Unspoken Conversations are the topics that are often swept under the carpet, whispered amongst the closest of friends and bitched about by many. I want to create awareness about difficult things that people face in life; grief, mental health, money, illnesses, family troubles, relationship difficulties and putting yourself first. I want to tell the truth about things that really matter.

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

The final challenge! #MNBChallenge

Well we’ve come to the end of the #MNB Challenge, hosted by Fit Approach and Lorna Jane. Over the 3 weeks I’ve flooded my Instagram, Twitter and sometimes Facebook with photos of my participation in challenges, everything from holding 5 minutes worth of planks in a day, to picking a recipe from movenourishbelieve.com and cooking up a storm on Valentines Day, to doing something to take me to my happy place!

The final week of challenges was surrounding the ‘Believe’ part of the philosophy, which is what I think will resonate most with the audience of this blog. Believe challenges were all about taking the time to unwind, taking a mental break, appreciating the little things, all things that are a positive move for our mental health – the health that most of us neglect.

Day 1 – Treat yourself – well after a MASSIVE weekend of work for our fundraising auction, I was facing a day of bookwork to finalise everything, and I knew if I got stuck into as soon as I’d been fed and watered, it would be a stressful and confusing day. Instead, I had a mini sleep in, breakfast over a magazine, and went for a walk to start my day strong – and it helped! Not one moment of stress for the whole 9 hours of bookwork, and the job was done with ease. Taking that time out for myself was my treat on a day that was all about someone else!

Day 2 – I downloaded a guided meditation app to help with the ‘5 mindful minutes’ challenge, as despite knowing it is fantastic for my mental health, I haven’t taken the time to learn how to meditate. I plugged in my earphones and sat through 13 minutes of ‘stress relief with music’ before bed, and that night I slept the best that I had that whole week. There was no tossing and turning or waking up, it was straight into a deep sleep….until the baby bounced on my bladder during the night! I will definitely be meditating again!

Day 3 – Happy Place – I have many happy places, it changes with what happens during the day or what I feel I am missing in my life. Sometimes my happy place will be walking on the beach, some days I will find myself happiest sitting in the beanbag on my front lawn with a magazine. On this particular Wednesday, my first happy place was snuggled up to my husband after the alarms went off…it always feels like bliss. At lunch time, I enjoyed a much awaited/anticipated pedicure, I wasn’t concerned with the toenail painting and shaping, it was all about the foot massage for me – now that is a happy place at 6 months pregnant!

Day 4 – Thankful Thursday – something we should all indulge in more often! I shared with the instagram world that I was truly thankful for my chance at working from home with Jade Norwood Photography. Being a half hour drive to the nearest town from work not having to travel really adds time to my day. I can throw on some loads of washing so I don’t have to do it on weekends, get a walk in before work/after work without having to get up earlier or stay up later, and spend lunch time with Luke. All things that make me happy and thankful.

Day 5 and the final day of the challenge. It was time to send a shout out to our biggest supporters and motivators. Of course mine was my husband Luke. On days when I think I can’t be bothered going to my gym class, he reminds me how happy and good I feel afterwards, and gives the gentle nudge out the door. On the days where my eyes are hanging out my head, he encourages me to rest, sends me to the shower while he cooks tea. And even though he is a much better runner than I am, he never leaves me behind when we run together. Plus we have stacks of fun when we play any games together because we get so competitive but always end the game with a handshake and a kiss! Everyone needs a supporter like this in any endeavour in life, someone who respects your goals, encourages you to reach and fight for them and doesn’t put them down. They are the ones that will help you to reach great heights.

So the challenge is over and I am glad that I took it on because it opened my eyes to new skills, new strengths and new ideas to reinvigorate the way that I look at exercise, nutrition and taking care of myself mentally. I am always telling people, I’m not a ‘healthy’ freak, I do the things I do because I love the way it makes me feel, and because I know that my body is the one vessel I have to take me through my life; if it’s not running well then how can my life be!

I honestly encourage you to take on your own challenge, over 3-4 weeks; come up with 5 challenges for yourself in the areas of your life that you think you are lacking, whether it be keeping up with some work, making a phone call to a friend every day, taking time out for yourself, or trying a new exercise challenge – just do it, and find out what you are truly capable of!

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