Goals for 2022

Things we’re going to START and STOP in 2022

2022 is the year to say goodbye to New Year’s Resolutions and say hello to Start and Stop Lists. We’ve identified a way for you to achieve your goals and make this year the best one yet!

A start and stop list is very similar to your run of the mill new year’s resolutions and they both have the same strategy in mind – to help you achieve your goals. January is the perfect time to stop and reflect on the year that just passed. Think about the highs and the lows and take note of exactly what you want to change to have a better new year. 

What is a stop and start list? 

It’s as simple as it sounds. A stop and start list is all the things you’re going to stop doing or accepting in 2022 and all the things you’re going to start doing to have a better year. 

Before creating this list, take a moment to sit back and reflect on everything that happened in 2021 – the good, the bad and everything in between. 

Think about the things you’d like to stop doing going forward, some things you’d like to begin doing and what you’d like to continue to do. 

Then create your list of everything you’d to;

START:  What will you START doing to be more effective and accomplish your goals?

STOP:  What will you STOP doing to free up time, resources and create greater focus? What will you stop letting affect you or keep you from achieving your goals? 

CONTINUE: What will you CONTINUE doing that’s working well and serving you and the life you’re creating?

New Goals

Some things to stop and start in 2022 

What to stop 

Procrastinating – It’s so much easier to put things off and get to it later but procrastinating only leads to more stress and is a hindrance to you achieving your goals. 

Comparing yourself to others – Social media has given us a snapshot into everyone’s seemingly perfect and fun lives. Remember this is a heavily filtered peak into a very small portion of someone’s true reality.

Putting off trying new things – Ever wanted to try yoga or start a journal or go mountain biking but talked yourself out of it? 2022 is the year to do at least one new thing and stick to it! 

Regularly binge-watching tv series – Honestly, this is more of a note to self but it’s a good thing for all of us to stop doing. Netflix has given us all the opportunity to binge-watch multiple series on end but this year, try to restrict how much tv you’re watching and still your time with some more productive or meaningful.

Filling all your free time with social media – If you really think about how much time you waste mindlessly scrolling through TikTok or Instagram, it’s actually quite scary. Maybe think of setting a limit on when or how often you can go on any form of social media in a day. You’ll probably find that you have a lot more time in your day.

What to start 

Looking after yourself and putting yourself first – Self-care is your top priority in 2022 because if you aren’t properly taking care of yourself, you can’t help those around you and you’ll struggle to achieve your goals. 

Making a list of goals and sticking to themNow, this isn’t a new year’s resolution like “I will start going to the gym”. These are specific things you want to achieve that will help you become a better you and get you to where you want to be in life. Thus your fitness goal would be something more specific like; “I will go to the gym 3 times a week before work”. 

Prioristing your health – If you don’t live a very active life, find some form of physical activity you love doing and make it a habit. Think about the nutrients you’re consuming and how you can eat better for your body. Consider eliminating unhealthy habits like smoking and ordering too much takeout. 

A new hobby – Make it a fun mission to do something new this year whether it’s painting, running or journaling. There are so many new things to try out there and it’s a great way to fall in love with this year. 

Planning for the future – When you’re thinking of the goals you’d like to achieve this year, start thinking about how these goals will help you get to where you want to be in the future. Work towards that promotion you’ve been thinking about, plan a budget that will help you save as much as possible for a future trip or to buy a house.  

 

Explore: 5 simple habits to improve your health and investments

Things to continue 

Taking care of yourself – You deserve to be loved by yourself first. Spend time with yourself and spoil yourself! 

Working towards your dream job – Don’t just talk about the dream job you want, continue working at making that dream a reality. 

Loving the people around you – The people in your life have helped you get to where you are, continue to show them the love and appreciation you have for them. 

Being kind to yourself – The year is going to have its ups and downs. It’s important for you to give yourself a break when things get tough. You’re doing the best you can. 

 

Just saying “2022 is going to be my year” won’t make it so. You have to actively work at making this the best year for you. There are some things you need to leave behind in 2021 and some things you have to push yourself to start doing this year. These are only a few of our suggestions, make your stop and start list personal to you and your goals. You’ll be surprised at what you can achieve in 2022.

Christmas Lunch

6 Simple tips to avoid overeating this festive season

The holiday season is upon us and with all the fun festivities comes an abundance of delicious food! It’s definitely the time to indulge a little bit but there can also be too much of a good thing. Our top tips will have you loving the festive food without bingeing. 

In many households, a good holiday season is often associated with an abundance of food from large meals to snacks and desserts. We become accustomed to thinking that it’s perfectly fine to overeat during December and we’ll get back to our healthy ways in January. But many of us start the new year feeling lethargic, bloated and just uncomfortable. 

As much as we love good food, delicious drinks and great company, there really can be too much of a good thing. You don’t want to binge and overindulge to the point where you feel ill or unhappy. 

Our tips will ensure you enjoy all the festivities without feeling the need to binge or overeat. Sound a little impossible? Keep reading, we’ve got you!

Something important to keep in mind

Please remember that this is not the time of year to think about a diet or feel bad about yourself or nitpick at every single thing you’re putting into your body. 

This time of the year is for you to focus on your loved ones, think about the year that you just thrived through (yes, we say thrived because even if you don’t think so, you’ve accomplished SO much this year) and it’s a time to have FUN! 

