Move For Body & Mind
Mind & Body. Are they truly connected? How can we work on them both, in equal measures, so we can truly thrive. We sat down with Roxie - blogger, writer, model AND Ambassador for the Mental Health Foundation.
We asked Roxie about her experience, getting ‘mental strength’ finding happiness, AND how she came to be an ambassador for the charity (so close to her heart).
- So, Roxie you’re a blogger, writer, model AND Ambassador for the Mental Health Foundation. What do you write about and what is your role at the Mental Health Foundation?
- I write about a wide range of things but mostly fitness, beauty, health and mental health. Basically just all the things I'm really interested in and passionate about. My role at the Mental Health Foundation is that I raise awareness of the defining challenges of our generation that young people today are facing. I am also raising awareness of the Foundation's works in school tackling these challenges! I feel really fortunate to be a spokesperson for the Foundation as mental health is an issue that is very close to my heart and I want to do everything I can to help.
- At Neom, we know that looking after your mind is just as important as looking after your body. What are your tips, advice on how we can thrive just as well in our mind as we can in our bodies? Do you think the two are fully connected?
- Absolutely!! Our brain is a muscle just like another other so we need to work it just the same way you'd spend time working your abs in the gym. We need to look after it. Over the last few months I've been incredibly focused on the link between the mind and body - I truly believe that how you treat your body, with what you eat and how much you exercise, is going to determine how you feel, your mental strength and your overall feelings of wellbeing. I've found that by changing my diet and my exercise routine has helped my feelings of depression and anxiety over the last two months. I never knew I could feel this happy! It's been really incredible and I want to spread the word to help others too.
- You’re a fan of Gym Class London. How important is it for us to move our bodies for a happier mindset? Why? What’s your favourite way to get your sweat on? Is it a combination of things?
- There are a tonne of studies which show that exercise reduces levels of stress. I have definitely found this to be true, but also the endorphin release that you get makes it such an amazing way to increase feelings of happiness. I also see it as an active meditation - it's an hour of your day where you forget about everything else and really focus on what you're doing and so you're applying mindfulness whilst making yourself feel and look better too! If I don't exercise for a few days I really notice a change in my mood! It's crazy! At the moment my favourite ways to sweat are spinning, hot yoga, reformer pilates and boxing.
- Yoga OR Pilates?
- I love pilates but I'd have to say yoga! I get really tight muscles so it's really important for me to do yoga regularly (especially when I'm exercising a lot) to open up my body and increase flexibility. I find yoga SO relaxing and it really teaches me a lot about patience and mindfulness. Some people think yoga is easy or boring but I actually think it takes WAY more mental strength than any other workout does. I genuinely find that when my body feels open, my mind feels more open and relaxed too.
- Mood - Needing a mood boost affects us all. And as we say at Neom, Happiness is a journey, not a destination. If you could give our readers 3 quick tried-and-tested tips or practices which help you try and keep a positive mindset - what would they be? Breathing? Mindfulness? Positive affirmations? Connecting with us? Reading a book? Yoga?
- There are SO many but I would say my top 3 are:
1) Putting your phone down for at least an hour a day - phone's are SO distracting and it really stops you being present in the moment.
2) Doing something for an hour each day which makes you really happy, whether that’s taking a walk, doing yoga OR reading a book.
3) Feeling grateful - trying to focus your mind on the things that you are grateful for so that the little things which annoy/upset/anger us during the day take a back seat to all the positive things in our life - rather than the other way around.
- Our mantra here at Neom, is Small Steps, Big Difference. The little things each day which make a big difference. What’s the small step which helps you?
- I actually love my skincare routine in the morning and evening! It helps me to start my day feeling fresh, and helps me to wind down in the evenings too.
- Tell us about your favourite books?
- I love reading fiction books - any crime novels that I can get really stuck into is my favourite. I do love a self help book too - at the moment I'm reading 'Feel The Fear and do it Anyway' and I'm really enjoying it.
- Connection. We have read lots of studies that says connecting with people has a positive effect on your mind. How important is it for you to connect with others? Who can you always rely on?
- MASSIVELY! When I started my job as a freelancer I found I spent a lot of time on my own and I found it incredibly hard as I felt so lonely and I'm sure it contributed to my depression. I really love connecting with people, even if it's a quick conversation with someone who works at your local newsagent, or someone you've just met for a work meeting, or maybe your best friend. Just having a conversation with someone where you really connect leaves you feeling so much better. The person I can always rely on are my two sisters (we whatsapp constantly in a group conversation and I FaceTime them every single day!) and also my best friend Paula. I don't know what I'd do without them. I'd be lost without having them to laugh with.
- Keep learning. We’ve read that learning can certainly be a rich source of enjoyment and happiness. Trying out new things and feeling fulfilled. You once took a trip to Indonesia and said it was an ‘incredible experience’. Can you tell us about your experience?
- I went to Bali on a trip to Nihiwatu island. It's an island with almost no contact with the Western world and I believe I was told they're one of the most primitive tribes outside of Africa. We went and met some of the villages and it was just incredible to see just how happy these people were with so little, and with no material possessions. I know it sounds cliche but it was just such a reminder of just how much we rely on external things to make us happy when actually we need to remember that happiness comes from within us - not because of our job, our car, our handbag.
- Who is your inspiration?
- I am inspired by so many people but generally anyone I meet who is humble, kind and positive is someone that inspires me.
- You once instagrammed books by Rachel Kelly ‘Walking On Sunshine’ and ‘The Happy Kitchen’ - books we have in our wellbeing library in our Neom stores. What did you find out about the ‘happy gut, happy mind’ idea?
- I haven't quite finished the book yet but I am learning a lot about gut health at the moment and the effect is has on our brain. When I changed my diet and found I was a lot happier, I wanted to explore why this was! There really is a connection and so it's been great reading the book to find out exactly which foods are 'good mood foods' and which are 'bad mood foods'.
- Our Neom Psychologist Suzy once told us about a technique called the 3 blessings. Basically writing down 3 things each night that you are grateful for - helps us sleep apparently? Have you tried it? What would your 3 blessings be?
- Yes I love it! I don't do it every night but now you've reminded me I think I'm going to try it again.
My 3 blessings would be:
1) I am healthy (health is something you're never really grateful enough for until you don't have it!)
2) Having a job that I love and that allows me to reach out and help people
3) Having a supportive and loving family
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