I am absolutely loving life right now. Like, filled to the brim with gratitude for everything that has unfolded in recent months. I moved to Sydney without a job, and even though job hunting and the idea of not having a regular income is somewhat stressful to me, it has also allowed me to fully immerse myself into this new city. I have been able to focus all my energy on my nutrition studies and also finally launched my health coaching practice. Thanks to my blog I have been invited to some pretty amazing events and had the chance to meet some truly inspiring souls. It's only been two months that I've been here, but I can honestly say that Sydney has become like home already. I feel like I fit right in, and people's openness and hospitality has been nothing short of heart-warming.
After last week's first Winter Wellness Series, hosted by ClassPass at the Nimble ActivewearStore in Bondi together with Jessica Sepel from JSHealth, I felt compelled to share some of the things that I have learned or was reminded of at all these events.
1. Schedule tech-free times
I'm a bit of a phone-a-holic. Instagram, emails, Snapchat, Facebook, you name it, I'm on it all the time. And more often than not it can become a bit stressful. I've been working on incorporating tech-free times into my daily routine, but so far I've been pretty unsuccessful with it (aka I forget my intentions to do so). So when Jess from picked up on this topic at the event, it really struck a cord with me. Jess doesn't check her social media or mail until at least half an hour after waking up - post healthy morning routine. And she also switches her phone off every single night at 6-7pm. Woah! I don't think I know anyone that actually does that. But truth be told, it is so important for our bodies and we could probably all benefit from this action step.
Checking your phone and emails immediately after waking up creates a stress response straight from the bat and when we stare into our screens until late at night, the melatonin production is interrupted meaning our bodies don't get the proper signal that it's time to go to sleep, reducing the quantity and quality of our sleep.
2. Surround yourself with like-minded people
It's cliché but oh-so-important. Back at uni I sometimes felt out of place when I wanted to celebrate post-exams with a killer workout at the gym while everyone else wanted to go get wasted at some club. Here I kind of feel like I've found my tribe, I fit right in. Every time that I come home after these events I am ridiculously inspired, excited and bursting with energy to go and follow my own passion. So, who's your tribe?
3. Incorporate more yoga and meditation into your workout routine
I used to be one of those girls that would say "If you're not sweating buckets, it's not a real workout." If I did a yoga class, I absolutely had to follow it by a "real" workout because I felt like I hadn't done enough. Can anyone relate? But through research and my own personal experience I've realised how invaluable those yin-practices are not only for your mind but your physique. Last summer when I spent one month in Thailand and did lots of yoga and meditation, the weight seemed to just fall off me naturally. And since I've been in Sydney, the same has happened. I've been doing waaaaay less intense workouts, but somehow I am still getting leaner without physically pushing myself to the limit every day. There are some body types that are more susceptible to stress (A Blood Types and Pitta Doshas). I'm both of those, so clearly there's something to learn from that!
4. Don't be afraid to be vulnerable
Allowing yourself to be vulnerable means embracing your story and owning up to it. After years and years of struggles, I have come to fully embrace my own personal story and turned it into my strength. My past with an eating disorder has formed me into the person I am today, and in that sense it has been a blessing in disguise. I wouldn't be the person I am today without it. I want to share my journey because I know other people are going through what I went through - and it's authenticity that creates a true connection with others.
5. Say goodbye to labels
A couple of years ago people were all about the labels: You were either vegan, paleo, 801010, ketogenic etc., and that was it. It defined you. No wiggle room. Almost like being part of a tribe. I personally get a feeling that more and more people nowadays are advocating a label-free diet that leaves room for bio-individuality and modification. Which is great news, because there are so many examples of how labeling your diet can create extra stress, pressure and even lead some people into eating disorders (The Balanced Blonde is the perfect example). It’s time to advocate a lifestyle that doesn’t involve restriction, labeling or putting ourselves into a box!
P.S.: In case you want to join any upcoming ClassPass Winter Wellness Series Sessions, here's the line up:
- Thursday 30th June – Anthia Koullouros, Naturopath, Author and owner of OVViO Organic Store
- Thursday 28th July – Nadia Felsch, wholefoods chef and nutritionist
What a great opportunity to meet these wellness rockstars! You can book your free spot here.