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I'm Laura Agar Wilson.

I'm a Mum, coffee addict and Hygge lover. I help women remember that they are enough.

F I N D  O U T  M O R E > >

CATEGORIES SELF CARE SPIRITUALITY MINDSET LIFESTYLE BUSINESS + BLOGGING RECIPES
AS SEEN IN

One of my most hated tasks in the kitchen is washing up sticky baked on food from the baking tins I use in the oven.

It’s not great when you’re cooking something and it gets stuck to the bottom of the tray so all you end up with is a broken up mess on your plate and a very dirty tray.

When I was asked to swap cooking with oil for Bacofoil® The Non-Stick Kitchen Foil, I was honestly wondering if it would live up to the name as even when I’ve tired regular foil in the past, I’ve been disappointed. I’d still usually end up shovelling roast veg or sausages from the bottom of the foil ripping it in the process – so frustrating!

So, I thought I’d put it to the test with a number of our regular family meals over the week.

The first thing I tried was some baked salmon, which I always seem to have an issue with if I don’t oil the tray. I baked it plain on the foil with the non–shiny side facing upwards. This side has the unique BacoLift® surface which has been especially developed stop food from sticking.

I was really impressed with the results, the salmon didn’t stick at all, in fact there was no residue left on the foil at all.

The baked salmon made a really delicious dish served with some homemade salsa and avocado.

The second meal I tested the foil with was some chicken sausages, roast baby potatoes with garlic that we served with steamed green veggies.

I was a little concerned about the chicken sausages sticking because they have a much lower oil content than regular pork sausages, but again, we had no issues, no sticking at all.

For the roast potatoes we did use a little oil to help them roast properly, but because of the non-stick quality of the foil I didn’t need to use anywhere near as much oil as I would usually use which made the potatoes far more crispy, and again they didn’t stick.

Finally, I made one of my easy weeknight dishes, baked fajita chicken with peppers and onions which we serve with rice, veggies, lots of coriander and avocado.

Again, this dish cooked perfectly. I didn’t use any oil on this, and the veggies and chicken didn’t stick at all.

As it happens when I made this meal we ended up having to go out, so another thing I found helpful was being able to just wrap up the foil straight off the pan and pop it in the fridge to have the next day.

I’ve found that using the Bacofoil® Non-Stick Kitchen Foil has enabled me to save time on cleaning up, use less oil and be infinitely less frustrated with sticky messy food and foil that breaks up when you try and remove the food!

To sum up my experiences with using it:

  • Make sure you cook food on the non–shiny side, as this is the side with the unique BacoLift® surface which stops food from sticking
  • It’s fantastic for saving you having to clean messy trays
  • Really loved that I didn’t have to shovel food off the foil – it just slid straight off
  • It’s also recyclable which is fab too
  • I found I didn’t need to use anywhere near as much oil as usual
  • I can see how I would use this as an everyday essential in my kitchen going forward

If you’d like to find out more about Bacofoil® The Non-Stick Kitchen Foil, check out the Bacofoil website here.

I’d love to know your thoughts, would you give Bacofoil® The Non-Stick Kitchen Foil a try? Let me know in the comments!

*post sponsored by Bacofoil®

The post Cooking without sticking with Bacofoil® appeared first on Wholeheartedly Laura.

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I'm Laura Agar Wilson.

I'm a Mum, coffee addict and Hygge lover. I help women remember that they are enough.

F I N D  O U T  M O R E > >

CATEGORIES SELF CARE SPIRITUALITY MINDSET LIFESTYLE BUSINESS + BLOGGING RECIPES
AS SEEN IN

Whenever I talk to women about wellbeing and being more healthy, something that always comes up is how to be more consistent with self care!

If you:

  • Stay really motivated for a couple of weeks but then ‘life happens’ and it all goes to hell (bingeing, not exercising etc)
  • Are fearful of ‘f**king up whenever you’re in a good groove with your wellbeing stuff
  • Are easily thrown off course when you travel / go on holiday / have a family birthday / work gets busy etc

Then check out this live video I did on Facebook sharing some of my best tips for becoming much more consistent with how you take care of yourself:

What things tend to knock you off course? What would your strategies be for ‘getting back on track?’ Leave me a comment and let me know!

