Writers Block

I have not written in a while mainly because life got in the way…

New jobs (2 to be exact), a trip home, a trip to Ireland, friends got married and one visitor from home. Its been a crazy half a year. I am finally settled into my role at work and slowly gaining my me time back.

I worked hard at developing some great habits of self care and being present (mindfulness). I have let them all go the last couple of months. I am slowly building it all back up. Over the next few months I really want to put my time back into my exercise and mindfulness. A lot of my energy goes into work and will continue to but I need to make sure I take that step back so I do perform well at my day job.

Do you ever feel sometimes life takes a hold of you ?

Goals for September:

  • Keep writing, even if no one is reading it it really helps me unwind after a long day
  • Exercise more often, I have already signed up for a PT session once a week
  • Get back out more in the outdoors and take the camera
  • No phone before bed, try reading instead
  • Get into work earlier, usually can get a bit more done if I am in earlier
  • To not stress the small stuff and just work on focus

Shakti Mat

My sister bought me a Shakti Mat for my birthday. I had a rough idea on what they were about as I knew she had bought one to help her with migraines. A Shakti Mat is a foam mat with spikes on it. It is essentially a portable acupuncture mat. The mats are made by women in India.

For the last few months I have been slowly building up to laying on it for 20 minutes. My first few goes probably lasted a couple of minutes as it really was painful. Slowly but surely over the weeks I built up to laying on the mat for 20 minuets. I try and lay on the mat about two times a week. It really helps me relax after a busy day and switch off from work. I did do some research on the website for Shakti. I read about standing on the mat for 5 minutes at the start and end of your day. This helps you increase the flow to your feet which carries most of your weight every day.  I have now incorporated my Shakti mat into my morning routine.

Every morning including weekends I do my meditation in the morning and then stand on the mat (in socks) for 5 minuets. Eventually I would like to build up to no socks. I found using the mat has really helped me unwind. When I do the mat before bed I have a deeper sleep that night. Using the mat also forces yourself to take a little bit of your day and focus on yourself. We all get so wrapped up with running around and pleasing everyone. It is good for the body to take some time out and look after yourself. I would highly recommend this product to anyone who is wanting to practice a little bit of self care.

Nepal Prep Update.

77 days now until we leave for Nepal (less when this blog actually posts) so thought I would give you guys a bit of a update.

I am still on Optifast having the two shakes a day and a low cal meal for dinner. I have had a few nights out with drinks but very few in the past few months. I also feel I am in control of myself more. If I do go out I do not go crazy. The weight came off very fast at the beginning but now its crawling off so really need to put my best foot forward exercising. I have set myself a goal to have another 6KG off me by MK’s birthday, lets see how I go. MK has also given up carbs until we go now so as you can imagine our fridge is just meat and veggies at the min…the healthiest our fridge has ever looked.

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Exercise wise it is still running, swimming and hiking. Since the last update we have completed two more hikes Mt Kosciusko and Ruined Castle. We have noticed our bodies are not in pieces after the hikes and we can keep exercising. I have a few more hikes I would love us to get done before we go. I really enjoy the winter walks at the moment its great to be outdoors in the cold breeze and even see some snow. A lot of stretching is being done at home as well we are both being careful the last thing we want is to pull a muscle after our exercising. I also did my first F45 class which was so tough but so good and something I will look into after Nepal. I do have City2Surf in August as well which will be a cool challenge to complete before we go.

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I got a list from the travel company on what we need to bring and wow it is a lot longer then I imagined. At first it was a bit over whelming looking at all the items we need to take with us. After studying the list its not a lot of stuff its just a lot of stuff you would not normal need on a trip. I think I am going to hit up Ebay for a few items and also the Kathmandu store in our local outlet mall, it always has a great sale on. I currently have the list typed out in Excel and once complete I shall share it with all the prices and where I bought the items. I do find every time I buy something I want to go out walking to try it out, which is going to keep me exercising. Started to look for travel Insurance which is a bit tougher then I originally thought. Most sites I have been on so far only provide for EU residents. I am struggling to find a Australian company. I think it will take a bit more research to find the right cover for us. July we are off to the doctors to get all the jabs and pills we will need for the trip. I will blog on what we get once that has been completed.

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Head Space Review

I have used the Head Space app now for a week. I wanted to really try meditation and see if this could help me on my mindfulness journey. I did also ask on my Instagram story if people had used the app…and 25 percent of you had. I downloaded the app and picked the program that focused on anxiety.

I had talked to a few friends and some people at work who had used or were using the app, it seems to be the most popular choice. I decided to do it in the morning before I went to work. The first morning was a bit of a disaster as I was late to work as my jeans had tried to make a quick get away over the balcony. I did do my first meditation that day but it was in the evening.

Each day you do a 3 min meditation. A mans voice guides you through the 3 mins helping you focus on your breathing and your body. Despite the first day every other day I listened in the morning. I found it a really calm way to start the morning and 3 mins out of your morning is really nothing at all. I have even listened to the app on the train to work it really does set you up to face the day. I also turned on the mindful notifications. The app sends you a few messages through out the day of some simple mindfulness tips.

After a week of mediation and mindfulness reminders I do feel different. As already mentioned I feel like my day has started in a calm way. Even if I have a morning where I feel I have been running around and then do the meditation on the way to work it still brings  my mind to a peaceful state. I feel like I am more in tuned with my body doing the meditation and really listening to it. Listening to my body and being in tuned with it is helping me push forward with my fitness and knowing my limits. The mindfulness tips are all simple to perform during your average day. Even if I don’t do them just seeing the tip on my phone reminds me to take a minute and then return to what ever task I am doing. I always find when I stress at work I do not perform as well but if I keep my mind focused on the tasks I will perform to my best. I actually had a really busy day at work today and I did notice that I was a lot calmer then normal. I did not let the stress cloud the task. I am going to stick with the app for now and keep growing my meditation skills.