But while you’re loving life and finally getting the relaxation you deserve, don’t let your health take a backseat. Even though we fully support you living it up and indulging here and there, you still need to have some form of control over what you’re consuming. 

This is why we’ve highlighted some simple ways to avoid bingeing and overeating this festive season. 

Explore: How to practice mindful and intuitive eating during the holidays.

Tips to avoid the festive binge

Think about it like this – rather have 1 mince pie in one afternoon instead of 4. It’s small changes like this that will easily keep you from bingeing and feeling bleh.

  1. Ever thought about a festive food goal? 

Now, we know this may sound a little restrictive but it doesn’t have to be. When we say a festive food goal, we mean something like choosing to have one sugary treat a day. This could be one chocolate from your advent calendar or one serving of dessert. You choose what your treat is but just make sure it’s only one a day (while still keeping tip 3 in mind).   

This way you won’t be eating multiple treats with no sense of control. We know the mindset of “Ugh, it’s Christmas” or “But it’s the holidays” is tempting to use as an excuse to eat whatever you want but by setting small food goals for the festive season, you’ll feel better and it will be better for you in the long run. 

 

Christmas Feast

2. Eat smart and plan ahead

If you’re going out to a party or meeting up with friends, eat a nutritious snack before heading out. This will ensure that you’re not starving when you get to where you’re going so you’ll be less inclined to over-order or overeat.

 

If you’re going to your aunt’s house and you know that she’s not a big veggie eater, offer to bring a  dish and make a nutritious veggie bake. This way you have a little control over the nutrients you’re giving your body. 

There are little adjustments you can make by simply planning ahead. 

3. Think about those portions

Now this is the trickiest tip of them all! Restricting the amount of peppermint crisp tart that you’re quite literally drooling over, is no easy feat. 

But this is one of the easiest things for you to do. When dishing up for yourself, rather go for a little less, if you’re still hungry, you can still go for seconds but you’ll probably find that your eyes are always a little bigger than your stomach. 

You’ll find that if you have a smaller portion of each food offered at a meal and wait 10 minutes after eating, you’ll actually be satisfied. And you’ll have a little extra space for dessert too!

 

Discover: Simple holiday exercises 

4. Don’t forget your veggies 

It’s so easy to immediately pile all the roasted potatoes on your plate or the different assortments of bread and before you know it, there’s no room for veggies or salad. 

Make sure you’re still eating enough veggies. Veggies keep you fuller for longer and will keep you from sneaking to the fridge for a midnight snack later. 

5. Be mindful 

Actually think about all that you’re eating. It’s so easy to get caught up in all the food that surrounds you but really think about what you want and what will serve your body. Eat slowly and think about how you feel. Remain in tune with your body, it will tell you what you need and even if your mind is yelling “more!”, your body is probably begging you to stop so pay attention.  

6. Be kind to yourself 

Like we mentioned, this is an amazing time of the year and it’s not the time to be hard on yourself. But you really don’t want to feel uncomfortable or unhappy so by simply being more mindful and having a tiny bit of self-control, you’ll go into the new year feeling refreshed and satisfied! 

Related: 8 Health hacks to stay healthy and fit this festive season

We’re not even going to lie to you, this blog has us thinking about those mince pies and delicious meals that await us so we’ll leave you with this – you deserve this break, you deserve the treats and delicious food and you deserve the time with your loved ones so enjoy it to the fullest! 

Just remember to pace yourself, think about what your body needs and be kind to yourself because you deserve it!

Happy holidays from all of us at WellBe & Co!

Working during the festive season

How to stay focused and motivated before and during silly season

This time of the year is difficult. We’re tired, it’s been a long year and December leave feels like it’s just out of reach. Staying motivated and focused on your work can sometimes feel impossible but we’re here to tell you that you can do it! You’re nearly there and our expert tips will keep you going as we approach the silly season.

You know that feeling on a Thursday where you’re impatiently waiting for Friday to come so that you can finally let your hair down for the weekend? November is basically the Thursday of the year where you’re eagerly waiting for December to come around the corner. And as we creep past November and into December the impatience grows as your leave days near. 

Staying focused on everyday tasks and getting your work done is next to impossible when you’re thinking of an upcoming holiday or what to get your loved ones for Christmas or all the food that’s in store. We could go on and on but let’s get to the point. We’ve identified some fantastic tips to keep you focused and motivated to get through the last stretch of this year. 

Explore: How To Be Professionally Successful And Feel It

How to stay motivated and focused 

Goals, goals, goals

You’ve definitely heard this one before but setting achievable goals is one of the best ways to remain motivated. 

Get out a notebook and write down the goals you’d like to achieve before the end of the year. The trick is to be as specific as possible as well as realistic. You could write goals like meeting all your deadlines before going on leave or wrapping up your final projects (write down exactly what each task is and maybe include the dates you would like them to be completed by). 

Be realistic in your goals though, don’t try to squeeze in working towards getting a promotion if you haven’t had the conversation with your manager or worked towards that goal throughout the year. If you write down goals that are unreachable, you’ll end up feeling deflated and demotivated. 

