I have felt that everyone really just wants this month to end. Wait – more like this year to end! It’s like a feeling of let’s wrap it up, see ya 2021 and let’s try again for 2022.
Of course, rushing for the finale does mean we miss how precious each day is. We have many days left in 2021 to enjoy and just be. To accomplish, to keep succeeding, and to enjoy this precious life that we have. So let’s not hurry, let’s keep our sanity, and have fun!
I’ve thought about 5 ways you can see off 2021 with love, laughter and positivity.
1. Get into nature
Nature is healing and is fundamental to a calm headspace and relaxed, natural living. The Japanese coined the term Forest Bathing in the ’80s. They put research and programs in place for its population who were in critical need of relaxation and improve the immunity and psyche of the people. The Cure? Spending time in nature, in the forest and among trees. During the Round 2 Covid Lockdown this year I was at Cooks River twice a day walking or running. Believe it or not, I was still able to discover new pathways, and loops from the streets and areas of Cooks River that I had not visited before. It brought a smile to my face. So, how can you start your journey to get into nature? Start by visiting a beach, parkland or valley that you have wanted to visit but have always been too busy to go. Take a picnic, your favourite book or just yourself and enjoy being in nature. We have reached the end of a year that has had so many restrictions in how we conduct our lives, you owe this to yourself. If you need more motivation, there are walks that are organised by many groups. One of our yogis leads great nature day walks every few weeks to raise money for various animal shelters. Walking for a cause is another great initiative that is good for your total health spectrum. My next adventure is to visit Wendy Whiteley’s Secret Garden in Lavender Bay! Maybe I’ll see you there?
2. Eliminate unwanted clutter
This is a huge topic and has been a favourite of mine for a while. Let’s start with getting rid of clothing that do not fit you! Please let me elaborate on this. I don’t mean just size because it’s so much more than that. Does your clothing emotionally lift you up and does it match your current lifestyle and needs? Do you feel confident in it? Comfortable in it? Is your wardrobe full of clothing because you have loaded up from online shopping rampages that you probably don’t actually want or need but haven’t had the time to return? Some great steps to tackle this are: Question what you buy, who are you supporting with your purchase? Do you love it? Need it? Can you afford it? Is it Australian made? Ethical? Sustainable? Did the person who sweated making your clothing get paid a living wage with proper work safe conditions? Look at Oxfam and their campaign: She makes my clothes. This is why I am so passionate about my own clothing line being made here in Sydney by two amazing women, Chrysoula and Fotini. I want to give people quality and beautiful clothing that will last. I want it to be affordable and made with love, yes love, years of expertise and the human touch. But most of all I know there is fair pay and women supporting women in business!
3. Breathe and slow down
In my Homeopathic practice, I meet various clients who reach out for holistic health support for themselves and their families. A repeated concern for many is the lingering anxiety, stress, tension and discontent post Covid lockdown. From their consultation, I prescribe a remedy for their presenting symptoms that fits their personal unique story. That’s what I love about homoeopathy, it is such an individualised method. I’ll also prescribe some breathing techniques.
Conscious breathing slows down the fast brain thoughts. When the mind races it is unrelenting with thinking, planning and worrying. Our attention withers. Slowing down at certain parts throughout the day does not make you unproductive or lazy. It’s the opposite! You have vitality and attention to the tasks in need but don’t feel so distracted, overwhelmed and exhausted that you fall in a heap. How can you apply conscious breathing? Lie down, close your eyes and place your palms on your abdomen. Feel it rise and fall for two minutes. It will become soft and move like a small wave. Observe. For the next 4-5 minutes count your inhalation breath from 1-4 Pause. Then let the breath escape from counts 1-8. Pause. Repeat. Slow, rhythmic and steady. This is for all ages and again, no Yoga experience is needed. Do this once a day and work it up to twice. And of course, a reminder of no phones!
Well, how could I not mention yoga???!!!! It has been so lovely to reconnect with all the students post lockdowns well as getting to meet new Yogis – wooohooo! Everyone’s texts, emails and messages on social. To receive everyone’s texts, emails and messages on social media was wonderful and so supportive to be checking in with each other. Teaching private sessions at the park during lockdown weeks was a saviour for me. The ritual of walking to the reserve and meeting each yogi as well as observing and waiting to see Mr Fluffy the Kookaburra. Yoga is a science. It’s a ritual of movement that requires all other stimuli to stop, and for you to be with your body, your breath on your mat. Totally present. Small group classes bring the wonderful energy of a community. Every yogi comes to feel better. We share our experiences but also work in unison by balancing, moving, stretching and at the end of the class relaxing. What if you are not ready to come to a class yet? Don’t place pressure on yourself. Search for online content on youtube and just start. Or, be old school (like me!) and borrow Yoga books from your library or buy from your local bookshop. Be mindful that without the guidance and expertise of a teacher not to attempt yoga postures that are beyond your current level of fitness and experience. You do not want to get injured. Work with what feels comfortable and when you are ready, jump into some classes for added support and variety.
5. Make plans that excite you
Planning for the future seems a bit hard to contemplate after the last 2 years. But, we cannot dismiss the feeling of what it’s like to look forward to something super wonderful. A few years ago I attended a Yoga Festival on the South Coast. It had an amazing array of speakers and presenters. There was a woman presenting a seminar that I had chosen to sit in as I waited for my chosen seminar to start. My yogi crew, you are aware of my inability at times to remember names but I’ll never forget the presentation. She used charts of our brain waves to amazingly describe what our mind does and how our immunity is boosted with the knowledge that we have an upcoming holiday or getaway to look forward to. Literally planning for a holiday boosts our immunity and uplifts our productivity! I’m waiting for the refund of my 2020 airline ticket to Greece. It has been 8 months since I cancelled and I’m still waiting for my so-called refund. I regret applying for one because I feel I will definitely be purchasing another airline ticket to the Motherland. I decided that even planning for my next Summer in Greece in 2022 would make me happy and it does! The planning of a road trip with my man makes me smile like crazy. Hosting a Summer Yoga retreat at Callala Beach at the end of January makes me jump with excitement. Attending a yoga course for my continued Professional Development in February at Byron Bay beams me up with happiness. We cannot deny it – small travel plans and getaways bring us hope and happiness.
If you have made it this far, thank you for reading!
Let me ask you…
What are you looking forward to in 2022?
What are you leaving behind this year?
Drop me a line.