THREE MINDFUL WAYS TO END THE YEAR: ON SLOWING DOWN, LISTENING TO YOUR BODY AND BATHING IN GRATITUDE

Keeping things simple is not really my strong suit, though a clear focus helps to provide me with guidance when things get a little frantic. Which is precisely what happens at the end of the year! My previous post served as a friendly reminder to get rid of all the excess and concentrate on that which really matters. All with the ultimate goal to look back on this year with joy and fulfilment.

I figured out my own destination by realising where I didn’t want to end up, namely the chaos and overwhelm I experienced the past weeks. I was running around, trying to tick off a massive list of to-do’s, resulting in being too tired for the actual fun stuff I did plan. Sounds familiar? Since that didn’t seem like the right way forward, I decided to focus on three mindful ways to end this year:

slow down

Perhaps the hardest of the three is slowing down. I’m not only suggesting you should reduce your overall life pace – it’s a fantastic thing to take fifteen minutes to drink your coffee and have a proper breakfast in the morning – I propose you become mindful of your choices: what are you saying yes or no to?

Is the extra project at work really necessary right now? Can the coffee-date with your aunt’s friend wait? Could you use that time doing something nice for yourself instead (or nothing at all!)? Carefully and consciously choosing will eventually result in you doing less, and therefore in you enjoying the things you actually want to do more fully. It’s super effective!


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listen to your body

Has your body been yelling at you lately, have you listened to it? Mine has, and I haven’t been listening. I eat when I’m stressed or overwhelmed and I have IBS – a far from ideal combination, which always reminds me of what happens when you add vinegar to bicarb.

Big red flags when my skin breaks out and my tummy is expanding to the size of a hot air balloon. When this happens, it usually means I forgot to do all the things that actually make me feel good, like yoga, running, write, calling a friend, eating the right things (!) and spending time outside. Figure out your own red flags. Hear your body yelling. It’s trying to tell you something, so be kind and listen.

bathe in gratitude

It’s so easy to get wrapped up in all that which is not going well! I get it. It sure is super tough to keep your head up while you feel your life is not going according to plan, that you didn’t achieve what you set yourself out to do or your circumstances do not yet reflect all the hard work you put into changing.

But you can shine some light on that! Look at what is good right here in this moment, what things did you achieve and what did you learn from putting in the work? Expressing your appreciation for that which is, will elevate your mood. Bathe in gratitude, it works a treat.

Bathe in gratitude, it works a treat.

So here they are, three mindful ways to end the year: slowing down, listening to your body and bathing in gratitude. It won’t come without working to keep these in focus until the last day of December, but it’ll certainly make you look back on this year being super chilled, in tune with what your body needs and deeply grateful…

Love,

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FIND YOUR LAST MINUTE FOCUS: HOW TO MAKE THE FINAL TWO MONTHS OF THE YEAR, YOUR BEST MONTHS YET

All of a sudden it’s there: November… the year has almost come to an end! Which means there are two months left to make sure you look back on this year with joy and fulfilment. Today’s post will be all about how to make these final two months of the year, your best months yet.

The end of the year marks a time of reflection. We look back on what has been and how we would like to move forward once the new year commences. It might be that time of the year when you realise, you’ve entirely forgotten about all your bucket-list activities, whole-hearted intentions and got side-tracked whilst pursuing your life goals.

It also that time of the year when you’re trying to remain sane as, you’re only experiencing daylight during the weekend or the occasional lunch break walks and, afloat amidst the hectic, booze filled, sugar-laden celebratory activities.

“Finding your last minute focus is much like booking a last minute holiday…”

I don’t propose that you attempt to jam an entire year’s worth of work into two months. Instead, I would suggest to approach the situation much like booking a last minute holiday by finding your last minute focus.

1. review your last minute options

You’re leaving for a holiday tomorrow. You haven’t got a clue where you would like to go. What options do you have? What is possible? Depending on your budget and days-off you can opt for a safari trip in South-Africa or a weekend in Rome.

Things aren’t so different when choosing your last minute focus. You could simply ask yourself: Which improvements could I make to be more healthy or happy at the end of the year? Keep your current life circumstances in mind, your options should match those. At the moment, cutting down on caffeine and refined sugar might be a better fit than quitting it altogether.

2. pick your destination with care

Once you’ve figured out your options, you’re now ready to pick your destination – your last minute focus. Let me tell you this, keep it simple. Two or three small achievable things usually have more effect than trying to tackle something big. For example, committing to one extremely mindful sun salutation a day will most likely be more successful than doing a 60-minute yoga session daily. Ask yourself: Can I stick with this? A challenge is great! Just don’t overdo it.

3. pack your bags

Now you know where you’re going, you can pack your bags! Wandering through Rome in your safari outfit might not be very comfortable, especially during winter. In a similar fashion, you’ll have to set yourself up in a proper way to keep your last minute focus. Perhaps you need a list of healthy snacks to eat when you crave something sweet or, a little calendar on the wall to mark off your daily sun salutations. Whatever it is that you need, put it in your bag!

4. time to go!

And then it’s time to go! Don’t forget to treat yourself when things are going well and you’ve managed to stick to your last minute focus (I’m thinking hot baths and facial masks). Having an off day? Take a moment to see why it’s hard to keep your focus, adjust if necessary and start fresh the next day. It’s about the conscious effort you’re putting in. Have a little fun with it!

Although the end of the year is in sight, there’s still plenty of time to create some magic. When you intentionally decide what your focus will be in these final two months of your year, you will allow yourself to make them your best months yet!

Love,

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