canterbury’s own lifestyle magazine / a great local read

When it comes to wellbeing, there’s certainly no shortage of solutions for improving your life. From exercise to nutrition, mindfulness to social connection, if you’re looking for wellbeing tips for a happier, healthier life – Google has ’em all.

However, in my experience, it’s not knowledge that’s the problem. Rather, it’s how to make changes that are sustainable. How often do we start something, only to find that after a week we’ve gone back to our old habits? We start with the best of intentions but then we’re railroaded by work commitments, illness, family expectations, the weather, an unexpected event or our own loss
of motivation.

It’s important to acknowledge that from a behavioural change point of view, it’s really normal to be distracted from our goal. Change is almost never linear, it’s more like a messy scrawl on paper. With that in mind, it can be helpful to think about what’s likely to get in the way when you decide to make a wellbeing change and make a plan to help you keep on track when the going gets tough. The plan doesn’t have to be perfect and it won’t work all the time, but by thinking through the challenges, you’ve made life easier for yourself already. For me, it’s about having a flexible approach to exercise. Some weeks I go to three spin classes, while in other weeks the best I can do is a quick walk, and I’m okay with that because I know I’m doing what I can right now.

The other important component is to be compassionate with yourself and to recognise your efforts. It’s easy to focus on what you haven’t done, rather than what you have. We beat ourselves up every chance we get and yet celebrating our successes is an important part of what keeps us going – and that’s the real secret to wellbeing.

Take care and remember to be kind to yourself.

Self Care Cards

Sarah’s ‘Self Care’ cards are a way to encourage us to take a moment – it doesn’t take much time or have to cost anything to look after ourselves. ‘Put the oxygen mask on yourself first, before you help others,’ she says, ‘because so many of us want to help others but often forget about ourselves.’

Thoughtful, fun and inspiring, a pack of self care cards contains 30 easy ideas for creating five minutes of awesomeness in your life. Pop a pack in your handbag to inspire wellbeing whenever you need it, or pop a pack in the post to someone you love. It is about ‘bringing a moment of calm in this crazy, busy world’.

Sarah McGuinness

Sarah McGuinness

Wellness Specialist

Sarah McGuinness is the founder of My Health Revolution and is committed to helping people change their lives for the better. She has degrees in psychology and communications, complemented by qualifications in training, coaching and fitness. She specialises in corporate wellness, working with businesses to support their staff in real and effective ways.