I would highly recommend this app if you have ever thought about trying meditation. It is easy to use and I found it very affective at showing you the way to get into meditation.

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Getting In Control of Your Money

If you feel every month you are over spending or you have not put anything away in savings then this blog post may help you out. First of all I am no money genius and in fact I know I’m to tight on myself with savings and money. I do feel like I know a few good steps for anyone who struggles to manage their money.  Its not really anything ground breaking but it worked for me.
1.Look at Your Spending
You can either do it the good old fashioned way with pen and paper or create a spread sheet in Excel. Write all your monthly outgoings first; rent, food, gym membership, petrol etc. Include everything, go through the month and make sure even the small outgoings are captured (that morning coffee….etc). After everything is written down you can see how much of your pay has to go on your outgoings and how much you have left for the month.
2.Savings
Next step is to decide how much you put away into savings from what is left after your outgoings. This is obviously completely personal choice, just don’t do what I do and skint yourself because I end up putting to much money away. I always transfer the amount I wish to save into my savings account as soon as I get paid. Once you have done this for a few months you wont miss that amount of money at all and it will build up for a rainy day.

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3. Pocket Money
Pocket Money is what I call the money left over for my social life. If you want to increase the amount of pocket money then you can put less away for savings or decrease your outgoings.  Getting a rough idea on what you spend socially Vs what your outgoings are is a really good way to make sure you are making good choices when it comes to money. I was shocked at how much money I spend on food socially.
4. Cut Backs
If you want to make changes to your out goings you need to look at what can be adjusted. Usually rent in Sydney if anything just goes up so that can not be reduced.
Food shops can be reduced if you like. I find planing my meals for the week, writing a list, shopping at Aldi and shopping on a full tummy always results in a cost effective shop. Otherwise I buy snacks I don’t need cos I am hungry, over buy products as I don’t know what I need for the week and spend more if I enter Woolworth’s.
Gym memberships can also be reduced by shopping around and finding the best deal. I stopped my membership and I am lucky enough to have a gym at work and I run outside for the rest of my work outs. Also look at how much you use the gym membership maybe paying to use a gym casual would actually be more beneficial.
Petrol can be reduced by just making the effort to fill up at the cheapest petrol stations. Around us in the Inner West it is the Speed Way. Have a look at the local petrol stations around your neighborhood to see which is cheapest.
Social life spends can be reduced by taking a look at Groupon or Scoupon see what deals you can pick up. Make sure you sign up to local cinemas and websites which often have offers on. Arrange to meet your mates for a meal deal in the city or happy hour drinks. You can also check out this page which has lots of things to do in Sydney on a budget. 
Please remember this is if you would like to be putting more money away and handling your money better and is purely just my view. I know there are many different ways to save and the ones above have worked for me so maybe they will suit you. Being in control of your money and feeling secure is also part of  mindfulness life. By knowing you have enough money and where your cash is going it reduces stress and anxiety in your life. Let me know how you get on if you try any / all of the tips above.

 

 

New Year.New…

Coming up to the end of January and New Years resolutions are either in full swing or you are putting them off…?

I usually fall into the category of putting them off. I decided to go a different route and instead of resolutions I have just said to myself ‘no excuses’. I have set myself goals in health, money and adventure for 2018. Its a small list with achievable goals. I have shared a few with close friends so we can support each other through out the year to keep ourselves going on those days life gets in the way. They are jotted down in my reflection journal. Since I have made the decision to not make excuses it is making me have a bit more drive and focus. I think we sometimes put so much pressure on ourselves in January to all of a sudden correct all our bad habits. I’m trying to not do everything at once and if something happens and I don’t make  a work out or I have a beer its okay…

Mindfulness is still a massive part of my life and day and its helping me manage my time better and become a better version of myself. Positive energy and good solid friends around you is the key to having a less stressful life. I’m not to keen on the phase positive people only because no one can be positive all the time everyone has there bad days.

Its nearly the end of January… so here is to everyone having a good 2018.

 

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Last Post 2017

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year Everyone!

Hope everyone is having a happy and safe break with family and friends. I’m currently on a island in the middle of Fiji and can’t sleep… so why not write my last post of the year?

Fiji is beautiful, a little worried that all my good healthy work may be undone but hopefully do some exercise over the next few days! See what the scales say when I’m home.

Everyone reflects at the end of the year and looks to the next. This year for me has been a big one with MK and I doing long distance for 7 months, going home after 3 years, meeting MKs family, my mum getting married, moving in together, visas(standard) and working hard. We have done a lot of trips this year and most have been local to NSW but I have loved every adventure! So grateful for all my friends new and old and of course my family!

I have done some writing to reflect on the past month and year. Caught up with friends and recapped the crazy year we had, it’s a great way to keep the mind mindful and calm.

I’m hoping over the next few days in Fiji on the sun lounger MK and I put our plan together for 2018 and reflect on our 2017. We have a end goal of living a alternative lifestyle and want to bring you guys on the journey. More to come on that in the start of the year. But ultimately we will be doing some videos to make it more interactive.

Great time of year to review your goals and plans for the future…I will be sharing mine in the next blog.

Until then I’ll be living on Fiji Time! Bula!!