Zzzzzzzzz…

You know when someone tells you something for the seventh billion time, or you google something, and all 13,787,546 pages of Goggle have the same answer. You sit there and think, YES I KNOW THIS ALREADY!! Well maybe, just maybe, it’s because ‘cliché’s’ are sometimes all be it the most obvious answer in the world but also the best. Why am I rambling on about this you ask? There is a point, I promise. While thinking what would be beneficial and inspiring to write about in this week’s Wellness Wednesday post I realised, I was unmotivated, feeling flat, bloated and exhausted! That’s when it hit me. The number one wellness tip in the world, the number one beauty tip in the world, the number one health tip in the world… SLEEP

Wake up call

We all do, we all need, and there is somebody doing it every minute of every day.

There’s a part of society that see it as cool to be like ‘I got 4 hours sleep last night’ Well this is NOT cool. Sleep is so important to all of us. It causes personalities to change (and not in a good way) if you’re deprived of it. Everyone’s body needs to rest, heal and recover. 

But it’s not just about getting in those zzz’s it’s about the quality of sleep. Last year I struggled to sleep because my brain wasn’t being challenged enough in the day that it didn’t feel like it needed the full 8 hours. These day’s I’m so specific about what I plan each day that when I do finally settle in for the night it’s a welcome 7-8 hours. If I’m extra lucky I’ll get a cheeky 9 hours on a weekend and it feels SO GOOD! (maybe better than sex…maybe)

Bed time

Before we get into a few things that help you sleep here’s why you should get some sleep:

  1. Lack of sleep can make you fat! I don’t even need to see the evidence on this one. It’s not worth the risk, get to bed earlier and your body will thank you.
  2. Improved Concentration and productivity. We all know this is true, if you got 3 hours sleep last night and do 9 hours at work the next day did you achieve anything? Most likely not! You would have been much better off getting 9 hours sleep and 3 hours of work but going into the office and smashing it!
  3. Poor sleep can effect inflammation in your body. Woken up after 5 hours feeling puffy bloated and awful? Go back to bed and sleep it off.

When it comes to getting those zzz’s in I can’t help you but here are a few tips I do to ensure that when my head does hit the pillow the quality is as good as the quantity. THE BETTER THE SLEEP THE LESS STRESS

No coffee

 

  1. Coffee cut off! I love coffee and yes it’s a stable part of my morning routine, I love the smell the taste and the simple enjoyment of drinking it. However I do not drink coffee after 2pm and that is on a very bad day! Most day’s I have one 8am coffee, if I’m really struggling or it’s a Tuesday (I take a French class on Tuesday evening so it’s a rather long day for me) 2pm is the VERY latest I can drink coffee. 14:01- sorry you’ll have to get through. Coffee has an absurd shelf life in your system so if you are drinking coffee late into the day then that caffeine is still in your system when you go to bed. You are literally going to bed wired. Cut the coffee and see if it helps, I’m confident it will.
  2. Reading. I have always loved to read but last year I managed very little. So this year I was determined to set a 2019 reading list and go for it. Admittedly I’ve discovered ‘Audiable’ and love an audio book on the way to work or while running however there’s something about a real book in your hands, turning the pages and of course…the smell. I’ve you’re no0t a book person you are probably thinking WTF right now, what a werido, but for all you book people- you know what I mean right? Anyway I’ve found that sitting down for 20-30 minutes a with an actual book really helps me get out of my head and let go of the day. I listened to a podcast a while back now (I forget which one sorry) but the theme was stress. The theory was that when we go home and replay in our heads a stressful experience then our bodies relive this and trigger all the same chemical reactions. Reading takes you away from all of that, transports you to another world. When you do put the book down (if you can) every worry from the day will seem so far away it won’t be as relevant. Now you can relax. Tonight I’m starting Lonely Planet- Vietnam!
  3. Acupression Mats! I LOVE THIS!!! Seriously it’s so good, I even take mine with me if I’m working away. These mats (I got mine from Amazon) have so many benefits; they relieve stress from the body, relaxes the body & mind, helps blood circulation and can help with back pain. This last point I can really vouch for this week.
Bed time read

So there you have it my 3 simple tips for getting some good quality sleep. Try these out and let me know how you get on.

Leave your comments below or on my latest Instagram post!

Can wait to wake up and see them all.

Night,

 

Is it time to Fika?

During one of my endless scrolls through Instagram, I came across an image that featured a word, a word I had never heard or seen before… Fika. 

A simple four letter sound but it’s meaning really struck a nerve. Technically, fika is a coffee break traditionally around 10am in the morning and maybe with some cake, not much different to the traditional British elevenses. However, the meaning of the word has since evolved into so much more. 

It’s now considered to be a whole new concept, a state of mind or attitude and most importantly it plays an important part in the Swedish culture. 

Why do I think this is so important? Sweden is consistently rated as being one of the top 10 happiest countries in the world. So why not incorporate more of their ways of life into yours? I don’t know about you, but coffee and cake always make me happy!

 

Loosely translated fika means ‘break time’ and I know that’s not something I make nearly enough time for. Remember being a kid in school? Turn up, do a couple of lessons have a break do one more have a lunch break then a couple more have an afternoon break before one last class and go home. 

Unfortunately, such nice to haves are a taboo in adult life. I’m ashamed to say that I eat at my desk at least 3 times a week, although this is my choice as I chose to run during my lunch break if my work load allows it and the break from my screen and desk, along with the fresh air is a great distraction from my work responsibilities. I still put my headphones on and block out the world. I don’t interact, I don’t take part in social engagement until the end of the run when we stop and say good work to one another as we upload our workouts on Strava.

