Forgive me for swearing, but when we think about our health and happiness, why wait to the shit to hit the fan before we take action?
Why wait for a really bad breakout of spots before starting a great skincare routine?
What wait for a mole to be suspicious before making a decision to wear an SPF in the sun?
Why wait? Just why wait?
Stress can manifest itself in different ways to different people, and the important thing is to realise EARLY what your triggers are, and really thinking about the emotion behind them not to push them.
I had such a valuable discussion with a good friend today, who is helping me with eating healthy, and healthy weight loss (I have been having a time of it with the menopause for the last 3 years or so, and creeping weight gain is one of those things), and today we spoke about the value of meal planning, and really thinking about how I feel when I eat, what I eat, and when I eat.
Because I do a lot of gym work and running, in my head I feel that I deserve the bacon sandwich goddamn it, I do, but not 4 times a week.
If I asked you to get a grip on your stress levels, would you be able to identify who, or what your triggers are?
For me, the thing that has the biggest effect on my health is the quality of sleep I get. If I am feeling an kind of pressure externally, its my sleep that gets affected first, then the rest of me just doesn't cope. A crap nights sleeps happens every now and again, but consistently over a week is a signal that there's trouble at mill.
Coming back from stress and illness doesn't have a one size fits all approach, you have to make up your mind what works for you, but for what its worth, here is a rough guide from me, as to how to help yourself or a friend get out of a funk.
Reboot your internal clock - This is a big one for me, get protective over your sleep pattern, go to bed at the same time every night.
Exercise regularly - a wee half hour dance off is fantastic, or look something up online like Fitness Blender, or Yoga by Adrienne. My go to is Davina McCall. I take her DVDs with me any time I travel. winner winner. It doesn't even have to be this complicated. Fast paced walking is just fantastic, catch up with a chum whilst doing it too!
Pull the Weeds - Who or what in your life is a trigger? Whats working and whats really not working in your life, how can you heal it, or change it up? This is a really really difficult one to think about. No one really likes to admit that things aren't going according to plan.
Meditate and breathe - Breath in for 4 and out for 6. Set a 2 minute timer on your phone and just do it do it do it. Notice what you notice.
Reduce contamination - Ok, sounds serious doesn't it? I will put my hand up and say that hidden sugars are a bit thing for me, as well as cake, cake, cake, and peanut butter, and also a cheeky wee latte first thing in the morning. Sigh. Contamination could also be, food ladden with preservatives (did you know that Aldi and Lidl don't put any crap on their fruit and veg?). It could also be lighting in your office, and not getting enough fresh air.
Having a week think about products we use on our skin as well is a biggie here. Good skincare for men and women doesn't need to cost the earth. I'm currently using a moisturiser from Superdrug own Naturally Active range that I just love, and its lovely gloopy and thick one.
If you are reading this, and you are a lady, and you use wet wipes to cleanse your skin, NO! Just no!!!! You and me, we're going for coffee and we're going shopping. Think about this 'It's only one wet wipe... Said 8 million people'. You'll be doing yourself and the planet a favour by ditching the number of these you use.
I'm going to round off this post by getting you ( hey I have to do this too!) to really sit and think about your health. Do you know your number? Is someone was to ask you what your blood pressure was, would you know? Do you know your own blood type? I bet you know you've read this, someone will ask you!
Here's the big thing though.
Your best life ever, scoring 10 out of 10. What does it look like? What could you do now to help yourself get there?
Have fun with this.
Reduce your stress.
All the best