Nourish in November
Little did I think when I set the year’s DR ME calendar all the way back in January, that in November we would be in a national lockdown. Whatever these restrictions look like for you, there is an opportunity to nourish yourself and focus on your self-care.
To nourish means to ‘provide yourself with food or other substances necessary for growth and health’. Growth is often associated with children as it is during childhood that growth is at its most rapid. Increased scientific evidence shows that our bodies and minds are hugely interconnected, therefore every single day we are alive, growth occurs both physically and mentally.
As many of you know, I am passionate about all things health related. Therefore, I thought I would share with you some ideas today to support your self-nourishment, and help you grow and be healthy.
1) Eat fresh food close to its original form. Highly processed food makes your bodies work harder to digest and don’t provide you with as much energy and immunity as food in its raw form. Try asking yourself as you plate up your breakfast, lunch and dinner whether you can identify the various components of your meal.
2) Keep hydrated – your body water mass is between 55-78%. To keep you functioning both physically and mentally to your optimum capability it is vital you drink at least 1.2 litres water daily. This one is a simple nourishment hack as it is extremely cheap and easy to implement (providing you remember).
3) Prioritise your sleep- we as humans were designed to spend 1/3 of our lives asleep. We should be aiming to get between 7-9 hours asleep daily in order to nourish our bodies. Keep your bedrooms a device-free zone to help make sure you are not distracted when it comes to falling asleep.
4) Stick to a regular routine – our bodies love routines, as we work on what is termed the circadian rhythm. We eat around the same time each day, go to the toilet around the same time and sleep at roughly the same time. Don’t battle with these rhythms, even if your normal routine has changed (working from home) your body will thank you for sticking to the norm.
5) Learn to nourish your mind and appreciate the small things. We live in a beautiful world, surrounded by interesting people. Take time to notice the things we have instead of always rushing towards the next thing on our to-do list.
6) Celebrate success- reflect back on your achievements, no matter how big or small, and congratulate yourself with a ‘ta-da’ list.
7) Be adventurous and step out of your comfort zone regularly. By doing this, your world of opportunity and experiment will grow rapidly. This might be cooking a new dish from scratch, offering to host a zoom meeting regardless of not being too comfortable with technology, or setting yourself a movement target (my 72 year old Mum has ran 100km every month of lockdown).
8) Learn to breathe properly and deeply in and out via the nose. This will nourish your cells with up to 20% more oxygen necessary for energy, rather than shallow mouth breathing.
9) Talk to people and have face-to-face connections daily where possible). We have been designed to live life surrounded by a community with other humans. Loneliness is as detrimental to your health than smoking 15 cigarettes a day.
10) Be kind to yourself- talk to yourself as you would talk to others. Too often we are harsh and self-critical, which doesn’t help our self-esteem. We then get into a downward spiral of self-confidence and can find it hard to get out of this negative feedback loop. When you next catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror try to say something nice to yourself.
11) Laugh, be silly and release your inner child. Laughing releases feel good endorphins in the brain which makes you naturally happier and less stressed…. What is stopping you, focus your attention on finding something funny.
12) Get outdoors- a recent study called ‘mappiness’ plotted where people are at their happiness. It scientifically proved that we are happiest outdoors, close to water, in warm weather in a natural environment. Even if you tick off just a couple of these, it will be better than nothing. We have been designed to live outside, our ancestors spent 99% of their existence outdoors, today we spend 93% of our lives inside. Getting back to our roots would really help nourish both our bodies and minds, especially as it is one thing we are allowed to be doing in lockdown.
13) Move your body- with 206 bones and more than 650 muscles, our bodies have been designed to move. As a population in lockdown we are moving even less, as many people are not even leaving the home to go to work. I suggest you find a way of moving your body that you enjoy and remember to mix it up as variety really is key. Simple brisk walking can do wonders, as can cycling, yoga, HIIT, running, rollerblading, rowing, scooting, kayaking, kicking a football, shooting basketball hoops etc. The options are endless.
Lockdown has given many people the opportunity to address their health. Hopefully with some of these ideas, you’ll be able to nourish your body a plethora of ways.
For more information about what I offer you as a health coach please visit my website www.doctor-me.co.uk or click on this link to book a call to discuss options. I look forward to hearing from you soon.