When someone asks you "How are you?", do you have a standard response,regardless of how you really feel? do you generally 'spill all' in the hope of recruiting alliance for the drudgery that is your mere existence? or do you genuinely have no hesitation is responding with a resounding 'I feel fantastic' and really mean it?
If the latter response is yours, then I commend you on 'Thriving' and I invite you to embark on a mission with me to help recruit those who are out there who are just 'surviving' or 'getting by' or 'not too bad' or 'could be better' and help bring 'thriving' into the norm. for every body, for every day.
The first thing to look at, is what your 'thrive zappers' could be;
Sugar / Coffee / Gluten & highly processed foods / Being around negative people /
Working in a job you no longer take pride in / Being in a toxic relationship and/or
environment / Environmental toxins / Lack of exercise / Over or under
commitment / Thyroid?
By now you are probably thinking that it is impossible to address all of these in one go
and you'd be right! If you are going to work your way to 'thriving' instead of
'surviving', it will have to be something that you work your way towards gradually, with
compassion and with support and accountability.
You've heard the term 'It takes 10 years to be an overnight success', so whilst I can
assure you it will not take you 10 years to accomplish the 'thrive', it will be a personal
journey and one that you do according to your own road map.
Here are my 10 steps to get you from 'surviving to thriving', which I recommend
you take each one in turn and work with it until you are ready to move to the next
1. Get the sugar out! It appears to be the buzz phrase showing up every where in
the media these days, but it truly is the one to pay attention to first. Do this as a
gradual process, slowly shifting the balance of sweet, sugary, and most often, highly
processed foods to whole, real, fresh and nutrient dense foods.
2. Coffee might be giving you that 'thriving buzz' but it is sure short lived! The
more we become dependent on that smooth dark & aromatic nectar, the more we
are draining our life force, frying our adrenals and messing with our hormones! (yes
you can tell I have gone through a personal love-hate relationship with this, difficult
to let go of - guilty pleasure). Thankfully, I have now reached a point where I have
made friends with my coffee side kick, and can either take it or leave it. Some days
I prefer to sip on my green tea brew and some days I feel like a coffee brew. The
freedom in this is miraculous!
3. Gluten may be the culprit for your 'go slow'! Amongst other more scientific
explanations, gluten can put an added 'heaviness' on both your physical and
mental energy. Try it for a couple of weeks and if you are noticing a huge
difference (which I absolutely believe you will), then you get to choose whether it's
worth putting it back into the mix. Be aware though, that 'gluten free' does not
always mean 'healthy' when it comes to products available. Read the labels! 9
times out of 10 they are loaded with sugar and other ingredients that would
require a phd in science to understand. Opt for real food in the form of added
vegetables, lean proteins, salad greens, nuts/seeds, whole grains and legumes. You
can always go for the option of making your own gluten free bakes! Remember to
'tweak' the regular recipes and sweeten with bananas/apples/cinnamon, instead of
regular sugar. (see my gluten free cookie recipe in my blog post 'Mum's baking
4. Ditch the negative. Surround yourself with people who believe in you, who
inspire you, who support you and who love you. Research shows that we become
like the average of the 5 people we spend the most time with! So, choose your
social environment wisely. Don't become an energy sponge for negative nellies!
It's ok to offer your support to those who need it, however, if you are continuously
seen to be the regular dumping ground for the woes of the world, think about
changing the energy you surround yourself with.
5. Review your work. Do you wake up in the morning excited about the day
ahead or do you jump straight into 'auto pilot' as a means of numbing the
monotony of another day in the workplace, clock watching until the day is over? It
could be time to have a look at how you can either re-ignite the passion that got
you the job in the first place, and remember how excited you were when you were
told you had the position. If you have moved beyond that place and find yourself
stuck in a rut going nowhere, then look at possibilities of movement within the job
itself, or within the company, perhaps in a different or more challenging role, or
perhaps it is time to jazz up your CV and get pro-active on making the leap to find
an alternative. I would recommend always giving 100% where you currently are
at, right up until the last day, before flying the workplace nest, which will not only
help to keep your own morality boosted, it will stand you in good stead when it
comes to getting a future reference from your employers.