Related: Everyday Hacks To Keep You Calm And Focused For A Busy Day

Don’t be hard on yourself 

It’s been a long year… Scratch that, it’s been a long 2 years! You’re tired (you aren’t alone in that) and you desperately need a break. There is a reason it’s recommended to take a certain amount of leave in a year – we need and deserve it. 

If you’re struggling to get through the last few weeks, that’s okay. But make sure that you’re still doing the best that you can to achieve the final goals you’ve set. If your best right now is 60%, then do that but keep going. 

Discover: How to manage your stress and make it work for you 

Festive season motivation

Find ways to re-energise 

When you begin to feel your motivation begin to drain, think of ways that will pick your energy back up. Make sure it’s something you enjoy doing though, otherwise, you’re just going to feel as depleted. 

These are a few of our ideas for a pick-me-up:

  • Take a coffee break – step away from your desk and take a break with a delicious cup of coffee or tea and be mindful as you re-energise
  • Go for a long walk
  • Make time for a workout – sometimes getting your endorphins flowing is the best thing for you
  • Meditate 
  • Take regular breaks throughout your day – sitting down and working for 4 hours straight will start to wear you down. Take 10 minute breaks every 30 – 60 minutes. 

Have fun!

This can be the best time of the year filled with so much love and excitement as we all work towards the end of the year. Even though it can be a very busy time filled with deadlines and preparing for December, remember to enjoy every minute of it. 

When you have a positive attitude towards things, you’re more likely to want to do it rather than feeling loathed to do it. 

Try to maintain balance between work and your personal life as you navigate your way through the final weeks of the year.

Teamwork makes the dream work 

If you’re really feeling exhausted, remember that you aren’t alone. Reach out to a colleague to help you meet your deadlines or to a loved one if there are personal tasks you’re struggling to make time for. 

Working together helps us feel motivated and will lighten the load you may feel. You could also form a little group at work where you do activities together or go on breaks together to help one another remain focused and motivated on finishing the year strong.

Read: How To Bloom Where You Are and Succeed

The end is near

Try to keep in mind that your well-deserved break is right in front of you. This is your final push until you get that much-needed break. 

When you remind yourself that you have to remain motivated for only a short while longer, you may feel more inclined to keep going without feeling like you may drown. 

This time of the year can feel both exhausting and exhilarating so we understand that your focus and motivation may be starting to dwindle. But you’ve got this! This is your little reminder that it’s the final stretch and with the right goals in mind, you can finish this year strong!

Focused

Everyday hacks to keep you calm and focused for a busy day

Busy days are pretty unavoidable, especially as we near the end of the year. This time of the year is filled with last-minute deadlines and cramming everything in before going on leave. It’s pretty easy to begin to feel overwhelmed, not to mention exhausted. But we’ve got some amazing hacks to prepare you for an upcoming busy day.

Waking up in the morning knowing you’re about to be snowed under by all the tasks you need to complete with very little time to even breathe is horrible. There’s no way to sugarcoat it. But there are ways of mastering your feelings and tasks without feeling like you’re drowning. 

The ability to stay calm, present and productive is valuable on any given day but it’s the tough days where you need these traits the most. 

Take it from someone that used to be a Master Procrastinator, there are a few skills I have mastered to keep me calm and focused on my busiest days. 

 

Explore: Mental Health Check-In Tips And When To See A Specialist

The importance of staying calm

As mentioned above, busy days are unavoidable and there’s almost no way of getting around the hustle and bustle of the year-end madness. If you approach these overwhelming days stressed and with a negative mindset though, you really aren’t doing yourself any favours. 

And yes, that’s definitely easier said than done but you have a very slim chance of being 100% productive when you’re frantic and the chances of making mistakes increases tremendously. 

It’s vital to find things that work for you that keep you in a positive and level-headed mindset so that you can completely dominate the day ahead. 

 

Related: Set yourself up for a positive day, everyday

Hacks to stay calm and focused 

Get enough sleep

When we’re busy, often our sleep patterns are the first to take a hit. Whether you’re staying up very late to get things finished or struggling to sleep because you’re overly anxious. The best thing you can do for yourself is to prioritise your sleep.

Sleep deprivation can leave you feeling lethargic the next day or cause you to make silly mistakes that will take even more of the time you don’t have to fix them. 

Make sure you’re getting at least 8 hours of sleep and if you’re struggling to sleep, find ways to calm your mind by reading before bed, drinking soothing tea or meditating.

 

Find out: How to beat afternoon fatigue

Have a plan 

If you know you have a busy day or a busy few days ahead, plan your day the evening before. Have a to-do list of the tasks you need to get done or even create a little schedule of how and when you’ll get everything done. 

This way you know exactly what to expect and you have an increased chance of having a productive day because you know exactly what you need to do. 

Compartmentalise

More often than not, busy days are just filled with far too many tasks and you simply don’t have enough hours. Or you’ve planned out your day but people around keep asking for help or you’re given a new task that you did not see coming. 

The best way to handle this is to look at the tasks as a whole and identify which ones are the most urgent. Categorise your tasks from most to least important and begin getting each task done in order of importance.

Focused

Discover: Setting boundaries at work for your mental health

Be patient with yourself

As much as we’d love to think it, we aren’t superheroes and sometimes you just can’t get absolutely every single thing done. The most important thing for you to remember is that it’s okay to not get it all done. 

