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!

Winter Immune System Health

As the winter season begins to settle in it becomes all the more important that we pay attention to the health of our immune systems. Consciously supporting your immune system should be seen as giving yourself a helping hand to stay healthy through the winter, and always close to the top of your priority list! 

There are several small things that you can do to give this aspect of your health a boost, and doing so can not only protect your body from illness, but will also help you to maintain your positive mood. When we begin to get ill our happiness can suffer, and this can lead to increased levels of stress as we struggle to find the energy and the motivation to get things done. This can become a cyclic problem as higher levels of stress can further compromise the immune system!

Get to Bed

Getting enough sleep can sometimes feel impossible. We all have our different reasons for not always getting an adequate amount of good quality sleep at night – but whatever your reason, it is important for the health of your immune system that you work to resolve the problem.

You can try going to bed earlier, avoiding caffeine or other dietary stimulants in the evening, meditating before bed and creating a more peaceful sleeping environment for yourself.

Eat for Digestive Health

The health of your digestive system is closely connected to your immune system function, and this is something I discussed in my previous article on Gut Health and your Diet.

Cutting out highly processed foods and those that are high in sugar is a great place to start. Additionally, taking a daily probiotic can help to encourage the presence of good bacteria in the gut.

Want to learn more about how eating more plant-based foods can enhance your health in other ways too? Click here now to check out my starter guide!

Pay Attention to Vitamin D

Vitamin D is most commonly known for its role is protecting bone health, but it is also important for the health of your immune system. Your body naturally creates vitamin D from the sun, and getting outside into the sunshine is a simple way to make sure you are producing enough. However, this can become a problem during the winter months due to the grey weather and shorter days.

Fortunately, many foods are fortified with vitamin D and it also occurs naturally in quite a range of foods. Therefore making the extra effort to include vitamin D rich produce during the colder months will help to keep your immune system functioning properly.

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!

24 Hours of Self-Care

As you all know, I’m all about self-care and making it a priority. I talk, write and dream a lot about those small moments of self-care that we should incorporate into our everyday life. Continue reading 24 Hours of Self-Care

Alternatives to Meditation

The benefits of regular meditation are seriously not to be overlooked! It can help to combat stress, soothe anxieties and aid your mind in the process of dealing with emotions and past experiences – to name just a few great benefits. But it is true to say that traditional meditation isn’t everyone’s cup of tea…

If you find it hard to partake in meditation then there is no reason that you need to miss out on the benefits of this mood enhancing activity. Maybe you find it difficult to sit still for extended periods of time, or perhaps you struggle to create or find an environment that is conducive to this peaceful practice.

The key to enjoying the benefits of meditation, without necessarily engaging in a seated, eyes closed meditative practice, is to quieten your mind, focus on your breathing and simplify your thought process. This is something that you can do absolutely everywhere, and in any moment – you do not need to put time aside to spend a few moments doing these things.

Incorporating basic meditation concepts into your day is an easy way to enjoy the benefits without engaging in the actual practice. For example, when you are walking to work, take a few minutes to clear your mind, breathe deeply in and out, and bring your focus to concentrate solely on your breathing. As thoughts about your day try to invade this process, acknowledge them and then release them from your mind to bring your attention back to your breathing. Doing this each morning before you reach the office can help you to start your day with a relaxed and peaceful mindset.

Paying attention to your breathing throughout your day helps to settle the mind similarly to how meditation would. Breathing deeply from the very bottom of your lungs is the way to enjoy this – in through your nose and then out through your mouth. Try to keep your shoulders loose and do not let any tension build up in any part of your body while you are doing this. This is something that you can do regularly during your day for between two and ten minutes each time. You will soon notice that you are more prone to breathe in a deep way naturally, thereby better enabling your mind to tackle anxiety and keep stress at bay!

This month on my wellness for women community website we are talking about the best ways to avert anxiety! You can click here to join us now and start on your journey to a happier, healthier version of yourself!

Yoga and Mental Health

It is an unfortunate fact that the importance of your physical health is often placed above your mental health. This is a damaging attitude that is sadly quite prevalent in our society today! Taking the time to care for yourself in emotional and spiritual ways can often bring more benefits to your life then that gym session that you always prioritise!

The great thing about practicing yoga is that doing so can boost both your physical and mental health, strengthening the body whilst it also soothes the mind. With a regular yoga practice, especially one that incorporates aspects of meditation, you will soon notice that you are better equipped to heal yourself emotionally and to enhance your self-esteem and confidence.

Alleviating Anxiety

One of the most exciting ways that yoga can benefit your mental health is by helping to alleviate anxiety. When you practice yoga regularly you will notice that you are in a more relaxed state during your day to day activities. This will make you less prone to anxiety, and will also enable you to deal with it better in the moments when it does present itself. This is largely concerned with the breathing techniques that you will engage with during each yoga session.

Love Yourself

Your relationship with yourself is the most important relationship you will ever be a part of. When you embrace yoga as a regular feature in your life, you will naturally pay greater attention to this relationship, and begin to address any issues that may be present. As yoga goes hand in hand with healthy eating and additional exercise and relaxation practices, you will also naturally begin to place a greater emphasis on treating your body with more love and respect.

Become Aware of Yourself

During a relaxing yoga practice you will be guided through the process of becoming more aware of your physical presence. This can quickly help you to recognise areas of tension where energy may be blocked in your body. Only when you are aware of this can you truly work to resolve it and allow the flow of energy through your body to improve. As well as benefiting your emotional well-being, this can also help your body to function better, thereby improving your physical health.

This month on my wellness for women community website we are talking about the best ways to avert anxiety! You can click here to join us now and start on your journey to a happier, healthier version of yourself!

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 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 Persist with Positivity

As we come towards the end of January, it can be easy to place less importance on the resolutions and goals that you felt were super important at the beginning of the year.

You may already have a solid idea of what it is you want to achieve this year. However, you may also not yet be so aware of where 2017 will take you. Whichever of these situations sounds more true to your own experience, the key to moving forwards is to enable your own positivity.

Positive thinking is a concept that can bring an abundance of happiness into your life, and isn’t something that you should ignore! Often you may feel as though your happiness comes to you naturally, and on other occasions it can be harder to find the source of these positive feelings. This is why knowing how to create a positive mindset for yourself in any situation is beneficial for every aspect of your life.

Meditation

Making time for conscious positivity every day is one of the best ways to ensure that it doesn’t leave your life. For example, spend a short period of time practicing meditation and focusing on all of the great things in your life that you are grateful for. These can be small things, or brief interactions with people that left you feeling good. They can also be larger ideas and tangible things that you are proud of.

Positive Affirmations

Repeating positive affirmations to yourself during the day is also a great way to encourage a continuos positive mindset. Using positive affirmations can seriously help to re-route negative thought patterns and help you to avoid dwelling on past problems, thereby allowing positivity to persist.

Self-Care

Self-care can take many forms. It is an amazing way to keep a smile on your face and peace in your mind. Small acts of self-care may involve making an effort every morning to have a routine that readies you for the day, taking time to be by yourself in nature, or having periods away from technology and the general noise of modern day life.

Incorporating all of the aforementioned concepts into your life will help you to create the happiness you want for yourself. There is no limit to how this positivity can grow and impact you and those around you!

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!