6. Nurture your Relationships, all of them! As human beings, we thrive on our
connections and sense of belonging, the value we share and receive, and the
support that surrounds us in our moments of need. Relationships show up in
several varieties, shapes and sizes, and each and every one of them deserve your
attention and nurturing. We have our most intimate relationships, in our partner/
husband/wife and then there are the relationships we have with our children,
families, friends, co-workers, neighbors, social circles, and given the scope of
today's technologies, relationships with people whom we have never met. I would
go as far as to say, that the most important relationship of all and therefore the one
that deserves top priority in nourishment, is the the relationship you have with
My recipe for flourishing relationships is;- Add respect, stir in copious amounts of gratitude,
blend in smatterings of humor, add a dash of tough love, coat gently with appreciation and affection,
add a dusting of understanding and compassion, envelop with trust, mix with spontaneity, cover with
abundance of love, and allow to flourish, like a well tended garden.
7. Get the toxins out of your environment. Numerous studies have shown how
our environment plays a role in our health & wellbeing, and there are several ways
you can be in the driver's seat to lessen the load of detrimental effects. Starting in
the home, reduce and gradually eliminate harsh chemical cleaners, which give off
toxic fumes and amongst other detriments, play havoc with your hormones! 'Is it
me or is it my hormones'?, well, it could very well be the bathroom cleaning liquid
that is the culprit in your last major meltdown! Move gradually towards using
environmentally friendly varieties, which will not only help the planet, but will go a
long way in changing the direction of your health and that of your family. The
same applies to cosmetics and body products. What is on your skin is in your body!
the skin is the largest organ in the body and therefore one that drives whatever we
apply, in and around the body/bloodstream. Get the air fresheners out! They
might have been acceptable back in the 70's/80's but it's time to let them go. Look
at using some fresh flowers to freshen a room, burn some essential oils, or just keep
your home de-cluttered and free from the dark recesses of 'dirty corners'.
8. Exercise! Don't worry, I am not suggesting you set up a gym membership
tomorrow, however if that is something that will keep you motivated to keep
moving, then that is what you should do. Doing short spurts of interval exercising
throughout the day is optimal for boosting mood, weight management, keeping
your interest in exercising and is a great 'time management' option. This can be as
simple as running up stairs, sprinting the last block of your commute, doing 15
push ups whilst dinner is in the oven, or a quick 30 seconds of high knee on the
spot jogging before heading out the door in the morning. Exercise shouldn't be a
chore and if it is, then you really need to take a look at how you can incorporate
movement into your day that you love to do. This way you are not only getting the
physical benefits, but your are boosting your endorphin levels alongside the happy
9. Over/Under charged. Are you running yourself ragged? or are you not
challenging yourself enough? Often times we are running from one task to the
next, without thought for how this will show up in the body as a result of excess in
the stress hormone cortisol. In this instance, cortisol is not your friend. It will
decrease your ability to burn body fat, increase your chances of an expanding
waistline and put an excess stress on the functioning of your organs. Check in to
see where you can either delegate, ask for help, or let go of the time wasting tasks
that seem to go on forever. With so much social media and high speed living, it is
easy to get caught up on the highway of cyberspace, so take time to 'unplug' and
spend 'disconnected' intervals where you can re-connect with your breath, check in
with how you are feeling in your body and take note of the beauty around you that
often goes unnoticed. It could also be that you are letting life pass you by without
really connecting with your purpose. What are you passionate about? What could
you get 'on your soap box' about? Where can you make a difference? Reflect on
what it is that would get you excited about getting out of bed for in the morning,
what brings you joy, then see where you can blend this into an inspiring life for you
and your loved ones.
10.Could it be your Thyroid? Lastly, if you feel like you are doing everything
'right' and that your life would appear to be working well, yet you still have a cloud
of lethargy, apathy, low level depression, feeling cold frequently, unmotivated, and
generally not feeling completely 'well', then I would highly recommend having
your Thyroid function tested by your Health practitioner or preferably with a
Functional Medicine Practitioner. This is an area where I am presently working
on healing, naturally. If this rings true for you, then look for options where you
can take control of your own health before giving up the reigns to the conventional
I will be posting a follow up blog on this topic soon, so keep an eye out for some of
my own approaches to healing the thyroid naturally.
As with anything in life, we need to gather
support when we embark on creating change
in our life/lifestyle.
If the 10 steps to 'Thriving instead of
Surviving' is something you wish to embark on,
then I invite you to connect with me and begin your journey to a Thriving You.