I’m ridiculously excited to have Andrea Hayes as my #wellnesswednesday guest this week because she is one of the most genuine, driven, supportive and talented people I know. She has always been there for me and i’m delighted that her first book‘Pain-Free Life; My Journey to Wellness’isin stores now! The book is an honest and open look at pain and in particular a brave personal story that is both moving and incredibly inspirational. She is a passionate advocate for chronic pain awareness and is currently on the governing body of Chronic Pain Ireland, she is a trained clinical hypnotherapist and shares free healing downloads on her website andreahayes.ie
Andrea is best known for presenting TV3’s hugely successful series Ireland’s Animal A&E. She is also the associate producer on the popular format which has sold internationally and has aired across 12 countries, including the United States, Australia, Denmark, Finland, Canada and on Channel 5 in the UK. She also presents ‘Sunshine Meets’ on Dublin radio station Sunshine 106.8.
How would you describe your lifestyle?
My wellness is central to most of my lifestyle choices, managing any chronic illness every day requires a lot of pacing and spacing of activities and tasks and that’s what I have to apply to my everyday planning of my day. So my lifestyle is very measured and balanced.
What’s your favorite food? Naughty or nice.
I don’t eat meat so I adore vegetables, at the moment I am having a love affair with chickpeas so I eat a lot of dishes with them as a core ingredient. We also love smoothies in our house and my daughter is excellent at combining unusual flavors. I love brown whole meal bread and hummus. I have recently discovered ‘Nobu’ a diary free ice cream, I am really loving the vanilla and coconut flavour.
Do you exercise and if so what do you do to keep fit?
With my chronic pain condition there is always a little fear avoidance with exercise and also I am limited to what I can physically do. So I tend to stick to walking, nothing too strenuous. I have a nice gentle walk with my dog most days.
How do you find balance in your day-to-day life?
Balance is central to any good wellness and pain management program so I work on keeping everything in balance as much a possible. Planning and prioritising my tasks is a wonderful way to identify what are the important things to focus on. Every evening I like to make a little plan and list for the day ahead so I can focus my attention on what I want to achieve. It is so easy to become distracted with social media and the general diversions that crop up in everyday life so keeping the balance right is the key to having a harmonious day for me.
How do you manage stress in your life? Do you meditate? Have you ever tried it?
I have studied hypnosis and have trained as a clinical hypnotherapist so I use my own formula of hypnosis and deep relaxation for my own physical healing and wellbeing. I am also a great believer in reframing your mind to focus on the positives, using affirmations, auto suggestion and focused self talk daily to keep my mind and body in tune. I have free hypnosis for Healing, Manifesting goals and Health Affirmations on my new website.
People often set goals or intentions as they go through life. Is this something you do?
Everyday I set an intention about my health, and apply an affirmation to help my mind and body achieve my intended goal – I regularly say ‘I am safe, I am secure, my body is restoring itself back to perfect health and I am well’
In terms of long term goals, I had a very specific intention to reduce and eventually come off my long term medication to treat the many chronic conditions that I have and I am so grateful I have successfully reached that goal with the help and guidance of my medical team, it has been a long road, and has taken me almost two years to get to this place now. I take every day as it comes but I know I will always be affirming my daily intentions and will continue to set goals as I continue on my life’s journey.
How do you unwind after a busy day?
I like to watch TV or read a good book but if I have had a stressful day I find the only way for me to pull all my energy back to a place of love and balance is to do some relaxations, hypnosis or meditations. Depending on my mood I will always try to spend some quiet reflective time alone in my ‘sacred space’ to work on unwinding and getting into a peaceful mindset
It’s the weekend, what do you do for fun?
I love to spend time with my family; anything from a long walk in the mountains with our dog ‘Dash’ to discovering a new restaurant or ice-cream parlor is my idea of bliss! I just enjoy having quality time together nothing beats that special time.
What’s your top health tip for our readers?
Follow your instincts on your own health and do what feels right for you.
In terms of managing any illness or chronic pain my advice would be to become an empowered patient, don’t be afraid to challenge the medical profession and look for a second opinion if you don’t feel listened too or taken seriously -change your doctor. Seek out support from other patients on social media or through a local group or self help charity.
Finish the sentence – Being complete for me means…
Harnessing the power of my own magnificent mind to have complete wellness and love in my mind, body and affairs.