As long as you’re doing the best that you possibly can, it’s enough. Don’t be hard on yourself. Make sure to plan your days and get as much done as possible but take each task and each day as it comes. 

Move your body 

Doing some form of physical activity each day will do wonders for your mental state. Being stressed and overwhelmed has a massive impact on your mental health. By moving your body in any way, you will alleviate some of the stress and get your endorphins flowing. 

Exercise also gives you a boost of energy if you’re feeling particularly run down. Now we know you’re pressed for time so we suggest going for an afternoon walk or taking a 30-minute break during the day and finding a way to move your body, even a quick dance break is highly recommended. 

Reward yourself 

You’re doing the best you can and rather than be hard on yourself, reward yourself. At the end of a hard day, sit down with a cup of tea or coffee and take a few deep breaths. Tomorrow is another day. Remind yourself that there still is time and you have the strength to get through it all. 

Busy days can be daunting but instead of just diving in, take a step back. Look at the situation as a whole and break it into bite-sized chunks. By planning your day and reminding yourself to take it as it comes, the day won’t seem so overwhelming. 

You’ve made it through busy days before, you’ll thrive through the next one!

Mental health check

Checking in: Mental health check-in tips and when to see a specialist

The last couple of years have been draining on everyone. We have all gone through a pandemic, life readjustments and navigated unprecedented circumstances. It’s only natural to sometimes feel like you’re overwhelmed or out of control. There are few things in this life that we have control over but it is so important that you check in on yourself.

We easily think of asking our loved ones how they’re doing and if they’re okay but we rarely check in on ourselves and our own mental health. This is a mini check-in guide to show you how to do daily check-ins with yourself and we’ll highlight if it may be a better idea to seek some professional advice. 

What is a mental health check-in?

Have you ever been worried about a friend and decided to give them a call to see how they’re doing? 

Well, a mental health check-in works the same but you’re asking yourself how you’re doing. It’s all about taking a moment in every day to reflect on how you’re feeling physically, emotionally and mentally. There are various ways to do a mental health check-in and it’s best to find what works for you. Some people prefer to sit back with a cup of coffee while sitting outside and taking a moment to themselves while others prefer to sit with a journal and write everything out. 

We’ve outlined a few things you can do to check in on yourself. 

Mental health check

Mental health check-in tips

Important questions to ask yourself

When you’re doing a mental health check-in, it is ideal to find some time in your day where you can be completely mindful and have enough time to truly reflect. 

You could spare a few minutes on your lunch break or on your way home, any time where you are on your own and can concentrate on your own needs. Once you have found the time, think about what you would like to ask yourself. Here are a few of our suggestions;

  1. How am I feeling today, really? Both physically and mentally.
  2. What’s taking up most of my headspace right now?
  3. What was my last full meal, and have I been drinking enough water?
  4. How have I been sleeping?
  5. Have I been doing any physical activities lately?
  6. What did I do today that made me feel good?
  7. What’s something I can do today that would be good for me?
  8. What’s something I’m looking forward to in the next few days?
  9. What am I grateful for right now?

There are many other questions you can ask yourself but these questions will give you a sense of how you are doing. Are you stressed? Have you been looking after yourself physically? All of this contributes to your mental health and by asking and answering these questions honestly, you will be more cognisant of how you’re actually managing.

For some more tips on how to be truly present, give this article a read.

Keep a journal 

If asking yourself these questions doesn’t really work for you then try writing it down in a personal journal. You can set aside some time in the morning where you write down your daily affirmations (these are positive thoughts about yourself and your life), your goals and what you’re grateful for

Keeping a daily journal will help you set your intentions for the day and help you start the day on a positive note. You can also use the journal to outline your feelings or challenges you faced that day with possible solutions to help you the next day. 

Look at your feelings and behaviours

Has anything changed lately? Have you become impatient and snappy when you’re usually calm and reasonable? Take a look at if your feelings and behaviours that you perceive to be normal for you have changed. 

This goes hand-in-hand with asking yourself how you’re feeling but it’s important to take note of if anything has fundamentally changed with you and then you need to ask yourself why.

Assess your physical health 

Have you been sleeping enough? Are you drinking enough water? Are you getting in any physical activity? 

Your physical health impacts your mental health tremendously and if you have found that you aren’t feeling great mentally but you aren’t sure why, try assessing if you have let your physical health slip. 

A healthy body will help keep a healthy mind.

Don’t wait until things are really bad

Mental health isn’t always easy to talk about and more often than not, we’re quite hard on ourselves where we will say “You’re fine, it’s just a bad day” or “I need to just get over it”. Thinking you’re fine and trying to push how you’re truly feeling to the side can be dangerous to your overall mental health. 

Treat yourself the same way you’d treat a close friend. When someone you love is having a very hard time, you wouldn’t tell them to get over it, you’d offer advice or tell them to get help. So, why wouldn’t you do the same for yourself?

When to seek professional assistance 

Everyone has days where they feel low or depressed or even out of control. So much is happening in our lives every single day, it is normal to not feel 100% all of the time. This then begs the question, “how do I know if I need to see a specialist then?” 

Well, a good rule of thumb is, if your “low” or depressed mood lasts longer than a week or two or if you’re struggling to function at work, with your family or in your social life and if daily tasks seem unbearable, it would be in your best interest to seek out some help. 

