Six (Not-so-secret) Secrets to a Healthy Life
In order to transform your mind and body into a Temple of Calm we have refined the art of good living down to six essential ingredients.
This may seem obvious as we all breathe from the moment we enter the world. But do we breathe properly? Numerous studies have confirmed what ancient cultures have always professed about the power of correct breathing. A full breath should take at least four seconds. Then hold for two to three seconds as you visualise the oxygen-rich air flow into your cells. As you exhale for four seconds imagine all the toxins and negative thoughts leaving your soul. Repeat this eight times whenever you can throughout the day. Particularly helpful when negotiating with a four year old pre-schooler!
Considering that 75% of our bodies are made up of H2O it makes sense to replenish the foundation of our existence throughout the day. Water also helps our body flush toxins (very important to drink lots of water after a gorgeous Lomi Lomi massage!), nourish the skin and increase our energy levels. It also helps to fill our tummies, so when you are craving that afternoon sugar hit, head to the water fountain first, you may find that H2O is the hit you've been looking for.
Food can be the bain of existence for mothers. "What are you cooking tonight?" can be heard echoing through mothers groups circles, playgrounds and school pickup lines. What to feed our children that is healthy and nutritional, and what in fact, is the most nutritional foods for all of us to be eating, as the hierarchy of the food pyramid keeps morphing over the years.
Through all the fad diets, the truth seems to shine through. Eat foods as close as possible to their original forms. Mostly vegetables, then fruits, clean proteins, carbs and fats. Moderation in everything is the key. Your healthy body will thank you and it will, in turn, be able to work harder at fighting off infection and disease.
Sleep, sleep, sleep, the ever elusive, golden "sleep" for the mother of a young child. It does get better as those babies grow, but it may never return to what it once was. Sleep is important for rebooting your system and gives your body and mind essential time to unwind, relax, and repair.
Sometimes you have to decide to:
1. tuck yourself into bed as soon as you've got the kids to theirs,
2. spend the night doing something nice for yourself, or
3. spend time connecting with your partner.
Gotta say, number one is my pick of the bunch!
And while we are talking sleep, a relaxing Lomi Lomi massage can help by calming the nervous system, relaxing muscles, reducing stress, and increasing serotonin levels which are often low in people suffering insomnia. Sounds pretty dreamy, huh?
5. Emotional Health
With mental health predicted to become the big issue of modern times, it's essential to allocate time and energy into your own mental well-being, to ensure we remain "hinged". Find out for yourself what it is that you need to feel sane. It could be a conversation with a grown up at least once a day, a walk in the fresh air, an exercise class, or special time to yourself, be it to get your hair done, nails, or have a massage.
It's ironic that in this era of social media and increased connectedness, many of us feel lonelier than those of previous generations. Be prepared to reach out to a friend if you fear they may be struggling to get through the day. Sometimes just a phone call can make a difference.
In these sedentary times it is crucial to keep moving. There are so many benefits to exercising - it is a great stress reliever and it produces endorphins which can contribute to a happier state of mind. It assists the heart and cardiovascular system to stay on top if it's game, boosts energy, enhances and deepens your sleep, and it can be great social activity to enjoy with a friend. You walk taller and you breathe deeper after exercise. So all in all, it is an important habit to enjoy. Thirty minutes a day is the recommendation, but just a walk around the block, or to the coffee shop and back is a great start.