How often do you take time out for yourself? Most people try to pack so much into their busy schedules that they end up with no time left for the basics in life: to prepare and eat a proper meal, to take some gentle exercise, to relax, to enjoy time with friends and family.
Taking time out to pamper yourself will boost your general wellbeing and you will end up feeling younger, healthier and more energized. You don’t have to spend a lot of time to make a difference; a little effort goes a long way to reducing stress and improving your physical and emotional wellbeing.
How to improve your wellbeing? Follow some basic guidelines:
- Make time for yourself.
- Improve your fitness through diet, posture and exercise.
- Salt Body Scrub
Bathing and showering are an important part of health and wellbeing. Not only for keeping our body clean but for the added relaxation that involves a long soak in the bath or an invigorating shower. You...
Making Time for yourself
Taking time out for yourself is an important aspect of general wellbeing. You can invest as little or as much time as you can spare. Even a few minutes a day or an hour a week spent on YOU will make a difference.
Remember that different things work for different people. For example some of my working girlfriends like to wake up very early in the morning, before any other member of the family is up, so they have the time to have a shower and a good invigorating breakfast enjoyed in a relaxed environment. That hour spent on themselves works for them to kick-start their day. Personally, I’d rather sleep that extra hour and just have a quick super light breakfast.
For me what works best is to take one day off a week for myself. I start with a 30 minute brisk walk followed by one hour and a half swim and an hour in the sauna relaxing between the hamam, cold showers and a cup of Moroccan mint tea. If I feel like spoiling myself I even go for an exfoliation –a black soap or a salt body scrub- before the sauna and a massage afterwards. After that I feel invigorated for the whole week. Otherwise I just take an hour or two any time I can and go cycling in the countryside, or just walking in the woods, any excuse is valid to go for a walk with friends: mushroom collection, picking wild berries or nuts or just walking for the sake of it. Find what works best for you, find something you enjoy doing and give yourself some time.
Making time for yourself sometimes means saying NO to others. NO to do overtime work even if it is paid. Your time and wellbeing are worth more than money. I like the fact that in France workers protest very often, not to have higher salaries but to have more free time. Here people prefer to earn less money but have more time to spend with their families, friends or just enjoying their hobbies. The standard French working week is 35 hours a week and yet France is one of the most productive countries in the world. Why? Maybe because a happier person is a more productive person?
Improve your fitness through diet, posture and exercise
Detoxifying your body from junk and convenience food, too much drinking and smoking is one of the best ways to achieve general fitness and wellbeing. A detox programme serves to stop overloading the body with harmful substances and to give the body plenty of the right nutrients to actually speed up the elimination of old toxins and promote cell renewal. The theory behind this is that during a detox programme there are no new toxins to be processed giving the body the opportunity to clean and repair itself.
I have always wanted to go on a 7 day detox programme, to revitalize body and soul but I have never managed to follow the programme not even for a day. To be honest, I find it more revitalizing for my body and soul to have a glass of red wine with some Roquefort, shared with friends under a warming sun chatting about food and sex!. But then, that is just me!
As for following strict diets… I have done that for years. Now I don’t and I feel happier than ever. I don’t know if I am healthier but I know that I am happier. After all, my husband was right; “a hungry woman is an angry woman”. Nowadays I indulge as often as possible in my not so secret passions; cheese and wine and I am a thousand times happier than when I only used to eat fat free-pasteurized-low salt cheese on crisp bread! The downside is that now I am 10 kilos heavier but at least I am happier. The truth being that if I have eaten well then I feel well, I am happier and in a better mood and that reflects on everybody else around me being happier.
For me food is one of the greatest pleasures in life. That is why I am so happy in France, here the people talk about what they ate, what they are going to eat now and with who. Food has more than just a nutritional value; food is part of their lives. There are occasions when friends would travel 3 hours to the seaside just to indulge in fresh oysters; or wake up at four in the morning to travel for another couple of hours to get the first truffles of the season. The French strive for quality food and that reflects in their delicious yet simple cuisine.
As for posture… this is of the utmost relevance when it comes to looking and feeling well. Good posture is just learning to use your body properly so that it is in alignment. It is so fundamental that a good posture means that you are breathing properly. When you slouch your internal organs do not have enough room and not only you take less oxygen, but you use it less efficiently too.
The best way to pamper yourself is to relax. Again different things work for different people. For me a long walk along the beach late in the evening can be very relaxing. Other people can find it relaxing going to the gym and working out or maybe just going out with friends.
Do whatever works for you. Do not follow the latest trends or imitate your friends; find what makes you feel relax and zen and stick to it