Remember though, getting professional help does not make you weak, it takes a really strong person to admit that they need help. 

Over Eating Tips

Are you an emotional overeater? Here are 5 ways to help you overcome it

How often do you find yourself reaching for some comfort food when you’re feeling overwhelmed? It’s often an unconscious action where you’re having a bad day or work is stressful and a bowl of ice cream is just the thing to make you feel better. Don’t worry, you aren’t alone. Emotional overeating is more common than you may think. 

Even though eating while you’re feeling stressed, sad or overwhelmed can make you feel better in the moment, more often than not, you’ll find yourself feeling bloated and uncomfortable not long after. This leads to feelings of regret and can make you even more emotional. We’ve got some great ways to navigate through these feelings so you don’t need to rely on food.

What is emotional eating?

Emotional overeating is when you use food to soothe negative feelings and emotions you’re struggling with. It’s when you use food to fill your emotional needs instead of hunger. 

We’re talking about overeating though to the point where you feel uncomfortable and know you should have stopped. Reaching for some comfort food when you’re having a bad day is something completely different. A delicious pizza at the end of a disastrous day can be a pick me up but the problem comes in when you have the pizza, followed by some chocolate and then a couple of biscuits and so on because you’re trying so hard to fill the void your emotions have created. 

Related: Managing stress and how to make it work for you

The more regularly you use food to make yourself feel better, the more you rely on food for just that. You begin to fall into a pattern of eating whenever you feel bad which will not help you work through those emotions in a more therapeutic and healthy manner. 

Causes of emotional eating

Ever heard of the phrase “trying to fill the void”? In most instances, negative emotions can make you feel empty and food is a way to fill that void and create an illusion of “fullness”, making you feel better temporarily. 

When you’re an emotional overeater, this is more than likely due to you developing it as a coping mechanism instead of possibly reaching out to a loved one, using meditation or physical exercise or any other coping mechanism which will help you navigate negative emotions in a healthier way. 

The cycle of emotional eating

When emotional overeating becomes a pattern, it can turn into a vicious cycle that often feels like it will never end. 

It begins by feeling something upsetting or negative, reaching for food for comfort, overindulging to fill the void which leads you to feel powerless over food or uncomfortable and then you’re back to having negative feelings. 

Eating will make you feel good in the moment but at the end of the day, those feelings are still there.  

How to overcome emotional eating 

There are many ways to overcome emotional eating and it’s important for you to find something that suits you the best. If you feel that your emotional overeating is something you can’t handle or overcome on your own, it is always a good idea to reach out for professional advice. 

These 5 tips can help you navigate your way through your emotions and help you overcome overeating;

1. Understand the root cause 

This is no easy task but when you’re feeling down and feel the need to reach for food, you need to understand what’s causing that feeling. 

A bad day at work or fighting with a friend are temporary problems that you will overcome in time but if there are deeper issues that are causing you to feel stressed, overwhelmed or depressed, it is vital to dive deeper into the root cause of these feelings. 


We suggest reaching out to a loved one or a professional for some assistance because our tips may help you with overeating but if you haven’t dealt with your emotions, you’re only rectifying half of the whole problem. 

2. Ask yourself why you’re eating

When you find yourself reaching for a snack or taking a trip to the fridge, ask yourself if you’re actually hungry. Why do you feel the need to eat right now? 

It might be a good idea to rate your levels of hunger. After you’ve asked yourself if you’re hungry, rate how hungry you are on a scale of 1-5. If you rated your hunger between a 3 and 5, grab something nutritious to eat. Anything lower than a 3, maybe make a cup of tea instead. 

This will stop you from “mindlessly” eating at any given moment. 

3. Plan

If you know you’re an emotional overeater, plan for it. 

Rather than grabbing an entire packet of chips, fill some containers with nuts or fruit for example. Have an allocated amount of snacks as your go-to for when you feel like you need a little pick me up. 

You can see these as your emergency snack packs or as snacks for when you’re feeling a little bit peckish but the only way this will work is if you have some control over the number of snacks you are packaging. 

4. Practice mindful eating

Most of the time, the act of eating is done on autopilot. You’ll find yourself sitting down in front of a Netflix series chomping on your meal and before you know it, it’s finished and you can’t even really remember eating all of it. 

It might be a good idea to really think about when you’re feeling hungry and what you will eat to fulfil that hunger. Try to limit distractions like your phone or TV while you’re eating so you are mindful of what and how much you are eating. 

Really engage your senses while you eat and acknowledge the taste and smell of each bite. And try to slow down your eating by chewing for at least 20 seconds and pausing in between mouthfuls. This will help you realise when you are actually full so you don’t overeat.  

There is so much to living a mindful life, read up on the art of mindfulness here. 

5. Find other ways to cope 

Instead of always going to food when you’re feeling overwhelmed, try replacing it with a healthy coping mechanism. 

Where you can, try meditation instead or going for a walk. Physical activity has been proven to improve our moods as well. You can also take a look at the link between yoga and self-love for other ways to work through your emotions. 

Maybe even distract yourself by reaching out to someone you trust and talk through what you are feeling. 

Being a human being filled with emotions is difficult and we all do what we can to get by but sometimes we don’t realise that our coping mechanisms are more harmful than good. We hope our tips help you overcome your emotional overeating but always remember that reaching out for professional help is sometimes the best thing for you!

