The internalised messages of needing to be in a particular sized body are very strong in our culture. And extremely damaging to women's mental health and wellbeing.
Are you perhaps lonely? Loneliness is being considered an epidemic in recent studies. Sure, many people have many online connections, but there is a tendency to have fewer real life face to face regular connections, poorer solid social networks. Social media is, of course, one reason but its been heading this way for decades in western countries.
Loneliness is associated with a shorter life span- the equivalent of 15 cigarettes a day shorter, and even more of a risk factor than obesity- and with coronary heart disease and strokes. It is a risk factor for many diseases.
The elderly are particularly prone to loneliness, but it can occur at any age, of course. Loneliness causes stress. When we feel socially isolated, subconsciously we feel we must be more aware of threats in our environment, and this triggers stress. When we feel connected to and surrounded by people who care for us, that we can rely on to be there when we really need, that builds a sense of safety. Stress however leads to a cascade of physiological changes such as increased inflammation and blood pressure and lowered immunity.
Research has shown that in countries where social media use is highest, loneliness is also the most pervasive. Talking to people face to face is quite a different experience for the whole person, than chatting on social media, and social media connections cannot compensate for the human need for real connection. It builds real resilence on a personal and community level.
One of the best things we can do for our health and wellbeing, and the future of ourselves, our kids and extended families, and our whole community, is to build meaningful connections with other people, face to face. It is just as important as stopping smoking, eating well, getting enough exercise, drinking enough water and all the other things we tend to focus on. Loneliness is so pervasive that we don't even think about it as a health risk factor, but we need to.
Do you have plans to connect with at least one other person who you care about and who cares about you, face to face, this weekend?
How close are you sitting to your WIFI router right now?
I just had a client who was sitting right next to hers all day every day for work. I have an electrosmog detector and it flashes warning (amber) within 3 metres of the wifi router, and red lights with siren sounds within 1 meter of the router. Of course, it is in a place as far from where we spend most of our time as possible.
The EMF detector also flashes red when placed on my mobile phone- even without a call happening- and close to my computer or iPad screens. I sit as far from any screens as possible when using them, because every cm of distance counts.
It's worth considering your cumulative daily exposure to EMFs, as we are surrounded by them in public and private places everywhere, and most people are married to their phones at the minimum. We don't know the long term effects but there is plenty of anecdotal evidence of negative health effects.
Please don't give your small children your phone or iPad to play with, if it is still connected to the internet. Their systems are so open and sensitive, baby's skulls are still soft. Turn it on aeroplane mode and let them play with a downloaded program if needed.
Just because everyone is doing it and they all seem ok, doesn't mean it's ok, really. Just because science hasn't had the funding to prove health issues beyond doubt, doesn't mean its not true. We are guinea pigs living in a sea of electromagnetic smog we are not evolved to deal with, and awareness of it is at least a good beginning.
What do you do when you first wake up in the morning? I notice what I do when I first get up can affect my whole day! We don't always wake up feeling great (I don't), but here are 3 easy things that I do, and suggest for first thing in the morning, that are self-caring and can help us get off on the right foot.
1. Drink a large glass (or two) of lemon (or lime) water as soon as you get up. Adding a squeeze of lemon, or the juice of half a lemon or lime, to a large glass of pure water, first thing in the morning, kick starts the liver and wakes it up, stimulating its detoxification processes, and helps to flush out toxins and get the bowels ready to move. Adding lemon to water activates the water and makes it alive, which helps the body to recognise it, making it far more hydrating than plain water. Lemon water is alkalising, and most of us tend toward being too acidic. It is full of minerals and vitamins. You can add honey and/or ginger if you like.
2. Go outside and connect with the morning sun, when you can. This may seem a bit esoteric, but studies are showing that morning sunlight in the eyes (not staring) and on the skin helps with melatonin production in the evening, and therefore promotes healthy sleep patterns. Basically, it lets the body know its daytime, time to produce those daytime hormones, so that come night, the body will naturally switch over to those nighttime hormones. It is also a beautiful way to get outside, put your bare feet on the earth, and connect with the beauty of nature for a minute or more, which is wonderful for the nervous system.
3. Have some breakfast. Skipping breakfast is one way to stress out the body, and imbalance our blood sugar. While intermittent fasting can be good when done well, if you have any sort of adrenal fatigue, it is not so appropriate (because the adrenals have to kick in to balance blood sugar), and it can also mess with women's hormones. I recommend IF only for 12 hours overnight for most stressed out, anxious or fatigued women. Having a healthy breakfast for most of us, is a self-caring nurturing thing to do, that sets us up for the day in many ways.
I do these 3 things every morning, along with some movement (yoga, walking) and meditation. It is my favourite time of day, but if you are not a morning person and struggle to get going, just these 3 things might help you get off to a better start, and lay foundations for good health as well.
It is the little things we do daily that matter most in the long term, not the occasional big things like detoxes and major diet changes.
Do you have a morning routine that you love?
From now into the New Year, its pretty common to overindulge in alcohol and sweet, fatty foods. Its Christmas, afterall, and work events and Christmas parties are not renowned for their healthy eating options. However, here are some ways to look after your liver, (which looks after you), so that you can enter 2019 feeling light and ready for the New Year.
We all know that chronic stress isnt good for us, that it can lead to anxiety, depression, weight gain, heart attacks, cancer, and all sorts of physical and psychological disorders. We tend to think that stress is a necessary part of survival in these times, with financial stresses, health stresses, business stresses, parenting stresses vying for our energy. We tend to feel that stress is a given part of modern society, a necessary survival mechanism, and we feel trapped by it, and by default, by the situations we find ourselves in that apparently cause us to stress. It is certainly normal to feel stress, but is it actually necessary?
At this time of year many people are starting holidays and often that leads to drinking too much alcohol and snacking on unhealthy foods. It doesn’t have to be that way, and it can also be a time of rest, nourishment, sunshine and swimming, connection with family and friends, and looking after your health in ways you may not have had time for over the year.