All The Small Things
Posted by Adam Meads
We are talking all things natural, and what this means to us. This week, we asked Kate Faithfull-Williams - wellbeing editor, health coach, mum of two little girls AND lover of chocolate and a good old run (in equal measures) HER take on wellbeing and asked ‘What natural swaps are you making this year?’ The small things we can do each day… to feel good.How does January normally make you feel?
Skint and tired! But was also my daughter Flora’s first birthday earlier this month, so this year January is a month for celebrating, for the first time ever. Flora has just started walking too and she is so excited about her new skills; it’s lovely to see her staggering about the house, shrieking with joy. So this January I’m trying to focus on happy things instead of deprivation.
Are you determined to prioritise your wellbeing in 2018?
Yes. I do that classic mum thing where I run around looking after everyone else, feeling guilty for not doing enough, and totally neglecting myself. Somehow it feels so indulgent to find time for the gym. So this year I’ve got three fitness goals:
1. To do Parkrun every other week – it’s a free timed 5k run in green spaces across the country, every Saturday at 9am. I want to cross the finish line in under 23 minutes;
2. To do a little bit of yoga every day. Stretching out always makes me feel so good. I love Tara Stiles’ YouTube videos because I can practice at home and they’re usually 10 minutes long. If I get to the end of the day and realise I haven’t rolled my mat out, I hold tree pose while brushing my teeth and call it a win;
3. To complete Tough Mudder in April. Well, a half Tough Mudder – it’s five muddy miles and 13 obstacles. My friend Katie signed me up, so I can’t back out now.
How do you stay motivated when you’re feeling like giving up?
Urrgh. Motivation is a tricky one. Exercise-wise, I put my trainers on and tell myself it’s OK to give up if I’m not feeling it. But usually the endorphins get going after a few minutes and I want to keep going because I’m enjoying it. Food-wise, I find it easier not to have much junk food in the house, because if it’s not nailed down I will justify eating it. Ironically, I find resting the hardest aspect of self-care. I’m terrible at lying back and doing nothing – I’m always on my phone replying to messages or ordering groceries or losing myself down the Insta rabbit hole.
What do the ingredients in NEOM do to help you feel better?
I love the Sensuous Scented Candle because the frankincense essential oil in it relaxes the diaphragm, so it helps you breathe more deeply. Only when I pay attention to my breathing do I realise how much I hold my breath all day. My healthiest addiction is the Sleep Saviours kit. The lavender-laden Bath Drops, Pillow Mist and Tranquillity scented candle create a ritual that makes me feel relaxed and ready for bed. I always sleep more deeply afterwards – it’s a necessary indulgence when baby Flora starts one of her 5am parties.
Tell us about YOUR 5 daily swaps?
1. I’m swapping my daily ‘I hate commuting’ moan for finding something to appreciate about squeezing myself onto the train. I often have to really scrabble to find something to be grateful for but even acknowledging the blindingly obvious, like, ‘I’m not getting rained on now I’m in the carriage’, makes me feel more cheerful.
2. I’m swapping my afternoon my almond biscuits for real natural almonds. Naturally grown tangerines. I have a real sweet tooth and by 4pm my good intentions go right out the window. When I hear a rustle of cellophane in the office I pop my head up like a meerkat, looking for biscuits.
3. I’m swapping my chocolate obsession for a healthier chocolate treat: a spoonful of peanut butter swirled in one of those Alpro soy chocolate dessert pots. Try it. It’s like a giant Reese’s Piece, minus the sugar crash, and it has all-natural ingredients.
4. I’m making the natural swap of… NOT staying up that bit too late (for an episode of Scandal) to listening to my body’s natural body clock and getting to bed half an hour earlier. Sleep is my greatest luxury, but sometimes it takes real effort to drag myself up off the sofa and get into bed. Much as I adore Olivia Pope, how much more ridiculous can Scandal’s plot get? A half-decent night’s sleep always makes me feel so much better.
5. I’m swapping my evening vino for a natural leaf tea. A cup of chai tea – Pukka is my favourite – inspired by the new book The Unexpected Joy of Being Sober by Catherine Gray. Cath and I used to work together 10 years ago at Cosmopolitan magazine and whenever we went out we’d get smashed. It was really fun in our 20s – until it wasn’t. Hangover headaches and ‘did I really say that?’ morning-after horrors catch up with you after a while. I calmed my wine habit down in my 30s when I got more senior at work and had babies – boozing didn’t fit with that. Meanwhile Cath’s drinking accelerated. The Unexpected Joy of Being Sober is her story of how she gave up alcohol and discovered her life to be infinitely better for it.
Follow Kate on Instagram @katefaithfullwilliams for happy healthy fixes for a busy world