As we try to muddle our way through these very testing times as we head into the festive season, Gay London Life Health & Wellbeing Coach Taofique Folarin shares an alternative way to approach the season
The festive period is often a busy time for many and a lonely time for others. From last-minute late-night shopping and the cross-country family check-ins. There can be joyous moments but also a source of stress and anxiety especially in the time of Omicron Covid19.
This December more than ever, taking moments every day to improve our wellbeing is an effective technique to help make the holidays and yourself happier. So this month, try my ‘12 days of wellness’ plan. The following suggestions are easy and enjoyable to perform and can help you form new habits with enduring results before 2022 arrives.
Treat yourself to …
Day 1 Time out
Read one chapter of your favourite book. Reading does more than improve our knowledge and build character, it’s good for our health, too. It can also help to increase our emotional intelligence as we understand a range of viewpoints and motivations.
Day 2 Hydration
Drink two litres of water, leaving the thirst for your socials only. Staying hydrated can help reduce fatigue and memory loss while boosting your immune system.
Day 3 Giving back
December is a great time to think of those that are less fortunate than ourselves. Volunteering three hours of a day to give back to your community and help lift the spirits of others will in turn provide extra purpose to improve your sense of self.
Day 4 Good energy
Try to eat four nutritious meals. Eating smaller but more frequent nutritious vegetable-heavy meals will help keep your metabolism fired up throughout the day and your energy levels high.
Day 5 Love
Check in with five of your friends or family and remind them just how much you love and appreciate them. It’s very easy to get caught up and distracted at this time of year but making the time to connect with those that you cherish will help fill your cup and heart.
Day 6 Reflection
Write down six positive experiences and/or thoughts from your day, reflecting to create, be mindful and show gratitude.
Day 7 Positivity
Write down a personal affirmation and repeat it to yourself seven times. Repeating positive affirmations such as ‘I am worthy of love’, ‘I am strong and resilient’, or ‘I am brave and beautiful’, can prompt the subconscious mind into positive action and improve feelings of self-worth.
Day 8 Good sleep
Getting eight hours of shut-eye has multiple benefits — it can boost your immune system, strengthen your heart, increase productivity and lift your mood.
Day 9 Recovery
Leave time for a nine-minute stretch. Stretching increases blood flow to your muscles, improves your mobility and flexibility, and helps to alleviate aches and pains in the body. Find a video on YouTube or work through the body yourself from top to bottom.
Day 10 Stress relief
Try incorporating some German volume training into your workout routine. 10 sets of 10 repetitions, with 60 seconds rest in between each set. Doing 1 or 2 exercises will be enough and I recommend using 60% of your 1RM. Think squats, bench presses, rows, overhead presses and bicep curls.
Day 11 Calm and focus
Take eleven hours away from social media and/or your phone, so you can focus on yourself, gain more free time and reconnect with the things that really bring you joy. Spending hours scrolling can leave you feeling anxious and drained, and time off can help you realign and improve your self-esteem.
Day 12 Rebalance
Commit to twelve minutes of mediation. Taking the time out to focus on your breath and clear your mind of the noise can help ease anxiety, help you feel grounded and improve your clarity of thought. You can try The 4-7-8 breathing technique — sitting up straight, breathing in for 4 seconds, holding the breath for 7 seconds, and exhaling for 8 seconds.
Go Social and follow Taofique on Instagram @taofiquefolarin
or go visit https://www.folarinfitness.com/