For this month’s blog I have interviewed my good friend Claire Reid, who amongst other interesting things is a blogger on Instagram. Claire, like her Insta page, is warm, welcoming and an encouraging soul.
Whenever Claire and I have caught up, the conversation has always come back to health and wellbeing; how we prioritise, and what we are prioritising at that time; sleep, nutrition, caffeine, relationships and balancing a social life and home life.
Here are some snippets from my interview with Claire.
K: What is your idea of “good health”?
C: I think good health is being the best version of yourself. In one of the courses I studied, it used the analogy of our lives like a table top. If one area, like a leg of a table, is weak or imbalanced, the others suffer. Physically, emotionally, mentally and socially, in every aspect. How true that is. This imagery has always reminded me that if we look at our whole lives, it is easier to see what good health looks like.
K: When do you feel healthiest?
C: When I am enjoying my life, and fulfilled in what I am doing every day. When I make time for the things that I love to do, and the people I enjoy spending time with. When I feel stronger and able to deal with what comes my way. Also, when I plan my meals more, knowing what I am eating. I feel healthiest when I have enough energy to last the whole day.
K: What is your number one priority in your health?
I think it’s always changing. For the past 12 months it’s been more focused around mental health, as mental strength overflows into many areas of my health and life. However, I can slowly see it shifting to physical health, refreshment and quality sleep.
I recently bought a Fitbit and joined my work vitality program, and it is so motivating to keep moving! Priorities are always changing, but I do like to focus on one area to change or improve at a time.
K: If there was one tip that you would love to share with everyone when it comes to good mental health, what would it be?
Be kinder to yourself. I think that we are really good at celebrating good days, but perhaps need to work on how to make the hard days better. A hard work day for me may look like emails and priorities coming in all at once, not being able to take time for myself, or enjoy my lunch I prepared the night before. It might mean not being able to go for my usual park or coffee walk, if work is too full on for that day, or working back later than usual. I do have to be more intentional on these days, to have a quieter night, and find a way to relax to ensure I am okay and refreshed for the following day.
It might mean listening to my favourite album or podcast on my commute home, having a cup of tea to unwind, or calling my sister or a girlfriend to chat. Whatever helps me. Kindness to myself first matters.
K: When was a moment when you felt your least healthy, and how did you begin the process of getting back on your feet?
About 12 months ago. I thought I could do, and be everything, all at once, and my health suffered. I turned my health around, piece by piece, realising that my health wasn’t the bet, but knowing that small decisions and choices would make a difference in six months, one year, and further into my future. It was and still is hard work, but worth all my efforts.
Practically, I removed any unnecessary stress from my life, in all areas, and set better boundaries. I learnt to say “no”, and therefore saying yes to the things that matter. I also started to think about what I was eating, and how it affects how I feel, particularly sugar an caffeine.
I also bought a planner! To see what my week looks like (hello visual people!), the space I have in my week, and planning in time for my exercise, home nights, dinners at home and out, and any other stuff. It’s make me really have to plan to be healthy, physically and mentally.
A HUGE thank you to Claire for sharing her thoughts on good health and wellbeing!
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