My 10 Commandments for Lent! | Simply Marcia

Shortcuts and top tips to a more healthy, mindful, positive and energised you!

My 10 Commandments for Lent!

So, the frying pan is back in its rack (ours literally gets used once a year for pancake day – I’m not a natural cook sadly – what can I say – and flipping pancakes is not a skill that comes naturally to me …). Anyway, as today marks the first day of spring and the first day of Lent*, when we traditionally give something up (typically food or bad habits) to improve our health or demonstrate self-restraint, it’s made me think about what I might give up (chocolate, gin, shouting at the kids?) or whether, rather than give stuff up (I have little in the way of self-restraint, instead favouring (too much sometimes) the ‘life’s too short’ mantra (aka permission to over-indulge in everything …), I could take something up?

I’m not talking about taking up anything too physical (obvs) and much as I love popping over to Instagram every once-in-a-while to watch yet another motivational Body Coach ‘live’ workout, it’s not really for me. I consider my once a week yoga and constantly running around after my masters (the kids) is enough for me – thanks all the same.

I’m thinking more about how I can take up a better attitude to life in general; taking up a priority for my wellbeing. When things are a bit tough it can be so hard to see the wood for the trees and all that and sometimes I really need to ‘have a word’ with myself – easier said than done – though I’m not about to get all deep and meaningful!

So, keeping with the (sort of) spiritual train of thought, I’ve come up with my ten commandments for taking up a bit more balance in my life, a greater sense of wellbeing, and a spring in my step 🙂

1. Smile – just more often really. I will embrace my inner ‘Elf’ mantra: ‘Smiling’s my favourite’.
2. Be grateful – every day I will remind myself of the things that day, that I can be grateful and thankful for.
3. Share the load – I must, I must, I must … get my kids doing more. They’re not babies any more (eldest is 14 and possibly cannot operate a tin opener yet) – things need to change. I need to stop doing everything then moaning that I can’t do everything (wtf ha!).
4. Hydrate – simple one this – drink more water. This is one Body Coach tip I can do – yay!
5. Do one thing at a time. Think like a man – do one task at a time. Sod the multi-tasking, it just gets my knickers in a twist. Every day I’m now writing a short and achievable to-do list in my diary and getting proper and real satisfaction from actually ticking stuff off!
6. Walk more. I love walking, getting fresh air, seeing nature and taking photos. More of this please.
7. No dieting. Healthy, simple foods only. Chocolate when needed. I’m thinking a more holistic approach in listening to my body and what it needs. Recognising that my fuel needs can change day-to-day (some days I’m literally ravenous regardless of how much I’ve scoffed and others I’m just not …).
8. Banish negative thoughts (at least try to). Embrace positive mantra’s and words: I can, I do, I will, I am … ok.
9. Breathe. Slooooowly. I’ve recently discovered yoga so every day, I spend 15 mins doing some simple but calming yoga stretch and balance moves. And even though my stress levels are quite high’ish right now, I swear my asthma is so much better – I’m sure it’s down to the yoga and considered breathing. Downward-facing dog anyone (this is a great stretch!)?
10. Sleep. I think I need more of this stuff. I love my bed but not necessarily going to bed early (there are too many box-sets to be viewed and indulged in, right?). However, life is super-busy right now and I’m super-yawny so even I’m starting to recognise that I need to take up regular early nights of shut-eye. I’m thinking weekend box-set binges instead?! Happy!

Umm, one sneaky extra commandment – more flowers. I love them. A simple, budget-friendly and super-cheery ‘must’ for me and very spring-like!

So, I now command you go forth and create your own ten commandments to help you take a step in the direction of balance and wellbeing 🙂

*A super-quick history/theological lesson: Lent is a 40-day fast and this year will run up until the Thursday before Easter Sunday (April 13). Christians believe the Lent period reflects when Jesus fasted and suffered in the desert for 40 days and 40 nights during which time he was tempted by Satan, but each time he managed to refuse his temptations.

flower-1393840_1920 – the power of quick napping

I never seem to get quite enough sleep. Which I hate. Because I love sleeping (pleeping!), snoozing, resting; being in my cosy nest. It’s a safe and warm place (literally – thanks to dial 3 on my electric blanket). Nothing seems so bad when I’m cosied and wrapped up, enclosed in a fluffy blanket or heavy duvet (it could be likened to swaddling a baby!).

The problem, is that much as I love sleeping once I get to bed, I’m not actually very good at giving in and recognising the ‘I’m really, really tired’ signs (including: yawning, can’t keep eyes open, being grumpy with partner, and kids and dog …) and going to bed. Early. It’s like being an eternal teenager – I want to sleep – just not before midnight (maybe it’s missing out syndrome?) – there’s too much to do (by that I mean ‘watch’) – am a total TV-aholic if left to my own devices. And then, please, I’d quite like it if my alarm didn’t go off until at least 8.30am. That would work for me.

The reality is that my alarm goes off at 6.15am (what the!! Arghhh). I don’t like this – I often wake up a complete grouchy-grumbalina 🙁

To counteract this I’ve developed a tried-and-tested (many, many times) post-dinner and pre after-school toing and froing (think kids homework, kids clubs, dog walking, emergency home economics food purchases etc.) sleepy-catchy-upy. It’s basically a 20 minute (daily) emergency power nap on the sofa. This technique has been so finely tuned by myself (and partner actually) that kids can be running havoc around and about but my mind and body can totally switch 0ff. Mummy needs her sleep quota – and this helps boost it.

It’s not easy – and takes practice but try it! Set an alarm if you need to and give yourself a 20 minute sleep break allowance. I properly believe that a late afternoon or early evening snoozette and brain rest can help keep you going for the rest of the day (up until midnight of course!). Maybe plonk the kids in front of the TV (ipad, playstation …) – this works for me 🙂 get in to position, close your eyes and gently drift off … zzzzzzz … (sadly zero interruptions cannot be guaranteed).

Thought I’d include the ‘science’ bit – limit your nap to 45 mins or less and post-dozing, you should be far more alert, creative and sparkly. And, healthier as apparently napping reduces stress and other nasties 🙂 Read the full article to be fully ‘in the know’!

Permission to doze off on the sofa has been granted! x

yawn b&w