As an Integrated Holistic Counsellor, I don't only offer talk therapy. I also help my clients to look at making healthy lifestyle changes to positively impact their mental health and overall well-being. I never make suggestions to my clients which I don't live by myself and so I thought I'd share seven of my top wellness practices that have significantly improved my quality of life and general well-being. These are my non-negotiables practices which I often suggest to my clients. If you can implement just one of these changes, I promise that you will notice an improvement in your day to day well-being.
Eating breakfast everyday
Going to sleep before 10pm (during the week)
Dimming all bright lights at night
Honouring my bodies hunger and fullness signals
Daily intentional movement (even if its just walking or stretching)
Cutting out caffeine (except for when I really want it/need it)
Tracking my cycle and honouring my flow
1) Eating breakfast every day means that I start the day with a well-balanced, nourishing meal that sets me up for success for the rest of the day. It helps me eat enough, consistently throughout the day to sustain energy and focus and to relieve anxiety. It also helps curb cravings later in the day and any urge to binge eat in the evenings.
2) Going to sleep before 10pm means that my body will be able yo enter into a deep sleep quicker and will result in my having an overall better night's sleep. It is most beneficial to also cut out screens an hour or two before bedtime.
3) Dimming bright lights and limiting screens at night also helps to signal to your body that it's time to rest and digest after the day; to slow down and get ready for bed. It helps in balancing your hormones and optimistising your sleep cycle. 4) Honoring my bodies, hunger, and fullness cues means practicing mindfulness around eating and paying attention to my bodies needs throughout the day. This helps me to maintain trust with my body and ensure I am nourishing my body in the ways it is asking me to.
5) Daily intentional movement helps to relieve stress, release endorphins, increase happy hormones, and integrate any new knowledge I'm learning. Without movement, our bodies feel stagnant, and as a result, the mind also becomes more stagnant. Movement also helps with digestion, joint health, hormone balancing, mental health, clarity of mind, and overall well-being. 6) Cutting out caffeine has relieved so much anxiety for me and has helped me to feel more grounded, calm, and intentional. I still drink organic decaf coffee. tea and adaptogens. When I feel I really need an extra boost, I will have a coffee, and it helps me to get through a lot more in the day and be super productive.
(The impact of cutting it out means that when I do have it, it's like a super drug).
7) Tracking my cycle and honoring my flow has been such a life changing model of awareness to carry. Equipping yourself with basic knowledge about how your body functions and your hormonal needs is so powerful. It is one thing I wish I had known from a young age.
It is so empowering to be in touch with your body and your feminine energy as you flow through your monthly cycle.
It can be helpful to choose one practice to focus on implementing rather than trying to make many changes at once. And then as you get comfortable with one, you can slowly start to introduce another one. I hope some of these practices will help you to take better care of yourself and become more aware of how your lifestyle choices impact your mental health.