Gratitude

Planting positivity – what you need to know about the art of gratitude

In a world as unpredictable and crazy as ours, it’s easy to forget to be grateful. We go about living our lives the same way each day but did you know that actively practising the art of gratitude can change your life? 

Actively expressing gratitude has been proven to improve levels of anxiety, depression, stress and it changes your way of thinking where you no longer dwell on the negative but start to focus on the good in your life. However, having an attitude of gratitude is more than just saying “thank you”. 

What is the art of gratitude? 

The art of gratitude goes hand in hand with living a more mindful life. When you focus on being mindful, you are trying to be more present in all that you do. By being more present, you slow down your daily routine and you’re more cognizant of your life and the people around you.  

When you practise the art of gratitude, you also slow down and focus on the good in your life and the good in the people you surround yourself with. 

The art of gratitude, at its core, is simply living a happy and fulfilling life. It’s where you regularly take the time to be thankful for all that you have, to thank those around you and share in the abundance of life. The more you do this, the more good you start to attract and by just practising gratitude, you are planting the first seed of positivity. 

Related: Living With Gratitude: How To Make Every Day Count

How to practise the art of gratitude 

This isn’t a difficult task. There are no major changes you need to make. The main thing is to slow your day down and focus on what you have to be thankful for. You can do this by;

Journaling 

Create a gratitude journal, nothing fancy, a notebook will do just fine. 

Every morning or every evening, hide your phone away for a little while and sit in a calm and happy space (my favourite is outside on the patio with a cup of Rooibos tea). Now take the time to reflect on your life, the people in it, your achievements and write down a list of things to be grateful for. 

Some examples could be; your furry companion, your health, the job you have or even that you made it out of bed that day (this is a very important one if you’re going through a tough time). 

You can list as many things as you want to but we recommend at least listing 3-5.   

Saying thank you

This sounds obvious but have you ever held a door open for someone or let them into your lane during heavy traffic and not been thanked? It’s not the best feeling. 

Now you don’t have to throw a parade for every person that does something nice but simply acknowledging that someone helped you goes a very long way. Take the time to actively thank those who have made your day a little easier. 

If you have a friend or family member who has been a ray of sunshine in your life recently, send them some flowers or even a text letting them know that they’re appreciated. 

Making others feel good has a direct response to how you feel. 

Having daily affirmations 

You can use your gratitude journal or simply do this in front of the mirror but as much as you’re grateful for all that you have, you need to be equally grateful for all that you are. 

Some self-love can drastically change your perceptions and feelings. Be thankful that you are here, that you are an incredible person, a good friend and someone who is valued. 

In the same way that you’d take some time to write in your journal what you’re grateful for, take the time to pause and be grateful that you are you.

Meditating

Similar to being mindful, meditation and focusing on your breathing is a great way to practise being grateful. 

During mindful meditation, you are focused on the present moment without any judgement and often during this time while you focus on your breathing you think of a word or a phrase like peace or happiness. With the art of gratitude though, you can focus on what you are grateful for and let those beautiful thoughts manifest in your subconscious. 

Take a look at how to master meditation here

Planting Gratitude

How planting positivity can change your life 

Planting seeds of positivity and letting them flourish into multiple facets of gratitude can transform your life in a variety of ways. Listed below are some of those ways; 

Gratitude shifts your focus

You begin to see the positive rather than the negative and as you begin to master the art of gratitude, the negative in your life won’t have a great hold over you and you will navigate your way through it better. 

Being grateful makes you feel happier

The more grateful you are, the more you start to realise how good your life actually is. 

You’ll be less materialistic

This doesn’t mean that you won’t have the drive to acquire all that you want in life but you won’t be as focused on getting the next best thing. You’ll be satisfied and grateful for what you have been blessed with. 

You’ll be less likely to experience burnout

As you use mindfulness and the art of gratitude to navigate your way through life, you’ll begin to live a slower-paced life that will feel more manageable. You’ll begin to prioritise important tasks and work through them in a much calmer manner.

You’ll improve your physical health

You’ll start to sleep better and feel more in tune with your body and its needs, encouraging you to be more physically active (through yoga, going for walks etc) and have more time to focus on your and your needs. 

You’ll begin to develop patience, humility and wisdom

As you slow down and focus on the good in your life, you’ll begin to feel more at peace and more inclined to enjoy the smaller things in life and all it has to offer. 

The art of gratitude is another way of practicing self-love and getting more out of this life. Life gets busy and with all that we have faced during the pandemic, it is so important to actively seek the sprouts of positivity all around you.

Career growth

How to Bloom Where You Are & Succeed

By Jessica Brownlee

Even if you feel your life circumstances are less than desirable right now, you can choose to bloom anyway!

It can easily feel like life is throwing you some pretty nasty surprises, or just keeps dealing you a rotten hand of cards. While you can’t change certain things and just need to play the cards you are dealt, you can in the midst of less than ideal situations choose to make the best of your circumstances and bloom anyway.

