Mind, Body, Sleep
I love inviting like-minded health and wellness experts to share their insight and knowledge with us as part of our ongoing promise here at The Juicy Movement, to assist you with releasing your natural potential for wellness.
Kat Blake, from Invigorate Naturopathy, is the naturopath I personally visit and, when I feel a client could benefit from seeing a naturopath, she is the one I recommend. Here’s what she has to say on mind, body and sleep. So much of it is tried and tested holistic practice you can start introducing into your everyday today. For more info on how we could get you started, reach out!
I had a vision two years ago to create an event that encompassed the three essential elements of health that need to be balanced. So, I called the event Mind Body Sleep, a mixture of naturopathy, meditation, pilates, natural skincare and body work. The event was designed for busy and stressed mums to come and finally focus on themselves for an afternoon. Being a naturopath and specialising in stress, sleep and fatigue, I see new clients almost every day with one or all of these issues. The increasing number is giving me a very strong indication that these issues are not going away anytime soon.
Because we are in a world of instant gratification which has driven us to become unknowingly impatient with all aspects of life. If you want an answer to a question, you Google it. If you want a compliment you post a picture on Facebook. If you want instructions on how to do something, Youtube it. We are currently living in a society obsessed with technology, which has contributed to our work life/home life balance becoming almost extinct. You can be reached at all hours of the day, appointments can be booked online, emails can be sent at 3am.
Every day, I am advising clients to switch off their mobile devices before bed because the last thing we do before we close our eyes is look at a screen.
Our natural circadian rhythm (our sleep cycle) is so out of whack today. Once upon a time when the sun rose, we woke up and when it set, we slept. It’s almost as if our bodies weren’t ready to evolve or adapt at the lightning speed of advancements in technology.
In order for our sleep hormone, Melatonin, to be produced, we need complete darkness and a cool temperature. If your bedroom carries any light (a street light coming through the blinds, a TV on standby, a night light) your Melatonin production will be affected. If your room temperature is above 23-24 degrees, it will interfere with melatonin production.
We are in a situation where our body might be at a location but our mind is not present.
You might be sitting with a loved one enjoying a meal and, as soon as you get the chance, you will flick through Facebook to see your notifications. Even Facebook is having to adapt to capture our attention, encouraging Facebook Live instead of recorded videos. We want things NOW, in this instant and our attention spans are not lasting.
Have you ever hopped in the car and ended up at your destination but then came to realise you didn’t even think how to get there? We are running on autopilot the vast majority of the time. A client of mine recently shaved one leg in the shower and only realised the next morning that she forgot to shave the other leg! Our minds are so busy we aren’t even stopping to give them a much-needed break.
Convenience has been arguably one of the most detrimental “improvements” to our food.
Food storage and the never-ending oversupply of plastics, which now we are starting to realise are having significant negative health implications on our hormone profiles. But, we wrap everything in cling wrap, we heat microwave meals in plastic, we even put fruit and vegetables into plastic bags at the supermarkets without a second thought. And there is our overstressed, undernourished, busy body trying to handle the never-ending supply of toxins going in at an alarming rate.
We use chemicals to clean, we put them on our skin, we wash our clothes in them, we spray our bodies, use them to make our houses smell nice, not to mention the ones the farmers spray on our nutrient-depleted fruit, veg and grains.
I wanted to give you a quick insight of just what your mind and body is going through each day so it’s no wonder why you’re struggling to switch off and sleep at night: you’re full of stress hormones like cortisol.
So, welcome to the much-needed rise of self-care and meditation.
We are slowly starting to realise we cannot continue to function at our optimal levels as we age by doing all of the above. Our body is extremely intelligent and quite resilient but it will give you little alarm bells when it’s out of balance. The trouble is, we are often way too busy to notice them. They’ll show up as headaches, migraines, fatigue, anxiety, irregular or painful periods, low libido, digestion issues like bloating, reflux, IBS, lower back pain, eye twitches, acne etc. All of those symptoms aren’t normal and there’s a reason why your body is having them.
For optimal health we need real food, movement, adequate sleep, hydration and mindfulness, which targets improved function of mind, body, and sleep.
If any of this is resonating with you, you may need to sit down with a cup of tea, have 15 minutes to yourself and have a really good self-evaluation of where your health is at.
- Have you been ignoring any alarm bells that your body has been giving you?
- Is your sleep or energy not as good as it used to be? And “getting old” is not a valid excuse.
- The first step is making you a priority, stop and listen to your body and seek help if you can’t manage to get completely better on your own.
Here are my tips for starting to get on top of things:
- Set a bedtime routine: switch off the phone at least 30 minutes prior to bedtime.
- Make sure your bedroom is completely dark and cool.
- Eat whole foods as regularly through the day as possible. Get back to nature.
- Eat more veggies: the one piece of dietary advice that has never changed in 50 years.
- Hit 2-3 litres of filtered tap water (not sparkling) daily.
- Limit coffee to 1-2 cups per day, none after 2pm.
- Be aware of the foods which don’t agree with your body (take note of what you eat and what coincides with your symptoms of bloating, headaches, sinus inflammation etc. Generally, the main culprits are gluten, wheat, dairy and sugar.)
- Have at least 2-3 alcohol free nights per week.
- Get routine bloods every 12 months.
- Meditate for at least 5 minutes at least 3 times per week. Headspace the free app is great!
- Get moving at least 3 times per week: walking, yoga, pilates, weights… Just move.
- Rest and digest: sit down and relax when you eat your meals. This will enable adequate blood flow to your gut which will help with digestion.
Reach out for more information on how we could help you get a hold of your mind-body health.