By Jill Tipping, co-Founder of Pavelka Wellness
As we are all well aware, our lives have been turned upside down over the past year and we have all been hugely challenged in different ways when it comes to keeping ourselves fit, healthy, happy and resilient in order to cope with the ever-changing landscape that is ‘life’.
I don’t know about you, but I have become increasingly more self-aware over the past 12 months. My normal life of travel, meetings, family get-togethers and social hours has been stopped in its tracks and I have been … well, static – which is a new experience for me.
Thank goodness I have my toolbox of health – The Four Elements.
Eat, Sweat, Think and Connect have for the past 8 years been an intrinsic part of my life – but lately they have become my well-being guides.
With so much uncertainty around me, I can be certain, that if I bring The Four Elements into my life, every day, I’m going to be okay. And that’s what matters – being okay. Jessie and I call it ‘Okayness’ – it’s peace; it’s real; it’s attainable.
The most important thing for me right now, is simplicity. So with that in mind, I am delighted to share my thoughts on how I get to that place of ‘okayness’ every day. When I do that, the rest falls into place.
Don’t forget – you get to paint your own picture with The Four Elements, so these are just some ideas that suit me. My hope is that you take them as that and that you are inspired to create your own.
Food is fuel. It gives you energy and focus. It brings joy to the day and can be shared as a point of connection with others. We need to remember that food is not an emotional crutch but something that nourishes us and gives us that stable mood that we all need right now.
My shout outs of EAT are:-
Hydrate. Hydrate. Hydrate. I have a 750ml flask and make sure I consume 3 of those a day. Simple. I find this aids my sleep and my mood.
If like me, you’re working from home and the fridge or cupboard where the chocolate bars lurk is just a few metres away, set out your snacks for the day. A handful of almonds and an apple; oatcakes and peanut butter; feta cheese and balsamic vinegar on rocket (arugula) are my favourites.
If you want to achieve a steady mood, and I know that’s my aim, then look for balance in your meals. Give your body what it needs to thrive and you will really notice the difference. For me, that is lean protein, healthy fats (olive oil/avocado), and some slow burning carbs, with each meal. That will stop you craving the sugary fix half way through the afternoon. I also eat a piece of fruit with each meal but limit it to three pieces a day and will choose apple, pear or berries with some watermelon thrown in for good measure (lovely with a sprinkling of Cayenne Pepper – try it!)
My key aim each day is to move in one way, shape of form. I am lucky enough to live in the country so walks are my exercise of choice. I also have a small gym area and love to lift a few weights – good for strengthening ageing bones and toning those bits that all of a sudden start to travel south!
Bring in the SWEAT ideas!
My tips are really around motivation. Exercise is different for everyone, but we all need to have that reason for getting up off the couch.
Back to planning again – set out the right clothing ready for your sweat session, especially if it is first thing in the morning. I like to lay out my training gear and step straight into it before I have really woken up to realise what I’m doing! It works!
Do something you enjoy. Do you! Don’t try to be someone else because you have seen them on Instagram. If you enjoy what you do then you will do it more and look forward to it. The sweet spot to get to with exercise, in my opinion, is when you miss it if you don’t do it.
Have you found yourself looking at your watch and saying to yourself ‘Oh! I have run out of time. Can’t exercise now’? I encourage you to challenge that. You can do 1 minute, 10 minutes or an hour. It is all movement and it is all giving your body what it needs.
Everything in life starts with a thought. Bringing an awareness to our thought process and our internal language is a great place to start.
‘THINK Smart’ Tips
How is your quality of sleep? For me this is a big one. I have become politely aggressive over keeping my sleep pattern up to where it needs to be at least 80% of the time. Then I know I can function. To do that I do something really simple – I go to bed early. That’s it. Tip number one.
Turn off your screen and open the page. Read a book. A real one made of paper. I find it relaxes me and gets me ready for a good night’s sleep. It also helps me to feel calm and settled in my downtime.
Finally – do something that you love to do and do it every day. I love to play piano. I’m not very good at it, but it takes me out of whatever headspace I have managed to get myself into. It is creative and feeds my soul.
There are four points of connection – connection to the self, to another person, to a group and to something greater than you. These should all form part of your everyday life.
I like to tell certain people in my life that I love them. It may take a lot for you to do that as it is not always within everyone’s culture to simply come out with it. But it is what makes the world go round. Whether it is your partner, your dog or anyone who means something to you – try it – say it out loud and see how you feel.
Find your tribe. For me, (when we are allowed to socialise), it is a crazy group of English Channel Swimmers. We share a common purpose in life and so have a very special bond. When I have spent time with them (currently online) I always come away feeling complete. It feeds the soul.
I am totally attracted to the things in life that I cannot explain. Love is one of those. So is nature; the enormity of this incredible planet never ceases to amaze me. When I connect in a more spiritual way to God; to the Universe; to the indescribable feeling of love that I have for my children, I feel whole. For me, getting connected to the unexplainable brings so much gratitude into my world. Stop and think about it for a moment – what gives you that humbling feeling?
Those are my thoughts around Eat, Sweat, Think and Connect and how I bring them into my day.
I encourage you to find your recipe of health with these four, simple ingredients. I promise it will bring you to that wonderful place of ‘Okayness’.