With spring in the air a popular mexican proverb comes to mind, “they tried to bury us, but they didn’t know we were seeds”. You may have had a particularly difficult past few months, I think most of South Africa and the Global population has faced some sort of challenges, and naturally on some days it feels like we are a little seed buried deep in the dark soil. One thing we don’t want is for you to be all cavalier and ooze toxic positivity about your challenges, because they do matter. What you feel and what you’ve been through matter. But with Spring upon us we want to encourage you and help you find ways to leverage your enduring human spirit, boost your mood and bloom in the midst of it. 

Just like a wildflower blooming in the spring, you too will go through stages. Getting to a place of happiness, satisfaction and genuine optimism is a process. As Wellbe, we want to share some tools and tips with you to help you bloom and attract what you desire in life. Just like that wildflower you walked past in the park or the one growing in the cracks of the paving outside your office, it all starts with a little seed. Here are some practical little seeds for you to plant to allow yourself to bloom:

Bloom where you are

Shift your mindset

Too often we think that happiness or fulfillment will be attained if we can just get there or do this or be more like that. We want to challenge you to acknowledge that you already have everything you need to be happier, more content and to fulfill your potential. Perhaps this spring you need a mindset shift, from scarcity to abundance. A scarcity mindset is rooted in the belief that there is not enough. For example, you may believe you do not have enough time, money, resources, work and opportunities to achieve your goals or be more content. But the truth is that your inability to see the abundance around you is what is limiting you. You need to try shift to an abundance mindset, one which focuses on surplus rather than limits. By focusing on abundance, or what you have enough of, you will feel calmer, be more resilient and set yourself up to bloom. Next time you find yourself dwelling on what you do not have enough of, shift to focusing on what you do in fact have plenty of and see how your life changes.

Tune in to your physical health

It is almost impossible to live your best life if you are feeling under the weather and lacking vitality. You can truly thrive by tuning into your physical health and your physical needs, as much as you do your emotional or social needs. Remember managing your physical health may look very different to your friends. Try new things and focus on what works for you, if it’s a daily walk over HITT or eating more carbs than fats, do that. Get back to basics focusing on balancing blood sugar, moving and sleeping. Our bodies are all unique and it is never a one size fits all.

Be Proactive about your goals

All too often we get caught up in the here and now and we neglect to take actionable steps towards our future desires. An important part of feeling content, and blooming where you are, is deliberately working towards something meaningful for you. In fact, psychologists call this the happiness of excellence, it is kind of happiness that comes from the pursuit of something great. Find something that you want to work towards whether it is a fitness journey, a personal growth goal, redecorating your patio or replanting your garden or a new skill for your career and take proactive and measured actions towards it.

Build your social connections

Joy is increased when it is shared. You cannot bloom, grow and thrive without healthy and fulfilling social connections. By genuinely bonding and connecting with others you are meeting many important basic human needs. Take time this spring to spend some quality time with one or two people who build you up. Do something nice for someone else and enjoy their feelings of joy and gratitude. When life is challenging it is easy to focus inwards, but by focusing outwards you are allowing yourself better perspective on your challenges and sharing the load.

Take time to do the work and get to know yourself

Often we are motivated and content when we are doing things in alignment to our core values and interests. Take some time this spring, before genuine silly season sets in, to explore your strengths, values and what makes you truly happy. You could spend time doing a journal, a vision board, speak to a trusted advisor or just set time aside to reflect on who you are and why you value yourself. Getting in touch with yourself can be immensely rewarding, build your self-esteem and enhance every area of your life, as you genuinely come to know what you want.

Perhaps when working through these tips and tools you can identify a few more little seeds that you can plant or habits you can water that will bring you more contentment, joy and thriving, right where you are. Spring has sprung, take the new season and the warmer weather as inspiration to start fresh and live a more fulfilled life. 

 

 


 

About Jessica Brownlee

Jessica is an industrial and organizational psychologist specializing in learning, leadership, talent, neuroscience and wellness. A self-proclaimed wellness geek, Jessica writes The Humble Humanologist blog to inspire, motivate and uplift others on their work and wellness journey. She is her own boss, running a consulting company, Psychology360 (www.psychology360.org) and consults globally to some of the leading organizations. Jessica also strives to find balance and is an avid yogi and yoga teacher (who is yet to master a hand stand).

Instagram: @thehumblehumanologist

Facebook: Psychology360

Website: www.psychology360.org

Female Health Checks

5 Important Health Checks Every Woman Should Do

As women, we are in between trying to balance careers, children, families, social lives and so on. And because of how busy life gets, it can be hard to remember to look after your own health on top of it all.

This is why creating healthy habits for yourself through eating healthily, exercising and meditation is so crucial because you need the energy and ability to tackle your everyday. Over and above creating healthy habits, it’s also very important to ensure that you have regular health checks. The reason why health checks are so important is that they can improve your quality of life, prevent complications and detect potential problems early, which can ultimately save your life in the long run.

So the question is: What health checks should you be getting?

Female Health Checks

1. Pap Smears

As you enter adulthood you should be going to get regular Pap Smears. According to WebMD you should go for the test “every 3 years from ages 21 to 65”. The purpose of this exam is to test for cervical cancer in women. It can also reveal changes in your cervical cells that may turn into cancer later.

2. Mammograms

A mammogram is a screening for breast cancer. It involves compressing the breast between plates so that X-ray images can be captured. According to nationalbreastcancer.org “women 40 and older should have mammograms every 1 or 2 years”.

