In today’s modern world of busyness and distraction, our health and well-being is challenged like never before. After spending over 10 years practising as a community Pharmacist, I was able to see the rising scale in chronic diseases and lifestyle-related ill-health such as obesity, type two diabetes, autoimmunity, digestive disorders, anxiety and depression. Many of these illnesses are related to the amount of daily stress we are experiencing and the style in which we are living our lives.
For us to regain control over our health and well-being, I believe it is extremely important that we start to really to implement an integrative approach to our lifestyles. Which acts not only to maintain and provide energy, vitality and peace of mind in our current lives but also serves to act as a preventative measure to help reduce the likelihood of getting or acquiring Ill health later in our lives.
What we do each and every day in the present moment is either creating a future of health and happiness or generating a future of Ill – health and sickness.
As humans being, we all want to have more ‘ease’ in our lives and less ‘dis-ease’.
12 step daily health and well-being guide that can help us with our health and wellness journey to sustained and better health
1. The Medicine of Movement
The physical benefits of movement, such as walking, running, yoga, stretching, swimming, dancing, pilates, hiking etc. are well known, but there is much more to it than getting a good workout. It helps you to connect with your body and allows you to release trapped or suppressed emotions that may be held within. The word Emotion means energy in motion – therefore, our emotions need to be moved out of the body. Exercise and movement also help produce endorphins which are our own natural internal Morphine – hence generating our own pain relieve and blissful state. Try starting small by doing 5 – 10 mins of walking/stretching a day. Then build it up bit by bit. Find something you like to do. Make it fun. Do it with a colleague or a friend. Enjoy the journey.
2. Practice Deep Breathing
The power of your breath is extremely powerful and when used correctly and regularly has powerful healing effects. It is one of the best way to reduce stress, heart rate, blood pressure and overall anxiety and fear.
Take a moment to stop, breathe in through your nose. Send the breath to your belly and let it rise. Pause at the top of your inhale and then breathe out slowly through the mouth. Let your belly fall as you breathe out. Repeat this regularly throughout the day for greater well-being.
The benefits of meditation practice are numerous and includes the reduction of stress, a clearer mindset, more inner ease and a clearer connection to who you are and what you want out of life. It is often the cornerstone of a well-being routine. Meditation does not mean sitting crossed legged under a tree. It can be done anywhere. Try sitting for 5 or 10 minutes and just being still. If you are new to meditation use a guided audio meditation like a body scan to help you focus. Use a breathing technique as described above. Let all the busyness and the mental noise and chatter of the mind be observed but don’t judge or cling to it. Simply just see the thoughts as clouds and let them keep moving. Come home to your breath or the guided meditation. By practising this regularly, you will become more present to your mind and body and more connected to your soul, which brings about a greater sense of clarity, connection and ease in your everyday life.
4. Practice mindful moments
Mindful moments allow you to press pause on life and just be in the moment. These moments can include mindful walking or mindful meditation in nature – breathing in the fresh air, feeling the pavement under your feet, and seeing the wide-open sky are subtle ways that ground and nourish the senses. Any moment in any day can be mindful if we choose it to be and we cultivate the awareness to be more present. By slowing down your tasks and making the ordinary extraordinary – we generate magical Mindful and grateful moments – brushing your teeth, washing the dishes, driving the kids to school, doing the shopping, etc. Make the mundane special. This is how we create sparkle and magic to our lives. These tasks have to be done anyway – why not be more mindful in them and make them more enjoyable.
5. Clear your space and environment
Declutter your car, your bedroom, your home regularly. You are constantly exchanging energy and information with others, and it’s natural that you may end up being affected in some way. It’s hard to connect to your true self and feel energised or healthy if you are feeling tired or dragged down. Smudging using a particular incense or sage is a great way to clear your space (including mental space). Burning essential oils is also a lovely way to create an uplifting aroma in your home. Whether it’s the power of scent to uplift or the intention of clearing negative energy, it works.
Journaling is another way to tap into the deep recesses of your mind and heart, generating more ease and less dis-ease. The act of writing sifts and processes thoughts and emotions. Problems, worries, and negative emotions can crowd the mind and dampen your spirit. Get it all down on paper and see what happens. New insights might be revealed. Journaling can be a nice complement to a morning or evening well-being routine.
7. Spend time in nature
Being in nature heals. The smell of the earth, the sound of birds or water, the sight of trees, or waves crashing on the shore make your senses come alive. You can’t help but disconnect from the day and bask in the healing that comes when surrounded by nature. You are in the moment and there is a sense of experiencing something greater than yourself. Take time as often as you can to spend time in nature even if it’s just for a few minutes.
8. Develop a sense of community and a social network for enhanced connection
Surround yourself with good people who inspire, motivate and challenge you to be the best version of yourself. People who care deeply for you and for your authentic well-being. Join a gym, a class, or volunteer. Surround yourself with people who will raise you up.
9. Unplug from technology
While technology is a blessing, it also has the downside of being extremely distracting and causes stress, strain and time loss.
Set aside time during dinner where all phones are put away or have no phone or technology in the bedroom rule, try choosing a day or an hour each day where you will detach from texting, checking social media, and responding to emails. You will begin to experience a richer life.
10. Read inspiring material
This sounds simple but can make a difference to your outlook on life. Notice what you are exposed to on a daily basis and how it makes you feel. Are you inundated with information from many sources and it’s not all positive? As a result, it can sometimes be hard to feel inspired or uplifted. Make it a point to have on your bookshelf or nightstand a book or other reading material that inspires you. Right before bed, rather than thinking about your day and any worries, have your last thoughts be positive. Reading a few pages in the morning can also be a nice start to the day.
11. Wholesome Foods & Beverages
What we eat plays a huge role in our overall health and well-being. Try going back to basics as much as possible by eating real wholesome natural food, mainly plant based and reduce/cut out processed, chemicalised, artificial food. Reduce sugar and stimulants such as caffeine and alcohols and make sure you are adequately hydrated. Try taking a probiotic supplement to support immunity and gut health and where possible purchase organic food or from a local source. Eat with the seasons and listen to your body. Eat intuitively and eat slowly.
12. Rest, Recovery & Sleep
How many hours sleep do you get a night? We are all different but the recommendation is somewhere between 7-9hrs. It’s an improvement we also incorporate little rests and mini holidays throughout the day. Rest is vital for our bodies and minds to repair and reset. Without adequate rest, we will burn out and get sick. Find moments to pause throughout your day. Find some space. Take a few deep breaths /to go outside for 5 mins / take a few stretches. By taking these mini-breaks every 90 minutes, you improve clarity, concentration, focus and ease and create a greater sense of overall health, vitality and happiness.