With her beaming smile and inspirational messages, Alice Liveing is the very image of bouncing energy and active living to her 636,000 Instagram followers.
But in HuffPost UK’s new Sorry, Not Sorry podcast series made in partnership with Galaxy®, health and wellbeing influencer Alice, also extols the virtues of switching off and allowing yourself time to just be, with no distractions and no feeling of urgency.
“I think it’s almost a lost art – the art of just sitting and doing nothing. But it’s really important,” says Alice.
“We are so over-stimulated; we’re constantly looking at a screen or watching TV or consuming information. We feel this need to be doing something.
“But it’s just so healthy to take time to mentally digest what’s happening in our day. Most of us spend our days rushing around, but we’d all just feel a lot better if we took five minutes.”
Listen to Alice Liveing chat to host Gemma Cairney on Sorry, Not Sorry
We know that women find it particularly hard to prioritise themselves over the demands of work, family life, housework and caring for elderly relatives – and their own and society’s expectations of what they should be doing.
On average women have one hour less than men to dedicate to themselves. But taking time for yourself shouldn’t be relegated to a ‘guilty pleasure’ after putting on another wash or making that duty phone call. Research by Galaxy has shown that women who put themselves first are happier and feel more fulfilled.
In our Sorry, Not Sorry podcast series, radio presenter, author and columnist Gemma Cairney talks to a number of successful women about why it’s time to take back that hour – and how they’ve all seen the benefits of making a conscious decision to grab time back for their own pleasure. Funny, relatable and inspirational, this is the podcast we all need to listen to – and act upon.
And, as Alice so rightly points out, when you look after yourself, everyone around you benefits. It’s a win-win.
“We shouldn’t feel sorry about looking after ourselves,” says Alice, who as well as being a personal trainer and author of three bestselling books The Body Bible, Eat Well Every Day and Everyday Fitness, has her own podcast series, Give Me Strength.
Continuing on the theme of giving ourselves time to recharge our batteries and do something we enjoy, she says: “If we feel our best, we are better to everyone around us. That is one of the key things that people need to learn. It’s not about constantly giving off your own energy; it’s about being better to be better for other people.”
Alice is a keen advocate of moving more to give yourself pleasure and feel better. “So often people put exercise into a box of a one-hour duty but it doesn’t have to be going to the gym and coming out dripping with sweat and red-faced.
“We need to ditch the term ‘exercise’ and talk about ‘movement’, so people realise it can be a really enjoyable aspect of their day and easier to fit into their lives. It can be anything that increases your heart rate, gets you moving and optimises your health – walking the dog, going for a swim, hiking somewhere beautiful, playing tennis with your friends. It’s often the case that people discover they move more than they think they do.”
Entrepreneur Alice’s ambitions for the future will mirror so many women’s own aspirations. “I don’t have any set-in-stone goals, but actually the most important goal is that I’m happy. That could look loads of different ways, so there isn’t a set path I’m going to follow. I just need to work hard in whatever I’m doing and be happy doing it.”