3. Blood pressure

Having regular blood pressure tests should happen throughout your life. According to heart.org, “blood pressure numbers of less than 120/80 mm Hg are considered within the normal range”. To maintain a healthy blood pressure range you need to follow a healthy diet and incorporate regular exercise into your life.

4. Skin examination

Regular at home skin examinations should happen every month. You need to start getting in the habit of scanning your skin for any new moles or start pointing out changes to existing moles as they can be an early sign of skin cancer. According to cancer.orgfinding it early when it’s small and has not spread, makes skin cancer much easier to treat”. If you have a family history of skin cancer it’s best to go for regular check ups with your doctor or dermatologist.

5. Dental checks

From the moment you get your first tooth and through your whole life you should be going for regular checks with your dentist. According to nhs.uk “people with good oral health will probably need to attend only once every 12 to 24 months, but those with more problems will need check-ups more often”. This way you can spot early signs of decay and any other problems.

 

Exercise

Maximise your workouts by tailoring it to your menstrual cycle

Your menstrual cycle plus exercise can often equal misery, right? Everything your body is going through is enough on its own, who wants to add exercise to that equation? We’ve all been there at one time or another but there are definitely some perks to exercising while you’re on your period. 

Now, this isn’t going to be one of those blogs that tells you to put the chocolate down and make sure you workout every day of your menstrual cycle. We completely understand that a little bit of indulgence and rest can be the best thing for you during your time of the month. But if you still want to exercise and get your endorphins flowing, then keep reading! We are diving into everything you should know about exercising while on your period.  

A little bit about menstrual cycles

Before we get into it, let’s briefly discuss menstrual cycles.  

Generally, a full menstrual cycle lasts about 28 days, with a little bit of wiggle room. Some cycles can range from 23 to 35 days. The first day of your period is the start of your menstrual cycle followed by the next 27 days until you begin your next period counting as a complete cycle.

Every menstrual cycle is unique but they all have the same phases – the menstrual phase, follicular phase, ovulation and the luteal phase. 

These phases make up each complete month of your menstrual cycle and they can make you feel differently throughout the month. 

The menstrual phase is from when your period starts to when it ends and your estrogen and progesterone hormone levels decrease during this time. It usually lasts for about 3-7 days but it can vary. This begins the follicular phase which starts on day one of your period and continues until ovulation and it’s usually about 16 days. During this phase, the follicle-stimulating hormone is released. 

During ovulation, the luteinizing hormone is released in response to the follicular phase’s rise in estrogen levels. You may notice your body temperature increase during this phase. 

And then lastly you’ll enter the luteal phase where there is a rise in progesterone and a slight increase in estrogen levels and then as this phase ends, these hormones will decrease. This is when you’ll experience all those fun PMS symptoms like bloating, headaches and cravings (large Cadbury bar anyone?).  

How does working out affect your period (and vice versa)?  

While you’re on your period, your body and hormones often feel like they’re going through the most! 

Any form of exercise can have subtle or extreme influences on your menstrual cycle depending on how your body reacts to physical activity. Your body is controlled by your hormones and physical activity can impact your hormone levels which is why your period can affect the way you workout. 

Want to know a secret though? You can maximise your workouts by simply going with your flow. According to Women’s Health advisory board member Stacy T. Sims, PhD, you can tailor your exercise routine to your cycle and you can find a way to perform at your best throughout the month.

 

Exercise

How to maximise my workouts 

Firstly, high-five for even thinking of hitting a workout while on your period because it can be tough. 

Your menstrual cycle causes your hormone levels to change throughout the month which in turn makes you feel stronger, more tired or moody depending on the time of your cycle. 

In the beginning

During the beginning stages of your cycle (this is when you’re on your period), your progesterone and estrogen are at their lowest which can cause a dip in energy levels and cause your emotions to go a little haywire. This is a great time to really listen to your body and see what it feels like doing. 

If you’re really struggling then do a slower form of workouts like going for a walk, doing yoga or even just hopping on the treadmill. This will keep your body moving, increase your endorphins and you should be feeling a lot better once you’re done. 

If you’re up to it though, you should try and include some strength training in your workouts. Research has shown that strength training during the follicular phase (days 1-14 of your cycle) results in increases in muscle strength compared to training in the luteal phase (days 15-28 of your cycle).

The sweet middle spot

During the middle of your menstrual cycle (this is usually during ovulation), you might find your energy levels increasing as your estrogen and testosterone levels increase again. This is the best time for high-intensity workouts and possibly even some heavyweight training. It’s time to take full advantage of your power! 

The end is near

And then finally you’ll move into the luteal phase. This is when your progesterone levels rise and your estrogen decreases. To be quite honest, this is the most problematic time of the month and this is when you begin experiencing the majority of your PMS symptoms.   

This is probably when you’re going to feel like sitting on the couch working through your watch list on Netflix rather than working out at the gym. But don’t give up on your physical health! 

Try to go for shorter workouts or keep your workouts the same but use lighter weights and less intensity. Be realistic about what your body is going through and don’t be too hard on yourself if you’re not performing at your best. 

Menstrual cycles can be frustrating but equally wonderful. They give you the opportunity to fully embrace yourself and all that you’re capable of. It’s just about making your flow work for you.