As an intrinsic part of the caring profession, health and wellness experts invest a great deal of themselves to help nurture others. So how do they ensure they leave enough energy for themselves and stay positive? Wellspring asked five leading health experts that very question.
Georgia is a nutritionist, TV personality, cook and was a 2015 MasterChef grand finalist. She is also an Endeavour College of Natural Health graduate. georgiabarnes.com.au
“When my happiness tank is running low, it's a good reminder I need to be more mindful. Mindfulness is something that has helped me immensely in my life, but like a lot of busy people I can often get caught up with my fast paced lifestyle and forget what's important.
“Mindfulness is different for everyone, but it comes very naturally to me when I'm in the kitchen. For me, there's nothing more rewarding than preparing food for people. I really like to connect with the ingredients and the produce, engage my senses and tap into my creativity. It’s a beautiful way to live in the moment, appreciating the colours, tastes and smells of nature's work, all while putting something delicious together that is going to put a smile on someone's face and nourish their body. This is definitely what takes me to my happy place!“
Roberta is a naturopath who treats her clients holistically using herbal medicine and nutrition to develop an individualised treatment plan. naturomedico.com
“Happiness is a very subjective thing. Over my time, I’ve learnt the best way to fill up my happiness tank is to take some time for myself. I get on my own, plug in a podcast, go for a long walk and just get some space. With the over-exposure to everyone else’s ‘happiness’ on social media platforms and all around us, it can become very easy to compare your sense of wellbeing and happiness to others and question where you are at.
“My alone time is when I can switch off from this, see where I’m at and do what I need to ensure that my happiness tank stays full. If the tank is a little bit low I go straight for things like spending the day in the kitchen getting messy with food, hanging out with my dog Ollie, doing a guided meditation to clear and reset my thoughts or simply just calling my mum or close friend and having a chat. They are all typical and simple things but it’s these things that make the biggest difference to me and my happiness.”
Connie is a life coach, speaker and writer who shares her perspective on relationships, fear-busting, self-love, purpose, intuition and wellness. conniechapman.com
“For years I chased external success and results, thinking happiness came from achieving goals and getting everything I wanted. Over time, I found I would achieve these things, yet still feel empty and unsatisfied, so I began to turn my search inwards. It was through learning yoga and meditation that I discovered a calm and peaceful place within me where true happiness arises from. The space is always there, and it is only when I get caught up in thinking that I disconnect from it.
“I have come to realise it is the small, simple things like a morning beach run, cooking a delicious meal, dancing to my favourite song, a deep meditation session or a sweaty yoga class, that help me connect with that inner happy place. I have certain 'happiness foundations' that need to be in place for me to feel good and this includes self-care, lots of sleep and rest, positive people, creative projects that make my heart sing and plenty of time in nature.
“I truly believe happiness is not a future destination, and does not arrive from getting more of the good stuff and less of the bad stuff. Rather it is a state of being that can be accessed in any moment through gratitude and appreciation of the blessings you already have.”
Tina is a nutritionist and naturopath committed to supporting people to restore their health and vitality. She is also a lecturer with Endeavour College of Natural Health. herbsonthehill.com.au
“It has been said that we need just three things in life to be happy: something to do, someone to love, and something to look forward to. I love the simplicity of this statement. For me, happiness is about being able to experience the fullness of life, in a meaningful, yet very simple way.
“'Experiencing life' means we may not be 'happy' every second of every day, but we can see the joy in special moments, we feel grateful for what we have, we are humble in who we are, and importantly we can allow ourselves to experience pleasure in life.
“Happiness to me means I can laugh out loud (even at my own jokes), I can allow myself to experience the full range of emotions as life takes us on its journey, but not be controlled by them. For myself, living a happy life is enjoying watching my son giggle, loving my cups of chai with frothy milk and cinnamon, snuggling with my dog, connecting with my friends and family and reading books that take me to another place...I’m not ashamed to say I’ve read all eight ‘Outlander’ novels in the last year or so!”
“There is only one thing that makes me happy – to live each day in accordance with my top three values: creation connection, being aware and being approachable and open. If I am feeling a little down, I take a look at what I have been doing and usually I find I am a human doing, not a human being.
“I have a little process I use to stay happy. I look at what I am doing and what needs to be done and either action, assign or abandon.
“One of my favourite sayings is – if it’s not life giving, don’t give it life. I like to be mindful, not mind-full and stop to take the time to slow down, to reflect and ensure I am doing the things I love – spending time with friends who lift me up, teaching my dog new tricks, travelling to new places, sitting in the sun reading an inspiring book or playing sport.”
Academic James Arvanitakis had it all – a high flying finance career and all the perks that came with it. His world then turned on its axis when a gap year to a third world country drastically changed his outlook on life.
Self-love is a crucial ingredient to health and wellbeing. Learning to love and embrace every part of ourselves not only fills us with confidence, it leaves space in our minds for more productive thoughts, propelling us towards a happier and more fulfilled existence.