This time of year naturally creates a large do-to list, endless shopping and many social outings. With that usually comes too many wines, an increased sugar load, heightened stress and lower tolerance levels.
But this doesn’t have to be your December destiny! Good new is I’ve called upon someone special to help share the gift of staying grounded this silly season.
Meet Steph Bartlett. Steph is a bright and passionate Holistic Health Coach, Yoga Teacher, Personal Trainer and Raw Food Chef. After selling her gym business ‘Fit For Life PT’ in 2015, she moved from her home town Keith, to Adelaide SA where she’s currently based. Steph runs a heart centred business that coaches people to take control of their health & wellbeing, through healthy lifestyle and connection to self. Her approach is a blend of mindset, fitness, healthy eating, and creating realistic healthy habits that become a way of life.
Steph, as a Health Coach, how do you serve the health and happiness of others?
By helping people feel and look their best from the inside out!
As a Holistic Health Coach I listen to peoples stories of how they’ve got to the position they’re in, and then help them peel back the layers of limiting beliefs and negative self talk. Everything begins with thoughts and mindset, so that’s where I like to start. I coach people to re-program the mind to a ‘can do’ and ‘I am worth it’ attitude.
From there I help people get clear on their health and wellbeing goals and implement a realistic plan of attack. Through weekly or fortnightly Health Coaching sessions, I check in with people’s progress, provide them with new healthy habits/changes to implement and keep them accountable.
It’s the consistency of regular coaching and checking in that really helps people put the wheels into motion. More often than not, people know what they should be doing, they just struggle to put it into practice. That’s where I step in.
How do you personally set yourself up for your day? Are there specific practices, foods and supplements that support your body, mind and soul to get the most from your day?
I really value my time in the morning. I used to be really structured with my morning routine, but I try to be more intuitive with what I need now, and go with the flow. In saying that though, I do have some non-negotiables:
- A consistent waking time
I set my alarm for 5:45am on weekdays.
- A big glass of water first thing in the morning
I put a big glass of water by my bed at night, and then drink it first thing in the morning. A great way to kick start the daily water intake!
- Morning walk
I make sure I’m out the door by 6:00am for a 40 – 60 minute walk. I like to do it before breakfast so it’s a bit of a fat burner (walking after fasting all night).
- Apple cider vinegar (ACV) before breakfast
I have about a dessertspoon of ACV with a splash of water and drink it before breakfast. I always feel more content in my stomach, full for longer and less bloated when I have ACV.
- Write a to do list
The first thing I do when I sit at my work desk at the start of the day, is write a list of things to do for the day. I often refer to this as a brain dump.
Other things I do in the morning every now and then depending on how I’m feeling:
- strength training (tabata – interval training)
- set an intention for the day, and write it down
- supplements: multi-vitamin, vitamin C, mineral drink, flaxseed oil
What about the end of the day? Do you have an unwinding routine?
I like to have dinner early around 6:00pm-6:30pm, so I have plenty of time to digest my food before bed and have time to wind down. Sometimes I’ll also squeeze in an evening walk around 7:30pm.
I always dim the lights in the evening and have mainly lamps on to prepare me for a good nights sleep (definitely no bright fluros!). I have a shower to wash off the day that’s been, and no sneaking in any work after that.
Depending on what type of day I’ve had, I’ll sometimes do some journaling to help me unwind as well.
What type of movement throughout your day and week, best serves you?
I do a mix of walking, strength training and yoga. It’s the perfect little package that works well for my body type. I like to walk for at least 40 minutes every day, 15 minute tabata workouts (strength training) at least 3 times a week, and yoga most days wether that’s teaching it or doing my own personal practice.
When I can, I like to mix things up I go to a CHI PT group fitness session in the city; it mainly depends on my work schedule and if I can fit it in! The CHI PT group fitness sessions are great because it’s a completely different style of exercise than I’m used too and it really shakes things up (hello muscles I’d forgotten about)!
You’ve almost had a year off of alcohol. High fives to you! Aside from giving your liver some loving, what have been your biggest gains from this lifestyle change?
Yes, it’s hard to believe it’s nearly been a year of no alcohol (started on 1st January 2017). I haven’t really noticed a lot of changes health wise, which surprised me. But I suppose I live quite a healthy lifestyle already. If I were to pick a few positives that I have noticed, it would have to be an increase in confidence (not needing alcohol to fit in at social events), less brain fog and made me realise that alcohol isn’t a necessity when going out socially. In fact I’m still not 100% sure if I will go back to it next year! I’ll wait and see.
Now that we’re well into the silly season, the stress levels tend to increase with the million-and-one things we need to doing time for Christmas day. As a Health Coach, what are your favourite tools to prevent and alleviate feelings of overwhelm and anxiety?
I know it’s the last thing people feel to do, as they think ‘but I’m too busy to sit still!’ But it’s probably the most productive thing they can do! It calms down the chaos in the mind and creates clarity. Even just 10 minutes of stillness can be very beneficial.
I describe yoga as a moving meditation. Instead of sitting still, you practice being present as you move through the different yoga postures. Yoga brings you out of your head and back into your body, creating a feeling of calm.
- Journaling and write a list
Overwhelm can take over some times. So many things to remember and get done. Writing a list can help unload some of those thoughts, and create more space in the mind. Journalling is a great way to release or work through any emotions or challenges that build up over the silly season. The more people can calm and quiet the mind, the better.
- Belly Breathing
When people are highly strung and anxious, they tend to shallow breathe. They don’t breathe down deeply into they’re diaphragm (aka belly breath). By simply pausing, relaxing the jaw, neck and shoulders and taking a slow, deep breath into the belly and out again, it calms the nervous system. Bring your attention to belly breathing a few times a day, especially at times of stress or overwhelm.
- Don’t take life too seriously
Relax. Enjoy life. Life is to be lived and enjoyed! Take a step back and think ‘does it really matter?’ More often than not, the things we’re stressing about, aren’t life threatening. In fact quite often the things we worry about, end up turning out fine. It’s just our imagine thinking the worst. Use the affirmation ‘I am doing the best that I can.’
What are your 3 top exercises/ routines/ practices that you feel every person would benefit from? Why?
1.) Daily walk for at least 30 minute
It’s good for both the body and mind. It’s gentle on the body and gets everything moving (joints, circulation, digestion, etc).
2.) Tabata strength training
Tabata is an interval training technique of 20 seconds on, 10 seconds rest; repeated for a total of 4 minutes. There’s lots of free tabata timer apps you can get on your phone; they work a treat.
20 seconds squats / 10 second rest
20 seconds pushups / 10 seconds rest
REPEAT for total of 4 minutes
4 minutes is so time efficient and easy to fit into your day. I tend to do 3 or 4 tabata workouts in a row, 3 x week.
Strength training is important for things such as boosting your metabolism, bone density, posture, and strength.
Some may think I’m biased because I’m a yoga teacher, but honestly… yoga has been a game changer for me! It’s changed the way I think, how I move my body and how I feel. I recommend everyone does yoga for the physical and mental benefits, such as strength, flexibility, reducing stress, and calming the mind.
Thanks Steph 🙂
If you want to have Steph’s positivity and guidance in your life, you’re in luck. We have collaborated to bring you an amazing Christmas giveaway!
+ 3 x coaching sessions with Steph Bartlett
+ 1 x copy of my book, Balanced, The Natural Way To Healthy Hormones
+ A 50gm Twisted Tonic Herbal Tea
Find out more and register for this once-off, limited offer here.
What are your favourite ways to stay chilled throughout the christmas rush?
Love health & happiness,