I’m not sure how I feel about New Year's resolutions. They are so cliche and often short-lived. I believe more in mantas and I have quite a few that I live by. However, I recognise that the turning of a new year is a good time to set goals and find resolve. Not in punishing ourselves for conceived imperfections but in finding new long-lasting healthy ways to get as much enjoyment out of life as possible. After all, as far as we know we only have one life and I know I want to make mine long and full of joy.
Now I’m no health expert but, even as a cosmetics formulator, I know that no cream or beauty aid can make you more attractive, healthy or happy. True beauty and vivaciousness need three ingredients - attitude, love/self-love and proper fuel for our amazing miraculous bodies. So, instead of frivolous and short-lived resolutions this new year, I want to share with you five mantras for wellbeing that I believe make real long-term differences. And the best news?
They’re not even that difficult to live by.
Be A Beauty Rebel
The main beauty mantra I live by relies on ignoring 99% of claims made by the beauty industry.
Ok, maybe it’s not quite 99% but there's a lot of false information out there, a lot of conflicting ‘facts’ and basically just a whole load of bull**** aimed at playing on our insecurities and desires so we buy stuff we don’t need. Of course, we buy a lot of things we don’t need but some of the products we put on our skin are not only pointless, they can be harmful.
Our skin needs simplicity and, whilst the beauty industry may use this word a lot, most brands sport a vast range of products. More than three cosmetics a day is not a simple skincare routine.
Do yourself a big favour this year and be a beauty industry rebel. That means making sure you’re not fooled into buying more, spending more or believing in false promises of miracle cures and overnight results. Yet it means something else too. It means rejecting the notion that you have imperfections and that you need to invest more in your appearance to be beautiful, successful, or loved. What you need to invest in is your resolutions for wellbeing, because wellness promotes beauty that lasts.
In terms of skincare, you need moisturiser and oil every day. Even if you don’t use my all-natural oils and creams, it’s wise to stick to one good moisturising cream and one oil cleanser. One or twice a week a gentle exfoliator can also help clean out your pores, but you don’t need eye creams or separate night and day creams or any other special products unless prescribed.
Drink More Water
Whilst most of us need less cosmetics, most of us need more water. Water is the main thing our bodies need. It hydrates us, gives us energy, aids digestion and helps to keep organs healthy.
Sometimes the best things in life are free and one of those things is water. No amount of yoga, expensive cosmetics, make-up and wellness retreats will help your well-being if you’re not hydrating your body properly. As a skincare expert, I must also remind you that the water you put into your body is as important for your skin as washing is. Moisture and hydration start from within.
Eat The Rainbow
Whilst I caution variety in your skincare routine, I’m a strong believer in variety in diet. Our bodies need different nutrients and colour is generally a good signifier of foods that contain the vitamins, minerals and health-boosting benefits we need - fruits and vegetables in particular, which is why one of my beauty mantras is to eat the rainbow!
Serving yourself up a plate of colour not only makes your food look beautiful, but it often means you're getting the variety your body craves. Plus a more interesting meal because you’ll have diversity in texture and taste too.
What we put into our bodies is one of the most important ways to encourage and maintain good health. Not only physical health but mental health too. Arguably, as a human race, we are busier and burdened with more responsibilities and stresses than ever before. We need to arm ourselves with energy to face these with gusto, positivity and, hopefully, even joy.
I’ll level with you - I get takeout and indulge in treats sometimes and I think that’s ok. The pressure of eating ‘perfectly’ all the time can do damage too, but if we can cut down on processed foods, eat more fruit and vegetables and create variety in our diets then we know we feel better and function better. Every human body is different but variety in diet is good for almost everyone, even those with food intolerance and allergies where this can be more of a challenge.
The hard truth is it doesn’t matter if you’re meditating, yoga-ing away twice a day on an eco-friendly mat and spending a fortune on wellness retreats - If you’re not cooking good food for yourself (most of the time) and eating across the various food groups you're not going to feel good.
Many of us, myself included, consider putting together a tasty and nutritious meal an act of love, and it is. This should reign true and be adhered to whether you’re cooking for a big family or if you’re 'just' feeding yourself.
Smile More (but not when people tell you to)
We are more beautiful when we smile but not when we’re faking it. So, when I advise you to smile more, what I really mean is make time for joy.
Happiness and health go hand in hand and if you want to make improvements to your wellness then you need to be in a positive place to give yourself the best chance of success.
Remember that resolutions for wellbeing should focus not only on physical beauty but also on health and happiness. After all, you can’t have one without the other. Unfortunately, when we’re feeling blue or demotivated, as we often are post-Christmas and in the winter months, happiness may not come so easily. What I have found though, is that it's often possible to spark joy, even in less happy times.
We find joy often in the small things so we have to be on the lookout for these moments. These moments can also be created when we pursue our interests, seek out that which makes us feel comforted and place ourselves in good company. Experiencing joy can help us to increase our general positivity, making it easier and more natural to stay well both physically and mentally.
Ritualise Your Beauty Sleep
Remember when you used to dance all night, eat fast food in the early hours and crash out wherever there was space? You might not have woken up feeling super fresh but you probably didn’t suffer for days on end. As we get older, we need to sleep more. That’s not to say we need more sleep necessarily, but we need better quality sleep.
To rest easy and allow your body to properly clock off a night, there are a few things you can do. Eating earlier, avoiding alcohol and exercising every day are all conducive to deeper sleep. However, I also like to ritualise my sleep routine.
Leaving the stresses of the day behind and giving myself some self-care is important if I want to avoid restless nights and anxiety dreams. That’s why I love winding down in the evenings with an early dinner, followed by some fairly quiet time.
I highly recommend meditation of course, but let’s be honest - trashy TV is my go-to and it helps me check out. Whatever helps you to relax and empty your mind of stress at the end of the day is absolutely fine - whether that’s reading a classic book or watching Married At First Sight. Just don’t stay up too late doing it. A good amount of sleep is essential for our body to recover, restore and repair.
Finally, just before I turn in, I smooth in my Sleepy Joyce foot cream and give my feet a good massage. Not only does rubbing my feet seem to relax my whole body, but the essential oils in the cream are also designed to be calming.
And One More Thing…
Try not to give yourself a hard time if you’re not feeling 100% or reaching your goals as quickly as you’d like to. The best wellness advice I can give to you - and need to regularly remind myself of - is to be kind to yourself. You have a lot on your plate and we have mixed messages bombarding us daily. Listen to your body, give yourself space for quiet periods every day and remember that life is not a race, it’s a marathon. You will fall down but you can get back up again. So don’t focus on things you can do to help you ‘win’, focus on that which will give you the strength to keep going and, most importantly, keep striving to enjoy it.
Happy New Year Everyone!