As Naturopaths part of what we love is dispense herbs and nutritional vitamins to help support your health needs. I feel that it’s just as important for you to have life style tools you can have at your disposal. I wanted to share with you tools to help you through the times of your life when things just get a little crazy, potentially overwhelming, or when you just need a moment to yourself.
AWARENESS OF BREATH
Take time each day to check in with your quality of breath. Make sure your getting your breathing into your belly with the inhale, and allow for the fall as your exhale. This is important to help stimulate our Vegas Nerve which is part of our automatic nervous system. When we are taking short sharp breaths we can be more in our stress response, by focusing on expanding the belly with the inhale, and lengthening through the exhale, can helps us to come more into our relaxed state.
There is so much emerging evidence on the effects of gratitude and the effects on our brains. By practicing Gratitude daily it has been shown to produce a feeling of long lasting happiness and contentment. In a time of year where we can feel we don’t have enough, or we are not enough, practicing gratitude helps us to create a positive and grateful nature within ourselves. In circumstances where being with family is stressful, it’s important to practice gratitude to remind us of what is important and to ground us in the present moment.
It is ok to say no. In a time where it feels as if we have to commit to every social event, it is important to set boundaries and honour the times when we are tired. December one of the most intense times of years and learning to say no is important. Christmas time is a break that many of us need. When we fill it with the pressure of social obligations, is it even a break? Pushing ourselves and not listening to our bodies is how we begin to feel more burnt out than rested.
Life is about balance but it can be hard to practice moderation over the holidays. Don’t be afraid to indulge but make sure you listen to your body and what it’s telling you. Heavier foods can leave us feeling lethargic, so balance this out with fresh whole foods during the day. However, above anything else, be kind to yourself about your eating during this time. Some of the horrible things we say to ourselves, we would never say to anyone else; notice the judgement but don’t become it. Our internal dialogue can create a stress response and thus have more detrimental effects on our health. Allowing yourself to enjoy your meals, whether they nourish your soul or your body.
Time to get outside in nature and get our feet into the soil and/or sand. Emerging evidence is beginning to track the effects of Earthing. A termed relating to when we put our barefeet onto the ground. So far, Earthing has been shown to improve sleep, normalise the day and night rhythm, reduce pain and stress, help to us into our Parasympathic Nervous System (required for procreation, sleep and digestion).
GET SOME TIME IN THE SUNSHINE
On top of this, by getting outside we’re also optimising our time in the sun to build our Vitamin D levels. In Victoria, we tend to have lower levels due to a lower UV strength over winter, so summer is our time to build our stores.
Most of all, I hope you prioritise your own individual mental and physical health needs. We all need something different and this time of year can be a fantastic opportunity to reflect and listen to our bodies, and then prioritise these needs within our daily routines.
I hope that these tools, slowly become habits that you practice daily. Little reminders of how to keep on top of every day stress preventing them from taking over our lives. As always, I am here to support you however I can.