It seems that Winter has had its final reprise here in the UK and Spring is finally here to stay. At last. It’s only late May…
As a health and fitness professional, I’m constantly preaching the importance of things like exercise, good nutrition, sleep, and stress management. But truthfully, these are just a few components that make up a healthy life.
One of the key factors in overall wellbeing is the elimination of all things toxic to your health – from food to negative thoughts that affect your mental health.
So this week I am going to show you the powerful ways in which you can invite health, abundance, and happiness into your life in just a few simple steps.
1. Your kitchen
Once you take a moment to think about what it is you’re trying to achieve in terms of your health and fitness, get rid of anything that’s misaligned to that goal.
We are doing this first because it will help alleviate temptations or distractions you might have in the house and second, because it sets you up for long-term success.
So… open your fridge and your cupboards… what do you see in there that isn’t supporting your health and fitness goals AND that could tempt you to binge? Get rid of it. Like throw it in the bin, because you know very well that if you just put it in the box and hide it in a random place, the first time you have a wobbly over something you’ll remember exactly where you put that needle in the haystack of your storage area. Nope. Those foods need to go.
The best thing you can do is to donate anything that’s unopened and unused to your local food bank so that someone way less fortunate than you can have something to eat in hope for a better day.
I invite you to not limit this exercise to the food in your cupboards though… it includes your cooking instruments too if they can throw you off course: do you have a deep fat fryer? Perhaps it’s time to move that one to the broom cupboard in the most awkward place so it’s not easy to get to.
Do you have wok? Great! Let’s make that one the easiest item to reach in your cupboard so it will always be easy for you to knock up a quick stir fry, much healthier than a portion of chips!
2. Your wardrobe
I don’t know why we hold on to clothes and accessories for decades… maybe they have sentimental value or maybe we think that we are going to wear them again some day.
But that truth is that even if we were to lose enough weight to fit into our old size 10 Dolce & Gabbana, chances are those items are now old and outdated and they probably belong to the bin more than our wardrobe.
I know this is painful but you have to accept that as you age your body doesn’t change size, it also changes shape slightly and so, even if you were to lose enough weight to fit into your old jeans again, would you really be able to pull off the cropped top look?
So, if it doesn’t fit or it looks old and tatty, it doesn’t matter how much it cost you 10 years ago… give it away. There is someone out there who will benefit from your old items of clothing far more than if they spent another decade in your wardrobe.
The same goes for old make up and cosmetics that have been sitting around unused for years.
And, while you are at it, you may want to do a quick inventory of your underwear too… does it enhance your figure or does it conspire to making you look average and even frumpy? Don’t underestimate the power of a well fitting bra and knickers. They will help you get curves where you have a slight bump and contain and redirect your abundance in other areas.
These are all simple changes that will help you keep the morale high as you go trough your health & fitness journey. Trust me, paying attention to a simple detail like your underwear can make you feel empowered.
The thing is holding on to old things feels heavy in your life, take up space and prevent you from experiencing lightness. It can be unnerving but it pays off to be ruthless when deciding what to keep and what to get rid of.
3. Your digital space
This can be truly tedious work but it will pay off dividends in the long run… take a look at your inbox: how many emails from 2 or 3 years ago have you kept in your inbox? How often do you go back to read them? Delete them.
What about old messages on your social media channels? If those conversations are done, delete them.
The same goes for apps on your phone: how many of them do you really use? Get rid of those that you never touched.
How many old files are lying around your Google Drive or your Dropbox? How many duplicates do you have of the same photo?
Storing things in the cloud costs money so if you haven’t accessed those files in some time chances are you never will. Delete them. You won’t miss them. Your laptop will thank you for it.
Finally, stop engaging with any form of media from the news to online articles that are inherently negative or pushing any type of fear.
4. Your relationships
We all have people in our lives who don’t make us feel joyful. Those people who bring such negative energy to our lives. Or even people that we just compare ourselves to that unintentionally make us feel less than.
And often they’re people very close to us. Let’s talk about those who are more like acquaintances first but the same concept applies to those closest to us too.
Who are those negative people in your social media feeds? Unfollow them. Who do you follow that you compare yourself to and end up feeling worse about yourself every time you see them in the newsfeed? Unfollow them.
They won’t even know that you have done that but I promise you that spending time on social media will be a much happier experience when you do this.
The next step is to do this with people whom you spend time with, willingly or because of circumstances, in real life. I am sure we have all come across those people who never have anything kind to say about anyone and who always point the conversation to some version of them being better than you and you being the village idiot. How do you feel after you have engaged with them? Not great, I bet. I know it’s difficult, but find ways of distancing yourself from them. Your happiness and self esteem will soar.
