You don't feel great. You don't even feel good.
Maybe you don't sleep well. Maybe you have aches and pains. Maybe your digestion isn't brillliant. Maybe you have energy slumps, mood swings and just feel generally rubbish. You know you should feel better but you simply don't have the time to address all these issues.
Like many of my clients, your life is pretty demanding.
A job that takes up a lot of your time and thoughts.
People who rely on you.
A home to look after.
Maybe you feel like you don't have a spare minute to yourself and when you do, you are often too frazzled or anxious to enjoy it.
So do you give up all hope of feeling happier, more energised and healthier?
What I know is that feeling better is possible no matter how demanding your life is. The answer is simple.
what are your non-negotiables?
It could be a blow-up mattress, your pillow, a bottle of wine, a bag of marshmallows or some
sausages. It's the thing that no matter what, you have to have to make your trip enjoyable (or bearable!). It's non-negotiable.
When you feel too overwhelmed to start looking after yourself, it's helpful to think in similar terms.
What are the one or two absolute fundamentals that will keep you going no matter what?
What will make life in all of its complexity and changeability, bearable - enjoyable even?
I've learnt that my absolute non-negotiable health practices are drinking plenty of water and sleep. If I drink 2-3 litres of water a day and get 7 hours sleep a night I feel pretty good. No matter what else is happening in my life with work, family or worries, these fundamentals will keep me going. Even if I'm not eating as well as I could and not getting much exercise, these will make up my bedrock. If I slip up with the water or have a few bad nights sleep, I am irritable, less positive and I'm more likely to make other choices that I'd rather not! So these are my guiding lights, my North Pole, what I live by if you like.
But what if you have no idea what your fundamentals are because you've never had time to find out?
back to basics
Just pick one thing and experiment with it.
Walk instead of taking the bus. Take a few really deep breaths. Turn off your phone at 9pm and give yourself a few hours to wind down deliciously before bed. Swap your 3pm chocolate bar for an apple. Have a glass of water when you first wake up. It may seem too simplistic to make such a small change, but here is where the beauty lies. You may start to realise that these little, seemingly insignificant changes are actually making a difference to your day. You might notice that you don't start nodding off in your mid-morning meeting when you have an early walk. You might realise that you are not churning over your day in your head instead of getting a good night's sleep when you have a soothing evening bath.
And these little things have knock-on effects.
When you get enough sleep, you don't need to prop yourself up with sugar and caffeine. When you drink more water, you look better and feel more alert. When you are calmer, you make better decisions and are nicer to the people around you.
you can go higher
If 10 years ago, you had told me that in 2015 I would never get drunk, would have no caffeine and very little dairy, would have given up fizzy drinks and Haribo and the gym (and still been happy!), I wouldn't have believed it. It's only by doing things in increments and having my base layer of health habits that I have managed to change things for the better.
over to you?
Until next time,