November 22, 2017

Did you switch off and de-stress this summer?

Relax

 

 

Did you take time off this summer?

I mean really take time off?

Did you switch off and de-stress? 

No access to work emails, social media etc.?

Did you take a complete mental and physical break from work?

Or did you take a few peaks at your emails?

Did you spend a little time each day just touching base or checking in, just to see how things were going?

 

I’m amazed how many people, spend a least part of their holiday working. I spoke to a businesswoman earlier in the week that had spent 3 days of her 14-day break catching up on work stuff. Another person I spoke to said they always check their emails for 30 minutes each morning when on holiday. Another told me the always log on to their work email on the Sunday evening before they go back to work to “sort out and prioritise their emails”.

This is a common problem that many experience, the ever-creeping increase in the time we spend switched on to work.In Germany the government is so worried about the effect of not allowing time to de-stress on the nations health that they have commissioned research to look into the effects of the 24/7 culture on mental wellbeing. And some of the big German corporates are even putting policies in place to force employees to switch off from work and de-stress. Daimler for example, has installed software that automatically deletes work email sent out of hours. It seems extreme, but if the culture has become so warped that employees feel compelled to check and respond to emails out of hours then extreme steps have to be taken to change the behaviour.

I know when I’m coaching my clients one of the common behaviours we have to address is the need to be ‘super women’ and ‘be available to everyone all the time’. Working on re-establishing acceptable boundaries, implementing them and re-prioritising you, as Number 1 in order to be able to de-stress properly is all part of achieving better balance, reducing stress and restoring wellbeing.

 

So what happens if we all carry on with this 24/7 365 day switched on culture?

Well, we will see an even greater increase in mental ill health, an even higher incidence of cancer and more people living with chronic health problems from a younger age. Sorry to be bearers of bad news but we only have ourselves to blame.

This is because is this 24/7 switched on life leads to the types of stress related illnesses that can and will crush your health and wellbeing.

You see stress is accumulative, and it’s that constant build up, the never quite switching off properly that causes such damage to the body. When our body is in this 24/7 mode it’s like the stress button constantly switched on. The problem is that whilst this is happening the body is in crisis ‘fight or flight’ mode, which means essential repair and renew programmes cannot be run. We need to run renew and repair to ensure good health, good hormone levels and a strong immune system. We can only run these programmes when we have switched off properly and our body has de-stressed.

And if we behave in this ‘switched on 24/7 mode year after year it is inevitably that we will find ourselves with health problems like difficulty sleeping, hormone imbalances, digestive problems, high blood pressure, weight gain, anxiety, depression and all of these can lead to cancer, heart disease or stroke.

 

So how do we change?

Well it’s encouraging that big corporates are starting to implement changes. Don’t kid yourself that they really, really care though. They are doing it because if they don’t, the risk of huge lawsuits for stress related illness is gigantic. It potentially will cost them billions. And for small businesses and self-employed people the risk of losing a key worker due to stress related ill health is huge too. It could even wipe out your business.

So today I urge you to rethink your work life balance. To reflect on your habits and think twice before you check emails late at night or on weekends or holidays.

And if you’d like help with redressing the balance please book a complimentary 20-minute call with me. On this free call I will help you to identify THE  essential habit that will help you achieve better life balance and potentially save your life! Plus, if you are self-employed or a small business, it could save your business too!

Please note: Your home is at risk if you do not keep up repayments on a mortgage or other loan secured on it and your health is at risk if you do not find out more about the essential habit that will save your life!

 

The Resilient Parent

V&G.002

 

Finally I have got round to writing my blog again. I apologise for the lack of contact recently but I’ve been working on a number of projects and have got behind on some of my key activities. I’m sure I am not alone in having great intentions that somehow get lost in the daily buzz of life. I swear that the days whizz by faster than ever these days. Here we are in March already. And today my beautiful daughters turned 18. Well, they will in a few hours, as they didn’t arrive until 2111hrs and 2120 after being induced as I was 40 weeks plus 4 days. Which in twin terms in 3 weeks overdue!! Nowadays they induce twin pregnancies from 37 weeks according to the NICE guidelines. I wonder how different they would have been if they had arrived earlier into the world?

Being a parent has really grown and stretched me as a women and has certainly factored into being part of the growth and development of my resilience. So today I thought i’d share my thoughts on the journey I’ve taken to get here, proud Mum to a 20 year old and two 18 year olds!!

Using my B.O.U.N.C.E. Model of Resilience I’ll share amy key thoughts on each principle and it apart in my journey to being a resilient parent.

