Organising a new event in an unfamiliar area, without help and in a very short timespan, isn’t to be recommended for health! However, now that the weekend’s Ostara Festival of Natural Health and Well-being is behind us it is time to breathe and reflect on what is good in life and find some balance.
A quick search brought up a very fitting definition of balance: “an even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady”. Work-Life balance, balanced diet, balanced weight are terms we are generally all too familiar with. Perhaps many of you wrestle with them on a daily basis. So what do we all really need to find natural health and well-being? From childhood we are advised to be “early to bed, early to rise”, to “not burn the candle at both ends” and that “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”- though heaven knows why poor Jack was singled out! Wise words and endless blog articles give conflicting views on what we should or should not eat, which exercise fad is best and all accompanied by Instagram-able images of airbrushed perfection.
Nevertheless, our inner child usually stamps its tiny feet, tosses its curls and rebels, ignoring the sages and indulging in exactly what it shouldn’t, as often and as much as possible. Many of us get away with this behaviour for years, refusing to grow up or listen to our bodies. We sigh at the lycra-clad goddesses and tell ourselves we’ll start next week, after the party or holiday or sometime soon.
Unfortunately, as some of you will know all too well, most of us can only get away with this petulant behaviour for so long, before our unhealthy chickens come home to roost. Stress, anxiety, obesity and chronic illness are rampaging through the modern world scything all before them. For so many, the only answer appears to come from a chemical concoction from the pharmacy.
As a rebel in life, whose body finally went ping a few years ago, after I’d ignored what it was screaming at me for some time, I hope you won’t mind me sharing my personal philosophy. That is, that we should ignore all the don’t eat this or that brigade, the special diets and prescriptive regimes ( unless you are allergic or addicted of course). Life is way too short but will seem incredibly long if we can’t have some fun or the occasional naughty treat.
Balance is the answer. So after a hectic week at work or a wild weekend (lucky you!), stop, sit down and give yourself some respite. That paperwork, pile of laundry or string of emails are not going anywhere and it’s unlikely that anyone will die if you attend to them in a day or two. Your health and well-being are much more important.
If you’ve eaten vegan/sugar-free/ non-alcoholic all week but are really craving that bacon sandwich/chocolate brownie/glass of wine the planet will thank you and forgive the small indulgence. Your craving will disappear, you will have had a reward for the former “good behaviour” and you will feel virtuous about continuing with your healthy choices.
If you’ve been in a windowless basement conference room, an air-conditioned office block or simply driving in traffic most of the week, step outside. Immerse yourself in nature, breath some fresh air and engage your senses. Smell those flowers, delight in the patterns of fungi on the trees, hear the birdsong all around and feel the wind in your hair. Forget the Negative Ninnies who have plagued your week and give thanks for the good guys who made you smile. Think of the small things that give pleasure. They don’t have to be expensive or fancy.
As I walked in my local woodland this morning the previous manic weeks melted away and I returned home refreshed and inspired. You may have a different favourite place but going there and being mindful of what you see and hear will undo your stress and allow your body and mind to repair. I hope you will share what little things gave you balance recently and look forward to hearing them.
Take care x