As most of us are preparing to take some time off over the festive season it’s a good time to look at rest and relaxation as a part of a vitalistic lifestyle. Most of us are aware that we need to rest and restore in order to thrive, but most of us are at a complete loss when it comes to what we actually need to do! To increase your energy, allow your body to lose weight, regain focus, heal through damage and get a sense of enjoyment from your daily life, you have to allow your body to enter into a state of growth and repair so you can thrive.
Without proper rest and recovery, your body exists in a state of defence and decay and from this stressed state it is impossible to thrive. At last month’s workshop we went into detail on how to help you prepare for the silly season by highlighting some common mistakes and giving you some practical solutions, here are some of the tips from the workshop.
Sleep This is probably the first thing that you think of when you hear relax and restore but it is also the first thing that we sacrifice in the name of being productive. If you are burning the candle at both ends, then improving the quality and quantity of your sleep is a must. Start by watching less TV and going to bed earlier and making sure that the room you sleep in is in complete darkness. For more sleep hygiene solutions, come to one of our free Sitting, Sleeping, Standing workshops.
Eat Real Food Your body is unable to rest and restore if you don’t give it the best ingredients to work with. Typical foods that stress our body and prevent rest and recovery are:
foods that contain stimulants – coffee, tea, green tea, energy drinks, soft drinks, chocolate, high sugar foods (like biscuits, cakes and sweets), some recreational drugs. Even small amounts of these foods can switch your body from growth to defence and prevent recovery.
alcohol and depressants – anything containing alcohol (even your Dom Pedro or Irish Coffee), sleeping pills, some recreational drugs, painkillers. While alcohol and sleeping pills may help you to pass out, the quality of sleep that you get whilst influenced by these chemicals is very poor. They prevent you from going through the normal cycles of sleep that are required for recovery.
Move Yourself As the saying goes, “movement is medicine”. Daily movement is a vital nutrient and a requirement for your body to be able to grow and repair so that you can thrive. While we do need movement every day, we also need a balanced amount of rest and down time. That is time where you physically and mentally do as little as possible. That doesn’t mean going shopping, going to the gym, checking Facebook and Twitter, answering e-mails or watching TV. While these might seem like you are not putting much effort into them, all of them are preventing you from recovering effectively.
Be The Balance I know someone who used to get woken up early on a Saturday morning by his wife with “Get up, there is just so much to do!” whether there was actually anything to do or not. Don’t be the person whose identity is tied up with being busy, learn to say “No”. In a world driven by achievement and busyness our brain is constantly wired and this can make it hard to relax because we are consumed by our busy mind. To move past this issue you could actively make and schedule time to do nothing. Schedule time to let your brain rest. This might take a few forms, the easiest is to create time to sit with your eyes closed and listen to just one song a day that soothes you. If that’s easy, how about 2 songs? You could do 5 minutes of mindfulness and meditation or more if you feel comfortable.
Keep The Power On! Chiropractic adjustments help to remove interference and allows your brain and nervous system to perform at it’s best. Studies suggest that Chiropractic adjustments can help to calm a wired brain. It is especially important to get checked when you are feeling run down or under the weather, ensuring your immune system is focussing on the job at hand and not having to fight to get the messages through.
We at Peak Chiropractic are a Vitalistic practice and are specifically trained to assess the spine and nervous system to detect, analyse and correct misalignments. By performing safe, gentle and specific ‘adjustments’, Chiropractors can realign the spine and restore proper communication between the body and the brain. Starting with The 4 Foundations For Well-Being can help you to rest and recover and allow you to Thrive!