Interested in what I was saying about Mindset Work? Check out the totally free 5-day Mindset Course below!

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The post How to be more consistent with self care & healthy living appeared first on Wholeheartedly Laura.

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I'm Laura Agar Wilson.

I'm a Mum, coffee addict and Hygge lover. I help women remember that they are enough.

F I N D  O U T  M O R E > >

CATEGORIES SELF CARE SPIRITUALITY MINDSET LIFESTYLE BUSINESS + BLOGGING RECIPES
AS SEEN IN

I’ve been thinking about how my relationship with food has changed over the years. I started this blog back in 2010, and since then I’ve completely shifted the way I eat.

Before I ‘found healthy living’ I was pretty overweight and stuck in that rut of yoyo dieting where I’d be 100% perfect with my eating but then find myself eating crap and repeating the process. Sound familiar? But perhaps the biggest issue I had was that I was emotionally eating in amongst all of that. Fast forward a couple of years and I was obsessively controlling what I was eating – not eating in a typically emotional way, but through being so restrictive and obsessed I was still avoiding my emotions by putting all my energy into thinking about how I could eat more healthily.

Now before I go into this post further, I want to note that not all emotional eating is bad. Sometimes it’s our way of coping with extremely difficult emotions and times in our lives. Having an emotional connection with food is totally normal and unless it’s problematic for you then there’s no need to ‘fix’ anything. We all have days when an ice cream just makes us feel better and that’s ok!

However for me what emotional eating represented was a way for me to avoid feeling uncomfortable emotions and thoughts – ironically those often connected to my weight and appearance.

As I started to address my orthorexia I started emotionally eating again in the typical pattern of overeating / bingeing on less healthy foods – and sometimes even healthy foods. Then I’d feel crap and then start overeating again to numb out of the uncomfortable guilty bloated feeling. It was such a vicious circle.

So for me, my emotional eating was intertwined with a form of binge eating as well. Now I’m not a professional in disordered eating, but I am an expert in me – and I have worked with hundreds of women around their mindset (a big part of this picture!) so I wanted to share a few things that worked for me and which have helped me completely transform my behaviours around food so that I no longer eat in a destructive emotional / binge kind of way.

I stopped restricting food

This took a long long time for me to embrace, but when I stopped restricting the foods I mentally labelled as ‘bad’ I no longer felt like I needed to eat all of them immediately so that I could ‘start fresh’ the next day. This means I stop when I’m full (most of the time – I’m not perfect and I still love food!) and I just eat them the next time I feel like it.

This has helped me because I used to feel so pants when I ate something I labelled as ‘bad’ that I’d eat more to numb out the uncomfortable guilty emotion.

So know I try not to mentally label foods and I just allow myself to eat what I feel like as much as possible although I do try and make sure I consciously eat things I know are good for me such as vegetables, fruit, nuts, olive oil etc.

I started to feel my feelings

Ooof is this a biggie! If we’re emotionally eating in a destructive way this is the thing we need to start addressing. I was eating as a way to avoid feeling any emotion that was uncomfortable – ranging from guilt to boredom to anger. Sometimes I’d even emotionally eat when I felt extreme happiness because my mind wasn’t used to feeling emotions so intense, both negative and positive.

Again, this took some time but I started off by noticing when I was engaging in emotional eating and seeing that as a sign to probe my feelings a bit more deeply to see if I could identify the emotion I was trying to avoid.

I started journaling to help me understand those emotions better and just giving myself the time and space to feel.

As these are uncomfortable emotions our mind is going to fight us when we try and just sit with them which is why this takes some practice but once you’re in more of a habit of doing it you’re able to mentally ‘diffuse’ the feeling – the way it works for me is usually once I can identify what it is and sit with it and journal it out I feel better and the cycle stops.

For me, it was actually boredom that was one of the main issues, so learning to sit with that and of course – better ways of entertaining myself, has helped!

*I should also add – depending on your personal history and experiences and if you’ve experienced severe trauma of any kind, sometimes this process of feeling your feelings needs to be done with professional support.

I got into a better evening routine

My prime emotional eating time was on an evening after dinner. This would usually be when I’d feel bored, but it was also the time of day when I slowed down enough to let any uncomfortable feelings rise up.

