When it comes to your health and being your best self, life always seems to get in the way. To make time for the gym, cooking healthy unprocessed food from scratch, meditation, all that good stuff, taking any time out for yourself is almost impossible when you have work / family, priorities. Yet the little voice is always there in the background nagging us that we are not doing what we should be doing.
So this is not a blog about those sort of changes. This is about doing the things you normally do but just ‘tweaked’ to make ‘you’ better. You don’t even have to get into the science of it, although if you want to there are loads of links in this article. Some of them you can do while you are getting on with life. Others will take 15 minutes max of your time. Everybody has at least 15 minutes for themselves right?!?
Anthony Robbins says that our rituals define us. Set reminders on your phone. Write little notes over the house. Get friends and family to join in too so that you can remind each other. Doing them everyday they will soon become part of you and your mind, body and spirit will be much changed for it.
Anthony Robbins on rituals Here
*Tweak your sleep.
Get rid of any pollution in the bedroom. Light, electricity, Wi-Fi signals. A bad sleep can not only lead to tiredness during your waking hours but eventually serious health and mental problems such as depression, confusion, heart disease and cancers.
Melatonin is a hormone that is produced by the pineal gland. It regulates sleep and wakefulness. The darker a room is, the more melatonin you produce. The slightest bit of light, even a light from a phone charger or a television can disrupt the production of this hormone.
I have done over 20 years of night shift work and it was one of the main influencers of my health as I didn’t take proper precautions on light proofing my bedroom during the day. I was always tired and sad.
At least an hour before bed, cut out reading from any tablets, phones, laptops , they emit blue light. This blue light also delays the production of melatonin and keeps you hyper when you are trying to sleep. The same with energy efficient light bulbs, the light they emit has the same effect. There is a proven link between lack of melatonin and breast cancer.
Your body, when you sleep, is alive with electrical impulses that heal and regenerate cells. Electrical appliances, electrical wires, Wi-Fi signals, phone signals give off electrical fields a thousand times stronger than your own. They disrupt the healing, regeneration process. This can lead to headaches, depression, hyperactivity and even learning disabilities. Your body is a conductor for this electricity. Unless you are grounded or earthed (Bare feet touching the earth) which you are not when you are in bed.
(Tweak) Remove from the bedroom, cell phones and all electrical appliances. Switch off the Wi-Fi. If you have any outlets by the bed and are overly worried as they do emit electrical fields, try an Earthing mat (Buy easily online). Make sure that you have heavy curtains to cut out light and if the room isn’t dark enough wear a sleep mask. Try and get your children into a habit of sleeping in darkness.
I cannot give you any advice about melatonin supplements, which are widely available online and through pharmacists. I hear both the good and bad about them. Speak to your holistic therapist or doctor for advice if you are having specific sleep concerns.
A big resource on Earthing Here
Great video on why we need to earth Here
Tips on a great nights sleep. National sleep foundation Here
*Tweak your relaxation
This is one that I have a problem trying to change. I love to lounge and I thought that I was off the hook because I do a daily gym session. Was I wrong!
The Mayo Clinic says that a study comparing adults who spent less than two hours a day in front of a screen, television, computer etc to adults who spent more than four hours doing the same. The latter subjects had a 50% increase in death by any cause. 125% risk of heart disease, angina and heart attack. Sitting more than eight hours a day increased the likelihood of type 2 diabetes by 90%. It was not the screen viewing, it was the sitting!
Then there are the ‘Active Couch Potatoes’ Those who do exercise then sit down for the rest of the day at work. The sitting down actually counteracts all the good work you did earlier in the day.
(Tweak) Aim for at least 10,000 steps, a fitness tracker can help with this. Park the car further away, Look into a standing desk for work or maybe a seated bicycle under the desk. Dr Mercola even suggests using an exercise ball as a seat. Your body will be continually moving as you are balancing on it.
Set your timer to get up for ten minutes out of every hour sitting, walk around, shake, stretch. Too much sitting in the car is also a problem, take regular breaks. Even standing instead of sitting with the everyday tasks that you do makes a difference.
Dr James Lavine. Author of Get Up. Why your chair is killing you and what you can do about it. Video Here
*Tweak your walk
Shoes are fantastic aren’t they? They are what separates us from animals. I have friends that would kill for particular types of them. But, are they good for you? Apparently not.
A lifetime of shoes means that your feet are insulated from the outside world. You walk differently. Toes are squished. Feet sweat and smell. Corn, bunions and calluses. Shoe wearing is something you think of as natural but it definitely isn’t.
Our feet are covered in thousands of nerve endings and acupuncture points. Walking barefoot stimulates these points, activating energy throughout the body. In shoes, our feet and ankle muscles become weak, they are prone to injury, twists and sprains. We lose our sense of what’s beneath us, our toes should be spread out and agile. Their job is to grip and adjust to different surfaces. Without shoes we become more surefooted. Because we walk differently with bare feet our body and posture adjusts. You walk more efficiently with correct equilibrium. Your body is in balance.
