Overcoming Obstacles to Happiness

Having high and often unrealistic expectations of yourself is a common human experience, and is something that can be difficult to overcome. Placing this level of expectation upon yourself is especially easily done when you are seeking genuine happiness and positivity. Continue reading Overcoming Obstacles to Happiness

Enjoying The Holiday Season

During this time of year it is easy to get stressed out by all of the additional pressures that go hand in hand with the holiday season. And, because of this, you will likely have seen article after article talking about the best ways to beat that festive stress. Continue reading Enjoying The Holiday Season

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!

How to Deal with Negativity

There are countless reasons why negativity may feature regularly in your life. Perhaps you have some not-so positive relationships that you haven’t let go of yet, or perhaps you are still dealing with incidents in your past that have affected you in an ongoing way.

A lot of the negativity that we experience as people unfortunately largely comes from other people! Passing judgement is something we are all guilty of to some degree, but it is important to remember that you don’t always have to absorb this judgement when you are on the receiving end of it.

Choose Compassion

Making an extra effort be compassionate and kind in all that you do is a great way to tackle negativity. This is an idea that you should particularly embrace if you are experiencing negativity in a direct way, such as someone challenging you in an unnecessarily unpleasant manner. When you give nothing but positivity back to these people then you are much more likely to be able to disarm this negativity and resolve the situation.

Understand Intentions

It is an unfortunate fact that people who experience negativity from others often go on to spread this negativity around. Those who seek to cause emotional harm to others, or who do so unconsciously, will most likely have received this kind of treatment from one or more other people. This is why choosing not to engage in this behaviour and opting for positivity instead is a great idea. Doing so breaks the cycle of negativity that is being spread from one person to the next, and encourages love and happiness instead.

Overcoming Negativity

Whether the negativity in your life stems from you or come from others, the most important thing is to remember that you can choose to overcome it. You are in charge of your own happiness, and you must make the choice to create the life that you want for yourself.

Every time you find yourself in a situation that makes you unhappy in some way, then ask yourself how you would advise your best friend to deal with this situation. Would you encourage them to walk away? To try to confront the issue head on? Perhaps you would advise yourself to take some time to process your feelings properly before attempting to address the problem.

When it comes to self-love and self-care, you have to be your own best friend. And, treating yourself as such is a simple but effective way to overcome negativity!

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 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!

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 Make Time for Yourself

Wishing for extra hours in the day is certainly not a new concept and many of us are often left wondering where the time goes! With such busy schedules and such limited time to fit it all in, the idea of finding additional time for yourself may often seem laughable, and even verging on impossible! 

There is certainly nothing wrong with being organised, but if it seems like every moment of your life is scheduled and accounted for, then you may actually be doing more harm than good. If this sounds like you, then taking a step back, and giving yourself permission to just be, could be the best decision you can make.

Starting The Day

A lot of discussions around being more time efficient centre around the morning routine. How you start your day is often seen as a benchmark as to how successful the rest of your day will be. However, putting too much emphasis on the first few hours of the day can actually cause unnecessary stress that you then take with you into the rest of the day.

The way in which you find it best to start the day is of course individual to you! If you feel inspired to meditate, do yoga or cook a healthy breakfast for yourself from scratch, then certainly you can benefit from these things, but don’t beat yourself up if you do not feel motivated to do so!

Trying to cram too much into the beginning of the day can leave you feeling overwhelmed and then less able to make time for yourself during the remainder of the day!

Re-evaluate Your Routine

You may find that having a routine helps you to commit to doing the things that you need to do. However, it is important to take into consideration that no two days are ever going to be the same. It is often impossible to predict what your life and your mind will have in store for you. By this I mean, events may occur that throw your schedule off, and that your mood can fluctuate from one day to the next, making certain things seem harder to accomplish.

For these reasons, it is important not to overload your days with scheduled activities and commitments. Of course there are going to be things that you need to do, but there is no harm in spreading these activities out, and in doing so you will naturally create a larger amount of time for yourself within each individual day.

Understand Your Importance

Making time for yourself is a super simple but seriously underrated form of self-care! If you are someone who spends a great deal of time caring for others then you may have forgotten how important your own health, happiness and time is!

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!

Selflessness and Self-Care

There are many different ways to practice self-care and it is something that I advocate we should all include in our daily routines. When you make the time to allow self-care into your life, you are choosing to love yourself, meet your own needs and put your health and happiness first – as you should!

There are several self-care acts that you are probably already familiar with, such as meditating, giving yourself a compliment or spending some time in the sun. However, there are also much more radical acts of self-care that not everyone will think to try!

Acts of selflessness are actually acts of self-care and I’m going to explain why this is!

When you act in a selfless way you are choosing to put someone else’s needs over your own, even if just for a short period of time. You are showing kindness, compassion and a willingness to reach out to someone else. This can really help you to appreciate all that you already have in life and encourage you to be more appreciative of your own blessings.

Getting involved in the various community projects that undoubtedly exist where you live is a great way to start to practice this selflessness. This is also an easy way to meet new and interesting people who will surely bring even more positivity into your life. Getting involved in community projects is also a good way to have fun and to engage in new experiences – both of which are certainly acts of self-care as they contribute to your confidence and sense of self-worth.

Expressing selflessness through random acts of kindness to strangers is another great way to care for others as well as yourself! Buy some lunch for a homeless person, give some money to a charity collector on the street or compliment a stranger. However you choose to demonstrate this kindness, the only thing that is important is that it is a genuine act of selflessness for no other reason.

When you begin to make it a habit to act in this way, you will find that kindness finds its way into your life in abundance. This will encourage greater feelings of self-love in yourself and will motivate you to continue with your routine of self-care.

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 self-care is a HUGE part of this!

From December 3rd you can join us on a FREE 21 Day Happiness Challenge! This will take just ten minutes of your time each day and will help you to find the happiness you are seeking. Click here to register and get started!