Yoga Flow at Dusk

Practicing yoga in the evening is a fantastic way to reset your stress levels and invite some peace and relaxation into your mind.

Any of us may have a bad day for any number of reasons and it is important to accept that this is going to happen from time to time. The important thing is how you choose to deal with this negativity, and whether you allow it to follow you into the next day.

Ending each day by hitting the yoga mat is an incredible way to release negativity. Doing so can set you up for a good night’s sleep followed by a peaceful and positive morning.

Yoga for Relaxation

When you engage in a regular yoga practice you are likely to notice that your stress levels decrease, anxiety is experienced less frequently (or to a lesser degree) and also that you generally feel more at peace during your days. But, why is this?

As you flow through a yoga session you are going to naturally clear your mind of worries and concerns as you concentrate on the activity at hand. Also, as you move through the poses, you will be encouraging the flow of blood around your body and releasing tension from the muscles.

The deliberate and conscious way in which you breathe whilst practicing yoga is key to the relaxation benefits that you will enjoy! So, be sure to pay attention to your breath, especially during the moments when you are holding each pose.

Meditation

A normal yoga session will often involve periods of meditation, which has been shown to seriously aid stress release and support a positive frame of mind. When you make time to meditate daily – even for a short amount of time – then you are giving yourself permission to solely focus on yourself and your emotions. This is an incredibly powerful thing to do and can help you to connect to yourself.

The following video demonstrates a sequence I created to guide you through a 30 minute daily flow. You can really practice this at any time of the day, but I believe it is especially useful in the evenings! If you enjoy this video then be sure to head over to my YouTube channel for more!

If you have seen my new wellness for women membership site – Truly Julie – then you will know that I am on a mission to inspire and motivate women to become healthier and happier – and I would love it if you would join me on this journey as we move towards the end of 2017!

Self-Care Sunday – Emotional Eating

As you all know, self-care is one of my favourite things to talk about AND is also something that I consistently work to make a part of my own life. In fact, I’m so sure about the power of self-care that it’s the focus of my upcoming book – Recharge: A Year of Self-Care to Focus on You.

In order to celebrate the launch of my book I am going to be sharing one topic from the book every Sunday for 12 weeks. This is something that I got started with last week, and you may have caught the video on YouTube!

For those of you who missed it, the first topic that I wanted to explore with you was Emotional Eating.

Emotional eating is something that we are all surely sometimes guilty of! Everyone does it – myself included – but it is important that we recognise this behaviour in ourselves and that we work to overcome the source of our issues.

The way in which many of us live, with packed out schedules, stressful jobs and so many things to keep on top of, means that turning to food for comfort is often easy to do. It can feel as though food is the only thing that will fill the void after a long day, and most of us will know already which our go-to foods are!

As I discussed in my first video in my Self-Care Sunday series, the most important thing when it comes to emotional eating is to acknowledge your feelings. When you know that you are eating to soothe your emotions, make a conscious effort to understand your feelings in this moment. Listen to these thoughts and don’t beat yourself up for feeling this way. This can help you to develop a deeper understanding as to why you are engaging in this behaviour.

Creating healthy habits in regards to your eating, and breaking away from any negativity that exists within your relationship to food, is the best way to move forwards and away from emotional eating.

I have put together a downloadable PDF for you to look at alongside this video, and you can click here to enter your email address and receive this download!

Also, if you have seen my new wellness for women membership site – Truly Julie – then you will know that I am on a mission to inspire and motivate women to become healthier and happier – and I would love it if you would join me on this journey as we move towards the end of 2017!

Stress and Physical Health

This month within my wellness for women community – Truly Julie – we are talking about different sources of stress and how we can eliminate the impact these stresses have on our lives. This is of course an extensive concept, and one that surely affects all of us to some degree!! Continue reading Stress and Physical Health

How to Not Hold Yourself Back

It’s a sad fact that sometimes we are the ones who hold ourselves back in life! It is often incredibly difficult, verging on impossible, to let go of the fears that we have in order to manifest the life that we want for ourselves.

Needing additional guidance from someone, or requiring that extra little push of encouragement in order to do something, is completely normal. However, this kind of validation isn’t always available from those around us. When this is the case, and also regardless of whether it is or not, it’s possible and powerful to become your own motivation!