When I got a better evening routine that included something to stop me feeling bored – like reading and journaling (double win with journaling!) this helped me use that time to process things better but also stopped me feeling bored because I had something to do instead of aimlessly watching TV.

I also had a habit of eating mindlessly in front of the TV which was connected to emotional eating and that ‘release’ we all need at the end of a busy day. Getting more conscious about that time and having a cuppa and a small snack instead of the mindless eating really helped me change that pattern.

Also having an earlier night helped – being knackered makes sitting with those uncomfortable feelings a lot harder!

I figured out how my deeper mindset was making me emotionally eat

The most impactful thing I did to stop emotional eating was beginning to understand the role my mindset played in my behaviours around food. This really links into point two above because a lot of this was identifying the beneath the surface feelings that can sometimes go unnoticed even when we’re looking for them.

When I started to understand, process and let go of a lot of hidden emotions and feelings – all stemming from experiences I had as a child and teenager connected to food, my body image and self worth – I was able to totally shift how I related to food.

As a whole bunch of this is in our subconscious mind, I needed to use certain tools to help me clear those emotional patterns out – and when I did everything changed.

This is something I cover in depth in my Mindset Makeover Course – our mindset really is the foundation of our whole lives, including how we relate to food and our behaviours with it!

I really hope this post has given you lots to think about. I know how crappy emotional eating can make you feel, especially that horrible feeling of guilt and feeling totally stuffed and bloated in your body. You can start and change all of that slowly, I hope some of these tips have given you some ideas but if you’d like to go more in depth check out my totally free 5 day mindset course below to get started!

Have you ever struggled with emotional eating? What have you discovered that helps?

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The post How I stopped emotional eating appeared first on Wholeheartedly Laura.

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I'm Laura Agar Wilson.

I'm a Mum, coffee addict and Hygge lover. I help women remember that they are enough.

F I N D  O U T  M O R E > >

CATEGORIES SELF CARE SPIRITUALITY MINDSET LIFESTYLE BUSINESS + BLOGGING RECIPES
AS SEEN IN

If you find yourself getting frustrated because you keep doing things you know aren’t helpful – like eating loads of crisps when you’re trying to eat healthily – then keep reading!

Our mindset is one of the most overlooked elements of our wellbeing. When it comes to our health, changing how we eat and exercise more for example – I believe that our mindset around that is going to have a huge impact on how successful we are.

If you were a computer and your mindset was the operating system, and any kind of changes to how you eat, move and behave were software programmes, you’d eventually get to a place where the operating system needs to be upgraded before you can download and use any new programmes.

This is exactly what it’s like with mindset. It doesn’t matter what diet you try even, if it’s a non diet more like intuitive eating – even self care – trying to make those changes a success without addressing your mindset first can backfire big time.

Often this happens in the form of self sabotage – literally doing things that your logical conscious mind doesn’t want to do, like eating a pack of biscuits when you’re trying to lose weight – I know I’ve been there with that one!

Sometimes there are physiological reasons for that kind of behaviour too, or just practical barriers, however mindset is so dominant in so many areas of our lives it makes sense to figure out how to a) understand what your current mindset is and b) how to change the elements that aren’t currently serving you.

Here’s 3 different areas for you to consider when it comes to improving your mindset so you can be healthier and happier!

Diet Mentality

In my experience coaching women 1-2-1, it’s the diet mentality – you could think of it like a specific group of mindset thoughts – or a programme your brain computer keeps running – which are especially detrimental to being able to find a more balanced and healthy relationship with food. This is often seen as having good and bad labels on food, being ‘all or nothing’ and bingeing and restricting cycles.

As a woman in today’s society most of us will be affected by the diet mentality – it links into our self worth and emotions in a big way. If we’re stuck in a diet mentality it can make it so hard not to allow one treat to become a ‘fuck it’ situation where you feel like you’ve messed up and just eat all the crap until starting again the next day, or the next Monday!’

So asking yourself where the diet mentality shows up in your life and seeing how you can let that go is something that will really help your mindset.

The stories we tell ourselves

Another aspect of mindset for wellbeing is tied up in ‘the stories we tell ourselves’ or as I sometimes put it, the internal records we have playing. Those stories or records might be telling us we’ll never be slim, we’ll never be good enough, we can’t run because we aren’t ‘sporty’ enough etc.

