I don’t know about you, but all of this self-isolation has me feeling tired and sluggish. It could be the fact that my children have started baking EVERYDAY (and not trying it would be offensive). Or perhaps it’s because I now have the time to cook slow roasted meals like BBQ pork spare ribs (delish but oh so naughty). In any case, I have been trying to get my mojo back by stopping drinking (day 49 of no booze today) but still need to tweak my routine a bit in order to feel my best. Here are a few simple suggestions to help you bounce back into the world (post lockdown) instead of rolling out…..
In order to feel better, you need to take small steps every day in the right direction. You DON’T have to change everything at once. Just choose one to two items to start with and go from there.
This post is not for those of you who are already into wellness. This one is for your sister, your brother, or your workmate who just doesn’t know where to begin to change their life or their habits. Help them out, and pass this one along to them …
1. MOVE MORE EVERY DAY. TRY ADDING IN POWER WALKS THREE TO FOUR TIMES A WEEK.
You do not have to join a gym or do high-intensity fitness classes every single day to improve your fitness and muscle tone. Believe it or not, power walking can do wonders for your body. If you are currently inactive, then start small. Aim to do 20 minutes of power walking three-to-four times a week outdoors or on a treadmill.
After you’ve successfully completed a couple of weeks of walking for 20 minutes, try 25. You will see benefits in your energy levels instantly and hopefully start to crave those walks. This has recently become my favourite part of my day, as we are allowed to exercise with one person, I meet a friend & go for an hour walk & talk after finishing the dreaded on-line school each afternoon. It makes me a much nicer mother come dinner time.
2. DRINK MORE WATER. WAY MORE WATER. AND STOP DRINKING SUGAR. ALL OF IT.
WE all know that soft drinks are bad for you, but many people believe that drinking diet soft drinks or juice is a better choice. They are not.
If you want to change ONE thing about your health, so that you have more energy and feel less bloated, cut out soft drinks, juice (and energy drinks) and add more filtered water. If you don’t drink soft drinks, that’s great, but you still may need more water.
“The Rule of thumb is, if you’re thirsty, you’re already dehydrated.” Dr Irvin Sulapas, Baylor College of Medicine
80% of the Australian population is chronically dehydrated. So that means some of you fall into that category — with dehydration comes fatigue, headaches, mood swings, low energy, dry skin, stiffness and all sorts of unpleasantries, which are totally reversible.
So, put some lemon in your water, invest in a filtered water or sparkling water system, or do whatever you need to do to up your intake. You WILL feel better after you up your dosage of H2O on a daily basis.
3. CREATE A ROUTINE AROUND SLEEP AND STICK TO IT RELIGIOUSLY.
Improving your sleep is a game-changer in every aspect of your life. If you have trouble sleeping, please, please, please do not ignore it. Act on it. Become an investigator, and figure out what’s going on.
The first thing you should do is make sure that you go to bed around the same time each night and wake up at the same time each day, even on the weekends. You should also aim to be in bed not too much later than 10 p.m., if possible because the best hours of sleep occur between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m.
Also, try blacking out your bedroom from all lights, dropping the temperature to around 18 degrees and making sure you turn OFF your phone and all other technology at least an hour before bedtime. Work diligently on your sleep, and you will reap the benefits.
4. DESIGN A SELF-CARE ROUTINE AND GIVE YOURSELF A MINUTE TO RELAX EACH DAY.
Stress is an ugly thing. Our bodies were built with a stress response (cortisol), which helps us wake up, live our lives and also jump into action when we are in danger or being chased by a tiger. But if you live a life with chronic stress, you are consistently in that “fight, flight or freeze” mode, and are unable to come down to normal stress levels. Stress can make you tired. Stress can give you a stomach ache. Stress can give you a headache. Stress can make you a cranky parent.
make you tired
give you a stomach ache
give you a headache
make you a cranky parent
While I know it’s nearly impossible to eliminate the pressures on you and the stress you have in your life from your job and/or kids, it is TOTALLY possible to take action in preserving your well-being through self-care. For instance, you could ask your partner to watch the kids for 15 minutes while you soak in a hot bubble bath in silence. Maybe you put your phone on airplane mode and snuggle up with your book for 20 minutes. Or maybe you download the Headspace app and try a 5-minute meditation each day before work. Find something that lowers your stress level, and do it each day. It’s worth it. P.S. Did you know that the Remedial Massage restrictions have now been lifted in QLD? The ultimate stress buster!
JUST CHOOSE ONE THING AND GO FOR IT
And there you have it! Four small steps you can take to start living a healthier life. And no, you don’t have to do them all right now. Choose your favorite, and work on it. Then add in another in about a week or so.
Here’s the thing: We’re all used to putting our time and attention into our jobs and the people around us. But we also need to focus on what’s right in front of us: our health and wellness. There’s nothing worth investing in more than your physical & mental wellbeing. Spend a minute, make a small change, and see how you feel.
Thanks for reading, friends. And remember: if you know someone who needs a little kick in the tush to get started on being healthier, tag them in this post on FaceBook or send them the link in email, or print it out and staple it to their fridge. Whatever works for you!