 

B for Belief in your ability to cope

Interestingly I’ve always believed very strongly that I could cope as a parent. Even when faced with lone parenthood when my girls were just just 9 months old and Josh just a toddler I knew I would cope. I’m not sure where that strength of belief came from but it has sustained me through some very tough times. This strength of belief really is key to being resilient. So remember to focus on what you can do not what you can’t!  And if your beliefs are holding you back then change them!! Of course you need help to do that sometimes as they can be buried in our subconscious mind. Where once our beliefs  protected us from harm later on they can keep us stuck and unable to move forward. I love working with clients to help them move forward. And I’m sure i’ll have my own challenges head as my lovely young adults become ever more independent.

 

O for Optimism and Goal Setting.

This has been key for me as my kids have grown up. I had a very clear vision of how I wanted their childhood to be and although that got shaken up by my ex-husbands battle with alcoholism and my journey as a lone parent I still aspired to have well grounded, kids who have done their best and been given a loving environment to grow up in. All the rest is just trimmings. So when they were tiny my goal was to get off benefits when they went back to school. Next my goal was to ensure they had a great relationship with their Dad which meant I had to work through my feelings, my anger and put aside my ‘crap’ to ensure the best for them. Then it was to get them into a good school where the values were aligned to mine.  Nowadays my goal is to support them in their choices as they go into adulthood, some I may agree with and  others I may not. I may struggle at times but I know I’ll cope and I will also have to ensure I have clear goals for myself as I move forward. So exciting times ahead for us all.

U are a survivor.

Yes that’s true! As a parent there have been many times when I’ve had to haul myself up by my mental boot straps and put on a brave face to ensure that the world of my kids has not been rocked too hard by some of life’s curve balls. The toughest was when their Granddad died as he was such a key part of their childhood. And of course I was grieving myself as was the rest of the family. But together we coped, even though we all grieved different ways. Time and time again it has been proven to me that attitude is key. Who you are choosing to be at any moment in time will affect the way your life goes.

 

N is nurturing yourself.

This one has been hard for me as it’s so easy to put myself last. The kids come first is a mantra many a mother has said to herself as she has struggled through a tough day. But I learnt that as the key lynch pin for my family actually, I have to put my health and wellbeing at the front of what I do. That’s why I now eat a great super healthy diet 80% of the time and 20% I indulge my love of sweeter treats. I also ensure I have regular reflexology sessions and chiropractic treatments which are part of my essential toolkit for well-being.  And i’ve taught my kids to value their health and to be responsible for it by making informed choices.

 

C is Connection and support.

The journey through parenthood is better when you move through it with friends that share your core values on parenting. I’ve been lucky to have great friends along the way to help me and even when two of those very special friends from my antenatal classes were taken from this world far too early their spouses and kids have stayed in my world and I’m grateful for that. Friendship like most things has its natural ebb and flow and today as my girls turn 18 I’m thankfully for those friends who have been part of my journey. Some are still with me, others have moved on in life but it was great to have them on the ride. Thanks for your support and to those who are still riding along with me, long may we continue on this path of life together.

 

E is Enjoying and Celebrating.

This is so essential to our resilience and it’s not the big things that matter but rather the accumulation of little successes along the way. These add up to the big meaningful things. Maybe having twins has highlighted to me the importance of those little things. With twins you get to do things twice. One twin achieves a milestone and you celebrate and then you wait for the other twin to conquer that goal too. In the early days it was walking, talking, potty training etc. Nowadays it’s university interviews and job interviews. And whatever the outcome there is always something that can be learnt and celebrated. It was tough last year when Georgina passed her driving test first time and Victoria 3rd. How do you celebrate and commiserate on the same day? Well we did and we’re stronger and more empathetic as a result.  All these add up each day to make me a more resilient women.

And of course the journey through parenthood is not over yet, for it continues throughout our life and I personally welcome the next stage of the journey. If it teaches me even half the number of life lessons it has so far then I shall be a better women for it.

If  you are a women who is struggling with balancing the many  demands of your world and you’d like support then start by downloading my booklet , connect via Facebook or Twitter so we can stay in touch. And remember when you need a helping hand just reach out and ask me. I Love coaching women to be resilient and don’t wait till your struggling, now is the time to call before you get really out of balance.

Wishing you ultimate wellbeing and bounce-back ability.

 

Happiness Increases Productivity

Happiness at work comes from giving support unconditionally & creating opportunities for happiness to spread

Happiness at work comes from giving support unconditionally & creating opportunities for happiness to spread

This morning I was doing my usual stroll around Facebook and I cam e across this excellent article  on how happiness increases productivity at work.

