For our Finding Balance campaign, we’re proud to be working with Holistic Health & Lifestyle Coach, Milla Lascelles.
Milla helps to support and guide both women and men to make positive health and lifestyle changes into their lives and ultimately find balance. A health coach is a guide and mentor who empowers and supports you to take responsibility for your own health and supports you to implement lifestyle and behaviour changes that will contribute to achieving your personal goals by making changes to your food choices and lifestyle, at a pace that works for you.
We asked Milla how she finds balance, in life, work and skin!
What are your 5 simple tips to help women find balance in their everyday lives?
1.) Learning to say no - women have human giver syndrome. I love the piece in the book Burnout by Emily & Amelia Nagoski ‘Human givers must, at all times, be pretty, calm, generous, and attentive to the needs of others. Which means they must never be ugly, angry, upset, ambitious, or attentive to their own needs.’ It can be really helpful to make a list of the things in the past month that you could have said no to that don’t give back to you, drinks with work colleagues, lunch with a friend/colleague you felt obliged to see. This will make room for things you actually want to do as we are all so time poor.
2.) Turn off your device. If you’re someone who’s on it throughout the week all the time why not then go offline at the weekends? You could delete social media on a Friday night and re install on a Monday morning. Not only will you probably feel better you’ll create space to be able to think more creatively and be more present.
3.) Do something that brings you joy everyday. Too many of us exist for work, kids, house and everything else that comes with that. I speak to too many women who have forgotten what they actually really love doing. A client the other day said she used to have singing lessons and be part of a choir and had forgotten how much she loved it. She now books a music room after work once a week.
4.) Invest in your mental health. It’s like the quote 'Make sure you weave your parachute every day, rather than leave it to the time you have to jump out of the plane.” Practicing Mindfulness regularly can prepare us for challenging times. There are so many different types of ‘mindfulness.’ I am a qualified meditation teacher with The British School of Meditation, so I practise mindfulness with my clients. Some people find it hard but there are so many different types like the well-known guided visualisations of mountains and hot air balloons, squared breathing, mantras, contemplation meditations, Zen meditations, Gratitude meditations and Love and Kindness.
5.) This is a nutritional one but sometimes I speak to women and mums who have a lot of guilt because they’re so time poor and worry they’re not eating well. I always think introducing a Riverford Box into your weekly shopping list costing £12-£15 is making sure you’re having the very best quality. Organic means fewer pesticides, no artificial additives, no antibiotics. That way you are eating with the seasons, food is closer to the harvest, eating locally which means higher nutritional value and will be great for your hormones. I get a box delivered every week and there’s no plastic.
Do you think nature can help bring a sense of balance when we’re feeling stressed?
Yes I really do. I think we can learn a lot from nature about ourselves. I love Katherine May’s Wintering book when she says ‘“Plants and animals don’t fight the winter; they don’t pretend it’s not happening and attempt to carry on living the same lives that they lived in the summer. They prepare. They adapt. They perform extraordinary acts of metamorphosis to get them through. Winter is a time of withdrawing from the world, maximising scant resources, carrying out acts of brutal efficiency and vanishing from sight; but that’s where the transformation occurs. Winter is not the death of the life cycle, but it's crucible.” We have times in life like the seasons when we flourish in Spring and seasons when we fall revealing our bare bones but give it time and patience it grows again.
I know myself when I’m feeling overwhelmed or sad I take myself off for a walk. During the pandemic I would pack a ruck sack and an apple and walk for hours just making sense of what the new normal was. There’s something incredibly healing about walking when all you have to do is put one foot in front of the other. We know that multiple studies have been done where time spent in nature is a great antidote for stress. It can lower blood pressure, calm nervous system, enhance immune function, reduce anxiety and improve mood. If I’m not walking in nature I am reading about it. Can’t recommend enough I am an Island, Wintering, The Salt Path, The Wild Silence and The Wild Remedy.
What steps do you recommend women take when they feel out of balance and don’t know where to begin?
I would say 80% of my clients are women and every time they come and see me it’s usually because they can’t find a balance or their bodies are in chronic stress which comes with many different knock on effects and symptoms. I always look at their daily routine and what they’re doing for themselves, are they doing anything in the week that brings them joy? Have they forgotten what their hobbies are? Do they need to set more boundaries? are they people pleasing? Have they got too much pressure on them? Often being out of balance for so long and in flight or fight overtime can lead to Burnout so together we really strip it back and look at what needs to change. More often than none the client already knows exactly what they need to do they just need the confidence to action it.
As a health and wellness coach, how do you help women achieve their goals?
During the 1-2-1 sessions we’ll work towards understanding the clients mind and body and discover the practises as well as foods that will nourish them in everyday life. I will support them to implement positive changes and behavioural changes that will contribute to their personal wellbeing goals. My overall aim is to guide and empower them but they have to do the work. Together we set goals so that we can make sustainable changes that will improve their health and happiness. I want to put the power back in their hands for anyone feeling overtired, overworked, stretched and stressed or perhaps just need some time and space to reflect and recharge.
Do you see the benefit in using a beauty/skincare regime as a form of self-care and enjoying some ‘me time’ at the start and end of the day?
Absolutely I think it’s imperative. It’s symbolises so much more than just looking after your skin. ’Self Care’ can sometimes be perceived as a bit of a buzz word as people with copious amounts of money and expensive massages and spa days but in the real world in the most basic form of self-care is getting yourself up, showered and dressed. You can function with it or you can flourish with it. Adding in that skincare regime in the morning or at night or maybe both is that little bit extra of self-love. From self-care with our phones and social media or eating in the right environment where you are calm and chewing your food. Self-care will always means different things to us in different times of your life. If something big is going on like a bereavement, a break-up, house move or even an illness you need to take care of yourself in a kind and gentle way. Spending that extra 5 minutes giving your skin a massage or giving it that extra bit of hydration or introducing vitamin C or using a bit of eye cream is nourishing and nurturing and its kind. You are refuelling yourself and it’s necessary.
What are your favourite Balance Me products to balance your skin?
My skin is very dry around this time of year so I’ve really been enjoying the Balance Me Pure Skin Face Wash with the Collagen Boost Moisturiser afterwards. The cleanser is really thick and creamy and when I’ve washed it off my skin feels like it’s been polished. I need seriously rich moisturisers around now but sometimes they can make me go a bit oily especially if I wear them under makeup so I really like the balance of the Collagen Boost Moisturiser. I’ve been practising with a few different Vitamin C oils on the market and because my skin is very sensitive, they are often just too harsh. I love how the Vitamin C Repair Serum is a serum so it’s extra hydration too!