When we understand what our stories are and where they’ve come from, we can start telling ourselves new stories, or in my record player analogy, we can change the record to a much kinder tune.

Crutches and ‘numbing out’

Another aspect of mindset is in the avoidance of feeling certain emotions. When we aren’t used to allowing ourselves to really feel how we feel, we look for ways to numb out of that feeling, or we seek a crutch to help us through it. Food is often one of those crutches and ways of numbing out (as are a multitude of other things like shopping, drinking and watching TV).

The problem we have is that we’re just so used to the habit of numbing out and we aren’t able to face those uncomfortable feelings – now I’ve been working on this for a while I can notice when I’m starting to begin a behaviour that’s numbing out and instead of reaching for the ice cream I’m able to sit with it. I’ll be sharing more of my own journey around emotional eating in a blog post soon!

Those are just three ways that mindset can have a profound impact on our lives and as this is such a massive area that I can totally geek out on I’d love to take you further on a journey of getting to know your mindset and starting to make some changes that will have a dramatic effect on your life.

To get started you can join my totally free 5 day mindset course below – I guarantee you won’t think about your brain and mindset in the same way again!

How do these elements of mindset impact you?

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The post 3 mindsets that are damaging your wellbeing appeared first on Wholeheartedly Laura.

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I'm Laura Agar Wilson.

I'm a Mum, coffee addict and Hygge lover. I help women remember that they are enough.

F I N D  O U T  M O R E > >

CATEGORIES SELF CARE SPIRITUALITY MINDSET LIFESTYLE BUSINESS + BLOGGING RECIPES
AS SEEN IN

Sometimes it can be really hard to not focus on all the ‘bad’ things were doing for our health. That takeway you had on Friday night, the late nights you had last week, the kids Easter chocolate you raided – it’s easy to get caught up on those things and have a mindset that really focuses on them. 

But in fact, focusing on those less healthy habits isn’t going to help you start and be more health! So what is? Read on!

Today a big story hit the news, basically saying that some research has been done showing it’s not so much about the food we’re eating that impacts our health, it’s more about the food we aren’t eating enough of that has the biggest impact.

Here’s a quote from The Guardian:

‘But the biggest problem is not the junk we eat but the nutritious food we don’t eat, say researchers, calling for a global shift in policy to promote vegetables, fruit, nuts and legumes’

Obviously I’m not a scientist so can’t comment on how accurate the research is – what it really highlighted to me was getting back to having a mindset that is all around how you can add in the good stuff rather than focus on what you shouldn’t be doing.

The Mindset Perspective

From a mindset perspective, it can be really easy to focus on all the ‘bad’ foods you eat, all the ‘bad’ habits you think you have and be in a place where your brain is focusing on all the negatives and often all of all the depravation.

But what this study (or at least the way it was being reported on BBC Radio 6!) was a reminder that having a mindset where we focus on what we can add in could really make a difference instead of being a bitch to ourselves about the things we believe we shouldn’t be doing.

Embrace Adding In

So embracing an ‘adding in’ mindset and then pairing that up with positive aspects could really help if you’re struggling with taking care of yourself and finding that you focus on the negative stuff.

Positive aspects is a form of journaling I like to do that helps me highlight all the helpful things I’m doing to take care of myself and live my best life. It can be very easy for me to get stuck in a place where all I’m thinking about is the things I’ve done ‘wrong’, so practising positive aspects helps me see the good things too.

Embracing ‘adding in’ might look like:

  • Adding in a portion of veg to as many meals as possible (I’m just about to have some leftover pizza for lunch and I’m going to add a handful of salad!)
  • Going for a walk where you’d usually take the car
  • Going to bed earlier a couple of nights a week
  • Doing a meditation once a week

Then if you’re able to practice positive aspects (click the link for the full post to find out more) then that’s really going to help. See also the Power of Micro Actions for more on why baby steps work!

I know that none of this is rocket science and is all things you’ve probably heard before, but in my experience I do think many of us find it hard to know that adding in these little things is enough – especially while we focus in on the less helpful habits or behaviours we have.

Adding in is sometimes also called crowding out because when we place the focus on all the good helpful stuff we can do for our bodies and minds, we naturally push out the less helpful stuff whether that be food, habits etc.

