This is a sponsored post in collaboration with Clinique as part of their #faceforward campaign.
Today I want to talk about something that is very close to my heart, and some goals I have set myself going forward when it comes to my daily routine. Health and wellbeing have always been important to me, but recently it’s been important for me to make a marked effort to improve not only my physical health, but my mental and emotional wellbeing too, to live a more mindful life.
So often we talk about health in terms of our appearance, how many calories we have consumed, what workouts we did and inches lost. These are all important in their own way, and I’ve been on my own journey when it comes to nutrition, particularly in a bid to rid myself of PCOS, but as well as focusing on what I might have lose, I wanted to know what wisdom that could help me gain, too.
Clinique are running an inspirational campaign at the moment – #faceforward, which is all about inspiration, goals, looking to the future and arming yourself with the tools you need to tackle what life throws at you. As part of this I decided to examine my own goals to see how I can achieve them going forward.
I’ve reached the stage in life where I know myself very well. I know my strengths, weaknesses and accept the things that might frustrate me, the parts of me that are written in my DNA. I wonder however, if there were things I could do, small or notable, to get around these weaknesses. I can’t change everything about myself, or make a Monday morning workout pleasurable, but could I hack my life so to speak, make things easier and get more done?
Turns out the answer was yes. I made a list of things I wanted to change and looked for ways to make it as easy as possible for myself to succeed. All this time, when I failed at something I really beat myself up, but often the problem is the way I approach things. I am not someone who likes to jump up on a Monday morning and dash to the gym, so why try to force myself to do that? I looked for other ways to accomplish my goals and make achieving them a central part of my daily routine, so subtle I surely couldn’t fail.
The first thing I wanted to tackle was how I started my day. I am not a morning person, so to speak, and although I love the feeling of accomplishment that goes hand in hand with completing your to- do list before 10am, it takes me a while to get into the groove. The answer to this was simple, (although it didn’t feel quite so easy for the first few bleary-eyed days) I had to get up earlier. I need a certain amount of time in the morning, I have the most successful days when I’ve had chance to gather my thoughts and get ready without rushing, so I started to set my alarm an hour earlier. Painful at first, but totally worth it.
This is where the Clinique 3 Step System comes in – I love rituals when it comes to my morning routine, so after my coffee I use the cleanser, toner and moisturiser recommended for my skin type (dry combination) and it gives me time to take care of myself, gather my thoughts and prepare for the day ahead. This little trio is having an amazing effect on my skin so far and I’m thoroughly enjoying pampering myself. I wasn’t always the best at remembering the three steps in the morning, when I did a quick wash and moisturise, but now I have the extra time and the trio of products designed to work together I’m taking time to properly care for my skin.
Exercise was the next thing on my mind, mainly because I knew I wasn’t getting enough, I have to admit. Working from home and sitting mainly at a computer lends itself to a mostly sedentary lifestyle, and it’s easy to find an excuse not to go to the gym when you don’t pass it on your daily commute (or even HAVE a commute) – so I brought the workouts to me. I made myself a standing desk, used an activity monitor as a guilt trip (it vibrates every hour I’ve been sat down) and did the work I could standing up. It’s surprising how many extra calories you burn and how much your posture improves, without much effort on your part. I didn’t even have to spend a lot – whilst standing desks can be expensive, I managed to DIY my own using a raised platform from Ikea on an existing desk. Excellent.
Adopting a puppy definitely happened out of love, not a desire to burn calories, but it can’t be denied that walking Maddie and running around a pretty park with her is a workout that doesn’t feel like a chore. I try to make the most of this, and walk her before my meals to boost my metabolism and also clear my head. Going somewhere scenic sparks my creativity, boosts my mood and gets my blood pumping. I ditched the gym membership that only gave me guilt and instead found at-
home workouts that I can fit in easily in the evening.
As many of you know, in the last few months I made the switch from vegetarian to vegan. This is by far the best thing I could have done, not only for my own wellbeing but because of the way it’s made me fall in love with cooking again. When you change your diet you not only have to look for new ideas in the kitchen, but also educate yourself on nutrition to make sure you’re getting everything you need. It’s been a really great experience in every way and I’ve been pushing myself even harder to try new recipes and ways of cooking.
My final hurdle was a full-blown tech addiction. I read a lot, but it’s always on a screen, and I felt like the first thing I did in the morning was check social media, and I simply swapped my work computer for the television at the end of the day. I made a conscious decision to switch off, leave my phone elsewhere and read a book, listen to music or a podcast and give my eyes a rest. Not only does it stimulate me mentally, it also helps me to wind down at night. We aren’t wired to fall asleep right away after staring at a brightly lit screen, and I sleep much better when I ditch the tech in the evenings.
Throughout this experience I’ve been making sure to look after myself more, be kinder to my body and take time to reflect when I need it. Although my health and wellbeing journey is still ongoing, this has been a really positive experience for me, and helped me to look forward, not focus on my shortcomings or beat myself up for doing things my own way.
Are you working towards your own goals at the moment? Maybe at work, at home, at school or, like me you might be working on your lifestyle – Clinique invites you to make a promise to the future. Share the pledge you’re making to yourself via Twitter @Clinique_UK and Instagram @cliniqueuk. Take part in the #faceforward campaign to motivate yourself and inspire others!
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