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Moving towards health...

I hope that you had a wonderful holiday season, indulged in time with family and friends, as well as enjoyed lovely walks and snuggled up near the fire. January is here, another New Year, another new opportunity to reset the focus and only four months left until spring!

No doubt, the buzz word around is "New Year's resolution" and with great enthusiasm, we all strive to jump onto the train to start the year with a meaning. I think it's time to maybe clean the slate of the pressures and general perceptions of health and to start looking inwards, observing our behaviours and seeing where slight changes can be made. Remember, nothing is sustainable without putting in some effort and, by using personal momentum to start small, you’ll find that you can move mountains.

I would like to share with you some topics that crop in my practice to give you something to think about.

Gut health

It's cold and time for tea. You put on the kettle and feel a bit peckish. You look in the cupboard and you tumble over the left-over mince pies. They are staring at you, shouting "me! Me! Eat me!" and, mesmerised, you think "oh, they need eating". STOP!... At this very moment, you have a choice as to which path you follow. Do you want to take a step towards feeling lighter? Towards being clear headed? Having more energy? Enjoying a better life? Do you have the will power? Your answer is yes! So you enjoy a healthier option that sustains you till dinner and provides the energy you need to focus on your afternoon's activity. And you feel good about yourself, because you made the better choice and stuck by your conviction.

There are many studies, articles and podcasts exploring the impact our gut health has on our wellbeing, both physically and mentally. One step we can take towards our health, is deciding what goes in our mouth. It can be difficult to know where to start or to have time to focus on such things like meal planning, but there are plenty of resources out there. If you are struggling to make such changes, it may be worth speaking to a qualified Nutritional Therapist. Read their blogs and specialities and see who you connect with. Useful websites include that of: BANT - British Association for Nutrition and Lifestyle Medicine and Dr Mark Hyman.

Mental health

You are looking in the mirror and you tut. You look pale, feel "ugly" and start to criticise yourself. You take on that feeling and carry it into the next room where you try to do something only to find it's broken, not working or that there are another 10 things to do before you can achieve that simple task. When you look in the mirror, you have a choice: to take a step towards better health or away from it. Pick your thoughts, give yourself a high five, give yourself a smile, give yourself a compliment - and BELIEVE it! Going into the next room, the same situation as before is there, but you breathe in the self-love and again make the choice to let go of the irritation.

I can't say that this has never happened to me or that I have never suffered from anxiety so I personally understand the difficulty of the above situation. I should follow my own advice more often and I know the benefits of taking this step as by turning my thoughts into self-love, I've lived better days and made other positive choices towards my health.

Should you need support, you can speak to your GP or you could self-refer for Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) on the NHS via the IESO Health or for counselling via the Mind Matters websites. Alternatively, go to the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) website, where you will find a register of qualified mental health professionals in your area. There are also some inspirational people to follow such as Dr Chatterjee amongst others. And closer to home, reach out to family and friends, you never know, even a neighbour could be a saviour).

Yes Man

It's been a long day, work was stressful, you didn't sleep well the night before and you had planned a work-out that evening. The telly is on and the chocolates are on the worktop. You are tempted to help yourself to one and pour a glass of something but you stop and make the right choice. Even though you really, really, really don't feel like working out, you go for it. You pick the workout you feel would be most beneficial for the day, whether it's a 60 mins HITT workout, a run in the cold, a session of Pilates, some quiet yoga or some Thai chi. You choose. You do it. And you feel good. You shower, have dinner and even perhaps that chocolate. But you feel good and have exercised the guilt away.

Did you ever watch the film "Yes Man"? I did, and the concept always stuck with me. It has helped me make many positive choices towards my health, even when the easier route was tempting. To use the concept of always saying "yes" to the healthier choice and repeating the process, can lead to a change in the thinking pattern, with health becoming the instinctive choice; be that in the food we eat, the way we think, our physical activity or emotions.

We'd love to support you on your journey towards health. Visit our social media platforms to be part of the conversation and share with us your wins and fails.

To book for a treatment with Hannah, call our Reception on 01483562830


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