Embracing alternative approaches

So I started my mini habits at the end of June 2016 and it’s now mid September. During this process I’ve been trying to practice 6 mini habits on a daily basis and embrace alternative approaches.

Here’s some results – and apologies for not posting sooner. You’d think I’d have been able to bash out a post seeing as one of my habits was to write 50 words a day…

In this post I’m going to discuss the yoga habit. In my first post I decided I didn’t have to just do 5 minutes of yoga – chilling out and relaxing or being mindful also counted.

Week 1

The first week I went at it hard – I received my expensive yoga mat, had aromatherapy and then popped along to see a Chinese herbalist to ask what she could do for me. I thought that all of these activities fit into the theme of chilling out.

Why all in one week?

At the start, I felt my general mood was getting low, I was getting more anxious and my alopecia was still spreading. Those hives were still floating about most days too.

It came to a head one Friday night when I was staying at a hotel and going out for a meal. – a time I should have been excited and happy. Instead I was wound up, spotty (the hives came right up my neck and onto my face) and my eyes were red, scratchy and raw. I felt – and looked like absolute shite.

To top this attractive look off I also had a big red rash around my nose and above my eyes and felt pretty crap about myself! Ace.

I decided through the meal (aided by wine) that I needed to sort my shit out and take my own advice. I’m was still doing the mini habits every single day and decided to invest in them financially.  This inspired my first purchase – the mat.

purple pro magic manduka yoga mat
my manduka pro magic yoga mat

Mini Habit 1 – Yoga

My first mini habit was to practice 5 minutes of yoga a day.
I have had a few mats in the past – they usually get a bit tatty, threadbare and then binned. So I decided to get a decent one. One with a lifetime guarantee no less!

I haven’t had much chance to break it in yet- the minimum 5 minutes have been snatched when I get out of bed or while dinner’s cooking and I haven’t been on this as much as I would have liked. But I’ve bought it now and it feels like I’m bouncing on a new carpet compared to the postage stamp I was using previously.

The aromatherapy

I’ve been having regular sessions in my lunch break at work.

This session is so relaxing and I invariably fall asleep and then wake up, apologise and fall asleep again twice per 30 minute session.

When I come out I feel relaxed, zen and peaceful – just the kind of shit I’m after.

The herbalist

She gave me a chat, felt my pressure points, asked numerous questions and gave me acupuncture, cupping and a head massage. She left a needle in which I found when I was getting changed (it was in my chest). I was also talked into getting a ‘50% discount’ if I booked 5 sessions. Feeling all lovely and relaxed following my first acupuncture session I agreed.

Clever up sell.

Now I really DO have spots – these were self-inflicted though. The jury’s still out on the effectiveness of all.


The week after my first session the hives didn’t come back that much (toward the end of the second week they started to reappear). On a Monday as it happens. So it’s maybe work related. Who the fuck knows.

My second experience of the herbalist was different – she didn’t leave a needle in but she did forget to remove a cup from my chest.

The reiki

When speaking to the woman who gives me aromatherapy I spied that she also offered reiki. A therapy I’d heard of but didn’t really know about. I decided to book a session.

I LOVED IT. The non invasiveness  – compared to the cupping and needles.

I really enjoyed it. I fell asleep a few times and felt a little dry mouthed and bright-eyed once she had finished.

I slept really well and the next day I felt great. I had no stress, I even called my Mam from the car like I do sometimes in the morning on my way to work. She asked if I was in bed as I was so calm and wasn’t screaming at cyclists and drivers as I usually do, driving through Edinburgh on a weekday morning at rush hour.

So it worked. I was chilled – at least for a little.

Maybe it was the reiki, maybe it was the thought of the reiki and it was psychosomatic – whatever the case I wasn’t stressed out or swearing so psychosomatic over psychos will work for me – any day of the week.

Have I kept a daily practice of this mini habit?

For the first month I religously practised every day. However, over the past few months I haven’t kept a daily practice of yoga/mindfulness/relaxation – BUT I have sought out alternative approaches as a result which seems to be working.

I feel more confident, less stressed and obsessive and the hives are slowly dissapearing. And MOST days – I either do yoga, have aromatherapy, acupuncuture or try and be mindful for five minutes. Crucially – I don’t feel as if I need to turn to anti-depressants to help my frantic, worried state – which was my main goal.

How are my other habits?

I’ll post an update on the others soon – but (spoiler alert) as you can maybe tell from this mini habit – I haven’t been keeping a daily practice as much as I thought I would. Life gets in the way and I’m cool with not punishing myself for missing out one of the 6 habits here or there.


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