December is the time of the year that our health and wellbeing can take a very non graceful swan dive. You get super busy, festive kind of foods start appearing everywhere, you eat those foods a lot, you get tired from all the things and then you don’t feel like exercising at all because of all of the above. Does this sound familiar in 2020 or is this just me?
Then we add in the events of 2020 and you can multiply all of the above by a thousand.
This is also the time of the year when we are reminded not to be part of the statistics. The statistics that show the average weight gain across our nation to be somewhere in the 2-3kg vicinity over the festive season. Despite this, we still do it every year. Sigh.
I know that all of you reading this today will fully aware of what you need to do and not do in this department. That now leaves me completely free to talk about other things that are a lot more interesting.
Reflecting on our achievements or what has gone well or not so well, is not always something we spend time on. But we should.
The learnings and insights into 2020 were many for me and I hope that by sharing mine, it might get you thinking about yours.
The Magic Of Being Mindful
It’s not always easy being mindful. Although it is easy to make the simple things super complicated and this applies to the practice of being mindful.
This year in particular has shown us all that the power of being mindful and present is uber important. Regardless of its merits and importance, being mindful takes practice. There are plenty of apps to choose from and sometimes its a matter of checking a few out and choosing one that suits you best. One of my faves is Headspace.
For a quick easy meditation, whenever you have a wall and 10 minutes, I would highly recommend Legs Up The Wall – its my trusty go to.
How do you practice mindfulness?
The Joy Of Beautiful Food
As a kid, we would often drive down the Old Coast Road to get to our little beach shack in Mandurah. In a car with four kids and no air conditioning, it seemed like the longest road trip EVER. I knew that we had made some progress when I could see the strange little huts at the caravan park at Coogee Beach. Does anyone remember them?
These days there is something a little more exciting along that road. It is the very lovely Coogee Common and my visit there last month rated as one of my favourite things to do this year. The beautiful heritage buildings have a rich history and the impressive fruit and vegetable gardens provide the inspiration for the delicious menu. Coogee Common is an extension of Bread in Common in Fremantle and is well worth the trip down the Old Coast Road (ideally with the air conditioning on and not four kids in the car!!).
The Importance Of Being Flexible With Your Exercise Routine in 2020 And Beyond
This year has certainly show us all how to be flexible with exercise routines hasn’t it? When all the indoor venues shut this year, my friend Karin set up a gym in her garage, we pooled our equipment and we got busy doing strength exercises. Add that to walking and running around the neighbourhood plus online yoga with Athanae and Mia and it was all sorted. I love that online classes became so much more accessible to all. They have truly changed how we have kept fit in 2020.
Did you change and adapt across this year? Better yet, have you made some new habits that will take your forward into the new year?
Getting Creative In The Kitchen
Being able to prepare and cook your own food is one of the most important skills you will ever have in your life. I believe that if you can master five main meal recipes, you can be in charge of your own health. If you can cook, there is no need to rely upon expensive takeaway food and being at the mercy of fast food giants.
If you have the time and inclination, cooking is a great way to manage stress and be creative. This year in 2020, baking become a favourite pastime of many around the world. It became a wonderful way to stay connected with others and share creations both simple and elaborate. Baking bread at home became a thing, as did Banana Cake and Cinnamon Scrolls.
Quotes To Live By
I do love a good quote to guide the way and my winner for this year has been a very apt one by the clever Andrew Griffiths. Andrew held a free Zoom chat to support those in small business like me, every Wednesday for months on end this year. I so appreciated his generosity and gift of time but also his wise words. I have applied Andrew’s quote to so many situations this year because quite frankly, there isn’t much it doesn’t apply to.
Be a calm voice in a sea of crazy
Do you have a mantra or quote that serves you well?
Celebrate Your Wins
Twenty twenty disrupted work for so many of us around the world. I’ll admit that at times the unknown has been a bit scary in my household. But then on the bright side, there have been opportunities that presented themselves out of the blue.
Our State On A Plate entered my life and I was fortunate enough to be part of six episodes across October and November this year. I didn’t know that was on the radar but with my Perth Glory team in hubs for much of the last part of the year, I had the time to do other things. Filming a show that showcased all things Western Australian, was such a fabulous learning experience and the people I was fortunate to work with were a blessing.
What were your wins in Twenty Twenty?
And Then There Are The Fluff Fluffs
Who would have thought that there would be a shortage of little furry friends in 2020? Our fur babies became even more crucial in our quest for connection during isolation. With families spending more time at home, the search for companionship began in earnest and is still on the rise. We have Napoleon (obviously a cat with that name) who turned 17 years old this year and Lulu, a Miniature Schnauzer who just does whatever the cat tells her she should do. We talk to them incessantly and it goes pretty much like this. Perfectly normal right?
Do You Have a Special Gift?
A few months ago, a coastal storm in Western Australia blew a crows nest out of a very large pine tree near my childhood home in Watermans Bay. A member of the local community found the nest and noticed immediately that there were some truly interesting items woven into the branches. A few metal coat hangers, many different bits of coloured and plain electrical wire and some unique brass tags with what seemed like the names of plant species engraved onto them.
These tags were special. My Dad was an avid frangipani grower/collector and he used his trusty engraver to mark anything that wasn’t nailed down, including the name plates for his precious flowering babies. When Dad passed away three years ago, we discovered a bunch of them that were yet to be matched with their owners. Sigh.
Meanwhile Mr or Mrs Crow decide to take matters into their own hands and steal them, flying across the neighbourhood and pimping up their nest. Fast forward a couple of years and it all comes tumbling down.
It took a while for the local community to connect and and work out what these mysterious tags were all about but eventually my friend Sylvie recognised them on social media and alerted me.
Dad and crows were not BFF’s. And yet, kudos to the crows who took some of Dad’s favourite things and shared them with his community. Spreading love can only be a good thing.
The End Of 2020
Thanks for being part of my tribe, I truly appreciate you being here.
With that, I wish you all a very happy and safe festive season with only good things.
Bring on 2021!