• The Villages Mag

Balance & Harmony

As this New Year begins, it is time once again to think about positive change, improvements, resolutions, achieving goals, aims and dreams! 2020 was a year of so much change and uncertainty through Covid, causing a great deal of upheaval. However, it is good to know that no matter what is going on around us that is out of our control, there are many things we can do for ourselves that are within our control.

A key phrase to keep in mind in 2021 is – a step at a time and the key words to focus your endeavours on are Balance and harmony.

Let me begin by personally sharing with you. Ideally, I would like to do an hour of yoga and an hour of mindfulness meditation every day and walk...before breakfast, unrealistic! As someone with fibromyalgia I know only too well the pitfalls of trying to do too much, so I share these tips with you to make your 2021 a little more pain free, and a lot more pleasurable!

Balance – going full steam ahead with a radical diet puts excess pressure on you at the very start of the year. It is far better to consider eating healthily. Over exercising for hours at a time is not sustainable and can lead to feelings of defeat and guilt. Be kind to yourself and acknowledge that even a brisk 20 minute walk each day counts. Doing a small but regular amount each day as part of your balanced day, you will soon notice the benefits, increased energy levels, and a boost to your immune system as you move through the last few months of winter and into spring. Let go of old unwanted habits, one at a time!

Sun soaking for boosting our immune system, William Bloom says “It does not matter what else is going on in my life, if the sun is out, I make sure that I go and sit in the sunlight for fifteen minutes every day, my face directly towards it. I wrap up warmly, plonk myself in a garden chair and absorb the rays. I learned this years ago from a young Norwegian friend who told me that this was the way that he survived the long Scandinavian winters. I do it first thing in the morning or during work-breaks.”

Harmony - this comes about from acknowledging moderation and moving towards your goals a step at a time, so that you are not overwhelmed.

Compassion, work towards being kind to yourself and those around you, and in all your relationships. Practice compassion, the physical and emotional benefits are well known.

Mindfulness, acknowledging the beauty of nature every day, “The mental quality of non-judgmental attention that can see things directly as they appear in the present moment”. When you are out walking, be in touch with and be fully aware, in the present moment, of all you can see, hear, and feel. Mindfulness enables you to switch off from the busy and demanding days and all the joys and challenges they bring, giving you time to acknowledge the space and peace around you. There is much evidence to show that mindfulness helps lift mood and increases overall well being.

Visualise yourself in the future after achieving your goals and visualise a beautiful place to go to each day for space, peace and calm. Take a deep breath, hold to the count of 4, breath slowly out as you imagine that place and say to yourself the word “calm”.

Remember the present moment is the only reality, so take time to notice it and enjoy it. I heard a useful saying recently that may help to calm anxieties and worries as you look ahead “Today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday”.

A step at a time, each plan or goal you have can be broken down into bite size chunks, perhaps a month at a time.

Annette Boden Wellbeing for Life

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