I have a confession: I’m a recovering workaholic.
It’s so easy for me to get caught in my to-do list. It never ends. There’s always something to do. And it’s always something *really* important.
It starts when I feel the overwhelm creep in, and my automatic is to just try and stay ahead of the curve, to just try and do more so that I can have less on my ‘have-to’ list and get on with the rest of life. What ends up happening is that I work too long, too hard, and start to burn out. The result is that I’m mentally foggy, likely getting sick, and feeling energetically heavy.
As you may have guessed, it kind of sucks in this world.
And it’s a really hard pattern to break even when I know this. I also see it with my clients, friends and in society in general. There’s so much awareness of what is healthy to do, a general understanding of what to eat and not eat, and that wellness is important in life and then there’s the things that get in the way. Like to-do lists.
While the pattern feels difficult to break, it’s actually really simple. It’s a choice to do something different in the face of working or taking care of yourself.
One of the first things I committed to was going for daily walks in nature. I had no idea how I was going to do it and where in my schedule it was going to go, but I decided it was my gateway to relaxation, presence and freedom that I actually wanted on a daily basis instead of the overwhelm and heaviness.
Here are my conditions for nature walks:
- I had to go for a minimum of 30 minutes
- I wasn’t allowed to check my phone, or the time started over
- It couldn’t be combined with my form of exercise for the day (because I always multi-task – which is part of my story that I have to do more in less time)
My experience the first day of taking a nature walk was of resistance. I decided to work it in to my schedule (of course) after a consulting job that is opposite a large park. I started around 2:15 on a Thursday afternoon. The chatter in my head went something like “Are you kidding me!? It’s in the middle of a work day! You should be checking your email. What if something is happening that you don’t know about. This is so self indulgent.”
About 20 minutes in I started to enjoy myself and the beautiful forest around me.
Part of creating a new pattern is recognizing where you stop with creating space for your wellness. Do you stop when your internal critic goes on loud speaker? Do you stop when a call comes in from someone ‘important’?
In making a choice towards the life you want to live, the life where you get to be in, here are three cardinal things to remember:
No one is more important that you.
You don’t have to prove anything.
You are worth it.
This weekend I spent time in nature doing my favourite thing: foraging.
Elderflowers are in season right now, and it was my first time experimenting with this beautiful flower. Not only does it taste and smell fantastic, there are many nutritional benefits to it as well.
If you’ve gotten to know me, you’ll know I love the syncronicity of edible plants and flowers and the timing of the seasons. Elderflower is a diaphoretic, which helps the body promote and produce sweat and detoxify our body. In my experience that aspect of it is mild, and an incredible thirst quencher on a hot afternoon. It’s also anti-inflammatory, supportive of your immune system and may help with seasonal allergies (which is amazing, because it’s spring).
Grab a plant identification book, or check out the Harmonic Arts videos to know how to grab the right flowers, and get collecting! I made a simple and wonderful cordial and incredibly delicious infused sipping vodka from the flowers.
ELDERFLOWER CORDIAL & INFUSED ELDERFLOWER INFUSED VODKA RECIPE
Serving size: makes approximately 1 litre of cordial
- 2.5 cups of elderflowers, stems removed
- 1 cup of raw honey
- rind and juice of one organic lemon
- 1 litre of water
Boil the water on it’s own in a large pot. Once it’s boiled, turn it off and stir in the honey until mixed. Add the flowers and lemon. Cover the pot and let sit for 3-4 hours.
Optional: if you want to infused some vodka, remove 1 cup of the mixture and add 1/4 cup of vodka (I used the localSheringham Distillery vodka), or however much you want to make with a 4:1 ratio. Cover and let sit for the same amount of time as the cordial.
Once it’s infused, use a nut bag or fine mesh strainer and strain out the flowers and lemon in to a jar or other glass sealable container. For the vodka, strain in to something that is freezer safe and store there to be chilled.
Serve cordial chilled with 1 part cordial to 5 parts sparkling water (adjust to taste). Serve with a fresh slice of lemon.
Serve the infused vodka in a shot glass or small rocks glass.
Store in the fridge for 1 week.