Today I walked home from work. It’s three miles door to door and takes just under an hour. My route takes me along the seafront and this journey always reminds me to be thankful. It reminds me that I get to wake up every day and experience this beautiful place. Because sometimes when life gets busy it’s hard not to sweat the small stuff. To remember that everything is okay and you’re here, you’re lucky and those everyday niggles aren’t the end of the world. That you’re trying and it’s enough.
My walk got me thinking about all the things I do that make me feel better. So often it seems selfish to do things just because it makes you feel good, but not everything has to have a goal, a tick box or a grade. This is where my top 5 ways to feel better instantly comes in. These are my fail safe tips for instantly lifting my mood – no matter what’s wrong. Bear with me, some sound pretty crazy, but hey, if it works…
- COOK A GOOD MEAL
You don’t have to invest hours in the kitchen. Just cook, take your mind off things and enjoy eating. One of my favourite things to make is spaghetti bolognaise. It’s not flash, it’s just warming comfort food that is simple to make and even better to eat. If I have it, I’ll chuck in some pancetta and mop up any left overs with some tear and share garlic bread, although I’m not always into sharing…
This sounds kookie but it works, I promise. Take off your shoes and walk on the earth. That’s right; grass, pebbles or sand, slip off those socks and get your tootsies involved. The practice lets your body absorb earths free flowing electrons, neutralising free radicals in the body. It brings a complete sense of calm, and also acts as a form of reflexology as the ground stimulates the soles of your feet. This year I even convinced my mum to just lie on the ground with me during a random trip for a cream tea. There was a field nearby the cake shop so we walked over and just laid there for 30 minutes. We probably looked crazy, but it worked!
- FOOT MASSAGE
Who doesn’t love a foot massage? When I worked as a beauty journalist, I had my first reflexology treatment. It was insane. This beautiful soul named Nora Lupo, a reflexology specialist, gave me an hour long treatment in Urban Retreat, Harrods. It was such a lovely experience, she told me so much about my body just from working on my feet. She explained that through the feet, she could free energy and blockages through the body. It was profound for me and now I see a foot massage as so much more than just an enjoyable feeling, it’s really good for you physically and mentally to relieve pressure and promote good health. To give yourself a DIY one at home, use your favourite foot cream (a normal body moisturiser will do too) and work your thumbs down the souls of your feel. Manipulate your feet in steady, firm motions to relieve tension and don’t forget to massage your toes too! Voilà, it’s instant stress relief.
- GUIDED MEDITATION
Last year I learned the benefits of meditation. My former editor, Alex, and I were really into self-help books and always shared our favourites. She gifted me the book 7 Steps To Mediation. It’s an easy introduction and I’d recommend it for anyone wanting to give it a go. One of the things I found later was guided meditation videos. I look them up on YouTube and use them when I’m feeling really stressed, anxious or have trouble sleeping. Plug in your earphones, switch off the lights and make sure you’re not going to be disturbed. Just 20 minutes makes me so relaxed I could drift off to sleep instantly. Most have a therapeutic background like you’d find in a spa, if that’s not your bag, choose one that has the sound of the sea. It’s rhythmic so you can regulate your breathing easily as a gentle voice talks you through each step.
- CUDDLE A PUPPY
Okay so not everyone has a puppy to hand, but just one minute with my little fluffy cloud Leni makes me happy. I swore before we got her that no squeaky toys were to enter our house. They irritated the life out of me but when Puppy Daddy bought one home, Leni went crazy for it. And who am I to deny Leni her favourite toy? So much so we now have a squeaky squirrel too…the only saving grace is Leni is yet to figure out how to squeak the thing herself, but it’s only a matter of time…