You can read the full article here 

It has real synergy with the work I do with people on building their resilience. For it touches on the U of B.O.U.N.C.E, who you are choosing to be. Are you choosing to be miserable because you don’t like your job, or the project you are working on? Or are you taking a resilient approach and looking for the not so obvious reasons why this project can help you grow stronger in skills, experience and personal growth?

In this article it shows  that being  someone who cares for others and gives help and support unconditionally boost your happiness as well as theirs. This strengthens you emotionally and physically as well as creating a nurturing, positive and empowering environment for the team to work in. When I have led teams that the environment that I have strived to create and been successful in doing so.

The article also connects with the C of B.O.U.N.C.E too. For the better your connections and support the stronger your resilience is. When tams are built on a culture of mutual support and that asking for help is seen as a strength not a weakness then the team is stronger as a whole. That is why working with individuals to build their resilience has a positive impact on the whole business. Happy staff leads to happy customers and happy customers leads to great productivity and increased profits, whatever line of business you are in.

 

So today I challenge you to spread a bit more happiness in the world, do something nice and expect nothing in return. this morning when i was buying my paper at the local shop the elderly lady in front had not bought enough money with her to pay for her goods. So I passed her the 12p she needed. At first she wouldn’t take it but when I explained that all she needed to do was ‘pay it forward’ in someway she smiled and accepted it saying that she would put 12p in the next charity collection pot she saw. Simples!!

And of course developing resilience is your key to success without stress. If you’d like to know more about how to develop your resilience or your teams resilience then message me to book a 30 minute complimentary chat. Happy days.

 

 

Top Tips to boost your mood and your energy this November

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I don’t know about you but I find November a tough month and need to give myself a bit of a mood boost.The nights here in the UK are drawing in fast.  And theses longer darker days can mean many peoples moods drop and they find it hard to get their energy levels up. It affects us in so many ways. I now have to shift my dog walking routine in order to be able to walk in day light, or else dress myself and the dog up light a fluorescent Christmas tree! We are quite the sight to behold in our matching fluorescent jackets and head lamps!!  A few clients have also mentioned that they find their mood dips at this time of the years. So I thought i’d give you my 10 top tips to boost your moods, reduce your anxiety and support your immune system. And make  coping with November easier this year.

So here they are for you.

1. Make sure you eat plenty of fresh vegetables. It really helps boost up your immune system and also if you make soups it warms you up too. Today I made spinach and cream cheese soup for lunch and it hit the spot nicely.

2. Keep up with the water intake. As the days grow colder many  people reduce their water intake just because they are no longer hot. Wrong!! Keep drinking about 6-8 glasses a day. Remember thirst is a scream from your body so you should not get thirsty. If water just isn’t rocking your world then try herbal or fruit teas or solostic energy to increase your fluid intake.
You’ll know you’re drinking enough if your urine is a pale mellow yellow colour (champagne like)

3. Stock up on Vitamin D.
We get less naturally during the winter months
( I use this one http://sussexhealthshop.eu.nspshop.com/vitamin_d)

4. Get out and about everyday in the fresh air even if its only 15 minutes walk at lunch time. Your body was designed to move. This movement helps reduce feels of depression and anxiety, boosting your mood. It also helps stimulate your immune system which also needs our body moving to function effectively. And in winter we tend to move less, spend more time in enclosed space in closer contact with other people with coughs and colds. So by all means snuggle up on the sofa but only after you’ve had a walk outside each day.

5. Wash your hands. As cough & cold season spreads the best defence is good hand hygiene. So take time to wash them thoroughly.Anti-bac sprays and jels have their place but nothing beats soap and water and a good technique.
Trust me i’m an ex-nurse and I know what a difference it makes to stopping the spread of germs. If you are falling ill with every cough and cold going round then you need to give your immune system some serious support as its clearly finding life tough. Likewise if a cold or a cough is hanging around. Ask a healthcare professional for advice.

6. Up your laughter levels to boost your feel good hormones.

7. Up your hugs for the same reason. Not only will it bring a smile to  your face it will boost your immune system too.

8. Its easy to moan and groan when the weather is grim but all it does is make you feel in a worse mood  so instead update your gratitude diary and remember it’s the little things that add up to make the difference.

9. Learn something new. It gives the old grey matter in the brain a boost I’m currently learning to find my way round google+ and pinterest. So if you are on those do check me out
http://www.pinterest.com/helenturier/boards/
https://plus.google.com/u/0/101690458625333232239/posts
(I think this is my profile
https://plus.google.com/u/0/b/103863677151872466017/
(I think this is my page)

10. FInally to give you all a boost I’ve been creating 50 Top Tips to boost your resilience and you can find those on my facbeook page
https://www.facebook.com/developbouncebackability?ref=hl
And also on twitter
https://twitter.com/helenturier

 

So hopefully you now have some strategies to give your self a boost of B.O.U.N.C.E. this November

Let me know how you get on & don’t forget to spread the word so we can get everyone bouncing!!