We often rob ourselves of what could be defining moments in our lives because of a simple fear of the unknown, or a lack of motivation to truly explore the possibilities that are opening up to us. When this happens, regret can quickly set in, and this is a much longer lasting feeling than any negative feelings that may occur as a result of a perceived failure.

So how can you champion yourself and always have a well of personal inspiration to drink from?

First it’s important to remember that any self-doubt that you are experiencing is likely not entirely of your own creation. The lessons that are an inevitable part of life can often instil an attitude of limiting beliefs about the self. That is, of believing that your capabilities have limits, and that it is silly to attempt to break through these barriers. When you spend some time getting to the root of this self-doubt, then you can begin to understand it as an emotion that has no right in your life or in your mind – and work to expel it for good!

Secondly, you must strive to reject the concept of self-sabotage. Nobody loses out when you let fear hold you back – except yourself! Treating yourself with consistent love, respect and kindness is a great way to reiterate to yourself that you want to succeed in all that you do, and that self-sabotage is certainly not something that you want to engage in.

Thirdly, you must acknowledge that there is much to be gained by making brave choices and taking control of your own life. Holding yourself back, whether intentionally or not, will inevitably allow larger problems to develop in your life, and you could quickly grow resentful of yourself – which is a complicated emotional place to be in!

Let go of your fear, embrace all that is good about your life and be your own champion!

If you have seen my new wellness for women membership site – Truly Julie – then you will know that I am on a mission to inspire and motivate women to become healthier and happier – and I would love it if you would join me on this journey as we keep moving through 2017!

Simple Self-Care

We all know that our own self-care and wellness should be at the top of our priority list. However, how often is this actually the case? Many of us seem to believe that we have to seriously set time aside from our normal daily routine to embrace wellness practices – but this is simply not true!

It actually takes minimal effort to incorporate certain self-care activities into your schedule, and they will soon become second nature – requiring no forethought at all! When you reach this point you will notice that you are more likely to feel relaxed and focused during your days.

Breathing

Breathing is seriously under-rated as a tool for stress relief and can be used anywhere at any time to rebalance your thoughts and your emotions. A simple technique to start is to stop whatever it is that you are doing, close your eyes and begin breathing deeply and slowly. Count each breath in and try not to allow any thoughts, anxieties or feelings to enter your mind. At this moment, counting your breaths is the only thing that you need to concern yourself with and everything else can take a back seat. Try to reach at least 20 breaths each time you do this, and if you have the time then go on for longer! Even if you do not feel particularly stressed out then I suggest you do this several times a day.

Detox Digitally

You are probably already aware of how much stress your digital devices cause you. Constantly checking messages and scrolling through your various social media feeds can not only be quite time consuming, but also emotionally draining. If it’s not possible for you to go the day without your smart phone, then at least try to have extended periods away from it. Make sure you always turn it off before bedtime and do not take it to bed with you!

Ritual Teatime

Having a time set aside for drinking herbal tea and reflecting on your day is a great way to unwind and care for yourself in the evening. You can use this time to enjoy your favourite brew whilst you process the events of the day just passed. Turning this into a mini ceremony by yourself helps your mind to appreciate the importance of this time spent alone caring for yourself.

If you have seen my new wellness for women membership site – Truly Julie – then you will know that I am on a mission to inspire and motivate women to become healthier and happier – and I would love it if you would join me on this journey as we keep moving through 2017!

Meditation and Happiness

Meditation is an incredibly powerful tool for processing emotions, alleviating stress and also for boosting happiness. The latter of these concepts may not be one that you have connected to meditation before, but with regular meditation you are highly likely to soon feel your happiness grow.

Happiness & Relaxation

When you spend an ample amount of time in a state of meditation you are likely to feel lighter, more relaxed and more equipped to deal with the day afterwards. When you partake in this activity regularly, this feeling of preparedness for your day and ability to deal with all life has to throw at you will start to become your normal attitude.

As the days, weeks, months etc pass where you continue to meditate regularly, you are going to notice that not only are you happier before your sessions, but also that your happiness is visibly boosted afterwards. One of the greatest things about this is that you can then extend this happiness and positivity to those around you.

Rewire Your Brain

So, what is it about meditation that increases our potential to find this happiness and also to hold onto it? When you meditate you are actually helping to rewire your brain to be able to better handle your emotions and to retain balance and clarity in all areas of your life. Far from being a quick and temporary fix, this will be a long term concept that you can continue to work on and expand. All you have to do to keep this glow going is to persist with your meditation practice, and also make an effort to develop your practice in a variety of ways.

