Wednesday, 24 October 2018

Beat stress without Valium!

Are you feeling stressed?  Try these simple tips before reaching for the Valium

·         Identify what it is that causing the problem.  Is it your job, a relationship, money or something else?  Does it have a practical solution (eg change your job?), will it simply get better with time and is it totally outside your control (Brexit!)?  Concentrate on what you can influence.

·         Make a list.  You will instantly feel more in control if the apparently unmanageable amount of things you have to achieve in one day is written down and you don’t have to keep trying to remember them.  And the satisfaction of crossing things off is amazing!

·         Leave your phone alone – as part of your night time routine this can work really well.  Tell yourself that it can wait until the morning.  Your sleep is important. Messages and emails can wait.  I give my land line number to friends and family who are in crisis and might need me – everything else can wait.

·         Eat healthily and drink water we know that high sugar foods and the rush and fall of these is stressful, so is caffeine and alcohol – be kind to your mind and body, give them a break.  And drink plenty of water.  Our bodies our 50% to 65% water – we need to keep that topped up, dry bodies don’t work well.  Aim for 2 to 3 litres of water a day.

·         Talk it through, those thoughts that go round and round in your head can often be dealt with if you have to say them in some sort of coherent order so that someone else can understand them.  Try it – just saying it out loud can make you think of your own solution.

·         Be mindful, live in the moment.  Worry is a real waste of time, it doesn’t help.  You’ve heard it before, its like a rocking chair, ‘comforting at the time but it doesn’t get you anywhere’.  There are many apps that help with this ‘Headspace’ being one of the best.

·         Exercise, you just knew I’d say this!  Belt it out in the gym, go for a run or just get outside for a walk.  Move your body, it will shift your mind.  You might even find that you have solde the problem by the time you’ve finished! 

Wednesday, 17 October 2018

What's your wellness score?

How well do you feel? 

Where would you put yourself on a score of 1 to 10 – with one being ‘I feel really ill all the time’ to ten – ‘I feel tip top – never felt better’? 

If you’re not scoring as high as you would like to – do you know why and importantly, what can you do about it?

Now I know that many of us have diagnosed illness, maybe something temporary or perhaps something that is going to be lifelong.  Perhaps you can’t even conceive of a high wellness score but it is still a great challenge to consider how well you might be able to feel. 

Often we feel ill because we lack energy and our bodies ache.  Getting up in the morning is an effort and we often feel unenthusiastic and lacking in motivation.  We often have headaches and our stomach plays up and is sore.

Does this sound familiar?  If some of this sounds like you – read on.

It is really worth doing a bit of a wellness check;

·         Look first at your sleep – are you getting enough?  Adults need around 7 hours a night  (Walker ‘Why we sleep’).  That’s seven hours asleep – no blue light, no TV in a well- ventilated, dark room. 

·         What about your stress levels?  Yes, I know we all need a bit of stress – but what about yours?  If you are very stressed what are you doing about it?  Down time is important however busy you are.  A bit of ‘Mindfulness’ is a great help – try the  Headspace app – its easy to use and not too ‘airy fairy’. 

·         What’s your food intake like?  Not sure?  Try keeping a food diary for a week – write down everything you eat every day – then I am sure you will spot some areas for change.  Make sure you have enough protein, healthy fats and complex carbs.  Steer well away from processed foods and refined sugar.  Aim not to eat anything with more than 5gms sugar per 100gms.  Bear in mind too, that many foods are great in tackling inflammation – so for those aches and pains try avocados, blueberries, green leafy veg and oily fish. 

·         Do you drink enough water?  Aim for around 3 litres a day – try it – and notice the difference in how you feel

·         Alcohol – need I say more?  The less you drink the better – that’s all.

·         Of and of course (you knew this was coming) – get some exercise.  Do your daily steps (get outside – fresh air – good for all of us) and get to the gym.  Resistance work (shift those weights) is good for all of us – whatever our age – there are always benefits to keeping your muscles strong

Give it a try – nudge up that wellness score !