Know what makes you tick.

Topic – Mental Fitness

Best way to look after your mental fitness – know your real self and know what you need.

It makes sense really, doesn’t it?  Knowledge is power – so if we know what our preferences are – we can work towards using that knowledge to choose a marvellous life?

No one else will benefit from this.  Just you, which is 100% the goal here!

Here’s a few questions to start you thinking about your level of self-awareness:

When was the last time you engaged in an activity you walked away from taking you could take on the world?

When did you get so irritated by something that it made you ‘explode’ or ‘implode’ as the case may be?

Do you prefer your own time or to be surrounded by people and/or sounds?

What do you do to ‘recharge’?

How do you prefer to approach conflict?

How do you show people you appreciate them being in your life?

Once we are consciously aware of the way we prefer things to be, life is more likely to be marvellous!  Decisions just get easier.

It is also important to remember – we should never stop learning about ourselves!!

While our basic values don’t tend to change much, our experiences do!  And we know experiences can have profound effects on how we view the world.  That’s why we need to keep checking in with ourselves to make sure the action we are taking, does indeed, line up with the person we are at that time.

These are a few great resources I can recommend to ‘check in’ with yourself

  • Via Character – http://www.viacharacter.org – a free strength profiling website – you do a quick survey and in exchange for your email address, it gives you your results.
  • Personality Plus – there are lots of great personality sorters out there – this is one I have used and recommend – such an interesting exercise! There is also a ‘for Parents’ version of this one – personally, it answered lots of questions for me as a mother!
  • The Five Love Languages – a book, or I think there is an online version too, that profiles the way individuals prefer to give and receive ‘love’ – a must for anyone in a relationship!

Obviously, this is not an exhaustive list – but these are ones I’ve used and encourage you to check out to move along on the ‘knowing yourself’ path. **  I receive no endorsements – I just genuinely liked them and feel they could help other people too.

In terms of knowing what you need – knowing yourself usually informs this – if I’m someone who avoids crowds – a music festival isn’t going to be relaxing for me, or if I like to be alone and i live in a shared house, these don’t match up, do they?!  You get the idea!

Please, be kind to yourself – be really conscious of knowing what makes you tick and take note of the positive effect on your mental fitness (and the moving closer to your marvellous life)!

 

Image Source – http://www.quotemaster.org

 

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Celebrating Rural Women

There a two topics I’d like to briefly touch on this week are Mental Health Week and the International Day of Rural Women.

Firstly and briefly, its Mental Health Week – I talked about this very important topic in last week’s blog and encouraged people to actually ‘do’ something towards improving their mental health – you can read it here https://wordpress.com/post/wellnessassistblog.wordpress.com/3425

You know, actions are what often set people apart – what do your actions say about you – are they actions that actually improve your mental health?

Whilst this blogs chosen topics seem to be miles apart – I think they can be linked in one word – Resilience.

As I have cited before, resilience is about navigating and negotiating available resources in a particular context…. so, then, rural women are the epitomy of resilience.  They might not have access to some of the support and tools that their city counterparts do, but they sure know how to make a such a incredible and valuable contribution to themselves, their families and their rural and regional communities.

Rural women play a vital role in every part of rural communities.  They know adversity, sacrifice and hard work but also comradery, support and leadership.

I’ve consider myself fortunate to have witnessed these qualities firsthand, and believe that the massive contribution that rural women make should absolutely be celebrated!

So, this Saturday (or at least this week), how about you make it your mission to talk to a rural woman?  Ask them about what they do each day and how they have the courage and strength to ‘walk the walk’ of rural life each and every day.

Here’s to our Rural Women!

PS – How good does that green grass look in the image?!  There is just something about green grass that makes my heart sing!!

Featured Image:  Photo credit: Yours Truly

Be the Change.

Points to ponder from ‘Embrace’ the documentary

Be the change.  Last night I watched ‘Embrace’ the documentary – acknowledging body diversity and highlighting the impact of how much less than positive body image affects people, mostly women.

Taryn Brumfitt does a great job – as she describes, she was ‘compelled’ to know more after her ‘not typical before and after’ photos went viral.  They didn’t go viral because she was a smart woman, a loving wife and capable mother of three, but rather because her photos showed that she was at a better point in her life when she was ‘bigger’ rather than when she was at her thinnest.

I won’t say any more, I don’t want to spoil the show, because you should see it, as should every young person, boys included – positive body image isn’t just about the girls in our society.

Taryn, as part of the Body Image Movement is doing lots of amazing stuff, but I believe as the most important component, she has made it her mission to get ‘Embrace’ the documentary into schools.  This is an area we need to help to create positive change in celebrating body diversity and encourage positive body image.