 

Warmest wishes for you ultimate wellbeing

Helen

 

What is the single biggest risk to your business?

 

 

HiResHere is a question for all owner managers, entrepreneurs and business owners to ask themselves.

What is the single biggest risk to your business?

Is it the economy?

Is it reliance on one single big contract?

Is it reliance on digital technology?

 

All of these are indeed significant risks to your business but the single biggest of all is yourself.

Entrepreneurs are optimists and are risk takers, which is what makes them successful. This strength can however cloud your vision and be your weakest link too.

It never ceases to amaze me at the number of business owners who put business before everything else including their own wellbeing and they are then incredulous when their health suffers.

There is no doubt at all that these days running a business is very much a 24/7 365 day activity and modern technology allows us to do this from every possible location. I’ve personally held conference calls with clients whilst sailing across the Atlantic ocean, driving cattle in Wyoming and in the car park outside my kids school to name but a few of the crazy locations that my smart phone has allowed me to access clients from. I also know I’m not alone in this as I see and hear businessmen and women doing this all around me.

Add in the additional factor of interacting with businesses across the globe where you are working across many different time zones and it is easy to see how your working day has stretched from a tradition al 9-5 to more like 7-11.

As the business owner and in many cases as a solo entrepreneur you are the lynch pin that holds the business together. If you allow that lynch pin to wear out and perish then the whole lot may well fall apart.

A good question to ask yourself is can my business continue to bring me income without me? Certainly this is one of the areas that must be considered when risk assessing your business.

Why am I raising this question?

Statistically there is a lot of evidence to support my theory that you are your businesses biggest risk.

All this 24/7 lifestyle takes its toll on the human body and it is no surprise that stress is now a factor in 80% of visits to doctor’s surgeries across the globe.

In fact the statistics are scary indeed

  • 1 in 3 of you will get cancer
  • 1 in 6 will suffer from depression
  • 1 in 5 people are likely to die from a stroke
  • Heart disease now kills more women than men every year.
  • Many business people who are aged over 30 years are likely to be working fulltime well into their 60’s and even 70’s. Yet they are also likely to be living with more chronic disease like heart disease, diabetes, autoimmune disease or cancer at the same time.

And the common denominator in all of these statistics is stress and the impact it can have on health and the health of your business.

In my work as a resilience and wellbeing expert, with 28 years experience behind me I see evidence every day that confirms to me the need to spread the message and to help people to understand stress better, to help them develop their resilience, which is the key strategy that will protect them and their business.

You see your body is wonderful and technically brilliant in that it is designed to heal itself from the negative effects of stress when given the right conditions. In modern business life however the conditions are far from ideal, so it is vital to learn simple effective changes can be made to develop your resilience so you can protect yourself, your health and ultimately your business too.

 

My mission is to raise awareness and empower business leaders to develop their resilience.

You see for me it’s very clear and very simple.

I know and understand that as a lone parent and entrepreneur I am the lynch pin that holds my world together. If I allow that pin to wear out and perish then the whole lot will fall apart.

So I see it as a ‘duty of care’ that I have to my clients, my business, my family and myself to ensure I manage my health and my energy appropriately.

As a result of this I  invest regularly in coaching  and training to support my personal and business development.  I use high quality supplements to support my digestive system, I eat organic produce where ever and when ever possible, I use the minimum amount of chemicals possible in my home, I have regular chiropractic, reflexology and sports massage treatments and everyday I practice what I preach and take time out to exercise and also to unwind and de-stress .

My final questions to you are…..

How much do you invest in yourself and your wellbeing?

And now you know how critical it is to ensure you the lynch pin is strong and resilient………

When are you going to increase that investment by  prioritising yourself and your resilience?

Heart Disease Kills 3X More Women Every Year Than Breast Cancer Yet Many Women Don’t Even Realise They are at Risk

women having a heart attack

 

Did you know that heart disease is a bigger killer than breast cancer?

Three times the number of women are killed by heart disease than cancer!

I often talk to women about the effects of stress but even I didn’t realise just how serious this problem is.

This statistic is frightening! And it makes me even more determined to play my part to help the women of the world to develop their resilience so they can cope with life’s ups and downs and, in doing so, protect their health.

