Living well with Milla Lascelles
We had a pleasure of chatting to holistic health and lifestyle coach, Milla Lascelles, all about how how you can help combat the stressors of modern day living, ways we can be more connected to our bodies and how the pandemic has both positively and negatively impacted our ability to be well. Milla also shares with us ways in which we can feel more connected to our bodies and be more present, what wellness means to her and importance of tuning in with our circadian rhythms.
“Wellness isn’t a word I love so much because it can often be thrown around rather stereotypically associating it with avocado toast, coconut bacon, smoothies or wearing the newest workout trend that cost the earth. Strip that all away and it can be far more simple. Stress is a massive part of our day to day living and I know with myself when I feel like my system is calm, grounded and my mind is clear I feel at my best.“
What does your job as a holistic health and lifestyle coach entail?
My role as a health & lifestyle coach is to create a safe space where the client can talk through their health concerns, perhaps their lack of motivation, their current feelings about themselves or their future health goals. As a coach it’s about pin pointing the areas in their lives that may need specific support because they’re off kilter. For many people it’s about having someone who is listening to them and offering them digestible changes the client can do from their home. Holding clients accountable to create these positive lifestyle changes is absolutely key because at the end of the day it takes dedication and humans need other humans to thrive. Some clients come to me saying they are constantly stressed or have no energy but don’t know what part to tackle first so I strip it back for them by getting an overall picture of what their daily routine looks like, sleep pattern, their nutrition, movement, work, relationships and mindset to buffer those triggers or even remove them because they are clearly keeping their bodies in this constant stress response. What I still find fascinating is that clients will make the smallest tweaks to their morning routine or begin to habit stack in baby steps and will email me after a couple of days saying they are sleeping so much better or they can really see a change. Sometimes people just need that step by step guidance from someone else to lead them by the hand and that’s ok.
What does the word wellness mean to you?
Wellness isn’t a word I love so much because it can often be thrown around rather stereotypically associating it with avocado toast, coconut bacon, smoothies or wearing the newest workout trend that cost the earth. Strip that all away and it can be far more simple. Stress is a massive part of our day to day living and I know with myself when I feel like my system is calm, grounded and my mind is clear I feel at my best. I am very aware that my wellbeing comes from a delicate balance of my mental state and my physical state and that both things effect each other greatly. When I am out in nature walking, being present, sleeping well, eating with the seasons, eating really food that hasn’t gone through chemical processes, listening to my body, moving, connecting with loved ones and being kind to myself I feel better. Creating boundaries and saying ‘no’ is also really important for ones wellbeing, if you are a ‘helper’ or what’s called ‘human giver syndrome’ it’s really important you are not putting others peoples needs before your own because we start to burn out and become angry and I think we know deep down when we are getting to that point so having that self worth for yourself is so key.
“Everyone can buy an alarm clock and keep your devices out your bedrooms at night. It really is a simple swap I have been talking about for years but brings so many benefits! Create that space from your smartphone and your sacred sleeping space where our phones are preventing us from falling into our deep and healing REM sleep.”
How do you think the pandemic has both positively and negatively impacted our ability to be well?
I look back on the last year with mixed emotions and sensations. Time stopped and life as we knew it was turned upside down, it was a totally new dimension. I personally definitely re-evaluated my priorities and my home environment and I know how important nature is in general for me personally; seeing a horizon and green spaces is how I feel comforted and protect my mental health. I was lucky enough to connect with family and close friends regularly. I also deleted Instagram off my phone for months and months and minimised my news intake, which felt like a pressure cooker being switched off in my brain. We’ve begun 2021 feeling unsettled and anxious, but I’m hopeful for what spring will bring now. I’m accepting the things we cannot change and changing the things we can. In general I can see positive changes like many more people were cooking from scratch, perhaps started to grow their own veg patch or took more interest in supporting local farmers and businesses.
We have all been brought up to believe that different external things are responsible for our happiness. Raised to believe that happiness is related to people, events and outcomes which of course it can be but when we out-source our happiness to holidays, shopping and parties and are left without these things we really do learn that happiness is truly an inside job and it’s something that’s really made me think about when you’re left with ‘me myself and I.
On the other end of the spectrum we have seen a huge rise in loneliness and mental health. Many clients have been telling me they have been scrolling far more than they used too and are finding it harder to focus on a page in a book, they just can’t take the words in. These just really are a sign of the times and uncertainty for what’s ahead.
Your work focuses on nutrition and holistic treatment. What are some basic changes that everyone can make in their everyday life to feel better?
Everyone can buy an alarm clock and keep your devices out your bedrooms at night. It really is a simple swap I have been talking about for years but brings so many benefits! Create that space from your smartphone and your sacred sleeping space where our phones are preventing us from falling into our deep and healing REM sleep. Another easy change would be to try and minimise your blue light intake 8pm onwards, I wear blue light blocking glasses. Sleep is key!
What are some ways in which we can feel more connected to our bodies and be more present?
Taking in the good. The brain is like velcro for negative experiences and teflon for positive. When we rest our attention on positive experiences we are increasing out ability to deal with stress and reactivity, strengthening the immune system and leading us to a greater overall happiness. Some of my clients spend 30 second allowing their attention to focus on an experience that made them happy. Bringing their attention to the sense of smell/feel/sound/taste etc. You can practise this when something is happening there and then too. Going on a walk in nature without headphones and just practise a walking meditation, it can be really calming and means you are taking in everything you can see, smell, feel and just really noticing the details and patterns of nature.