Who better to turn to than the Flynn Twins aka The Happy Pear when seeking out advice for ultimate health and happiness? Now, I know there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to both of these buzzwords, but there are a few solid foundations on which we can all build. Starting with a few simple but thoughtful and provoking ideas, we can work on our personal interpretations of each theme to aim towards a truly unique and sparkly future self. What I love about their tips is that they do not ask you to seek out anything fancy or to work something totally insane into your everyday routine. Instead, the twins focus on concepts that we all know and perhaps love to hate. Perhaps we even eye-roll when we hear someone to tell us to move more, eat better and be more sociable. But, one of the main things I picked up from their talk at a recent event is that such simple and everyday tasks, ideas and mindsets will make a world of difference to us all, if only we try.
To say they put a smile on everyone’s face is an understatement, I genuinely felt happier and healthier after listening to their talk.
I left the talk feeling so inspired to share all that I had learned with the big wide world so I themed my week of Instagram posts around these top tips. Each day was dedicated to a different theme running from Monday to Saturday with Sunday left for blissful reflection about what we had learned and what habits we had put into place. I feel so strongly about sharing these healthful, mindful and brilliant tips with as many people as possible that I have decided to re-share them all with you, here and now.
Without further ado, I introduce you to Six Top Tips for Health and Happiness that aren’t secret at all. Plus, they sound even more motivational when said in their Irish accents!
A healthful boost knows no end of wonders. Top tip number 1 for a happy and healthy life is to eat more fruit and veg! Now, if you know me (or have seen my posts) at all, then you’ll know that these super-but-every-foods feature very heavily in my day. No matter what meal, I’ll always pack in a couple of portions… not because we’re told to by the government but because they taste great and make me feeling amazing!
They’re full of vitamins, minerals and lots of lovely fibre which all help our bodies stay regular, make us glow from the inside and make us feel alive! There are so many out there and thanks to the well-stocked supermarkets we can pretty much eat what we want when we want, although for ethical and environmental reasons I try to eat seasonally and with minimal plastic packaging.
What are your favourites? I’m a huge avo-addict, I love berries and cucumber has forever been my friend. Recently I’m into roasted squash, Brussel sprouts and apples (with peanut butter). Oh, and persimmons… I could go on!
Top tip number 2 today for a life of health and happiness is Movement.
The Flynn Brothers told a tale of their mother and her Fitbit. How she told the boys how many steps she’d done but they had no idea how that compared. So, they tracked their steps one day and were shocked how few they did in comparison – mumma knows best! In fact, they hadn’t moved nearly half as much as they thought they had, despite being healthy lads.
They continued to tell us how they got into sun-rise swimming in the sea – all because of masculine pride! One brisk and chilly morning, a fellow swimmer offered to look after their clothes on the shore while they jumped in, and they couldn’t admit to thinking the sea was too cold. “See you tomorrow” the man replied, and they couldn’t let each other down, so one morning turned into the next morning and then they swam throughout the winter. Call them crazy but movement, exercise and stretching is such an amazing thing for your body. Now, I am not a swimmer, especially not in freezing Irish seas, but it was a rather comical tale for which the boys have become known.
They described sitting as a disease. With more and more of us working on laptops, in offices and from home, we sit for longer hours which isn’t good for our physical or mental health. So, grab a tennis racket and a buddy, go for a walk with your mum, or do a yoga flow… just MOVE!
It’s so important to surround yourself with friends, family and other loved ones. Or even just to engage in conversation with strangers. Loneliness is another disease from which some sadly suffer – through no fault of their own. Through old age, poor circumstances and just plain bad luck, loneliness can creep into our lives when we least expect it. Or we can even feel alone in a room packed full of people because we feel lonely on the inside. With no one to talk to and nowhere to turn.
It’s important to speak out. Share your thoughts and your heart to avoid a self-conflicted isolation, open yourself up to friendship and be kind. Smile at a someone. Say hello to someone. Be someone’s reason to be grateful that day.
Celebrate community – so thank YOU all for the love and support over here on. This community can be so empowering, encouraging and inspiring. Food is one of the many ways to bring people together and I’ll often turn up at a friends’ house with cookies or bake a cake to celebrate with someone. Or join in a cake sale! For others, it’s a weekly run club, volunteering or going around to a neighbour as a way to spread the communal love.
Did you sleep well? It’s something that we ask each other most mornings in my house as it can have such an impact on your day.
If you wake up feeling grouchy it can really put you in a not-so-good mood as all you want is to stay under the covers. Or perhaps you don’t like sleep? You feel stressed lying there trying to succumb to night to no prevail.
Many people don’t have a healthy relationship with sleep – insomnia, nightmares, night sweats, late nights, early mornings, too few hours spent in bed are all common occurrences.
Sleep is SO important for health and happiness as it is a time for repair and nourishment – for your mind, body and soul. When you wake up feeling rested you can make informed decisions. Your body can repair, you can digest, you grow, you revitalise, your brain is boosted as a result. There are so many benefits of sleep. What is your relationship with sleep? I always make sure to switch off a while before going to bed otherwise my mind is buzzing. I’ll avoid my phone for at least half hour before going to bed (I know that’s not great but that small amount of time really has helped me) and I do a quick bed-time relaxation yoga practice. A few stretches allow me to relax into my bedroom, finished off with some nourishing face oils and I’m ready to go.
In abundance, wherever and whenever possible. Let love into your life. Open your heart to strangers. Chat to someone. Laugh. Laugh even more. Laugh so hard that you cry.
Joy keeps us feeling alive, energetic and vibrant. What makes you joyful? Feeling fulfilled at work? Having a great social life? Baking for friends? Spending time with family? Snuggles with your cat? Whatever it is, make sure you pencil in time so you truly feel joy every day. Joy can be found in the simplest of things, an afternoon catch up with a friend, a cup of tea shared in the kitchen or a run in the park. Joy feels and is unique for everyone. I feel such joy at spending time with friends and family and also being in the kitchen. Nothing brings me more joy than baking something that is well received and enjoyed by others. Each bake is a gift, and being able to share in the moment only makes the joy even more heart-filling.
The final top tip is Authenticity – you are you and only you. You are the only you. You are unique. Allow yourself to be just that – nothing more, nothing less. Allow yourself to express your emotions honestly and truthfully. You don’t have to open up to the world, but as long as you can be honest with you are then that is the most important thing. Be true to yourself.
Allow yourself to be vulnerable. It’s liberating and regenerating. It’s refreshing and invigorating! I’m the first to bury my head in the sand when the going gets tough or when something feels too much for me. I used to keep a lot more of my emotions inside but then after a few weeks, a simple thing like a yoghurt falling out of the fridge would have me in tears on the floor in the kitchen. I didn’t feel happy and it wasn’t healthy for me (or much fun for anyone around me). So, now I try to express a range of emotions as and when I feel them – can anyone relate? That said, there is a time and place for every emotion. It might not be worth-while having a tantrum at work, so talk it out and come back to the situation refreshed but still being true to yourself.
Nothing is healthier than just being you – don’t burden yourself with trying to be someone you’re not… it’s exhausting.