In the Daily Mail today is an excellent article about Mary, a 37-year-old lawyer, who nearly died as a result of a blocked artery in her heart. Sadly her GP didn’t recognise the risk and it was only after a private health appointment that she discovered that a major artery in her heart was 99% blocked. She was just a heartbeat away from a deadly heart attack!

And the cause of this blocked artery? Everyday stress!

Let me explain how this happens.

Your body has a stress response, (the ‘fight or flight’ response is another name for it) which triggers the release of the chemical messengers called cortisol and adrenaline. Now, as I explain in my FREE eBook, ‘Do You Always Catch a Cold on Holiday or a Christmas’ available at www.helenturier.com, when your stress response is fired off in a genuine life threatening situation, it is truly brilliant and life-saving. The problem is that, in modern life, this very same response is fired off daily – simply as a result of our false perceptions of danger.

So those very same chemical reactions that can save your life can also kill you – slowly.

For example, cortisol causes your blood to thicken so that if you’re mauled by a Sabre-Toothed Tiger, you won’t haemorrhage to death before having a chance to escape and stop the bleeding. Yet, today, our bodies inadvertently fire off their stress response to everyday events and so that very same cortisol protector ends up thickening our blood and causing inflammation of the walls of our arteries, i.e. our blood gets thicker and our tubes get narrower. Over the years you probably don’t even recognise that you are under continuous stress. But, over time, the walls of your arteries are getting narrower and narrower as the inflammation – plus cholesterol, fat, and calcium, all build up to form thick plaque inside your arteries. As your blood vessels and blood thicken, your heart has to work progressively harder – thus causing your blood pressure to rise – making the situation even more dire. An early warning sign is high blood pressure – but in many cases this is not picked up in time. And so you continue with your everyday life, unaware your body contains a ticking time bomb.

So, by the time you get chest pains, you are already at enormous risk. But the symptoms are not always chest pain; it can be a tight feeling in the chest, a tingling in the hands and fingers, or a pain in the neck or jaw. These may just seem to be irritating niggles to you but, in reality, your body is screaming at you to slow down, to make changes, and to listen to its warnings.

Many of us women don’t prioritise our health; we put off going to the doctor because work or family is more pressing, or else we simply don’t want to make a fuss.

Wrong move, ladies! You must prioritise your health; after all, in many families you are the lynch pin – so when you go down, the whole family falls apart.

So I urge all you ladies to redress the balance; make yourself and your health a priority; and learn to listen to your body.

You can take control of your health by actively taking a few simple steps to develop your resilience to life’s ups and downs.

Your resilience is your natural buffer against the adverse effects of stress. Developing resilience is a key life skill; a strategy that allows you to perform at your peak without impacting on your health and wellbeing.

 

Habit 2 Part 2 Not Drinking Enough Water

magic glassNext lets look at how much water you drink.

It is said that water is the elixir of life and this is very true. The human body is made up of approximately 75% requiring more water than any other organ to function properly. In fact the brain itself is composed of 83% water, the heart 79%, liver 90%, blood 83% and bone just 35% water.

Water is needed everywhere in the body, it is in every cell. It is even part of our bodies energy system, acting like little hydro-electric pumps managing the flow into and out of everyone of the bodies cells. Most people don’t realise this, they think of water in the body in relation to perspiration, breathing (you see the water vapour when you see your breath on a cold winters day) digestion and elimination. Most people know that if it is hot day or they are exercising they need to increase their fluid intake, but the reality of water and the effect of imbalance in the levels in the body are actually much more complex and far reaching.

Normal everyday bodily functions like those listed above require 2 litres of water per day. This water must come from our food and drink.  In reality too many people do not drink adequate amounts of water and they also drink too many caffeinated drinks, which have a side effect of causing the body to shed water (diuretic effect). Just a 1% drop in the normal level of hydration will have an effect on your body’s ability to function effectively.

So how do you know that you are not drinking enough water?

The first sign that you water levels are out of balance is fatigue. You start to yawn and have difficulty concentrating. If at this point you don’t drink a glass of water then your working memory starts to malfunction and you will have trouble remembering information. So next time you can’t remember something like a person’s name or a word for something stop and have a glass of water to help rehydrate your brain.

Another sign that you are dehydrated is a headache and again a glass of water should always be the first remedy for a headache. Followed by 10 minutes walk in the fresh air. Then and only then if you still have a headache should you take medication.

Dry eyes and mood swings are also signs of dehydration. At this point your body is pulling water from every available source to meet essential demands because you are not drinking enough water. If this continues imbalances at a cellular level lead to malfunctions and disease.

Interestingly the thirst sensation doesn’t kick in until you are nearly 2% dehydrated. And as we get older the thirst sensation decreases in sensitivity so people over 50 years of age are even more dehydrated by they time they are thirsty.  Research estimates that 50 -75% of the population is dehydrated.

