Today I was making a mental checklist of the things I have learnt contribute to my wellbeing. I wanted to see if I was on track to looking after myself. I know when I don't listen to my body and don't do these things how it effects me. I find I go through times of forgetting this knowledge and then I may get sick or fatigued and then remember to get back on track again. I'm a work in progress. So I decided to share 10 of these things that make me feel good with you :)
1. I Go Barefoot
I try to go barefoot on the earth every day, whether it is walking on the grass or on the sand at the beach. Scientifically researched it has been found there is a relationship between our bodies and the electrons in the ground. There are many health benefits found with going barefoot on the soil and not only that, it does the muscles in your feet some good to be able to stretch and move like nature intended. Apparently walking on the bare earth after rain or when there is dew increases the benefits!
( Recommended reading: Earthing by Clinton Ober, M.D. Stephen T Sinatra and Martin Zucker)
2. I Drink Water
Yes I know, you've heard it many times before, drink enough water! But seriously, up to 60% of our body is made up of water. A lot of the time when I find myself hungry or with a headache it is simply because I haven't had enough water. I try to remember to carry water with me everywhere I go, even to the movies is a good idea so you aren't tempted to buy soft drink ( of which is highly addictive!).
( Recommended reading: Your Bodies Many Cries for Water by F Batmanghelidj)
3. I Love the Sun
People don't realise the importance of vitamin D and how even here in Australia deficiency is a huge problem. Because we are taught about being mindful of skin cancer it has meant we have become wary of the sun and as a result are not getting enough of this vitamin. Our body stores vitamin D up ready for use in times of no sunshine. I try to get some unprotected sun exposure every day, on the legs and arms is best because of the larger surface area. Just 10 minutes a day helps but you need to be in the sun, you won't get the benefits of sunlight through a window.
( Recommended reading: The Vitamin D Solution by Michael F Holick )
4. I Cherish Sleep & Naps
Did I mention how much I love sleeping? It is completely underrated. We are often told successful people get by on only a small amount of sleep. This is a completely untrue. I am aware of some of the things I do that don't help me get a good nights sleep which include: eating or drinking too late at night, being on my phone or computer too late ( mind too stimulated) being too hot or too cold in bed or the room not being dark enough, worrying about things. Things that help sleep include: sleeping naked, making sure you are not too hot, the room being really dark ( too much light affects your melatonin production in the body) and also having lavender oil on your pillow helps. I try to have things 'finished' and anything worrying me written down before I go to sleep to get it out of my brain. Apparently having as much exposure to outdoor light as much as possible during the day will help you sleep. These days if I am in a position to do so I will have a nap. I am a huge fan of naps and believe it is a natural thing for us to submit to the sleepiness. In fact a study by NASA found that a 40 minute nap increases alertness by 100%. Our brain is processing everything and then we wake up more alert to ready to take on the world again. On the weekend I went for a long beach walk and on the way back in the afternoon there was a lot of fit and healthy looking surfers laying around having a nap under the tree. They know what is good for them!
5. I Avoid Chemicals On my Skin
I used to work with spraying chemicals on a farm and then later worked as a cleaner using harsh chemicals including bleach. This was over years and then one day I got very sick and was extremely unwell for about a month. I found my body became extremely sensitive to everything I put on it including my usual shampoo, toothpaste and soap to name a few. It lead me to do some research into what was causing these reactions. I developed rosacea on the face ( of which I still have but it is manageable) and itchy peeling skin from the different cosmetics and shampoos. Even my toothpaste started to make my mouth react in similar ways. I had always been interested in using natural products but now I found that I didn't have a choice so the journey began into finding great alternatives. I will do a blog post on some of my favourite products one day but in the meantime do be aware that our skin is the largest organ of the body and is absorbing all the manufactured chemicals you are putting onto it into the bloodstream. Eventually something's gotta give! Recently Troy bought me some lovely smelling body care products with love thinking I would be fine using them but after one use my body reacted badly to the Sodium Laurel Sulphate in them. Unfortunately I had to throw them out.
