The healing power of water
He felt that this was an antidote to 'red mind' - an over-stimulated, anxious state - that modern life encourages.
There are so many ways that water can boost your health and wellbeing. Here are some ideas…
#thepowerofwater #bluespace #vitaminsea
If you ever feel guilty about sitting down and watching your favourite Netflix series, or reaching for a book or magazine, you’re not alone!
Sadly, in our ever competitive lives, attitudes towards rest have changed and being busy now seems to be a badge of honour. With many of us now working from home (and perhaps continuing to do so for the foreseeable future), working and personal life may have become blurred…
Do you find you’re working later in the evenings - or logging on earlier in the day? Perhaps you’ve noticed that relationships with others in your home are beginning to suffer? If so, it’s time to start re-setting your boundaries.
These tips will help you work smarter, re-establish your own personal space and enhance your overall wellbeing…
- Switch your laptop on and off at a designated time each day - and turn off notifications on your mobile devices.
- Close the door of your ‘office’ or take your laptop and work things to another room, so that you aren’t constantly being reminded of work tasks, during the evening or at weekends.
- Build small restful moments into your daily routine - 10 minutes spent reading (or daydreaming) while you’re waiting for the kettle to boil can make a positive difference!
- Always take a lunch break. Research has shown that you’ll be more productive in the afternoon if you take one!
- Don’t wait to finish a demanding piece of work before ‘rewarding’ yourself with a cup of tea or coffee. A German study found that having a drink before starting a task will help you work more efficiently.
- Taking a short micro-break of 5 minutes, once an hour, will actually improve your levels of concentration. But don’t check your phone - close your eyes or look at what’s going on outside the window instead!
- Before finishing work for the day, always write a ‘To Do’ list for the following one.
- Bear in mind that rest doesn’t have to be carried out sitting down... Exercise can be a great way of unwinding for some people - a 15 minute walk (or run) or 15 minutes of gardening may be just right for you.
What’s most important is that you find your own prescription for rest - whatever makes you relax and ‘switch off’ (even if that IS watching Netflix) - and remember it’s not an indulgence, but a necessity!
#settingboundaries #selfcareisntselfish #workingfromhomeproblems
Walking for wellness
I’ve covered more miles over the last twelve months than ever before and I always come back feeling brighter, more energised and with a renewed sense of perspective. I’ve also discovered so much more about my local area, although I’ve been living here for over fifteen years!
Walking has SOOO many health benefits - it strengthens your heart, burns calories, improves joint flexibility, lowers blood sugar and boosts your immune response. It can also have a massive impact on your emotional wellbeing and it can help to lift low mood and relieve symptoms of stress and anxiety.
Solitary strolls (with maybe your pooch for company) are always therapeutic, but going with a companion can have even more benefits... Have you noticed that when you walk with someone else, you always seem to fall into step? Studies have shown that when two people walk together, their brain activity actually synchronises... This creates deeper social connection - so going for a stroll with a friend is pretty much like having a physically distanced hug!
Here are my top tips for getting the most out of your walk...
- If you find it hard to ‘switch off’, establish a rhythm as soon as you step out... Breathe in for four steps, hold your breath for four steps and exhale for four steps. Not only will this encourage you to focus, you’ll soon let go of any anxious thoughts and start noticing what’s going on around you.
- If you usually stick to the same route, walk it in reverse - you'll notice different things and it could make your workout easier (or harder). I prefer to go uphill earlier in my walk, rather than on the way back!
- Take your time and enjoy observing nature in micro. I take photos of any new wildflowers/trees/insects I discover and look them up when I get home. So I'm always educating myself too!
- Keep your eyes peeled for wildlife. We’re lucky to have a herd of local deer and sometimes spot pheasants, hares, buzzards and red kites - but I also love watching more common birds (such as rooks or bluetits) who are busily building their nests at the moment.
- You can carry on walking year-round and, let’s face it, it’s one of the easiest ways to stay fit and active. Even in the Winter months, there’s usually something to see!
I find that getting outdoors for a daily walk, gives me a chance to see the bigger picture... And whatever’s going on in our lives right now, the natural world remains reassuringly constant!
Restore peaceful sleep
You may be finding it harder to ‘drop off’, waking in the early hours or be disturbed by more vivid dreams than usual... Or perhaps you’re experiencing the joys of hot flushes or night sweats (if you’re perimenopausal)!
Sadly, sleep deprivation can become habitual and progress to the more chronic condition of insomnia. This puts strain on the immune system and may make you more susceptible to poor physical and emotional health.
The following tips may help encourage a better sleep pattern and improve your overall wellbeing…
Please be patient, as it can often take a while to re-establish a healthy sleep cycle... Reflexology has been proven to aid more restful sleep, so if you’d like to banish those disrupted nights for good, why not give it a try!
#insomnia #peacefulsleep #sleepawarenessweek
More time spent at home may have led to cravings for 'comfort' foods or an over-reliance on caffeine!
You may be getting up later (as you're no longer commuting), but does this mean that you're skipping breakfast and getting by on coffee until lunch-time? Or maybe you're having lunch in front of a computer screen and your evening meal on your lap in front of the TV?
Becoming more mindful about food can help relieve symptoms of stress, promote good digestion, encourage you to make wiser food choices (great if you're trying to shed a few pounds) and contribute to your overall sense of wellbeing!
Here's how you do it...
- ALWAYS take a lunch break, even if it's just for 20 minutes - but 60 would be better! Did you know that taking a break has been proven to make you more productive?
- Unplug from technology whenever you're eating - step away from all screens and focus your attention on your food.