In many cases signs of dehydration are mistaken for common ailments such as:

  1. Constipation
  2. When water is needed the gut is one of the first places water is pulled from. Ideally you should pass a medium soft stool after every meal. Most people only pass one per day. Constipation is when the stools are hard and/or difficult to past
  3. Fatigue Water is a source of energy for the body at a cellular level, in effect it is providing a kind of hydroelectric power moving water through osmosis in and out of the cell. This is why one of the early signs of dehydration is fatigue.
  4. Digestive disturbances Dehydration reduces the secretion of digestive juices and can lead to such problems as indigestion and acid reflux. So first line remedy for indigestion is a glass of water.
  5. High Blood Pressure The blood is 83% water. When you are dehydrated the blood is thicker which makes it harder for the heart to pump and move around the body. When the heart as to work hard for a long period of time blood pressure rises.
  6. Joint aches and pains Cartilage is found in joints. It is part of the cushioning or shock absorption system for the body. Cartilage is mainly water so when you are dehydrated the cartilage becomes fragile and weakens. Therefore it is more likely to be damaged.
  7. Skin Problems
  8. The skin is the body’s largest organ of elimination. When you are dehydrated the movement of toxins through the skin is sluggish leading to break out of spots, wrinkles and premature aging.
  9. Weight gain. When the body is dehydrated it stores toxins in fat cells. These fat cells cannot be broken down until the toxins have been diluted and removed. So to aid fat metabolism stay hydrated
  10. Lose of memory and mental focus. As we have said the brain contains a very high percentage of water. If we are even mildly dehydrated then memory and concentration are affected.
  11. Liver and kidney problems. These organs are responsible for processing toxins and need water for this process to take place effectively. When you are dehydrated toxins start to accumulate. This is thought to ead to inflammation, infection and pain.
  12. Breathing Problems. Water is lost from the body as we breathe through water vapour. The vital moisture in the lining of the nasal passages and lungs is more vulnerable to dust and allergens when the body is dehydrated. Also the body will attempt to reduce further water loss by restricting the airways.

Renowned physician Dr Batmagheldi believes that the first treatment for any ailment should be a glass of water and an assessment of drinking habits. And I agree with him, in many cases simply addressing lifestyle habits like drinking caffeinated drinks and how much water the client drinks can be life changing in terms of health, vitality and wellbeing.

Tips on Drinking More Water

  1. Start each day with a glass of water. Take it up to bed with you the night before and drink it before you get up to go to the bathroom. It helps rehydrate you after the long night of  dehydration and fasting.
  2. Have half a glass whenever you are waiting for the kettle to boil when you are making a hot drink.
  3. Have half a glass whenever you come back to your desk from the bathroom.
  4. Have half a glass before you eat a meal. This helps your digestion.
  5. Make sure you get a glass of water when you head into a meeting.
  6. If you feel tired and are yawning have a glass of water, chances are you are dehydrated.
  7. If you have a problem remembering something, have a glass of water as the chances are you are dehydrated.
  8. Every time you pass a water cooler, stop and have a glass.
  9. If you are hungry have a glass of water, its more likely that you are thirsty rather than hungry.
  10. If you are a big tea or coffee drinker replace every other cup of hot drink with a glass of water or a mug of hot water.
  11. When you go for a walk take a bottle of water with you and sip as you go to stay hydrated.
  12. Keep a water chart and reward yourself when you reach your target of 2 litres minimum per day.
  13. If you still don’t like the taste of water then add in a small quantity of something like Natures Sunshines Liquid Chlorophyll which adds a minty taste and helps make your body more alkaline . This is meant to have great benefits.
  14. When the advert breaks are on the TV in the evening have a few sips of water. By the end of a 2 hour drama you will have drunk a whole glass.
  15. Finish your day with a glass of water before you head off to bed.

 

Enjoy drinking your water and let me know how you get on.

Wishing you ultimate wellbeing.

 

Habit 2 Part 1 Drinking Too Much Caffeine

Image 2

Part 1

Drinking too much caffeine

Do you love your morning cuppa?

Is your day not properly started unless you have had your morning brew?

Are you a tea or coffee person?

I have to confess I am a tea girl. I remember even as a child, being woken up by my mum with a morning cup of tea. Then when I joined the Army the first item I bought with my pay packet was a kettle so I could enjoy an early morning cuppa before breakfast in the cookhouse. Then on some of the Army wards I worked on as a nurse we had a routine of providing a cup of tea whilst we had ward report from the night staff. Some mornings I had 3 cups of tea before 8 in the morning! No surprise then that the hardest habit to change for me was tea habit.

