Lifestyle: Tips for starting a more mindful exercise regime

Daily affirmation: "go hiking - research good nature spots near you and follow a trail" 

You get the instant dopamine hit from a walk and the soothing serotonin from nature.

Since we quit city life for a slower pace in the country, I have been tuning into living more in harmony with nature and holistically overhauling my life, trying to get in alignment with what feels good at a soul level. We're still in winter, and all around us life is still just starting to get ready to wake up.

It's much easier in the countryside to observe the natural patterns of flora and fauna, such as eating a balanced, seasonal diet, being aware of your consumption and buying more sustainably, and moving your body in a way that feels good. For me that is mainly walking outdoors or doing some yoga.

I used to be very goal driven and have a harsh inner voice telling myself to do more, faster, be thinner, work harder, but the last few years have shown me a kinder, more compassionate way to live. It's far from perfect but a perfectly imperfect work in progress.

If this page does nothing else, I want it to feel like a safe place to find your own inner friend; a compassionate voice that gently guides you onto your path of well-being.

Especially since becoming a mum to two children, 18 months apart, during a pandemic, I have had to find joy in the hardest times, love for myself in the most challenging and be okay with 'good enough'. 

That goes for my exercise regime, so you won't find any harsh 'new year new me' goals but rather I am on the journey with you, finding what feels good and slowly waking up to spring with an intention to get outdoors more and moving in a way that feels good.

A big part of showing up intentionally can be acting 'as if' we are already the person we want to be. Rather than trying to change habits with goal centered behaviour, truly believing we are what we want to be. I identify as someone who exercises to feel good. Part of that for me is feeling comfortable in my workout clothes.

When I recently stumbled across F&F at Tesco's new active wear range I felt it was worth the investment, given I haven't bought any new workout clothes in years! They are good quality, wash well and I know they will last me a long time. Not to mention they are giving off serious Sweaty Betty vibes, but for a fraction of the cost.

One thing is for sure, looking the part helps me to feel the part, which helps me to change my habits quicker. So give it a try, and maybe set your own intentions, in a kinder more compassionate way.

What feels good for you? Who do you want to be in 2022?

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