7 STEPS TO BETTER HEALTH
Health. A word that has taken a whole new level of importance in the current world climate, if your reading this in the future we are currently adjusting globally to the COVID 19 pandemic.
One thing though that is a concern for me more than our current situation is the possibility that after this is all done and the world returns to normal, we forget all the health measures implemented and what it really means to be "healthy".
So here are some things to remember that can positively impact our health, both physically and mentally.
- Get the mind "set"- The most important conversations we ever have, in the best and worst of times, are the one we have with ourselves. The language we use has a huge effect on our subconscious thoughts and behaviours. Questions/statements such as "I can't" or "can I" are usually not helpful, they lead to no action or a yes/no response. The best Language is the kind that leads us to solution-based thinking, an example would be "How can I?" or "What could I do?". This leads to a plan of attack with the desired result in mind, rather than a barrier.
- Have a schedule/plan or try to keep things as normal as possible. People love routine, whether its training at the same time each day, or having a glass of wine as soon as we walk in the door. To navigate this crazy time, a plan on what we need to do and when we need to do it, will give us structure to maintain as much normality as possible, something which is crucial for mental health. Whether its planning our food, our exercise or even just making sure that we put on a uniform if we are working from home, routines/plans give us a reference point and framework to use.
- Managing stress and anxiety- routines as mentioned above are great for this, as is adequate sleep but also quiet time especially now. Take a break from the media and devices in general. Good habits to have are using airplane mode on your phone 30mins before bed till 30mins- 1 hour after waking up. It gives you a break from all the stimulation that goes with It but also resets some of our hormones to help regulate subconscious levels of stress.
- Redefine your goals- With everything up in the air it's easy to forget that we still want to achieve things in life that are important to us. Whether it's a holiday, a fitness goal, a savings goal or a lifestyle goal, resetting them and reminding ourselves what is important to us is a great way to take back control and centre ourselves. Having that result/progression in mind gives us purpose and drive and often gets us to push that extra 1% we normally would avoid.
- Plan your food and find new ways to move- taking control again of what we put into our bodies in the best way to boost our immunity. Remember, a balanced diet of protein, veg, good quality carbs and fats, as well as fruit will cover most of the nutrient needs our bodies have. To cut a whole food group most of the time will just cause a massive drop in nutrient intake. Of course, medical needs are sometimes a factor though it seems to rarely end in a case of never eat that one food again…. Unless your allergic…. Then don't eat it. Finding new ways to exercise is also important, the studio or your gym being closed could be a barrier but could be a blessing in disguise. Ask yourself, "Ok so the studio/gym is closed, what can I do to keep exercising? What have I thought about trying or what do I know I enjoy that can temporarily fill the gap?" ….. Refer to point 1… See what I did there?
- Increase sleep- Sleep is massive for managing stress, recovering from training and the day, and resetting our hormonal balance. So, a few ways to increase/improve sleep are make the room as dark as possible, it kind of tricks the brain into relaxing. Have a shower/bath in the evening to help relax muscles and calm the brain. No tv, mobile, tablet or any other device use 30-40mins before bed. It emits something called blue light which shuts down our production of melatonin which aids in regulating the sleep cycle. Blue light tricks the pineal gland (where melatonin is produced) into thinking its daytime, so it drops production which causes us to feel more awake.
- Keep community while social distancing- Let's face it, we are social creatures. Watch what happens when restrictions get lifted, there will be pub crawls and corona parties, I'll put $100 on it. So, losing touch with our friends and family because of a Lockdown is tough to handle. Group calls, video sessions, group sessions and even a simple phone call over a text will be a massive win for our mental state.
The overall topic of health is huge! It will probably never get to a finale, with people always looking for ways to improve the human experience this article is just a small drop in an ever-expanding ocean. I hope this drop though is one that resonates with you and provokes you to look at your own situation to find ways to improve your health in some capacity by even just that 1% per day. Over year that is a 365% improvement. Could be worth it right?
*Disclaimer: Individual results vary based on agreed goals. Click here for details.