Developing Your Meditation

You can develop your meditation by working to do so for longer periods of time, and also to focus more clearly on addressing specific issues that you are aware of. For example, if you have concerns about your self-esteem, or you know that you are not loving yourself as you deserve to be loved, then spending time working on these things during your meditation can help you to progress in a well-rounded way.

This is something that can be done endlessly as you address the different aspects of yourself that you want to work on, and then revisit them again after a period of time!

If you have seen my new wellness for women membership site – Truly Julie – then you will know that I am on a mission to inspire and motivate women to become healthier and happier – and I would love it if you would join me on this journey as we keep moving through 2017!

Coming to Terms with Your Anger

Anger is generally an uninvited and unappreciated emotion that can strike at any time in response to a negative experience. Although it can be difficult to prevent anger entirely, it is possible to address this emotion in order to help alleviate the effect it has on your mind.

Understanding your anger is the first step to being able to deal with it when it does occur, and in order to do so it is helpful to be aware of why certain situations prompt you to become angry.

Disagreements, jealously and rejection are common causes of anger. When we encounter any of these things our feelings can become hurt and this can lead to resentment, or even rage. When you allow these emotions to settle and spread throughout your mind you will be allowing your happiness to be compromised. Positive affirmations are a great tool to call upon in these situations in order to rapidly bring some positivity back to the forefront of your thinking.

The following are super helpful positive affirmations, not only for coming to terms with your anger, but also for helping to process and alleviate it!

“I acknowledge these feelings of anger and I am in control of releasing them from my life”

“I am a positive person who can confront my problems constructively and with reason”

“I am calm, I am at peace and I am totally in control of my emotions and my life”

If you find that jealousy often leads to feelings of anger, then it is important to explore these feelings. They can often be connected to loss or abandonment from your childhood.

Those who are quick to react to situations with anger will often find that this stems from self-esteem issues. This is something that can be addressed by taking the time to meditate on these feelings, and finding positive and productive ways to love yourself.

When you do feel angry it is very important to express this anger in some way! Many people try to avoid conflict and this is often because we are told as children that we should not express this emotion. However, keeping these feelings bottled up inside is not good for your physical or mental health, and it is important to have a productive outlet.

If you have seen my new wellness for women membership site – Truly Julie – then you will know that I am on a mission to inspire and motivate women to become healthier and happier – and I would love it if you would join me on this journey as we keep moving through 2017!

How to Handle Your Hormones

Mood swings can strike at any time and although there are certain common likely causes, it is something that can’t always be managed in the same way.

What Are Mood Swings

Your mood swings may be characterised by a variety of things, such as unexplained crying or unjustified irritability. It is important to remember that although your emotions may seem out of proportion, your feelings in each moment are still valid and true, and there is no need to beat yourself up about this!

Diet & Gut Health

A hormonal imbalance is a likely cause when it comes to mood swings, and this can be handled by addressing your lifestyle and making positive changes where necessary. This will largely be in relation to your diet. Your diet can impact your emotions in several ways, and it will also have an impact on the health of your gut. Your gut health is linked to your mood, and it is important to play close attention to this aspect of your overall health. The bacteria in your intestines will influence your hormones, and this of course will then impact your mood. So, a large presence of good bacteria will go a long way to helping!

Blood Sugar Levels

Keeping your blood sugar levels consistent is one of the best ways to keep your mood from fluctuating. You may think that skipping a meal will help you to lose weight, or save you time if you have a busy schedule. But doing so can actually wreak havoc with your hormones and leave you feeling annoyed, fatigued and generally unhappy. Fortunately, you can keep your blood sugar levels up by regularly eating nutritious foods, and avoiding processed foods and sugary snacks!

Sleep & Stress

In addition to your diet, certain lifestyle factors such as sleep will also influence your hormones and therefore your mood. When you do not get enough sleep your body will produce excess levels of cortisol – the stress hormone. This will put unnecessary stress on your adrenal glands, and can cause your serotonin levels to drop. Serotonin is super important for keeping your mood up, and you should always try to get between seven and eight hours of uninterrupted sleep every night. If you have trouble getting to sleep, or find that you are often waking in the night, then you may find some relief by drinking soothing herbal teas before you go to bed.