( Recommended reading: Chemical Free Home by Robin Stewart and The Chemical Maze by Bill Stratham)
6. I Avoid Ingesting Chemicals
This one I struggle with because I love food so much and I do often find myself wanting some convenient junk food. I usually pay for it though because I am so sensitive to chemicals in food. One of the worst is MSG ( have a look at the ingredients on the next chip packet you are eating from and see if the number 621 is on there, this number is another name for MSG also known as Monosodium L Glutamate). As an example MSG is in so many prepackaged foods as it is a 'flavour enhancer'. It also can cause headaches, asthma, nausea and vomiting. All of these things seem to happen to me when I ingest food with it, I also find my skin breaks out in zit city. I have a weakness of those cheap packets of Indo noodles and find I react to it the worst. MSG again. Once you start looking at the 'numbers' on the back of prepackaged food and find out what these things can do to you then you will never look at them the same again. Wondering why you got a headache after you ate? Check the label! You have to get this book and start educating yourself, you might find the reason for some of your ailments you have been curious about:
( Recommended reading: The Chemical Maze by Bill Stratham)
7. I move
I used to work in womens fitness and I found there were many reasons people didn't move but one of the main ones I found was they were trying to do things they hated when it came to exercise. So it is inevitable you will give up if that is the case. Find something fun ( or at least tolerable) you like to do that fits into your lifestyle. It doesn't have to be joining the gym if the thought of that makes you cringe. As long as you keep moving it gets the lymphatic system going and gets the endorphins flowing. Once you get into good habits of moving at least 30 minutes a day it becomes a no brainer. It's getting into those habits to begin with that is the challenge. For me at the moment I enjoy beach walks ( good excuse to take photos ), zumba ( I used to do classes but I also have an X-BOX I do zumba programs to in my living room). I'm also getting into boxing and hula hooping. Boxing is awesome, I have a male mannequin that I punch that is made for boxing and it's great for frustration! And hula hooping is quite meditative and you can keep learning and improving so it makes it fun. Don't forget the importance of strength training, it is so important ( some might say more important than cardio). I recommend getting a personal trainer or a trainer at the gym to show you the basics of using hand weights to incorporate into your routine. I also love body resistance training, that is using the weight of your own body for strength training and you can do it anywhere! Think sit ups, planks etc. And to the ladies out there, don't stress, you're not going to look like a man by doing weight training. We don't have enough testosterone required for that. Oh and one more thing I love to do of course is ... dance! Even if it's just around my own lounge room! ;)
( Recommended reading: You are Your Own Gym by Mark Lauren
8. I Unclutter
It's amazing how having too much 'stuff' can affect your mental wellbeing. A good way to know you have too much 'stuff' is if you keep not being able to find things. I used to offer my services as a professional organiser and help people that had trouble letting go of things. I was a major hoarder when I was young and used to keep every piece of paper that had anything written on it for 'sentimental reasons'. Fast forward a few years and we decided to sell everything we own to travel and live in a kombi van. You soon realise how much you don't really need. Now I like to think I have reached a middle ground. So why does it matter? Well you have all these unfinished projects and 'things to do' when you have unused golf clubs, a treadmill gathering cobwebs, piles of magazines you are one day you are going to rip the recipes out of. Let's be honest, you are never going to get around to it. All it's doing it cluttering up your brain with things that need to be done that are not important. So take stock of the clutter you have and start letting go of some of it. You can make some extra cash selling what you can and also help people in need by donating the good stuff. Start using that gorgeous crockery your grandma gave you instead of it gathering dust ( and that you kept just for 'special occasions' ) and get rid of the things that you actually can't stand but feel obliged to keep.
( Recommended reading: Creating Sacred Space with Feng Shui by Karen Kingston and Sacred Space by Denise Linn)
9. I Daydream
Some might think I am just off with the fairies but every afternoon I walk down into my backyard with the cat and I lay on the hammock and just daydream for a little while. I let my mind wander, my heart rate slow down and I just take it all in. The best ideas usually come up in these times!
10. I Let it Go
Just like the song says. I remind myself I cannot be perfect. I realise I cannot control everything. I try not to dwell on the past. I focus on the positives and what I can do to make my life even better today and for the future. Tomorrow is a new day <3
( Recommended reading: Don't Sweat the Small Stuff by Richard Carlson)
To be continued....