Now it must be said that there are many health benefits to drinking tea and coffee in moderation. For example the flavinoids, antioxidants, in tea do everything from protect your heart to protecting your teeth. And in coffee there have been reports that drinking it may reduce the risk of developing gallstones. So it is not all bad news.

The problem is that many of us do not drink tea or coffee in moderation but consume copious cups each day. I had a 12 to 15-cup of tea a day habit at one time. Add into this the combination of excessive caffeine and associated dehydration because we do not drink enough water as well and all of a sudden our lovely cuppa goes from being a healthy habit to a health hazard.

Caffeine is in both tea and coffee. The average mug of tea contains 75mg of caffeine, a mug of instant coffee 100mg, and a mug of filter coffee 140mg. Most healthy adults should have about 200-300mg of caffeine per day.

So what is caffeine and why is it a lifestyle mistake?

Caffeine is a natural stimulant that gets into our blood stream very fast and then acts upon your nervous system. It basically blocks the releases of some of your chemical messengers and stimulates the release of others, essentially messing up the delicate balance of your vital organs, in particular your brain and heart. Now on the plus side this can make you feel more alert, increase your attention span and speed up your metabolism. On the downside it stimulates your eliminatory system as it is a mild diuretic, so you urinate more (now you know why you make all those trips to the toilet) and it disrupts the calcium balance of your cells. This is particularly dangerous for postmenopausal women who are high volume tea and coffee drinkers as it puts them at a greater risk of developing osteoporosis.

Positive effects of caffeine

  • Increase attention
  • Increase alertness
  • Decrease in fatigue
  • Decrease in risk of cardio-vascular disease
  • Decrease risk of diabetes
  • Increased metabolic rate

Negative effects of Caffeine

  • Increased anxiety
  • It is addictive
  • Increased headaches
  • Increased vasoconstriction
  • Raises blood pressure
  • Reduces fine motor control
  • Increases urination

As I said ideally you should have 200-300mg of caffeine a day. That works out at 2-3 cups of coffee a day (depending on your preference for instant or filter) and 4 cups of tea. Anymore is classed as high caffeine intake. And 600mg a day or more can cause insomnia, irritability, nervousness, restlessness, fast heart rate, muscle tremors, and upset stomach including diarrhoea. So my 12 cups a day habit was excessive to say the least. And yes I did have the racing heart, which is quite frightening to experience even when you know and understand why it’s happening.

So what is your current caffeine habit looking like? Take this quick quiz to find out whether you have a caffeine problem or not.

Quick Quiz. 

Answer YES or No to the question. Answer them honestly (you are only lying to yourself if you don’t) and then add up your Yes and No’s

1. Do you drink a caffeinated beverage daily?

2. Do you get headache if you haven’t had any caffeine by lunchtime?

3. Do you consume over 500mg of caffeine daily? (cup of tea 75mg cup of instant coffee 100mg, cup of filter 140mg)

4. Do you feel irritable if you don’t get your morning cup of tea/coffee?

5. Do you drink more caffeinated beverages than you do plain water?

Results

5/5 Ooops, you have a caffeine problem. Not only do you need to cut back you also need to make sure you are drinking plenty of water. Your cells are crying out for water.

3/5 Well done but improvements can be made. Make sure that you stay hydrated and drink 8 glasses of water each day as well as your few caffeine drinks.

1/5 Well done you caffeine is not a problem for you. Keep up the good work and make sure you drink at least 8 glasses of water each day.

Tips to help you cut back

Even mild caffeine overuse needs to be managed gently. Talk to any caffeine addict who has gone cold turkey and quit caffeine completely and they will tell you it is a dreadful experience. As you body withdraws you suffer nausea, headaches, drowsiness, and flu like muscle pains that can go on for up to 10 days. It is far better to wean yourself off caffeine slowly until you have got your levels down to the recommended daily amount of 200mg.

1. Slowly reduce by 1 cup every day for 10 days

2. Alternate between caffeinated tea/coffee and decaffeinated. I have even been known to mix up the two types of teabags in my tea jar so I don’t know if it’s a caffeinated brew or not. Nowadays I have control over my caffeine habit and have a decaffeinated tea first thing in the morning then caffeinated in the middle of the day and decaffeinated after 6pm

3. Increase the amount of pure water you are drinking

4. Peppermint tea can help with the nausea when you are withdrawing

5. Lavender oil in an aromatherapy burner may help with the headaches.

 

Lifestyle Habits That Ruin Your Health

 

Sitting all day at your desk is robbing you of your energy, vitality and health

Sitting all day at your desk is robbing you of your energy, vitality and health

 

There are many lifestyle habits that ruin are health and are slowly but surely making us more and more sickly. Our lives seem to be packed full; we are forever busy and ‘stressed’. Somehow as our lives have got more complicated and busier we seem to be have physically got slower and less active.

