Guest Blog: Stay well in 2016

With the year drawing to a close, we can often feel pressured, rushed, stressed and exhausted and it’s easy to get caught up in the hype and chaos of it all. Let’s take our focus away from our to-do lists and keep our habits and lifestyles in check. Here are a few tips and tricks for keeping everything harmoniously balanced during the festive season. 

Think happy, be happy and breathe

  • Your thoughts are so powerful and in turn these affect your mood and outlook on life. Next time you are feeling overwhelmed, take a few deep breaths - diaphragmatic breathing will calm the body and nervous system. When we get stressed we tend to forget to breathe! Take a few minutes a day to breathe and oxygenate the body.
  • Think yourself happy and calm - positive affirmations are so powerful. I am calm. I am full of life & energy. I am healthy. I am happy.

Take time out to feel vs think

  • Switch your mind off even for a few minutes. If you have a busy brain, get outside and connect with nature, experience everything around you by fully exploring all your senses and being present. How does nature smell and feel and what can you see nearby and far away? Before you know it you will be so immersed in a world that feels calm. Nature is so grounding and so good for the soul!

Utilise the power of essential oils

  • Using calming oils in the office or home will induce feelings of tranquility and simplicity so try experimenting with different scents for the different moods you want to evoke - energising, calming, relaxing - the choice is yours! Peppermint is energising and offers digestive support while citrus is immune enhancing and uplifting.

Don’t deprive yourself of sleep

  • Good energy levels are crucial. Getting well-rested sleep is particularly important. You’ll feel better, make better food choices and feel happier overall.
  • Prepare the body for sleep by dimming the lights, disconnect from technology - turn off the TV and phones, have a warm bath, or cup of herbal tea about one hour before going to bed.
  • Give yourself time to unwind after work to let go of your day.
  • Set boundaries - eg: no emails after 7pm.


  • Exercise gives you more energy by boosting your blood flow and endorphins in your body.
  • A little and often is better than over exhausting yourself by pushing yourself too hard.
  • The hardest part is getting your active wear on and heading out the door for a walk, jog or off to a yoga class. But once you’re done you remember how good it feels to move and stretch!

Fuel happiness

It’s easy to get caught up and lose perspective. Laughter is the best medicine, especially through hurdles. It will instantly make you feel better and offer you a clear perspective to make the right decisions. Spend time with friends and family and do things that make your heart sing!

Make the rest of 2015 magical & memorable and may you shine bright in 2016!

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and happy holidays!


Melissa is the founder of Wellness Retreats NZ. Check out the website for more details and upcoming day-long retreats. Mel also teaches Vinyasa Flow Yoga at Urban Ashram in Ponsonby. Visit the website here -