Also, from a mindset perspective – because our mindset is 80% of what impacts our habits and behaviours – it’s a really great way to think about your self care.

I’d love to know what you think, did you see the study reported on the news? Do you think embracing an ‘adding in’ mindset would help you?

P.S – If you’re interested in all things Mindset, check out my free 5 day mindset course below. It will change the way you think forever!

Join my newsletter and get the free 5 Day Mindset Course!
Please check your inbox to confirm your subscription and I'll send you the link straight out!

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The post How having an ‘adding in’ mindset can help you stay healthy appeared first on Wholeheartedly Laura.

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I'm Laura Agar Wilson.

I'm a Mum, coffee addict and Hygge lover. I help women remember that they are enough.

F I N D  O U T  M O R E > >

CATEGORIES SELF CARE SPIRITUALITY MINDSET LIFESTYLE BUSINESS + BLOGGING RECIPES
AS SEEN IN

Back in January I shared a bit about my own self care in the winter, I had been pretty much constantly ill all that month, so I was really in need of taking care of myself better!

Now that spring is (almost) here, I wanted to share a bit of an update on what self care looks like for me right now and what I have planned for this season. As I’m sure I’ve spoken about before, I’m really into a seasonal approach to my self care because I really notice a difference in what I need depending on the season.

I still love to use my Google Keep app to keep me focused – I like to list out the things I want to focus on in a note on the app as a reminder.

Here’s my main intentions:

To eat less empty carbs and more veg 

I’ve noticed that I have a serious thing for crisps at the moment, I can easily sink a large bag of crisps without it touching the sides and all that salt isn’t making me feel great. Now while I’m all for balance and moderation, I feel like I’m at the point of needing a crisp ban so I get out of the habit of eating them so much.

Last month I also read WTF should I eat by Dr Mark Hyman and the way he suggests you eat most of the time (basically mostly whole foods) makes obvious sense but it just kind of clicked in my head reading that book. So I’m working on eating more fruit and veg and buying more organic too, as well as reducing the ‘empty’ carbs like crisps. I’m hoping the spring weather will make eating less empty carbs easier too!

As someone who had orthorexia in the past, I’m always wary of getting hyper obsessed with food again but I’m in such a different place to where I’ve been in the past with my approach I know I won’t go that way again. Plus this is much more motivated by wanting to feel better rather than losing weight.

Now the way I live my life I know I’ll never ever be able (or would want to quite frankly) eat a ‘perfect’ diet, I want to be able to eat whatever I like when I’m out with friends for example, but at the same time I do want to make more of an effort to eat well when I can because I want to feel as good as possible too.

Do more walking, yoga and strength training

At the end of last year I packed in the gym once and for all as it just wasn’t really working for me anymore and was becoming a waste of money. We have a rowing machine and spin bike at home, as well as weights so I knew I just needed to get my arse in gear more!

But what I’ve found is the easiest most enjoyable exercise for me is simply walking or yoga. It might not be the most heart pumping of movement, but I find that it has a much more positive impact on my mental wellbeing as well as physical wellbeing than dragging myself out to run or doing loads of cardio.

I do also enjoy using weights so I’m trying to include more of that in my routines as well.

At the moment my best time to do movement is in the morning after I’ve dropped Fin off at nursery before I start work. This morning I did a 30 minute brisk walk and I felt great after!

Stress less – by living more in the moment and having more fun

Yep, I know that meditation is great for stress, and I do meditate about twice a week as well as relax with ASMR, but what I’ve found looking back over the last few months is that I stress a whole lot less when I’m in the moment and having fun.

When I’m ‘ruminating’ – thinking about things over and over, usually connected to future events I don’t have full control over – I stop being present. Not just mindful presence in the moment but generally not being fully present in my life. I stop planning meals, making an effort to eat well, in fact I stop making much of an effort at all.

Recognising this recently has been so helpful – so often it’s being able to see what’s happening and snap yourself out of it that makes the difference.

So now when I start to notice that I’m ruminating on stuff I can’t do much about that’s far in the future I need to distract myself and most importantly, have fun!

Doing fun things is always something that brings me back into the now and as a result I feel less stressed and much more likely to do all the things I need to take care of myself better.

