The isolation period during the coronavirus outbreak has certainly had many hidden benefits for many of us. Despite the initial stress and uncertainty, it has allowed many of us to simply slow down and press pause. This ‘pause time’ has provided us with the opportunity to enjoy simpler things in life without the rushing.
Often when we allow a simple pause and space, our hearts and minds will seek out what we most value in life. Some have found themselves reading or writing, more spending quality time with family, starting a new exercise program, joining a free online yoga or dance class!
This pause time has allowed us to simply reflect on what we truly value and appreciate. For some of us it is valuing our time with family or friends, for other people it has been a time of creativity and learning. For many of us, we have learnt to appreciate or start to value our health!
What does good health mean? Good health is not simply an absence of illness! The WHO defines health as “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being”.
This means to optimise and maintain a health, we need to look after our bodies and minds and also our hearts. Here at Synergy Physio we consider that these are the three pillars of your health- watch this short video here!
Here are our tips to improve and maintain the three pillars of your health!
The health of your body requires exercise, nutrition and also sleep. Recommended exercise levels for a healthy body are roughly 30 minutes a day of elevated heart rate and movement (this can be broken into smaller more manageable pieces if you need to!). Our bodies also need 2 to 3 times a week of strength training for healthy bones, joints and muscles.
Maintaining healthy nutrition is also essential for your body! The simple act of buying from the outside aisles at the supermarket (and avoiding the inside aisles packaged food) can be a really important first step. Starting each day with a glass of water can allow your body to hydrate. Did you know that dehydration can be a common cause of brain fog and fatigue? It’s also very common for us to reach for food when we are actually thirsty! A simple habit of a glass of water at the beginning of each day is a good step. Ensuring you limit sugar, caffeine and alcohol intake and allow plenty of vegetables on your plate are also easy steps to make.
A regular sleep pattern is also essential for your bodies health. Simple tips to assist with your sleep health include maintaining the same sleep and rising time each day, minimising screen time in the evening and switching off screens at least half an hour before going to sleep. Avoiding caffeine after lunch is an important step for your sleep health. Alcohol can also affect the quality of your sleep so minimising alcohol intake and ensuring you have at least four alcohol free days a week for a healthy brain and liver can help. Your bedroom also needs to remain a space for you and your partner and not a space for your laptop or work commitments. All of these simple tips can assist in good sleep health!
These sections of your body health (exercise, nutrition and sleep) are all interconnected. When we exercise more regularly and eat healthier foods this will often our quality of sleep.
Your mind health includes your learning, your creative expression and also your mental health! There are several ways to improve and maintain your mind health.
Seeking the opportunity to learn or try something new is a great start! What interests you? What have you always wanted to try but never had the time or the courage? Simply reaching out, being brave and not being afraid to be a beginner can encourage great brain health!
A healthy mind also entails being able to maintain a healthy emotional relationship with yourself. The practice of mindfulness can help! Watch this video here to understand what mindfulness means!
Mindfulness is simply the capacity to appreciate the present moment without judgement, without the brain and mind constantly dripping drifting to past regrets or future fears. Regular moments throughout the day where you simply appreciate the present moment can encourage the brain and mind to become calm and objective.
Mindfulness moments might include simply enjoying a cup of tea without scrolling through your phone. It could include lying for a moment on the grass and looking at the sky, walking on the beach and feeling the sand under your feet. Look for simple ways of enjoying just one moment, the present moment! Yes, our brains do need to wonder back to the past in order to learn, and forward to the future in order to plan. But making sure you have regular moments throughout your day where you are simply present and enjoying the moment without judgement for what it is can help with your mind health.
Your heart health encompasses your relationships with friends, family, social networks and also encompasses your relationship with something greater than yourself in what ever form it takes for you.
To maintain healthy relationships regular contact without social media intervention (such a simple phone call!) can be all it takes. Learning to enjoy relationships, appreciate your family for the positive pieces they bring into your life as well as allowing time to honour or serve something that’s greater than yourself (such as charity work), can also be ways of developing your heart health.
The simple practice of starting each day with a few quiet breaths into the heart space and recalling what you are grateful for can be a great step forward in improving your heart health.
Being mindful of your state is also an important part of heart health. Your underlying state (mood or underlying feeling) can colour your actions, behaviours and words. If your underlying state remains in one of anger or resentment and this can certainly govern your actions words and behaviours! Ensuring your internal state is regularly checked, monitored and self-regulated can help. Self-regulation could be as simple as taking ‘time out’. It could mean simply naming and recognising how you feel, and knowing it will pass without acting. Self-regulation can also entail actively engaging in ‘state changer’ activities (such as dancing, going for a run, listening to your favourite music or breath work). Sometimes seeing a therapist to help you navigate your state can also help.
Did you know your state can also affect your experience of pain? Watch this video here to learn more
These three pillars of your health, your body, your mind and your heart are the essential building blocks from which you can grow.
Developing health habits for you to look after the three pillars of health is essential. Sometimes this needs a little help! Watch this short video here on developing healthy habits! Finding your WHY is the key ingredient.
Need help looking after your body? Here at Synergy Physio we offer services to help you overcome the aches and pains that are holding you back! We also offer classes to help kick start your exercise habit with the safety of physiotherapy guidance. Our team offer expert knowledge and care for lower back, spinal, hip and pelvic pain as well as chronic pain and sports injuries. Recover from your pain and get back to doing the things you love.