mental health, Mindfulness, stress, anxiety, depression, help, support, Uncategorized, wellness

5 Ways To Forgive Yourself For Breaking New Year Resolutions

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There’s something about the 1st of January, that makes me feel as though everything bad that I did the day or year before doesn’t matter. It’s a clean slate. I can finally be the person I’ve always wanted to be. I have a new diary with fresh pages and this year is going to be sooooo different. Plus, everyone else is talking about New Year’s resolutions so I guess I should make some of my own? The reality? It is literally a month following a previous month. I am the same person, eating the same thing for breakfast, living in the same house, talking the same shit!

Why do we put so much pressure on ourselves to set these ridiculous goals that we intrinsically know aren’t going to be achieved? It’s like we want to put ourselves through the pain of our ego telling us “I told you so, I told you that you couldn’t do it!” Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s fantastic when people want to make positive changes and stick to them. I’d be out of a job if people didn’t. However, all this badgering of thoughts around eating better, exercising more and doing all the things, only leads us down into a spiral of anxiety and disappointment when we don’t achieve the list of 100 resolutions, come the end of January.

So, how can you still aspire to improve your life without the self-loathing and deprecation that goes with it?

Start small: If your goal is to wake up every morning at 5am to go to the gym, but you’ve never in your life woken up earlier than 7am, forget it. Start really small and aim to get up at 6.30am for 1 or 2 mornings of the week to exercise. Also pick the days later in the week, never on a Monday morning!

Be realistic: If your goal is to quit sugar, but every meal you eat is filled with the stuff, be real with yourself and commit to cutting out sugary drinks to start with. If you go cold turkey and put yourself through punishment at every meal, it won’t be long until you’re craving a large quarter pounder meal at Macca’s drive through on a Tuesday night. Sober. (Yep been there)

Be the Devil and Angel: Stop trying to label yourself as “really bad” or “really good” and just BE. We all need balance in life and too much of anything doesn’t end well. Let’s take direction from the Old El Paso taco girl in the ad and say “Porque non los dos?” Translation: Why can’t we have both? (Also, you can never have enough tacos, hard or soft)

Stop telling everyone about your resolutions: Nobody actually cares. Don’t get me wrong, people generally want you to be happy, but sometimes it can make others feel inadequate, like they HAVE to set ones for themselves. It also makes you feel worse when you don’t actually start doing them. Keep it private and surprise yourself and those around you.

Does it really matter anyway: What matters is that you are genuinely wanting to be the best version of you and live your most authentic life. What matters is feeling great while you are doing that. There is no set formula for this, only what makes you feel most alive.

If you feel like you’re struggling with what you want out of life right now and it all just seems too much, let’s have a chat. I’m a huge believer in setting ourselves up to achieve, taking small steps that accumulate into amazing results. I hold you accountable, working with you to carve out those moments in time that make life worth living. Email me: mel@timetoexhale.com.au. Happy New Year!

mental health, Mindfulness, stress, anxiety, depression, help, support, Uncategorized, wellness

What Does Success Mean To You?

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I’m quickly learning that running your own business from home comes with its downfalls. Somedays you feel like you’ve made the best decision and you’re on top of the world, whilst other days you question WTF you were thinking trying to do this all. You realise that most of your time is spent alone in front of a laptop in your sweatpants.

When your well-dressed husband, who has been out in the real world comes walking through the door with a sense of achievement, you feel a tad jealous. You get paranoid that it looks like you’ve done nothing all day, so you start listing all the medial tasks when he asks how your day was, only to see that he’s still so preoccupied with his emails. You feel like you almost want to be back in the structure of corporate life, where you worked for someone else and most importantly, had a steady income each week.

This has been the topic of conversation for us lately. A few weeks ago, I finished up a part time contract role and had to face the reality of putting my heart and soul back into the business, 100 percent. All of Me. This was what I’d wanted for the last 10 years, so why wasn’t I jumping into my business with the passion and excitement that I expected? I sat quietly and had a light bulb moment. I only feel successful when I am making money, when I can see that same dollar value in my bank account every week. That’s when I feel like I am worthy in my life. I’ve also been in sales for 15 years, so like a well-trained soldier, my discipline or craft was making money. My mindset had become so used to measuring my self-worth via two scenarios; how much money I was earning and how much money I was making for whoever I was working for. In the early days of my career, someone so eloquently told me that I was “Only as good as my last sale.” Well how very motivating and inspirational! As the years went by, the messages were pretty much the same, just delivered differently and packaged up in pretty little bows disguised as compliments.

You see, what I’m starting to learn about myself is that money comes and goes. I haven’t turned into a full tree hugger burning notes while chanting around the camp fire! I still believe we need it to survive, but our mindset around success and how we define it needs to change. Just because I technically didn’t convert a sale this week, it doesn’t mean that I’m worthless and not working hard, or more importantly, working towards a purpose. We need to go easy on ourselves and remember that money and material possessions don’t define us and we are more than enough without the bells and whistles. Success can be anything you want it to be. For me, it’s helping a client see clearly when they feel like everything is hopeless, or dragging my butt out of bed at 5am to get to the gym. Better yet, it’s knowing that I can now cook at least 4 decent meals a week! Not kidding, a year ago “I used my oven for storage” as Carrie Bradshaw from SATC would say.