Other things I’m planning for spring which aren’t necessarily self care related but still make me feel good are things like planting up some flower or veg pots in the Easter holidays as an activity with Finley, planning in other Easter holiday activities like ‘bunny school’ (a day at the local park where you get to cuddle chicks and bunnies, I can’t wait!) and getting a new cooker and floor in our kitchen.

Overall what’s really become apparent for me personally these last few months is that I have to work really, really hard at doing these things for myself. I’ve been doing so much ‘life stuff’ (you know, mothering, working, partnering and all the rest), that once everything else is taken care of all I’m getting is the scraps of my energy that’s left over. I’m sure I’m not the only one that feels that way sometimes! I’m no longer prepared to just give myself the scraps.

I’d love to know your thoughts on this! What does taking care of yourself look like in spring for you?

Join the regular newsletter and get access to the free 5 day Mindset Course

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The post Self Care Project: Spring appeared first on Wholeheartedly Laura.

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I'm Laura Agar Wilson.

I'm a Mum, coffee addict and Hygge lover. I help women remember that they are enough.

F I N D  O U T  M O R E > >

CATEGORIES SELF CARE SPIRITUALITY MINDSET LIFESTYLE BUSINESS + BLOGGING RECIPES
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Whether it’s eating well, exercising, meditating or any kind of positive habit, something a lot of us struggle with is doing it consistently. We all wish we could start a habit and have it stick, but so often life can just get in the way and make it hard!

I do sometimes think we can beat ourselves up over our lack of consistency – sometimes we don’t need to be as ‘consistent’ as we think, we just need to reframe how we think of it!

But If that sounds like you and you wish you were able to do things to take care of yourself more consistently then read on…

Define consistency

The first thing to consider is what consistency actually looks like for you. Weekly? Daily? Twice a week? Depending on what the helpful habit is, it could be that you just need to set a realistic expectation of what consistency looks like for you around that thing. A lot of people expect themselves to do something more often than is realistic and when they don’t achieve that it’s easy to get fed up and then stop bothering all together! Also try and consider the phase of life you’re in (like new motherhood for example), and try not to compare yourself to how you used to be and expect the same level of consistency you had when you were hitting the gym 20 years ago!

Get support and accountability

It’s so much easier to keep things consistent when you have some support from other people. Maybe that’s starting to go to a fitness class once a week with a group of friends. They can also help you stay accountable!

Try a habit tracker

A habit tracker is a simple table with the days of the month down one side and your desired habits at the top. Each time you perform the habit you tick the box. Habit trackers are especially good for things you want to do each day, but might not be as helpful for things you do less often, but still consistently.

Planning + scheduling

Maybe one of the simplest things but something that always slips my mind is planning! When I’m most on it, sitting down at the start of the week and planning meals, planning when and how I’m going to move my body etc all makes me 100 times more likely to be consistent. Then scheduling in exercise, or even scheduling in things like meditation can be helpful if like me you live by your Google Calendar!

When you plan ahead and take some of the decision making out of things it makes it so much easier to stick with!

Check in with your mindset

If even after trying some of those tips you’re struggling it could be that your mindset is to blame. Your mindset so often comes into play when it comes to doing things consistently, if you have a limiting belief about your ability to eat well for example then it’s going to be so hard to keep it going!

If you want to explore your mindset further then why not check out my free course below!

I’d love to know what you think, leave me a comment and tell me which one of your tips you’ll try!

Join the regular newsletter and get access to the free 5 day Mindset Course

Thanks for requesting access to The Library! Please check your inbox to confirm your subscription and I'll send you the link straight out!

The post How to do self care more consistently appeared first on Wholeheartedly Laura.

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I'm Laura Agar Wilson.

I'm a Mum, coffee addict and Hygge lover. I help women remember that they are enough.

F I N D  O U T  M O R E > >

CATEGORIES SELF CARE SPIRITUALITY MINDSET LIFESTYLE BUSINESS + BLOGGING RECIPES
AS SEEN IN

I’m reading a new book at the moment – it’s called Too Much Information and it’s a comedy take on the crazy amount of information we’re exposed to these days. Given that often feel like my brain has too many tabs open, that my to-do list is never ending and that my Dr Google habit sometimes gets a bit out of control – ‘too much information’ is definitely one way to describe how I feel sometimes.

One of my intentions for this year is to slow down. Slowing down and creating space in my day to day life has been something I’m consciously working on so I thought I’d share a few of the things that have helped me find my calm.