If you have seen my new wellness for women membership site – Truly Julie – then you will know that I am on a mission to inspire and motivate women to become healthier and happier – and I would love it if you would join me on this journey as we keep moving through 2017!

How to Have a Calm Christmas

Christmas can be a particularly chaotic and stressful time of year for many people. With families to prepare gifts and meals for, social engagements to attend, plus the usual work and life commitments that still have to be met, the pressures can soon add up. The added duties that many of us take on at this time of year can sometimes make the festivities seem more of a burden than a pleasure – and this is the opposite of what our Christmas celebrations should be about!

December is a wonderful time to come together with your friends and family and shouldn’t be a source of stress for anyone! If you are beginning to lose sight of that already this year then there are a few things you can do to bring the enjoyment back and have a peaceful and happy Christmas!

First of all, do not over-exert yourself. It is always nice to be invited to parties and Christmas dinners, however you are not obliged to go to all of them if you simply don’t have the time or energy. With so much to do at this time of year, nobody is going to be offended if you politely decline an invitation.

Secondly, adequately planning ahead for any get-togethers that you may be organising or contributing to will help to alleviate any last minute panic. If you do not have the time to cook then it’s of course completely fine to buy pre-made food for your guests. Alternatively, you can go to a restaurant or cafe, which will also help you to avoid any clean-up at home.

Making the time to care for yourself at this time of year is especially important if you know that you are prone to stress and anxiety. It may be extra hard to find the time to check in with yourself but it is important that you do so in order to stay on top of your feelings. Aim to include at least ten minutes of meditation and deep breathing once a day in a quiet and solitary space.

If you do not have many people to share the festive season with, or many events to attend, then Christmas can still become quite stressful. Many people feel as though there is an expectation of what Christmas should be like, and if your experience doesn’t meet this expectation then your mood may suffer as a result. If this sounds like you, then it is extra important to care for yourself and also to reach out to anybody that you do feel you are close to. Make an extra effort to eat well, exercise often and to keep your mind occupied throughout the day with positivity. Utilising positive affirmations can be particularly effective here as you work to affirm your happiness, confidence and sense of self!

If you have seen my new wellness for women membership site – Truly Julie – then you will know that I am on a mission to inspire and motivate women to become healthier and happier – and I would love it if you would join me on this journey this Christmas!

How to Deal with Stress

Stress is often an unavoidable part of life. It is something that strikes during particularly trying times and helps us to recognise that something is difficult. Although the existence of stress is something that we can’t deny or avoid, there are ways that we can productively deal with stress to ensure that the impact it has on our lives is minimal.

Although stress is most likely something that you would rather live without, it is one of several negative emotions that give contrast to the positivity in our lives. Negative feelings, such as stress and fear, help us to understand how we feel about things, and they often also serve as warnings that we are not entirely comfortable with a situation or happy with ourselves.

Although I often advocate ways to deal with negative emotions and feelings, I would never advise someone to repress them entirely. This is because I believe it is important to embrace this side of yourself.

Stress can manifest in several different ways that can be quite individual to a person. You may find that for you it starts with a mild feeling of anxiety about a certain situation or person. This can then quickly develop into a larger concern that leaves you feeling depressed and reluctant to deal with the situation in question. The additional consequences of this could be that your sleep pattern is affected, your appetite changes and that your mood is prone to inconsistency as irritability sets in.

It can be difficult to manage stress because often it is connected to a potential future concern that you currently have no control over. It can also often just generally be connected to things outside of your control, and therefore there is little that you can do to mitigate this stress. If this is the case then the most effective thing that you can do is check in with yourself in regards to your feelings, and then try as best as you can to restore calm and a more usual frame of mind.

So, when you begin to feel stress take over, ask yourself the following questions:

“What is the absolute worst outcome of this situation?”

“Is there anything I can do in this moment to lessen the severity of the situation?”

“Why has this situation left me feeling like this?”

Once you know the answers to these questions, then you can begin to find a remedy to your predicament and alleviate the stress you are feeling. Often a fear of confrontation will prevent us from addressing our problems head on, leading us to unintentionally exaggerate the seriousness of an issue. When this is the case, simply being upfront and talking things out can bring some relief or allow a solution to present itself.

Some time spent in deep meditation is a great way to truly understand your feelings about your stress, and can also guide you towards resolution.

On my wellness for women website – Truly Julie – I share resources, advice and support that can help you deal with stress head on, as well as helping you to mentally prepare yourself for other sources of negativity!