Hello everyone and welcome to another collaboration post.
This month’s blog post star guest is Frances. Frances and I have connected on Instagram through our similar goals and passion for wellbeing. She has a lovely social media platform that helps engage and inspire people through her moving positivity posts and podcasts. Such a lovely lady! 😊
We are here to talk about Frances’ journey of how she got into wellbeing. She incorporates fun but practical advice and is here to delve deeper with it through my Q&A style blog. We hope this gives you deepened awakening on what wellbeing is on a day to day level, along with Frances’s top tips!
Please feel free to share with all your friends and family! Here we go…
So, Frances, what was it that kickstarted your wellbeing journey?
I think it was an accumulation of small things that happened within the space of a year; I realised I didn’t feel as physically fit as I wanted to, I found a lump in my breast (which was fortunately benign) and I think the most influential thing was that I started meditating. Meditation completely changed the way I looked at life – rather than rushing around in quite a stressful way and overeating as a coping mechanism, meditation showed me the importance of slowing down and enjoying each moment. It also reconnected my mind and body and motivated me to start moving more by going for daily walks. On these walks I would listening to podcasts on spirituality and health which further inspired me on my journey.
What does wellbeing mean to you?
To me, wellbeing encompasses our mental, physical and social health. It includes every aspect of our lives! To take care of our wellbeing, we can take steps such as such as; getting a good night’s sleep, moving our bodies, eating nutritious food, practicing mindfulness and meditation, and having meaningful loving relationships. I also believe that there is no such thing as ‘perfect’ when it comes to health and wellness and that having a good balance in life is really important. I think that we are all unique and so what wellbeing looks like for one person could be very different for someone else and so it’s important not to compare yourself to anyone else, just to do what feels good and enjoyable for you!
Are you able to highlight to us how positivity, affirmations (and gratitude) has impacted your lifestyle at all?
I’ve found that practicing gratitude is one of the simplest and easiest ways to remind yourself of all of the wonderful things that there are to be grateful for in the world. With the fast-paced lifestyle that we have, and social media bombarding us with things we should want to buy all of the time, spending just 5 minutes each morning writing a little list of the things that you’re grateful for really changes your perspective. I personally start by writing “I am grateful for my lungs because they allow me to breathe, I am grateful for my strong beating heart which allows me to love, I am grateful for my eyes which allow me to see the beauty of this world…” and the list goes on!!! By doing this, it reminds me just how amazing the human body is and how many gifts we have before we’ve even started our day! I also enjoy writing down positive affirmations. I think that they’re a great way to remind yourself of just how wonderful and gifted and kind and strong and intelligent and powerful you are! On my Instagram I created an ‘affirmation alphabet’ where each day, people sent in a positive word for each letter and that provided a tool that people could use to say, for example, “I am amazing, I am adaptable, I am appreciative.” I think its also worth saying that being positive doesn’t mean ignoring difficulties we may face or hard times we may have. Being positive means acknowledging when something bad happens, or when we feel upset, and then saying, “what lessons can I learn from this?” or “how can I grow from this?” Having this perspective allows us to develop from all of our experiences.
Does meditation play a part in your practice – and if so how?
Yes completely! My journey over the last year of becoming healthier, both mentally and physically, really started with mediation! Meditation inspires me to be healthier, kinder to myself, kinder to others, more compassionate and more grateful. Having a few minutes of stillness and calm on a morning and evening gives me a great deal of peace and clarity. The awareness that we get with meditation can greatly impact so many areas of our lives. It allows for a great deal of self-reflection and growth as it helps us understand and unpick our coping mechanisms, reactions and patterns of behaviour. We also learn that the way others behave towards us is often a reflection of how they’re feeling inside. Therefore, meditation can help us to be more compassionate and understanding towards others.
In your opinion, how can we aim to have a better relationship with our minds and bodies?
I think the most important thing is to recognise how amazing your body is RIGHT NOW! No matter what shape or size your body takes– your body is INCREDIBLE and BEAUTIFUL and it deserves to be loved and appreciated! For me, once I started realising what a gift my body was – exactly in the shape and size it was – simply for doing all that it does such as; digesting food, repairing, fighting infections – without us even thinking about it – I began to make choices to benefit my mental and physical health. And so from celebrating and embracing our bodies, we can take care of our health from a place of love – not hate! We should also regularly remind ourselves of the things we’ve achieved – they don’t have to be big things – but celebrate yourself and how far you’ve come. I think we generally need to be kinder to ourselves and this includes practicing self-care!
What do you feel is good advice for people who have never followed a self-care routine before?
Self-care is everything you do to look after yourself. We can often think of it as having a bubble bath, doing a face mask, getting a massage and painting our nails. While these are all fabulous ways to destress and pamper, self-care also includes more straight forward things like brushing your teeth, drinking some water, resting, going for a walk and having some yummy food. Setting boundaries is also an essential part of self care. Being able to say “no” to an invitation or to something you don’t feel comfortable with is a great way to protect your energy. Even just saying “I’m having a night in,” brushing your teeth and getting a good night’s sleep is a wonderful act of self-love. Small steps like those each day are fantastic!
What would be your 3 top tips to help with a wellness journey?
- Don’t feel like you have to do everything at once – just do one thing each day that makes you feel good and over time these small steps will add up and you will start to feel the benefit.
- Find your own style. If you want to increase your movement, find an exercise that works for you – life is too short to run on a treadmill if you don’t enjoy it!! Your wellness journey is your life so enjoy each moment!
- Be kind to yourself– embrace every single part of you because you are amazing and you deserve so much love!
Thank you so much Frances for giving us those amazing pearls of wisdoms and top tips. I think you are so right – self care is everything you do to look after yourself, even simple things such as brushing our teeth is looking after our bodies. I love that. Really love the affirmations and meditation aspect too – brings us to a level of calmness and power within ourselves I think!
I hope this has helped and given you a new outlook on wellbeing.
Want to know more about Frances?
You can find me on Instagram at Flourish_with_Frances – I’d love to hear from you!
I also have a podcast on Spotify called Flourish with Frances where I talk about health, wellness, spirituality and so much more!