Often the most difficult part in following any programme is preventing boredom from setting in. This is why it is important to integrate some little treats into your programme.
Do something totally wild and out of character -spend an afternoon at a funfair and relive your childhood days, book yourself on a bus trip for a day, surf the net, call up an old friend, have a wardrobe or make-up blitz and get rid of all your old clutter to make way for the new you.
We all get days when we feel totally stressed and agitated, but a few minutes spent relaxing can calm away those tensions and frustrations and help you put things into perspective. One useful trick is to inhale essential oils. Fill a large bowl with boiling water and add two drops each of clary sage, rosemary and geranium essential oils. Lean your head over the bowl (not too close or you risk scalding yourself) and trap the steam by draping a towel over your head. Now close your eyes and breathe deeply for 5 minutes.
During part of the day, if you feel particularly stressed or anxious for no apparent reason, try to take yourself off somewhere peaceful, go into another room and listen to some calming music or do a short relaxation exercise.
• Sit in a comfortable position, close your eyes and breathe in through your nose.
• Feel the breath reach deep down into your lungs.
• Exhale slowly through your mouth and remain still for a few moments listening to the sound of your breath.
• Become aware of your body relaxing.
• Begin with the muscles of your scalp and face and slowly work clown your body, releasing all the tension as you go.
• Concentrate on your favourite colour and then picture it in its brightest form. Imagine it turning darker, then visualize it dancing around and creating patterns.
• Slowly allow the colour to drain away and watch as it becomes paler and paler until eventually it disappears.
• Disregard any thoughts that may creep into your mind whilst concentrating, brush them aside and keep firmly focused on your colour.
Meditation and relaxation aren’t always easy to master but they are worth the effort. Several minutes of inner silence on a regular basis will provide you with an experience to last a lifetime. Make time each day to relax and relieve the tensions in your body and allow your mind to be free from daily worries. Don’t force yourself – if at first it doesn’t work, wait a couple of days and then try again.
Why not do something creative – write a poem, paint a picture, write a letter to a friend.
Many people who suffer from panic attacks find that singing loudly makes them feel better. Singing helps you breathe more deeply, giving your body the oxygen it needs to get you back in control.
Blitz the make-up
With a new healthier lifestyle and a trimmer body, surely the time has arrived to throw out some of your old make-up. Spend an afternoon at the local beauty section of your department store where the staff are always willing to give you advice on the best colours or shades to suit your skin. Some will give you a free make-up too.
Exfoliate the skin
The skin cells generally renew themselves every 3-4 weeks, but as you get older this process slows down and you can end up with a dull, lifeless complexion. Using an exfoliating cream or gel once or twice a week clears away those dead skin cells to leave your skin cleaner, brighter and fresher.
Splash warm water over your face and dab the exfoliator cream on your forehead, nose, cheeks and chin and then begin slowly massaging it around your face using small circular movements. This is perfect for boosting the circulation, but avoid the delicate areas around the eyes. Don’t forget the neck. Rinse off with lots of warm water and then finally a splash of cold water. Pat your skin dry with a soft towel and apply a moisturiser.