Boundaries

Having boundaries in place that support my mental health have been essential to me gaining more calm. It’s taken years but I feel like I know myself well enough now that I can see when I need to say no to certain things and yes to others, when I need to remind myself of my values and live more in line with them.

Boundaries can sometimes be a bit of an abstract concept but they are in my ways about the structure you have in place that enables you to live by your values. If I value my own wellbeing for example, then I should have a boundary in place that stops me from drinking too much alcohol. If I value my family time, then I should have a boundary that stops me from working on a weekend.

I believe that when we aren’t living in line with our values that actually creates a lot of stress in our mind and body, so thinking about the boundaries you need to have in place to make living in line with your values easier is a good place to start.

Time outside

I guess this is a fairly obvious one but spending time outside in nature is a great way to feel more calm. For me this is looking like doing more walking (and not being judgy about it as a form of exercise because it’s not ridiculously sweat inducing) and spending time in my garden and making the garden a nicer place to spend time, by planting up some flowers and getting better seating in place.

Simple repetitive activities

Over half term holidays I decorated Finley’s room and cleaned up the garden and as a surprise to myself I really really enjoyed those tasks! I actually felt really calm and content while doing things like painting or tidying up the garden – almost like mindfulness. So now I’m seeking out those simple mindful repetitive activities – with bonus points if they have some kind of creative outcome – as a way to support my calm.

Slower mornings

Mornings are my favourite time of the day – but not when they feel rushed or stressful which they often can when you have a 4 year old you need to get to nursery! I used to find that starting the day rushed would lead to the whole day feeling a bit off, so now I’ve changed up our routines to that we have a little more time in the mornings. This has made such a difference to how calm the whole family feels and has a positive knock on impact on the rest of the day for us all.

Not over scheduling my days

One way to instantly stress me out is by having too many things squashed into each day. When I have loads of meetings or appointments to manage that’s one way to totally crush my calm! Now I try and keep the number of meetings I have each day to a manageable number and I try not to say yes to too many activities on a weekend either.

Obviously other things like meditation and yoga can help too – but I have to admit I’m not as good as sticking to meditation as I could be!

I’d love to know, what helps you stay calm in your day to day life?

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The post 5 ways to get your calm back appeared first on Wholeheartedly Laura.

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I'm Laura Agar Wilson.

I'm a Mum, coffee addict and Hygge lover. I help women remember that they are enough.

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CATEGORIES SELF CARE SPIRITUALITY MINDSET LIFESTYLE BUSINESS + BLOGGING RECIPES
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A couple of weeks ago I had the amazing opportunity to work with LNER on recording some words for their epic recording of a spoken word poem that celebrates regional accents from up and down the East Coast Mainline.

LNER is the new operator of the line and wanted to celebrate the people, places, accents and regional dialects running the length of the East Coast Mainline from London, through the Midlands, Yorkshire, the North East up through Scotland to Aberdeen and Inverness.

I’ve lived most of my life within less than a mile of the East Coast Mainline itself, as well as travelled on it up to Edinburgh and down to London countless times, so needless to say I felt a bit honoured being able to take part in LNER’s ‘Track Record’ and be a voice for my local area.

Recent research from LNER revealed that almost half of all Brits think the number of people speaking with a traditional accent is falling. As the poem progresses from North London right up to Scotland, the accents change to follow the track. It’s a beautiful way to celebrate and preserve some of our wonderful regional accents, I’m certainly proud of mine!

The Track Record has been written by poet Ben Norris in collaboration with broadcaster Edith Bowman. It features the voices of LNER staff, local school children and people from communities along the East Coast Line.

As well as accents, the poem celebrates hidden gems that locals love, a list of local words and colloquialisms that are going out of fashion and includes a lovely bit of humour. It’s just a really beautifully written poem that warms your heart, especially if you’re from any of the areas the East Coast Line passes through.

You can listen / watch it now www.lner.co.uk/trackrecord try to guess which line is mine!

Here’s a pic from the day I went to Leeds for the recording. It was such a fun day and lovely to meet some of the other people and bloggers also recording lines for the poem!

I’d love to know what you think of the track! Did you spot me / my voice? Have you travelled on the East Coast Mainline?