And then there’s the gossips…. why not commit to ceasing any gossip you participate in (if any) IMMEDIATELY?
Gossip is one of the most toxic behaviours that many humans are prone toward, so commit TODAY – right now – that you are no longer or will not be the kind of person that gossips. If you wouldn’t say it to someone’s face, don’t say it at all.
Reducing your own toxic behavior invites clean and light energy and people into your life.
But what if those toxic people are your family and therefore distancing isn’t a possibility? You will have to toughen up and take a different approach: talk to them openly about what it is that doesn’t work for you in the way they relate to you.
If you do so from a place of love and kindness they might be more open to having a discussion and agreeing to a new and different code of behaviour when you are around each other. This way you won’t feel drained every time you interact with them but will experience joy instead.
5. Your body
The human body is a miraculous machine: day after day it sustains life, it can create life, protects itself from illnesses and diseases and give us the energy and drive to create a life by design.
And we, instead of treating it kindly, often go to great lengths to sabotage it in subtle and not so subtle ways.
We discussed what to do in terms of getting rid of foods that don’t serve your health and fitness goals. Now we are going to look at what you can add to your diet that will help you experience more lightness and wellbeing.
The thing is when you work long hours for long periods of time you are inadvertently placing your body under a lot of stress. This tends to weaken your immune system leaving you open to the attack of the many seasonal viruses. As the immune system is intrinsically linked to the health of your gut I like to start there when addressing the nutritional habits of my clients.
My number one recommendation for this is probiotics.
These will help you keep your digestive tract in tip-top condition as you go about your health & fitness journey. When the digestive system is overworked it won’t be able to extract the nutrients from the food and drinks efficiently. This could result in varying degrees of malnutrition and a metabolism that is out of balance.
Our intestines are populated by both good and bad bacteria. According to medical wisdom the ideal ratio between good and bad bacteria is 9 to 1, however most of us fall short of this.
Why is that, I hear you ask? The foods that we eat have a significant impact on the bacteria population in our intestine for good or for bad. SMART choices will ensure you nurture the good bacteria in your gut, but bad choices made at the table could have a negative effect on your health and wellbeing.
For example, if you suffer from an intolerance to something like gluten should you choose to eat it anyway could result in your intestinal tract becoming damaged resulting in bloating, joint pain, bleeding gums and so on. Also, be aware that taking antibiotics will kill off a large proportion of the good guys in your intestine.
You have many options to choose from: from store bought probiotics to those that you can make yourself at home inexpensively like Milk Kefir and Kombucha. Paired with a healthy diet they will change the way you feel in ways you can barely imagine.
6. Your mind & soul
Finally, there are a few steps that you can take to nurture your mind and soul, because ultimately this is how you experience true happiness…
You could start with keeping a journal about your life:
⭐ what’s going well for you?
⭐ What’s not working?
⭐ Rank different areas of your life from 1 – 10: things like happiness, health, fitness, family, romantic relationships, career, finances, spiritual growth… then look at those areas of your life that you ranked the lowest and address them by creating action steps to improve them so that they eventually all rank at number 1.
⭐ How are you spending your time?
⭐ Are you constantly, relentlessly moving towards your goals?
⭐ If not, what can you commit to changing today that will correct this?
Maybe you need to swap watching TV with reading a book, or listen to a podcast instead of music when you drive.
Identify areas of desired personal growth. What habits can you commit to incorporating daily or multiple times per week into your life?
There’s no right or wrong when it comes to cleansing your mind and soul.
More than anything, it’s about realigning your energy, efforts, habits, and where you’re spending your time to places that are in better service to the life/happiness you want to create.
Over to you!
Let me know how you get on in the comments below.
Wow, Cristina, I haven’t read such a comprehensive write on spring cleaning our lives. You covered so many important and vital areas of one’s life to look at and clear out the unnecessary things or items. I’ve already cleaned out so to speak in my kitchen, food, clothes, gossip, relationships, the body and mind. A biggie was eliminating those I compare myself to and I feel sooo much lighter!
I’m a work in progress in all these areas but you sure confirm I’m going the right direction in my journey. Thank you!
You are very welcome Cindy! I think we are all a work in progress in all these areas of our lives… we change with the times and so it’s good to make a point of re-evaluating all points on a regular basis. Good for you for eliminating people who make you feel less than in your life. We can’t help compare ourselves to others but we can choose who we do it with… right? All the best 🙂