Related to Earthing (Grounding) above. The earth gives off loads of negatively charged electrons, this is a good thing. With bare feet you draw these into your body. They neutralize free radicals which cause disease in the body. Any harmful electrical fields emanating from household electronics pass harmlessly through the body and into the ground through bare feet (or sitting or lying on the ground). Studies show that people who regularly ‘ground’ or ‘earth’ themselves sleep better, experience less pain and stress. It also strengthens the immune system.
For me, just slipping the shoes off, taking a walk in the grass, does me good. Take off your shoes around the house. If its cold maybe slip on a pair of socks made with natural materials (Although people who walk regularly with bare feet do say that their feet are generally warmer) If you are trying it outdoors, avoid ground that has animal droppings, and littered. Try 30 minutes at a time, then go on for longer periods. At work, if possible, slip off your shoes at your desk regularly. Wiggle your toes, feel the ground, imagine the exchange of energy through the bottom of your soles.
There is a lot of equipment, including thin soled shoes with individual toes (Vibram is a good brand), shoes with copper in the soles so that the feet are directly in contact with the earth. Also earthing mats and bands.
Here are a couple of articles and links if you would like to look into it further.
Walking barefoot article Gaia Here
Mick Dodge The story of a wildman who healed himself by going barefoot Here
*Tweak your morning routine
The first thing that you do in the morning, before cleaning your teeth, is to cleanse inside. A room temperature glass or two of filtered water or a glass of warm water with lemon is the most wonderful way to remove toxins released from the cells during sleep and to get the body hydrated, ready for the day.
Lemon juice contains vitamin C and minerals to give you energy and protection from colds and other viruses. Although it is acidic to taste, once in the body, it becomes alkaline. When your insides are alkaline, digestion improves, immune system strengthen, healthier skin and reduction of candida (yeast)
People who weigh less than 150 pounds should use half a lemon, over 150 pounds a whole lemon. Fill the rest of the cup with warm water. Make sure to drink with a reusable straw (Too much lemon juice can damage tooth enamel) Reusable straws can be ordered easily online. Made out of stainless steel, silicon, etc, much heathier and sustainable.
If you wanted to look more into the health benefits of drinking water there is a link below to Water Therapy. Although I have not tried it myself, some people swear by the internal cleansing and health benefits of it. I also said that the post was called ‘tweaks’ and the water therapies are time intensive and as with everything, do your own research and refer to your holistic therapist or doctor before starting a therapy such as this one.
Extra info. The minimum amount of water that you should drink each day should be
2 glasses of water after waking up – helps activate internal organs
1 glass of water 30 minutes before a meal – helps increase digestive juices.
1 glass of water before taking a shower or bath – helps lower blood pressure
1 glass of water before going to bed – avoids stroke or heart attack
The links are helpful if you would like to explore more.
Dr Axe. Benefits lemon water Here
David Wolfe’s view on water therapies Here
*Tweak your flexibility
I know I said that I wouldn’t mention exercise but I am going to sneak this one in as there are so many benefits and you can spend ten minutes or however little time you have free.
In yoga, there is the practice called Sun Salutations. It is a series of twelve poses that are done in sequence. They can be done at any time of day, just make sure its on an empty stomach. Start off with two to four sequences and work your way up to ideally twelve. Do not over stretch and start off gently.
Of course it is not an overall workout and it would be ideal to dedicate time for a whole session of exercise if you can but the good thing about sun salutations are that it works out every part of your body. Works on the digestive and nervous systems. Endocrine and thyroid systems. Circulation. Reduces depression.
Deeper breathing during the practice makes you more alert with more energy. Increases flexibility in spine and tones abdominals.
If you can find at least 10 minutes in your day, preferably at the same time each day, it will make a difference and it will give you the inspiration to exercise longer.
A great beginners sun salutation video Here
*Tweak your mind
Your thoughts create your reality! Plain and simple. Todays science is proving true what spirituality has been teaching us for generations. See my post here.
Set your alarm ten minutes or more before you have to wake up. Sit in silence, enjoy the peace before your day starts. Now say ‘Thank you’ To God, to Spirit, to life for the little things. Family, friends, health, the sleep you just had, your home. However bad life is, there is always something to be thankful for, I think. Even the smallest things.
Then set your intention for the day. What do you want to achieve? How do you want your day to go? Picture it going well, see yourself achieving those goals, see your day going seamlessly and joyously.
Believe me, seeing your day how you would like it to go and being thankful for everything, without the feeling of lack, will have an effect on your spirit, and your health. Your happier, more focused, frame of mind will attract good things to you.
Well Buttoneers, it’s your turn. What are your tweaks? Do you do any of the above and it has or hasn’t changed you? Let us know below.