It feels as though time is getting faster. Surely we only just waved in the year of 2014? How can we be waving farewell so quickly?!
If you look back over your year, was it a success? Were there things you would do differently? Perhaps some things you didn't achieve? Well, luckily for you, 2015 is here, and so is another chance to create the life you are searching for.
As a practitioner, I love to see people set goals towards improving their physical and mental health, and I love working with them to achieve their goal.
Our cells constantly regenerate. Our body is always making new cells to replace the ones that are sick, dead or dying. Essentially, every seven years we have had every cell replaced. In other words…… we have a brand new body. There's no reason you can't make changes now, however small, to make your new body in seven years healthier than the one you have now!
So to get you started, here I my tips to make 2015 your best year yet.
1. SET YOUR GOALS
Get a pen and paper. Sit down somewhere that makes you feel calm and inspired (Lennox Point? Lake Ainsworth? Perhaps your own balcony?). When writing goals, it's important to do three things:
a) Be specific. Don't just write "Exercise every day". Put in the details. The more specific you are the better. If you want to exercise more, actually write what you want to do. "Go to the gym three times per week (every Monday/Wednesday/Friday) for 1 hour". "Surf every morning". You get the idea.
b) Set a deadline, or a start date. Hold yourself accountable. You will be more likely to achieve it.
c) Reward yourself for achieving your goal. Giving yourself a "thank you" activates reward-centres in the brain and helps to encourage repeat behaviour.
2. DRINK MORE WATER
Sounds simple, but almost every person I assess is dehydrated, some chronically. Dehydration symptoms can be missed. Do you feel tired all the time? Living in a wave of brain fog? Suffer headaches or migraines? Constipation? Do you have high blood pressure? These are just a few signs of dehydration. My tip for working out the amount of water you should be drinking is to divide your body weight by 25. So if you way 75kg, you should be drinking 3L of water. Make sure you also have access to good salts, such as Himalayan Rock Salt to keep your tissue salts in balance.
3. IMPROVE YOUR SLEEP HYGIENE
It is not uncommon for patients to tell me that before they go to sleep they watch TV, or they read their Kindle or play on their tablet or phone. These are all bad pre-bedtime habits! In order to sleep well, minimise time spent on technology in the last 2 hours before bed (avoid it altogether in the last hour if possible). Do not sleep next to your phone. If you absolutely must use your phone as an alarm clock, put it on aeroplane mode whilst you sleep. Your bedroom should be dark, cool and quiet. If there is a street light shining right on your bed, close the curtains. Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day - get your body into a routine. Lavender oil on your pillow can help you drift off, or, better yet, practice meditation or progressive relaxation.
4. TRY NOT TO EAT THINGS THAT COME IN A PACKET
Here we are blessed to be able to buy our food organic from local farmers at markets almost every day of the week. Take advantage of it! You will find me every Thursday morning at Byron Bay Growers Market, grocery shopping has become an outing that I really look forward to and enjoy. Ultimately, if you can't fit organic foods into your budget, at least avoid foods that come in packets. Try to only eat fresh produce. Avoid refined sugar, and minimise your intake of fruit sugar. If I were to summarise, you need to ensure you get your proteins (eggs, meat, fish, quinoa, chia seeds, legumes etc), your good fats (avocado, fatty fish such as salmon, nuts, olives, flaxseeds etc), and complex carbohydrates (sweet potato, whole grains, nuts, seeds and legumes).
5. MAKE TIME FOR THINGS THAT MAKE YOU HAPPY
In our modern world it is all too easy to get caught up in an eat-work-sleep cycle. It's important to put the right fuel in your body, but it is equally important to keep your mind happy too. Try not to push aside the things you enjoy doing for the sake of 1 more hour of work. Go for that surf or swim or walk. Take your children to the park. If you aren't mentally happy, your body will start to follow suit, as you hold onto your negative thoughts or emotions. Every body deserves a little time to spend doing the things that release their stress and increase their endorphins. Don't feel guilty! You are worth it! You will find you will work more efficiently during the day and sleep better at night if you do this.
This is your year.
Make it your best yet.
2015 ….. here we come!