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The post (AD) Celebrating Regional Accents with LNER’s Track Record appeared first on Wholeheartedly Laura.

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I'm Laura Agar Wilson.

I'm a Mum, coffee addict and Hygge lover. I help women remember that they are enough.

F I N D  O U T  M O R E > >

CATEGORIES SELF CARE SPIRITUALITY MINDSET LIFESTYLE BUSINESS + BLOGGING RECIPES
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However good you are at self care, sometimes things just stop having the same impact. Maybe you’re finding it more difficult to stick to your habits, perhaps you’re feeling tired or maybe you just feel uninspired.

Sometimes we need ways of shaking things up to help us find our wellbeing groove again – to make it more fun and interesting! Self care shouldn’t just be the boring stuff (though that stuff is often important) it needs to bring you joy too.

To be fair, this list can also be helpful if you ever feel like you’re in a bit of a rut. I personally know I thrive on routine, but if things become too much of a routine I just feel stagnant and need some change as well!

So here’s 10 things you can try to help you revive your self care practise:

Try something new

Yep pretty obvious this one but sometimes it’s so obvious we miss it! It can be easy for a routine or habit to become a rut. If that feels like it could be you, just try some new things!

New things you could try:

  • A new food or recipe
  • A new way to move your body
  • A new form of meditation
  • A new morning routine
  • A new bedtime routine

Doing something new can bring a whole fresh energy into your life. Recently I changed up my morning routine by doing things in a slightly different order and it made such a big difference to how I felt!

A social media refresh

Have an unfollow party and remove any social media accounts that don’t spark joy – yep, let’s do a KonMari on your Instagram and Facebook! Then find some new accounts to follow. It can be super inspirational and refreshing to open your feed and see a whole raft of new images and people’s experiences.

Related post: 10 high impact self care ideas that take 10 minutes or less

Explore your creativity

How often do you feel like you’re being creative? If the answer to that is not at all then starting to explore what makes you feel creative is a great way to revive your self care. Perhaps creating different makeup looks leaves you feeling creative, or experimenting in the kitchen with your own recipes. Maybe it’s taking photos with your phone on a nature walk – whatever it might be, give yourself some white space to fill with whatever makes you feel creative.

Read some new books

If books are like food but for our minds changing up what we read can have a big impact! Try visiting your local library and picking out a book you wouldn’t normally try, asking friends for recommendations or even just switching from reading books to listening to them on Audible.

Related post: How to practise self care like a boss (+ free worksheet and 50 self care ideas)

Change your environment

Changing your environment can be physically changing where you are – maybe you need a mini break somewhere new, or perhaps you need to try working from a different location or visiting somewhere new on a weekend.

This can also include changing the things in your current environment – one of the things I love is moving around my existing furniture and accessories. It’s free and it can just change things up enough to make things feel fresh. Who knew moving cushions or mirrors to a different room could make such a difference!

Try out some new outfits

Instead of dressing in the same way, try and rework your wardrobe into some never before worn outfits. If you always wear jeans and a stripy t-shirt, try wearing a dress instead, or pair the stripy top with a skirt or some pants you usually pair with a shirt. Creating some new outfits from what you already own can give you such a boost.

Throw shit out

In an ethical way of course – let’s not create more waste for the sake of it, but having a good old clear out of physical stuff can feel like you’re having a good clear out of your energy too. It’s sometimes just the thing you need to feel refreshed.

Related post: How to create a personalised self care app

Set yourself a challenge

Sometimes joining a community challenge or setting a challenge for ourselves can be a good way to stretch us outside our comfort zone a little. It can give us a new focus and level of motivation we wouldn’t otherwise be able to find. A challenge doesn’t necessarily have to be something super hard, but it should be something you need to dig a little deeper for and that will look different to different people.

A challenge I’m doing at the moment is the 150 Hours Outside Project which is to spend 150 hours outside over the course of the year with Finley. It’s a little bit of a push for me to put that focus there, but doing it has given me the extra motivation to arrange to do something outdoors with him rather than staying inside playing!

So there you have it, 8 different ways you can revive your self care practise! As always I’d love your thoughts, when you feel stuck in a self care rut, what helps you get out of it?

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The post 8 ways to revive your self care practise appeared first on Wholeheartedly Laura.

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