January Newsletter including tips on using mindfulness to live better

Happy New Year London Mums!

In 2017 London Mums will celebrate 10 years from the start of our very own community network.

2016 has been a bumpy ride but I have started 2017 with a very positive attitude. In the next weeks I will share with London Mums my tips to keep positive despite the adversities of life and how I have turned to mindfulness to always feel cheerful. In a couple of separate posts I will explain what parents can do to improve their lives while being mindful. Watch this space!

Christmas is certainly a joyful time of family gathering for many people, but a lot of mums are exhausted over the whole Christmas period due to work events, gift stresses and travelling to see family. January should be a depressing month - many talk about the January Blues - but instead a time to regain energy.

london mums magazine kids winter snowman snow illustration

So how can mums and dads be happier in 2017? Here are a few tips: 1- Use mindfulness and meditation to find your inner peace - I am a super active person involved in lots of activities, networking and sport but I found myself on the verge of anxiety in 2016 and turned to mindfulness and meditation to maintain calmness and restore my inner peace. It is not easy to meditate when you have a busy life in London with a active children and a maybe a business to take care of on top of the usual household chores. But I was determined to make it by myself rather than turning to medicine and risking to slip into depression mode. You don't need to meditate for long time but 10 minutes a day (preferably before starting your working day or before going to sleep) certainly gives you that brain energy to keep you going strong and help you make it through the day. I used a simple app called Headspace. I will review it separately soon so watch this space. Headspace has also launched an easy meditation app for kids. Urban kids and teenagers in particular are at high risk of depression so this app is certainly a good and modern way to get into mindfulness.  peace-of-mind-mindfulness-fitness-outdoor-girl-woman-calmness-meditation-yoga-2 Read my interviews with Bear Grylls and film director Mira Nair who also talk about the use mindfulness in their lives. london-mums-mag-winter-2016-2017-issue-19-collage 2- Living life by your values - We don't need to look too far away to find peace and joy.  New research by One Minute To Midnight reveals that the secret to happiness is living life by your values. A global study of more than 2500 people found that those who lived life by their values were three times happier in every area of their lives. I found particularly interesting the finding according to which the happiest people were those who said that creativity or benevolence was their top value, suggesting that ideas and looking after others are beneficial to our well-being and directly impact on our own happiness 3- Sleep and live a healthy lifestyle - To keep calm don't underestimate the importance of a good night’s sleep. I know it seems easier to say than do as we all catch up with work and leisure after hours but it is a fact that the optimal level of sleep for an adult is between seven and eight hours a night. People who sleep less than this lose nearly five additional days of productive time each year, which can be traced directly back to their lack of sleep. From a health perspective, people with sub-optimal amounts of sleep also typically have more health risks than those with adequate sleep, resulting in a reduction in their life expectancy of around three years. Doctors say that healthier people sleep better, and making healthy lifestyle choices aids good sleep. 4- Save for your goals - Before you go shopping, remind yourself what you want to do in the future and put any savings you make against that goal. Visualising what you want in the future will help you make smarter spending choices.  Watch the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves… Start by recycling unwanted gifts either by passing them on to someone else or by selling them on ebay. peace-of-mind-mindfulness-fitness-outdoor-girl-woman-calmness-2 5- Keep fit to avoid January Blues - When it’s grey and gloomy outside and the days are short, it can be hard to motivate yourself to get up and do exercise. Over the Christmas holidays, we have also overindulged so between mulled wine, mince pies and lack of exposure to sunlight, it’s easy to gain weight and feel sluggish. But try to brave the weather, wrap up warmly, wear decent footwear and once you are out there, you might even enjoy a good walk or run. Outdoor exercise increases exposure to daylight and Vitamin D, helping to increase endorphins and improving both your mood and bone strength. I play football outdoor with a great group of energetic ladies and this is certainly more motivating than running on my own. It can be hard to get going on your own. Exercising with others is more pleasant, and meeting up with someone helps make sure you stay committed. It’s a great way to make new acquaintances and catch up with old ones at this social time of year. 6- Don't be too hard on yourself - I have recently read a great quote by Oprah Wimfrey which I would like to share here: 'Doing the best at this moment, puts you in the best place for the next moment." Let go of being perfect and you'll find more peace and joy inside and around you too. happiness-oprah-wimfrey   National Handwriting Day is coming up on the 23rd January. I find it increasingly difficult to get my 10 year old son to write something on a piece of paper. The school does not seem to require lots of handwriting and the use of computers as well as touch screen technology does not help the cause. I love handwriting and receiving hand written letters. usha blog One of my personal goals in 2017 is to help my son make perfecting neat handwriting easy, fun and enjoyable. In the new age of digital, it is becoming far-fetched but there isn’t much quite like rekindling that creative feeling of putting pen to paper and handwriting notes, letters, diary or cards – to name a few. Going through London Mums' archives I found two amazing blog posts by our contributors:

The Lost Art of Putting Pen to Paper

Why you shouldn't stop your toddler from writing on your walls

 

Family entertainment 

rugby-logo-for-youtube-b50ce3338ac05fbb-photo On 27 December I attended the Big Game 9, a rugby match between hosts Harlequins and opponents Gloucester at Twickenham Stadium. I am generally not a huge rugby fan but I must admit I truly enjoyed the experience along with my son, his two friends and their London mum and dad. Although I prefer football to rugby, going to footy matches feels less safe so it makes me too nervous and I always opt for watching football games on TV. Instead rugby fans seem very polite, calm and cheerful. This game was my second rugby match I attended and I truly enjoyed the atmosphere, the entertainment inside and outside the pitch. Admittedly rugby is more family friendly than football. So in 2017 I want to attend more rugby games with kids and friends as an alternative day out - a New Year's resolution? Watch my short film about Big Game 9 showing highlights from the game as well as bike stunts, fireworks displays and other entertainment around Twickenham Stadium. 2017 is looking promising in terms of family movies. I have listed my selection of unmissable family film releases for the year ahead and beyond half in this blog post: http://londonmumsmagazine.com/shopping-guides/movies-tested-recommended/2017-unmissable-family-movie-releases/ family-movie-releases-2017-collage  

Valentine and Mother's Day Gifts ideas: 60% off deals on Shows Tickets and Attractions

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About Monica Costa

Monica Costa founded London Mums in September 2006 after her son Diego’s birth together with a group of mothers who felt the need of meeting up regularly to share the challenges and joys of motherhood in metropolitan and multicultural London. London Mums is the FREE and independent peer support group for mums and mumpreneurs based in London http://londonmumsmagazine.com and you can connect on Twitter @londonmums

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