Sunday when I woke up at 452am, I did turn over and go back to sleep till my alarm went off at 630am.

I don’t usually turn back over because when I do and doze off for another hour I feel really groggy and a bit sluggish all day.

Waking up naturally without an alarm is the best way to make sure that you have had enough rest, unfortunately with our work schedules that isn’t always the case so we need to make sure that we get the best quality sleep that we can.

My tips for getting a good night sleep:

Have a night time blend or camomile tea about half an hour before bed.

Get your breakfast, lunch, bag, clothes all ready for tomorrow so you start the day organised.

Get to bed about 10pm, research has shown that any sleep before midnight is worth 2 hours after midnight.

Make sure that your room is cool, a cool room allows for a deeper sleep.

Have a tech free room if possible, if your phone is your alarm then put it on flight mode by 10pm at the latest.

Don’t use computers, laptops, tablets or watch TV an hour before going to bed, the blue light from the screens and monitors has been shown to disturb your sleep hormones making it harder to get to sleep.

Write your To Do list for the following day so you have cleared your head of work.

Write your gratitude journal – 3-5 things you have been grateful for that day. It can be anything from having time to chat with a friend, taking your dog for a walk, eating a really nice dinner, just anything that made you a bit happier that day. You can write the same thing every day if you need to, but when you start looking for things to be grateful for you will find you change and add to your list all the time.

Have a really nice sleeping environment – love your bed, have nice sheets, comfy jammies, whatever makes your night time space feel good.

When you wake in the morning you should feel like you are refreshed and ready to go.

Sleep better, stress less.

Jen x

Start to stress less

Yesterday I asked you to start to get a list together working out what stressed you and identifying the ones that freaked you out the most.

And, to start breathing… How did you find changing your breathing? I have never really been aware of how shallow my breathing was until I started looking in to stress and the additional problems it could cause.

So why are we looking at stress this week?

Many of us have created a monster in our world trying to be everything to everyone except to ourselves (you will be more aware of that after last weeks self-love tasks).

We have created our own stress by not learning to say no, and that doesn’t just mean that we have shit loads more work to do. There are a whole host of knock on effects too…

How is your sleep?

How is your eating? Do you regularly over or under eat?

Do you need coffee to get you going in the morning?

How is your libido?

How many days off from work do you take where you take proper time out?

Do you find that you often can’t think straight or are forgetful?

Be honest with these answers, if you are waking up tired, need stimulants to get you going, don’t even think about sex never mind have it, and are on call 24/7 and can’t remember the last time you had a full day off all to yourself, you are stressed.

On average we only take about 18 days holiday a year (and I know many that take a lot less than that). In France they take an average of 7 weeks holiday a year… How nice would that be, and they have 2 days a week off too.

We look to the other European countries and see how chilled they are, we envy their laid back lifestyle, lazy mornings, siestas, family dinners, coffee, wine, bread, cakes… Yet, we don’t follow their example, we wish for it, but do nothing about trying to get it. Instead we work an extra couple of hours here and there, through days off thinking we can have that lifestyle when we retire…

If we don’t die from stress related illness first…

So how do we improve where we are?

From your list yesterday you should have established what you can ditch and what you genuinely need to deal with.

Become a time nazi… I am not kidding here, schedule every single minute of your day and stick to it. If someone else can’t fit in to your available times then they don’t get any of your time. You don’t drop everything to do stuff for other people. Schedule your down time, switch your phone off, only have open on your computer what you need, don’t get distracted by social media, focus on the task and get it done. When that reminder pops up, you down tools, go for your walk / tea / lunch whatever and come back fresher and more focused ready to go. You will get a whole lot more done in your day, I promise.

We are taking this stress combating one step at a time. If you find that you waste a lot of time on your phone, delete the apps, consider getting a phone that just makes calls and sends texts. We do not need to be contacted 24/7.

Get organised… this is step 2 in reducing stress in your life.

Have a less stressed Tuesday

Jen x