Is it time to recharge the batteries?

Taking a week out in the sun in Winter is an ideal way to recharge the batteries. This year I went to Fiji for a week with the family and it made such a difference to have a mid year break. The question is how do you keep the batteries charged when you get back?

Think about incorporating some of the relaxing rituals from your holiday into your life on your return or use it as a chance to start eating better. Some useful options to consider could be:

  1. Daily walks – one thing you tend to do as a tourist is walk, often quite a lot more than you would normally. So once you have started why not keep it up. Walking along the beach is always relaxing and incorporating a weekly beach or bayside walk is ideal. The great thing about walking is you don’t need a lot of equipment and you can always walk to a coffee bar for a convenient top up.
  2. Being in nature – barefoot on the beach or on your back lawn. Walking the Corso in Manly is a great way to pick up your mood. Spending some time in nature each day really helps us stay grounded.
  3. Massage or other bodywork – incorporate this into your weekly or monthly schedule to help maintain your self and calm your cortisol. The village adjoining the resort in Fiji offered a one hour massage for about $30 Australian. Easier to afford at this price but with health funds rebating up to $30 for a treatment it could be a good way to add some self care on a regular basis. My clinic at St Ives has three excellent massage therapists offering lymphatic, craniosacral or remedial massage.
  4. Add greens to your diet. Again something simple and relatively easy to incorporate that will give you long term benefits. My breakfast in Fiji included sautéed okra and spinach, both locally grown so they were really tasty. Try adding spinach to your breakfast omelette or a salad at lunch.
  5. Eat seasonally it’s often cheaper and the food is usually in peak condition. The imperfect pick section in Harris Farm is usually a good indicator of what’s fresh , seasonal and well priced. At the moment lots of root vegetables and cauliflower as well as citrus and apples and pears.
  6. Hydrate ! If you can’t find someone to open a coconut for you at least drain the water bottle by lunch. We loved being able to enjoy the coconut water from a freshly opened coconut and then ate the young flesh from inside. Good hydration and good fats!

Christine Pope is an experienced naturopath based at Elemental Health St Ives. Appointments can be made on 8084 0081 or online at the Elemental website .

Stressed? No I’m F I N E

stress

What does it really mean when someone says I’m fine through gritted teeth – well usually the complete opposite. My acronmyn for F I N E is F—–ed up Insecure, Neurotic and Emotional. So how do we end up getting ourselves into that state?

Well if you are female you often blame your hormones and sometimes they can be the culprit, particularly when you are pre menstrual. Other times though its not so easy to find something external to blame so we need to think about how we keep ending up feeling like this.

One of the most common causes of feeling ‘FINE’ is forgetting to say No. Maybe its because we don’t want to say no – after all nice girls don’t do that. So if it is hard for you to say no try this ” I’d really love to (help you move house, mind your three horrible children, etc..) but that weekend is really busy and I just need to check my diary and get back to you”. Then give yourself a chance to decide honestly if this is something you want to do. If it is go ahead, if not text or email them that you are really sorry but you just can’t do it that weekend.

Once you get comfortable with delaying your answer then think about getting really brave and just saying NO. Start with baby steps – say no to canteen duty by email, then get brave and tell your kids to catch the bus home from school. Start carving out a little more time for you.

Once you carve out that time start spending it working on nourishing your health – regular exercise should be your first step. Even just walking 30 minutes a day can help reduce those feelings of being FINE!!