- Prepare your food with care - think about how you're preparing it and the ingredients you're using... Let's face it, many of tend to cook the same things every week, so why not find some new simple recipes to spark your interest again?
- Give yourself enough time to enjoy your food. If it's taking you a little longer to munch through your salad, take a few extra minutes - WITHOUT feeling guilty!
- Engage all five of your senses when preparing and eating your food - observe aromas, textures, sounds, flavours and colours. You'll probably enjoy it a lot more!
- Sit down for a family meal as often as you can - sit at a table (not in front of the TV) and let the conversation flow! Even if you're only able to get everyone together at the weekends, it's so valuable to spend quality time together and will instil good eating patterns for younger members!
#healthyeating #mindfuleating #wellbeing
The benefits of cloud gazing
I'm sure we've all done this on holiday (remember those!), but many of us don’t look at the sky all that much, especially when we’re stuck indoors during the winter months!
But did you know that cloud watching can have a powerful and beneficial effect upon your emotional wellbeing?
Spending just 10 minutes looking up at the sky and studying the clouds (even through the window, on a gloomy day) is a simple way to introduce some ‘mindfulness’ into your life.
The many benefits of cloud gazing include...
- With increasingly more of our time taken up by looking at screens, valuable short breaks will allow the brain to 'reboot'!
- Watching cloud formations encourages the use of the imagination - just notice all those wonderful shapes! What pictures can you see?
- Your breathing may slow down - it's a wonderful way to relieve stress.
- Your eyes may thank you for it - focusing on distant objects may help to ease eye strain (those screens again)!
But most importantly, watching the clouds helps you regain a sense of perspective and will leave you feeling calmer and more centred!
#emotionalhealth #perspective #wellbeing
Anxious about the easing of lockdown?
Whilst there are those who cannot wait for the schools to reopen and restrictions to ease, many others are struggling with the thought of lockdown lifting...
If you’re worried about the safety of loved ones (or yourself) or are uneasy about what the future holds, please remember that those feelings are normal. After all, for almost a year we’ve been told that it’s unsafe to leave our homes and mix with others!
So even though you’re desperately missing your old life and want it to return, you can understand why you may be feeling a little apprehensive right now!
It's going to take a while to adjust, but if you're struggling, I can highly recommend the Bach Flower Remedy, Mimulus.
Widely available, it’s one of my favourite flower essences and a wonderful remedy to use during the current pandemic, because it helps tackle known fears and feelings of uncertainty...
- If you’ve not used flower essences before, you’ll just need to pop 2 drops from the remedy bottle into a glass of filtered water and sip it throughout the day. Alternatively you can drop a couple of drops directly from the pipette onto your tongue, morning and evening!
Flower essences work on a deep vibrational level and gently dissolve away negative emotions - in this case replacing fear with courage and positivity. After a few days use, I hope that you’ll be left feeling calmer and less preoccupied with those worries!
I love working with flower essences to support my clients and offer bespoke remedy bottles (containing up to seven different essences), to help restore emotional balance!
#mentalhealth #flowerremedies #wellbeing
Bring the outdoors in!
But did you know that bringing a little of the outdoors in, can have the same powerful and positive impact on physical and mental wellbeing?
Just the act of nurturing a plant, helps to encourage feelings of calm and smelling or touching the leaves can have a strong physiological effect.
Houseplants release oxygen during the day and reabsorb carbon dioxide overnight, helping to remove potentially harmful toxins from the home... In fact NASA research has shown that some can remove up to 87% of air toxins in 24 hours!
I’ve never been the most green-fingered indoor gardener (I usually forget to water), but I’m managing to keep several Peace Lilies (Spathiophyllum) alive!
They are so forgiving and instantly perk up when I give them a drink - and they are actually one of the very best indoor plants for purifying the air!
Studies have also shown that houseplants help improve concentration AND improve productivity - great to know if you’re currently working from home!
So, as well as brightening up your home, turns out that keeping indoor plants could be one of the simplest ways to improve your emotional and physical wellbeing!
#thepowerofplants #greenfingers #mentalhealth
Client case study
For the past 18 years I’ve been very privileged to work with so many wonderful clients, experiencing a wide range of health conditions.
Reflexology sessions provide a chance to relax and 'switch off' from everyday life, but for those suffering with more challenging symptoms, treatments can be a crucial step on their road to recovery.
Here is Eric’s story...
- “Following a diagnosis of cancer, I had six months of chemo and then stem cell replacement - which included a major dose of chemo. After this I was at a very low point in my life, as the chemo had caused peripheral nerve damage, which resulted in me being unable to sleep at night and in constant pain in my lower legs and more so my feet.
I was advised by my specialist that reflexology would help and this was where my luck changed, as I was given a recommendation of the skills of Clare. Having never tried reflexology, I was a little unsure as to what benefit I would get, but was open minded and eager to do whatever i could to help myself at this difficult time.
After my first consultation - when a full explanation was given of reflexology - I realised that I would be getting a lot more from this, as it was a far more complex issue than I’d realised and needed the wide range of skills that Clare has.
After my second treatment I started to see some improvement in my condition and this continued at a steady rate over the following weeks. The advice given on how to change my lifestyle and ways of coping were absolutely amazing and all appear to have helped in the overall progress I’ve made.
I have now done so well under this treatment that my peripheral nerve damage has healed and I am back to a full night’s sleep, which is such a relief after only being able to manage one or two hours a night. I am so glad that I got a recommendation for reflexology and more so for Clare, as the end results of this treatment have made such a difference to my life.”
I'm so happy that Eric’s symptoms improved and that he could start enjoying life again!