Gratitude comes in many forms.
The satisfying slurp of sweet tea. The crunch of this seasons first picked wonky cucumber. The shiver of tiny bubbles over your skin as you dive through the water on a hot summers day.
Simple, yet all equally gratifying.
So is having the luxury to step out of your business for an entire summer.
Perth is okay. In fact, it's a fantastic place to be a tourist in your own town. Let's face it, Perth beaches really are the best.
My summer break (aka self appointed long service leave) was part needed rest and part necessity. With all 3 kids at home for the school holidays, I made the choice to chuck my usual summer kid juggle.
No day care, vacation care, summer camps or kids clubs. I decided to take a long break too, visiting beaches of my childhood past and throwing in a few self care bodywork treatments in the mix too.
My top 3 ways to rest and restore:
1. Beach therapy. Wind in your hair, sand in your toes (and bum!). The ocean cleanses and calms a weary soul. Salt water is especially healing for you. I wrote a whole blog about the benefits of Salt Therapy here.
2. Creative writing. Journaling, drawing, doodling. Every day. Write something, get it down on paper the minute you wake up. My new ritual on my summer break started with a glass of water, a freshly brewed coffee and fresh sheet of paper to explore, anything really. Dreams from the night before. Conscious stream writing. Ideas for blogs and the future. Frustrations. I'd write. My mind would clear.
3. Sunsets. Being at the beach house in Falcon for 14 days, I made a commitment to stroll to the beach every night after dinner and watch the sun set. Sometimes I would be by myself and other times the kids joined me, building sandcastles or chasing waves on the shoreline. Watching the sun being swallowed by the ocean filled me with immense gratitude. It's a practice I try to commit to most nights, whether we go for a walk around the neighbourhood or sit out the front on the grass. Seeing the sunset is a satisfying end to the day, bringing you back to the present moment.
Simple things and actions create space for rest and restoration. For me, beach elements, sunsets and creative writing fill my cup. I know that when I am feeling overwhelmed or drained, I can draw on any of these three tools to restore my sense of self.
How do you recharge your battery daily, weekly?
Nicola Hogan is a Wellbeing Professional with a knack for crafting client relationships.
A Holistic Therapist, Creative Communicator, Massage Therapy Mentor and Mum to 3 school aged kids, Nicola has spent years creating a biz/life balance that (mostly) works. Nature lover, urban gardener and coffee addict, she's a stickler for good customer service and is not afraid to speak out when it's in lack.
Connect with her on all the usual online social places.
How many times have you set yourself New Years Resolutions, only to watch them fade away mid February, or sooner?
Early one January, pre third baby, I decided I would take up running to keep me fit. Excitedly, I downloaded the Couch to 5k app on my smart phone, bought some new running shorts and set my alarm for 5am. I was determined to complete the course by running three times a week at dawn.
Distance running has never been my thing.
As a child, I would have exercise induced asthma attacks. I was the kid walking the oval at the back, puffer in hand, as the rest of the class seemed to effortlessly jog the obligatory three laps around the sports oval in primary school.
Sprinting, on the other hand, I was good at. Very good in fact. I loved the 50 and 100 meter sprints at the sports carnival and always came first or second at the faction carnival, ensuring I made it through to inter school sports. As I got older, hurdles and long jump were added to my repertoire.
But distance. Nup. never liked it.
Nevertheless, I made that New Years resolution, knowing my track record of distance running was zip. Surely being 20 years older and wiser would get me through Couch to 5k. Plus I had my Ministry of Sound Running Trax ready to go!
For those of you that have done the Couch to 5k, you'll be familiar with the gradual build up running. Walk 1 minute, then run, then walk then run, short bursts of time to music of your choice. Perfect for non runners.
The first morning came, I bounced out of bed before 5am, because I'd already been awake anticipating the alarm going off. Quick glass of water, new shorts on I was out the door, walking at pace to get me warmed up. The running started and so did my music. I felt uncomfortable. I kept waiting until the bell rang to walk again. I didn't like it. I persevered and made it back home, beetroot faced and totally puffed.
The 2nd morning came, I got up after the alarm. I felt reluctant, but thought maybe I needed to give it a few goes before I would start to like it. Urgh. Nup. My feet were starting to hurt and my lungs felt heavy midway through. I decided to detour to the footy oval and run on grass instead. This actually made it harder, as the grass was soft and springy.
The 3rd morning of that first week in January came round and I got up. This time though I chose to not use the App, but rather, walk briskly through the bush track Rails to Trails that was around the corner from my street. I left the music off and enjoyed the sounds of nature, smiling and saying hello to fellow walkers and dog owners on my route.
That morning, I gave my New Years Resolution the flick and chose to set intentions instead.
Every year since I set intentions for how I want to feel. Last year it was Harmony and Flow. This year it's Trust, Courage and Strength. These words embody all aspects of my life, my being and come from the heart.
Intentions are powerful creators because they connect you to feelings and emotion. They can inspire and uplift all aspects of your self - body, mind, soul and you can apply your intentions to any area of your life for health and wellbeing. Intentions will generally lead to positive, sustainable action.
Think about your resolutions of years past? Did they stick? How did they make you feel? Many New Years Resolutions are made out of a deeper desire or yearning for something more. Perhaps you want to feel healthier or more flexible in your body and mind. Or maybe self compassion is something you are working on. You may intend to experience less tension or headaches. Choosing powerful intentions or words that add personal meaning for you, will more than likely result in greater success and follow through.
The reason my New Years resolution of running didn't work for me, regardless of the fancy App and running shorts was because I don't like distance running. It was a chore. A "should" and totally unenjoyable for me. Bush walking however, is much more my speed and far more enjoyable.
What words create your Intentions for this year? Do you write them down? I like to craft out a vision board of my intentions, creating a visual for how I want my year to look and feel. This acts as a daily reminder and helps me to ask, are my actions in line with my intentions?
Share below your New Year resolutions current or past - lets create some magic and rework these to powerful intentions with heart.