I want you to sit still for a moment and ask yourself “What makes me feel a sense of achievement that doesn’t involve money or possessions?” Only then will you start to feel a wholeness that can only be achieved when we connect deeply with our hearts and not through our wallets.

mental health, Mindfulness, Uncategorized, wellness

Out of the Phone and Into Real Life

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I have a confession; I’m starting to have an unhealthy relationship with my phone. I love how convenient it makes my life, but I hate that sometimes I go to bed and feel like my eyeballs have merely jumped from one screen to another for 16 hours of the day! Ironically you are now reading an article about how to minimise your smart phone screen time while you’re on it, am I right?

I realised that I needed to change things when my phone was the first thing I reached for upon waking and the last thing I touched when I went to bed. Too much information? Spooning becomes less romantic when you are holding your phone that’s for sure. I also have moments with my device in the bathroom, the kitchen, the lounge and dare I even say it; the car (only at the traffic lights). But seriously WTF is so important all the time that we need it glued to our hands?

I have a few theories, the first one is FOMO (Fear of Missing Out). God forbid that we will miss something on our Instagram or Facebook feed that happened between the 10 minutes of not checking it! Secondly, the thrill of receiving a notification and the inner dialogue associated with it; “How many people like my post?” or “What did they write?” or “What will they think of me if I don’t write back quickly?” Truly, this happens to all of us, but especially when you’re starting out in business and have never been a massive social media user, hoping that at least someone is finding your content useful. Again, these are my confessions….

So how do we minimise our screen time, when it’s not just social media that lures us, but also our work emails and other stuff like online shopping or the latest viral video that everyone’s talking about. I’m hoping the below list gets me through the next month, so maybe you can try a few tips if you’re feeling the same and let me know what worked for you:

1. Buy an old school alarm clock and keep technology out of the bedroom

2. Stop taking the phone into every area of the house (my place is tiny, this is a problem!)

3. No phone use half an hour before bedtime

4. Give people your full attention when having a conversation – phone down

5. Set a timer for work email notifications i.e – nothing comes through between 7pm and 7am

6. No phones at the dinner table

7. Do something on the weekend without posting about it #guilty

8. Have a meal without instagraming it – I’ve never done this but it may be helpful for others, I’m always too hungry to take pictures!

9. Play with your pets when they are sitting there staring at you on your phone

10. Same as previous but replace this with kids (for me this will be my husband!)

Really, we all just need to reconnect with what’s around us and get our heads out of the phone and into real life. When you have to visit the Chiro because your forehead is constantly facing the floor, it’s time to take action. I’m not there yet and hopefully never will be that bad!

mental health, Mindfulness, wellness

Growing Pains in Self Awareness

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I wish I could tell you my path to self-discovery has been easy but that would be a huge lie! I’ve found parts of myself that I never knew existed which had me wondering, ‘Wow did I really used to be that much of an a*sehole?’ Especially through the teenage years where I probably resembled a mix between The Exorcist and a Gremlin (sorry mum).

I’m still learning every day and I hope I continue to do so as the years go by. The truth is we are all constantly evolving and growing, hopefully trying to become better people before we sign out of this lifetime.

My path to seek a higher awareness of who I really was, kicked off when I was 21. I had just thrown a stiletto at one of my ex boyfriend’s heads in response to rumors of infidelity and wound up weeks later in conversation with his mother, about how it might be time to get my anger issues under control. Look, it was an age thing but also? I come from a hot blooded Italian family! We will give you the shirt off our back but if you screw us over, we lose it and I MEAN lose it.

The self-discovery was on and off for the first few years; a meditation class here, a herbal remedy there and even a few psychics to help me understand WTF was happening to me in my 20’s where it just felt like every decision I made was the wrong one, and I kept gravitating towards people and situations that were completely the opposite of who I wanted to be. The problem was I actually had no concept of the real ME, Melissa.

Fast forward to present day in my 30’s after a thousand sessions with some of the best coaches, healers, and natural therapy practitioners in Australia and I’m here. I definitely have a much stronger sense of who I am and what I stand for, but that hasn’t been without a lot of physical and emotional pain when you dig deep. The payoff? An amazing sense of lightness that comes after shedding each layer of life that no longer serves you. Sometimes those layers come in the form of a job, a relationship or even a friendship. Sometimes you legitimately feel like you can’t peel yourself off the floor after having a self-awareness ‘growth spurt’ and other days you feel like the happiest and most enlightened person to walk the Earth.

So how do we get through the growing pains when we commit to getting to know ourselves? You stick with it. You find your people. You get really good at spotting the bullsh*t and refusing to stand for it. You expand. You become happier than you ever thought you could be and you start seeing life in colour, not greyscale.

If you want to dig a little deeper and are ready to get onboard with self discovery, drop me an email – mel@timetoexhale.com.au. Clearly after reading this you’ll realise I’ve not always had it together, but it’s what brought me here so that I can help and understand others. I can’t promise it will be easy at times but I guarantee I’ll be there standing beside you the whole way!