Fika is about engagement, spending time with people, slowing down and appreciating the good things in life. It’s less about keeping up with the Jones’s and more about stopping to smell the roses. 


This doesn’t just happen in the Swedish culture! The French and Italian’s are well known for taking their time enjoying food and the company that comes along with it. Less coffee-to-go, more let’s chat over coffee and cake. (Coffee in it’s own right has created multiple communities across the world which I wrote about here).

I have so many friends that have busy lives and at times, WhatsApp chats of us trying to check our diaries can be so frustrating that you don’t even want to go out by the time you’ve finally arranged something. Have you ever sat there and thought I don’t want to go now? Or turned up in a bad mood. Honestly when you’re with people you care about and are close to those bad feelings melt away so quickly, it’s the power of being social.

FUN FACT: Thousands of years ago, humans had to be social creatures and communicate with each other, tribes would educate other tribes on what plants to eat and which ones not to eat. Move forward 2000 years and we now discuss what products to use, what brands do the best lipsticks. We share tips and tricks on EVERYTHING!

We are social animals by nature, even the most introvert ones.

Even if it’s just once a month seeing your friends and catching up IN PERSON, there are so many more benefits than chatting over the phone than you think. Following someone’s life through social media is not knowing them, we only post things that make us happy and you can easily misinterpret that as their lives being amazing, when in actual fact they’ve been going through something and could really use a friend.


RECOMMENDED:

I recently listened to the Deliciously Ella Podcast, Season 2 ‘Lessons in Happiness from Around the World’ which features Helen Russell, journalist and author of ‘A year of living Danishly.’ She talks about happiness around the world and how it’s perceived, very interesting and you can pick up a thing or two. There are things that we may talk for granted that other cultures truly treasure.

What’s your favourite social activity? Love a comment below.

Love

Tee

x

Doing everything… In time

Most people I know listen to me talk about my schedule and say, ‘wow you’re so busy!’ Or, ‘you may be one of the busiest people I know.’ But, you know I’m an everything girl right? I love keeping myself occupied and this is something I am unapologetic about. However, I do listen to people’s concerns of ‘you don’t stop.’

What many people don’t know, is how ill I got at the age of 16 when I ran myself into the ground. I was going to college in the day, studying in my breaks, working night shifts and full day shifts on a weekend, while still going out in every other waking moment.

I was 16 and I thought I could do it all, who needed sleep anyway? One afternoon sat in class, I felt a chill and the one side of my face literally felt like it had been numbed, it was a weird sensation that crept over my face very slowly. I remember poking my face and not being able to feel it, panicking and thinking what’s going on? I opened my mouth to talk and felt that my face wasn’t moving correctly. I headed straight home, avoiding my reflection all the way, knowing something about my face wasn’t right. I got home and looked in the mirror, okay I look normal… I opened my mouth like I was trying to yawn and there it was. Half my face was paralysed, it essentially looked like the scream mask.

I was FREAKING OUT! My mom laughed and when  I called my dad in hysterics, he bluntly told me ‘you have Bell’s palsy, you need to see a GP first thing tomorrow.’

‘But I have work tomorrow morning.’

‘You can’t work.’

I started to panic again, I didn’t love going to work, but I couldn’t not turn up to a shift, I’d worked shifts low staffed and it’s horrible. I didn’t want to put people through that.

When I woke in the morning, my face was stiff and numb, like when you come out of the dentists after a couple of hours trying to have your teeth removed. Also, my eye had started to drop in fact the left side of my face had dropped even the side of my mouth.

The GP confirmed my dad’s theory, Bell’s palsy. He explained this was trigged by a viral infection and most likely not allowing my body to recover correctly, it occurs when the seventh cranial nerve becomes swollen or compressed, the result facial paralysis action. The recovery… 9 months on average.

Back then medication was rarely prescribed and I refused steroids. I was going to get back to me and on my own terms. I needed to prioritise my schedule and recovery had to be up there.

It has taken many years of practise and building habits to break them to start to find something that works well for me, so click below and what it is I do to help myself keep running at light-speed and a few tricks I use to help prevent my skin giving away how tired I really am.

Doing everything

Self Care 101

Hey again… as you know I’m an everything girl. To me this means having balance in my life, and that includes looking after myself as much as I look out for other people.

We all know the importance of self care, but do we actual practice it?

Some of you (the one’s of you that have mastered the art of adulting) may have said ‘Yes of course! I always take time out for me.’ Some of you may have simply laughed. There are so many different elements to self care that it maybe that if you are only doing one or two things and self sabotaging in other areas like food for instance.

Personally I have been a advocate for self care since my teenage years when realiTee hit and I realized that I cannot handle stress or as my dad likes to say ‘burning the candle at both ends’

I resented this statement throughout university, as you know I’m a woman that wants it all and I’m willing to work hard for it, if my body can keep up. As I watched friends go off and party all night pull all nighters to get coursework submitted and one friend juggle being a single mom I came to believe that this lifestyle was a right of passage and didn’t I wanted to go through as effortless as everyone else appeared to.

Of course working night shifts at a full time job didn’t really fit in with this, neither did the fact that I actually attended my lectures. What it took me a while to learn is that what works for some people doesn’t work for others. Let go of the FOMO and embrace your own wellbeing. Self care is not selfish, but practicing self-care can help provide you with the resources you need to be more compassionate to others. Compassion is like charity, it starts at home and you can’t give what you don’t have.

Self care