Here’s my top 5 points for you to ponder:

  1. Society is us – you often hear ‘society’ referred to as something that is out of our control, but is it really?  We are the people who shape the lives of those around us – we are society and if we want to see or make a change in ‘society’, it has to start with us!
  2. We need to love our bodies – Taryn words it well – “…our bodies are not ornaments, they are vehicles for our dreams….’  And this takes practice.  How good would it be if we were measured for doing the things that make you happy, being a good role model, creating something that we are proud of or contributing to ‘society’ rather than what we look like.  This is the message we want to send our young people, especially our girls.
  3. Life is too short to compare your body to someone else’s – especially if it’s the excessively photoshopped model you see on the magazine cover.  The unobtainable image is just that, unobtainable.  And you don’t have to look far to realise how fragile life can be – take some time to stop giving yourself a hard time.
  4. Even ‘the perfect girls’ don’t believe they are perfect – what if you did have ‘your perfect body’ and you were miserable?!! Skinny DOES NOT equal happy.
  5. We choose to make either the positive or negative attitudes contagious – Which one will you choose?  Not only choose, but send as a message to our young people?

Our bodies are our friends and our homes – how about you try being as compassionate to ourselves as we are our dear friends, share stories and the message we are all beautiful, just as we are.

#Ihaveembraced

Here’s to new adventures!

Today I went to my first group PT session.  Wouldn’t you think that a good couple of years into my gaining health journey, I would have been to one?!  I guess it’s just never lined up with my schedule, or perhaps I have just never made it happen.  But, low and behold, I really enjoyed it, the camaraderie was really something to be relished.

The group was welcoming, not stand-offish, friendly yet not over-familiar and giving it their all, but yet not competitive – some people would say this is tall ask these days!  Everyone was there for their own reasons, and you know what, nobody asked their reasons.  The leader, Marisa, perhaps knew some of their reasons, but it wasn’t important.  What was important, that despite their reasons and motivations, everyone turned up and gave it their all, not to be the best there, but to be better than yesterday.

‘Being better than yesterday’ is another quote I like, it supports the concept of starting from where you are – wherever that may be, as long as its an improvement on the days prior.

If I had not gone to the class today, I wouldn’t have had this new adventure and I wouldn’t be writing about the supportive network of women I encountered today.

There is always room to be better, and I reckon today, I was!  Yay, me!  I was a little proud. Though only a bit, some of the ladies should be even prouder of themselves, they smashed out some impressive fitness test results!!

My conclusion and in support what I have always known – new adventures are ridiculously good for the mind!  Sometimes they require stepping out of your comfort zone, but hey, life begins at the end of that, doesn’t it?!

Have a great week!

Will your tree grow in 2016?

What if something really disappointing happened?  What if, this time next year you looked back at 2016 and it had been just the same as 2015?  You hadn’t grown, or achieved any goals or gained any more knowledge – you were in exactly the same place as you were 12 months prior.   I don’t know about you but that scene 100% terrifies me, and I know this won’t be happening to me.  Can you think of someone who it could happen to?  What are they working towards? Or are they just getting through each day?  Do they have goals? or are they just happy to remain status quo?  Is that person you?

You see, growing as a person is a decision.  As simple as that, if you decide you don’t want to stay where you are then you are deciding to grow.  I like that.  I heard a quote recently that represented that decision and growth at the same time.  ‘People are like trees – they are either green and growing or ripe and rotting’.  The trees that are ripe and rotting aren’t learning or growing whereas the green and growing ones decide to continue learning and  add positively to their lives and those around them.  Just like trees, you can’t be both, so there lies a decision, are you green and growing or ripe and rotting??

Growing to me means you are able to recognise there is so much ‘out there’ you don’t know and that you are hungry for knowledge.  And this time, Google alone won’t cut it as a source of information!  Continuing with the tree analogy, water is necessary, the water is the resources that will help you grow.  Trees who are growing need water and lots of it.  What will your water be in 2016?  For wellness, the water is the knowledge and skills to make sustainable changes to your every day.  So if you buy lots of self-help books filled with this knowledge and skills or read lots of Instagram posts with motivational quotes, can you expect to grow? You might, but I’m guessing the odds are stacked against you, right?!

So what are the day to day skills you need to master to grow?  I don’t exactly know what will help you personally, as we know, everyone is different.  What I do know is that lots of work/time/research has been done around the world to find out what helps people grow.  In fact, a whole industry has emerged because people want to improve their health.  Yet, as a society, people want a quick fix.  At a guess, do you think the knowledge and skills to maintain sustainable lifestyle changes are acquired overnight?  Like the famous shampoo and conditioner, it won’t happen overnight, but it will happen, with learning and time, that is.  I don’t think you want to be in that disappointing predicament this time next year.

So herein lies the challenge, will you take the time to ‘water your tree’ and do some learning to grow in 2016? I sure hope so.