Nine Natural Ways To Nourish Your Body
These are unsettling, challenging times. You may feel overwhelmed, or tense. Perhaps you are feeling well, but self-isolating because you have returned from a trip to one of the listed countries. Lonely, fearful and social distancing – it’s quite a cocktail for stress!
While it’s normal to feel stressed and anxious (we need some level of stress in our life to survive and function), prolonged stress has an adverse effect on the body, depleting the vital organs as the body’s resources are channelled into fighting the stressor. It’s important to do as much as possible to find natural ways to alleviate anxiety.
You could consider trying some (or all) of these nine natural suggestions to relieve stress and anxiety.
Focus on your breath for a few minutes. Many people find that breathing in a focussed way for a count of 5 and then out for a count of 8 or even in for 4 and out for 7 is helpful to slow the breathe and achieve a sense of calm.
Focus on your senses. Take 25 minutes. Go out for a walk, sit somewhere quietly, lie in the bath but wherever you do it, focus fully on what you can see for the first 5 minutes ( for example a bird or new buds on trees), what you can hear for the next 5 minutes ( maybe it’s the sound of traffic outside), what you can smell for the next 5 minutes (…is it the smell of someone cooking or wood burning? ), what you can taste for the next 5 minutes ( maybe raindrops on your tongue) and what you can touch for the next 5 minutes ( maybe it’s the lovely soft cushion you are holding).
Keep bringing yourself back to the sense you are focussed on. You don’t have to do it sitting in a quiet room; you can do it out walking. Just try to be present.
Nothing jangles the nerves and makes us more anxious and jittery than lack of sleep. Make sure you’re getting enough. Put all phones, IPad and other devices with bright lights away at least an hour before going to bed. Avoid stimulants or heavy meals a few hours before bed. Use a mechanical alarm clock so you are not checking your phone during the night. Use blackout curtains to stop daylight spoiling your sleep. Maybe take a gentle walk in fresh air before settling down for the night.
Food for thought…Make great food choices. Eat well balanced, nutritious food. Do not overeat. Try to avoid the temptation to eat junk food and instead get involved in the process, think about cooking healthy food and make positive food choices.
Enjoy life’s simple pleasures …get a balance. Don’t limit yourself to purely social media, the TV and the internet. Get outside into fresh air, play cards, read a book, do a jigsaw, take the dog for a walk, do the gardening. Find pleasure in doing things you’ve put off for ages – tidying out your wardrobe, emptying the clutter drawer, making a photobook for a special person. Enjoy the pleasure of ‘shinrin-yoku’. Originating in Japan in the early 1980’s, it may be regarded as a form of natural therapy and translated, literally means ‘forest bathing’.
Create an exercise routine at home. If you are able to get outside – walk, cycle, jog….In the event you are feeling well but self isolating, talk to a personal trainer or look online for things you can do in and around your house. Explore how to making use of normal things around the house such as stairs, a mat on the floor, stretches etc.
Keep moving – movement is medicine. You don’t want to develop a stiff neck, sore back, strained eyes or headache form sitting all day long at home looking at a screen of some sort. Keep moving…..your muscles and joints will thank you.
Learn something new… If you have always wanted to learn Italian or how to make sourdough for example, get signed up to any number of courses, online videos, or webinars to get you started.
Finally….TALK. Without our normal dose of hugs and handshakes, we humans may feel deprived of touch BUT…we can still talk to each other and that is vital for our health and happiness. Make time for others who want to talk to you, they may be feeling as anxious or lonely as you.
As Stephen Hawking so eloquently put it..
‘Mankind’s greatest achievements have come about by talking and its greatest failures by not talking. It doesn’t have to be like this’.