Hello my lovelies, it’s been a fair few weeks since I put finger to keyboard! I’ve been a busy little bee and I didn’t want my blog to feel like a chore. Spring is in the air though and it’s given me a rejuvenating boost. With summer edging ever closer I’d love to tell you about all the fun plans I’ve got in the pipeline to take care of myself, but I have one slight problem……… I’m a serial reflector, who loves to dwell in the past! To some this might not sound productive, but for me I tend to write from a reflective angle so I struggle to switch from this perspective. I get such a kick out of looking back over passed months and seeing how far I’ve come. With this in mind, I’m going to tell you about some apps I’ve been using to chart my feeling good progress and then end this post with a recap of what I’ve been up to in London and in life.
So- on my quest to take care of my physical and mental wellbeing I’ve been using 2 apps that most people with an iPhone can tell you about- One is the built in Health app that comes as standard on the iPhone 6 and the other is for women, and called Period Tracker light.
I got a new iPhone (gloat) in January and I’ve just discovered the health app. It logs all the steps you’ve taken automatically and you can pre-programme it to read other elements of your fitness and health. I’m a bit slow, so I’ve been adding in all my workouts manually- doh! Nevertheless, having a chart to document all my exercise is really motivating. Since I started using the app I’ve made a conscious effort to get my ass to yoga consistently. Even if it’s just one class a week and a few stretches at home- seeing that I’ve done it makes me feel really proud of myself, which spurs me on to go to more classes. I’ve even dragged my friends along, as well as my boyfriend and it’s been a fun way for us to develop together. With the automatic step tracker I’ve surprised myself with how far I actually walk on a weekly basis. On average I’m charting 4.4 miles a day. If I’ve been exploring at the weekend, and travelling to see friends in the week I can easily reach 6-7 miles a day- and I don’t feel knackered or tired from it at all. If anything I feel energised because of it. So- I’m all for the health app!
The other app – ‘period tracker light’ is what I’ve been using to chart my menstrual cycle, funnily enough. This app helps me keep a tab on my moods, cravings and hormonal related PMS symptoms! Having a timeline to pinpoint these elements of my cycle throughout the month is great. The app allows you to assign little emoji’s to your calendar so you can see when in your cycle you might be more sensitive than usual, or more energetic. I’m a big fan of recording health data in this way- its easy and provides a quick reference to plan around. I decided to use this app when I came off the pill a year ago. I was on Yasmin for 10 years and as I got more interested in holistic health, I’d had enough of putting synthetic hormones in my body. I felt like the pill contributed to my general anxiety and a whole host of other womanly issues, which I won’t go into here because they’re a whole other blog post. After a year my periods finally got back on track, my boobs shrunk a bit and my skin started to clear up. Now I’m starting to understand the peaks and troughs of my monthly flow and I feel in tune with my femininity in a way that I didn’t before.
Alongside this, Clare Rodea Ryan gave me a great book called ‘Walking with the Genie’ by Alexandra Pope at the women’s yoga temple workshop that I went to last month. I’ve only had time to read it recently and I’m going to have to start incorporating the recommendations from it into my diet especially. Namely avoiding certain foods (goodbye salty chips, refined sugar and alcohol) at specific times of the month to see if this helps with the PMS digestive disturbances I’ve been having. I’ll report back in a couple of months.
Aside from those 2 completely un-exhilarating discoveries for anyone other than me, I’ve had a fun couple of months to end the winter season:
- I’ve been to Leeds a couple of times, Sheffield a couple of times, explored Richmond Park, Greenwich Park, Southbank, Brockwell Park (all the South London parks basically).
- Tried some new restaurants – Boulangerie Jade in East Dulwich (delicious food, welcoming atmosphere), Mr Bao’s in Peckham (overhyped but tasty nevertheless).
- I’ve been to 3 dinner parties, a hen do and a birthday party.
- I’ve checked out 2 exhibitions; Art and Alcohol at the Tate Britain which explores Britain’s relationship with alcohol as a social lubricant. I then went to the newest instalment of States of mind at the Wellcome collection, which delves into disorders of memory and consciousness- heartfelt topics for me, although dull in comparison to the #yellowbluepink instalment with the coloured mist.
- I’m reading Silence Your Mind by Dr Ramesh Manocha – it provides a scientific angle to the benefits of meditation and then breaks it down into easily accessible practices you can try for yourself. I’m re-reading The Bell Jar – because it’s a mental health classic (and my brother bought it for me), and I finally picked up The Secret Life of Sleep by Kat Duff which is an elegantly written blend of the science, culture and psychology of sleep. I’ve been keeping my own dream journal and I can’t wait to uncover where my subconscious mind goes when I switch off at night.
I hope that this post has given you a good insight into my wellbeing efforts of late. I’m feeling pretty damn good at the moment, so it’s definitely paying off. As always, I’m writing to share my experiences in hope that they might inspire and help other people to feel better with their bodies and minds. I’d love for people to get in contact with me to share their blogs, wellbeing journeys and knowledge. If anyone has any books to recommend, or any information on any of the topics I touch upon I would absolutely love to hear about it.
Until next time……