The unprecedented circumstances of lockdown and social distancing may have put a strain on the mental and physical health of you and your family. Of course, you desperately want to put things right — but with the overwhelming demands on the NHS, you may have — in most cases, quite rightly, avoided taking up the valuable time of medical care professionals.
So perhaps for the first time, through recommendation or through frustration, you’ve been searching for an alternative, effective approach to supporting the general well-being of you and your family.
The good news is that sometimes all we actually need to soothe body and mind is to implement a few simple lifestyle changes. And as time goes on, perhaps like me, you’re finding that those changes don’t have to be big and dramatic, they just need to become routine.
Slow progress is better than no progress.
We’re all different, but you don’t know what will work for you or what you will enjoy, until you try it! Here are a few effective, healthy routines that have worked for me and my family:
Exercising: Walking in nature, even at a moderate pace has a noticeable calming effect. Yoga or team sports relieve stress and moodiness. Physical activity also trains your brain.
Meditating daily: Even brief sessions of mindfulness produce major mental health benefits. Regular practice eases stress and social anxiety as you increase your self-awareness and compassion. (See below for a free downloadable meditation track)
Sleeping well: Psychological issues can interfere with your sleep, and lack of sleep can make symptoms more difficult to manage. Break the cycle by sticking to a regular bedtime and keeping your bedroom dark and quiet. If you should need additional help — there are many natural supplements to aid sleep, rather than resorting to pharmaceutical drugs.
Eating healthily: Most adults can get enough vitamins and other nutrients from a balanced diet. But as you’ll know — that’s easier said than done. Despite our best efforts and avoiding the obvious ‘no-no’ foods; it may be that we need a little booster. A couple of likely examples that spring to mind, are i) Vitamin D — which helps with mood regulation and brain function. Egg yolks and sunshine are both great sources of this essential vitamin. Although eggs are easy enough to come across, if you live in the UK, access to sunshine can be a bit hit and miss to say the least! So a quality Vitamin D supplement might just do the trick. ii) B12 is important in keeping up energy levels and having a healthy heart. But if you’re vegan (as I am), there’s a very good chance that you won’t be getting enough of this vitamin since it’s found mainly in animal products. Again, a supplement can address the problem.
Taking Supplements: A word of caution though! Beware the rapidly growing supplement market. Fake or low-quality products aren’t going to support you and aren’t worth the money however great a bargain you’ve found. So my advice would be that, if you do decide to support your health with a supplement, search online for recently up-dated and reputable sites for the recommended strengths and dosage for your condition. And do tell your regular doctor what you’re planning to do! (Especially important if you are already on prescribed medication.) Always check the quality of the product you’re buying — especially if it’s an online purchase. Is it a specialised website or is it a ‘we sell everything and anything to make a quick buck’ website? Are you buying from a general high street store or a health shop? Although this is not an infallible rule, give yourself the best chance of improving your health & wellbeing by purchasing from a specialist supplier. I’ve included links to a few resourceful sites below.
Give your body the chance to heal itself. It’s smarter than you think.
No matter how skeptical we may have been in the past regarding natural remedies and alternative therapies, as we come through this lockdown period, there’s never been a more appropriate moment in time to acknowledge that our health is the most valuable commodity we can have.
I’m not suggesting that vitamins, supplements, exercising and natural remedies should replace medical advice. They won’t provide a solution to every health condition, but they certainly have the potential to offer a better quality of life in many cases.
I’ll leave you with this lovely, on-point quote from the great motivational speaker Jim Rohn: “Look after your body, it’s the only place you have to live.”
Feel free to download the meditation tracks and take a look at the links below.
For info about Vitamin Supplements: https://www.nhs.uk/common-health-questions/food-and-diet/do-i-need-vitamin-supplements/
To find out about Homeopathy: https://bhma.org/
For vitamins & supplements, https://organicsecrets.co.uk