The ultimate and super-simple guide to being your best self
-Mar 13, Jenny Paul, Living -
March is not the happiest of months: up here in the northern hemisphere we’re all on our knees from the winter blues, while on the other side of the world everyone is dreading the onset of the colder months. Instead of flopping on the sofa, why not use the weeks before Easter to make some small but simple tweaks to your life so that by mid-April you’ll be feeling on top form?
Are you your best self and busy living your best life? Probably not. In fact most of us feel like plate spinners in a circus waiting nervously for one or several plates to crash – much of the time.
Whether it’s juggling kids, work, finances and a relationship (or the lot!) life is not easy. And, living your best life seems frankly impossible! But, we’re not aiming for perfection.
Here at Lumity we’re all about people who are leading busy lives being able to make some small changes to the beginning and end of each day so they look and feel better.
The 7 step guide to being your best self
That’s why we have put together a few of our favourite but mega-simple happiness hacks. If you can do a few of the following things each day for the next few weeks you will feel noticeably more fabulous by April.
Get rid of your phone at weekends
There’s a backlash building against smartphones at the moment and with good reason. They’re bad for you.
Hands up if you catch yourself compulsively reaching for yours multiple times a day. Whether we are checking the weather, what’s going on over on Instagram, or verifying a fact on Google, we’re swiftly becoming an army of smartphone addicts.
It might be painful at first, but, there’s a very strong argument for switching to an old-fashioned pay as you go flip-phone at weekends. Save the all-singing, all-dancing pocket computer for weekdays only.
Think of the health benefits: You won’t be tempted to check work emails when you’re not actually being paid to work. You won’t be able to hop online or scroll social media.
Instead, you’ll be free to enjoy the moment. And, only a selected few of VIP friends and family will have your weekend-only number.
That means you have two days all to yourself to speak to who you want with no interruptions. No texts from that over-eager colleague that simply has to ask a question at 8am on a Saturday.
Can’t you feel your stress levels ebbing away already?
Set aside 10 minutes a day for exercise
Yes, getting your gym gear on and hauling yourself to your local fitness centre is a pain. Hardly anyone loves the idea of working out.
We spoke to a top American swimwear model who told us that her secret is this: All she promises herself each morning is that she will get up off the sofa and physically leave her apartment.
Then once she’s on her way to the gym she says she will just train for just ten minutes. She insists that’s all she has to do as once she’s there and the music’s pumping she starts to get into it.
Then the endorphins start flowing and before she knows it ten minutes has become forty-five minutes.
Walk and talk if at all possible
If a friend, colleague or family member calls you for a long chat, if at all possible ask them to wait five minutes. Then call back when you’re outside in the fresh air.
Start walking as you discuss things. if it ends up being an hour-long catch up then you’ll have done an hour of exercise.
And, rainy weather is no excuse. Invest in an umbrella and get some lovely feel-good chemicals flowing while you talk.
It’s especially brilliant if you can get away with doing this during stressful work phone calls. They’ll have your full attention as you won’t be able to check emails on your desktop as you talk. That means you’ll be far more likely to come up with a quick and easy solution.
The power of saying NO and not apologising for it
Many of us are bad at this one. But how many times have you been bullied, harangued, guilt-tripped or bossed into doing something that you didn’t really want to do.
The next time it happens, if it’s impossible to say no, say, ‘can I think about that?’ Hopefully they’ll have forgotten about it by the next time they talk to you.
But if they continue to pile on pressure say NO. Your health and sanity is more important than potentially being impolite. You don’t need to apologise either. Life is too short for being bullied or pushed into things.
This absolutely includes relatives wanting to come and stay, work requests and anything else that you know will cause you stress.
Add cauliflower to your shopping basket
That’s right: Cauliflower is neither glamorous or sexy. But, it’s a cruciferous veg and a close cousin of its trendy counterpart kale. It’s inexpensive and really versatile.
We love using chopped cauliflower (or you can whizz it in a blender) as a substitute for rice in a stir fry. Simply add some sliced organic salmon or chicken in a wok or frying pan with a drizzle of olive oil.
Once it has started to cook sprinkle in piles of crunchy green veg (we love mangetout/ snowpeas), some carrots, or other brightly coloured veg. And then stir in the cauli rice. For a super healthy boost sprinkle some happiness-boosting turmeric over the cauliflower.
It’s brilliant for taming inflammation. It is detoxifying and fantastic for weight loss too. And because it’s quite bland you can add garlic, or spices to it to give it some flavour – which makes it a fantastic way to cut back on carbs in the evening.
If you really can’t face cauliflower, then aim for consuming one portion of cruciferous veg per day. It will give you all of the health-boosting benefits listed above.
So pick your weapon: Arugula, Bok Choy, Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Collard Greens or Kale. If you really can’t face eating any of them then just sneak kale into a morning smoothie.
Book a head-to-toe day of pampering
Are you one of those people that loathes getting your hair and nails done? Whether it’s having your cuticles snipped or your split ends discussed in front of strangers, it often isn’t the most relaxing way to spend time.
But, you will feel better once you’re looking great and rocking a fresh new look ahead of spring. Once you have booked that appointment to get your roots done and a fresh coat of paint of those nails, buy a good book to get absorbed in.
Then turn your phone off once the foils are on your hair and let yourself indulge in some R&R.
You could also try out any number of other de-stressing techniques.
Whether it’s acupuncture, reiki, a hot stone massage, going horse riding for the day, or a yoga barre class, there will be something available that’s close to home that’s guaranteed to make you feel fabulous.
Set aside time for a morning and night skincare routine
Confession time. All of us at some point have fallen asleep with our makeup on. And, we happen to know that even Meghan Markle has done it. (She said in an interview that she keeps skincare wipes by her bed for the nights when she’s too tired to remove her makeup).
But, having a mini skincare routine isn’t just about great skin. It’s also about time for yourself and you alone. Light an aromatherapy candle and shower off the stresses of the day. Then massage in that Facial Oil and take time to relax and deeply inhale the natural blend of essential oils.
An expert we were talking to said they see the shower as their meditation cubicle where nothing else matters during that time and they float off into a happiness bubble. Now doesn’t that sound lovely?
And finally, if you’re still struggling to be your best self…
If none of the above works then try hard to box up the things that are bothering you into “compartments” of issues that will be a problem in a week, a month, or a year from now.
If something is going to be denting your happiness levels in twelve months then take steps to change that first and work your way down the list. So, basically, don’t sweat things that won’t be an issue in a week is the idea. (Or better yet, why not just take positive action to change everything?).
Just remember when you’re struggling that you’re doing this for you. And because you deserve it.
Make sure you’re providing your body with the nutrients it needs to work the way it should every single day. Lumity‘s carefully created formulas ensure that you’re getting everything you need so you can get on with living the life you love.