Getting Back to Basics

Many articles written this time of year focus on New Years resolutions, goals for the new year, how to have a better year this year...  which in many cases is fraught with potential to lose focus, feel pressured and committing to things that are not achievable.  

I would like to suggest to re-connect with you.  The busy holiday period can put us out of touch with our bodies and our environment.  With Christmas parties, visiting relatives, friends, trying to squeeze as much in as possible and 'relaxing' the diet and exercise routine we can get caught up in a whirlwind of fun, excitement and for many, stress.  This can leave us feeling tired, cranky and not able to think clearly.

Use this time of 'new' whatever you like to call it to listen to your body, calm your mind and re-connect.  Some simple tips to think about are:

1) Am I drinking enough water? An average quantity to aim for is 1.5L - 2L a day. (this will increase if you are exercising or working outdoors)

2) Am I get enough nutrients from my diet? Eating 2 serves of fruit and 5 serves of vegetables a day is your target.  Yes, really....(Base a serve on the size of your palm, so for children it will still be the same number of serves, just smaller quantities)

3) Include protein at every meal (even snacks). Such as chicken, fish, lean meat, cheese, nuts and seeds.  If you are vegetarian, this includes you, just look for suitable options, such as legumes, nuts / nut butters, quinoa, chickpeas and beans.

4) Be aware of how much sugar is in your diet. This can be contributing to why you are lethargic and foggy in the head.  There is approximately 4 grams of sugar in a teaspoon.  Start reading the labels on the packaged food you eat. Do some basic maths and divide your serving size by 4g to see how many teaspoons a day you are actually eating.  By US standards they should aim for 6 or less teaspoons a day. (Sounds like a lot)

5) Aim for 40 minutes of exercise, 3 - 4 times a week. Choose something that you enjoy. You will need to break a sweat for it to count.

6) How much time do you take to just relax? Check out this free meditation app - Stop, Breathe and Think.  If you think you don't have time for that, then this is the app for you! It will give you options from 4 minute to 30 minute guided meditations.  So no excuses.

Just by getting back to basics you should start to feel less tired and a bit clearer after a week or two.  For those of you that don't feel much improvement, I would suggest a health review by a qualified Naturopath to make a comprehensive assessment.  There may be other underlying reasons for the way you feel that can't be simply explained by the Christmas period.  If you have failed to get back on track too many times you could be accumulating some more serious health issues. 

Take the time to notice how you are feeling - that's a great New Years gift to yourself.

Michelle McCoskerComment