Habit 1  Not Moving Enough

We take the kids to school in cars, we drive to work or catch public transport, we drive to the supermarket or get our shopping delivered, we go our workplaces and sit all day tapping away on our keyboards at our computers.

We don’t even get up anymore to talk to someone at another desk but send an instant message or email instead where as in years gone by we would have walked over to his or her desk or office to ask a question or discuss a problem. All this lovely technology has made life better in so many ways but in so many other ways has robbed us of vital health enhancing opportunities for movement.

A survey by The World Health Organisation has Britain as one of the most sedentary populations on earth. Alarmingly, 63.3% of the British population fails to meet the recommended level of physical activity. We are worse than our US cousins who have 40.5% of the population inactive. Inactivity is defined as not meeting the following criteria: 30 minutes of moderate activity , such as brisk walk 5 times per week, or 20 minutes of vigorous activity 3 times per week. How much exercise do you take each week?

Human beings just were not designed to be this inactive. And as a result our health and wellbeing is suffering.

Physical activity is necessary to stimulate the body’s own natural maintenance and repair. It is vital to ensuing our body maintains its natural balance, or homeostasis. Lack of exercise is a leading cause of the rise in diabetes, heart disease, strokes, depression and cancer to name but a few diseases where research has shown that there is a higher risk of suffering with these conditions if you lead a sedentary lifestyle.

Studies have shown that lack of physical activity is responsible for 5.3 million of the 57 million deaths that occurred in 2008.

 

For many people the thought of 3 sessions of vigorous exercise 3 times a week is just to big a leap. Some people deem even 30 minutes of moderate exercise too much effort.

As a result many people keep putting it off until they ‘have more time’ or life deals them a serious wake up call like an admission to hospital with a health scare like chest pain or cancer investigations.

As a nurse I have witnessed on may occasions people suddenly finding the resolve to make life changes when faced with life threatening illness.  Yet in reality it should not take us reaching that critical point before we do something. Rather I believe we have to learn to integrate new healthier habits into our everyday life. That means taking tiny steps everyday towards a healthier happier lifestyle. Simply finding and taking more opportunities to move through out our day can make huge differences to our physical and mental wellbeing.

A friend of mine, Kevin Berminham, a coach suggests that we ‘Think Big, Start Small and Start Now’ and this strategy is perfect for implementing healthier lifestyle habits.

Some of the Many Benefits of Exercise

•              Boosts creative thinking stimulating ideas.

•              Boosts your mood and stabilizes mood swings

•              Boosts your sex drive (a study found that women who exercise 3x per week have sex more often, achieve greater arousal and better orgasms as a result and men have less erectile dysfunction). Suddenly going for to that aerobics class seems like a good idea!

•              Better sleep. The US National sleep Foundation say that exercise promotes better quality sleep, plus you are more likely to fall asleep quicker too. A good nights sleep is an essential part of being resilient.

•              Helps maintain good bowel function. A healthy bowel is keep to good health and exercise helps move everything along the digestive tract.

•              Stimulates your circulation and strengthens your heart.

•              Boosts your immune system by stimulating your lymphatic system.

•              Helps with building good bone strength particularly vital in women

•              Boosts the production of ‘feel good hormones’ endorphins

•              Regular exercise reduces your risk of many chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart attacks, strokes, and cancer.

•              Regular exercise normalizes hormone function in conditions like Polycystic Ovary Syndrome and Pre menstrual      tension.

•              Lowers the levels of ‘bad’ cholesterol in the blood

•              Maintains lean muscle tissue, muscle tissue uses more calories than fatty tissue

Here are some suggestions of ways to integrate more movement into your life 

1.           Take the stairs when ever possible. Tough at first, you will probably puff like a steam engine at first but it does get easier

2.           Stand where possible.

Study by British Heart Foundation 2010 suggested that women who sit for more than 6 hours per day are 37% more likely to die prematurely than those who sit for just 3 hours a day. I once visited a health call centre where the nurses manning the phones stood up to take the calls. The desks could be raised to any height. It meant better posture, better communication skills, and better health. Brilliant idea. How about standing on the train to work?

3.          Holding meetings standing up or organise walking meetings.

It will make sure they are timely and more productive.

4.           Use the ad breaks on TV to get up and stretch, do a few squats, lunges even jog to the toilet and back.

It will help get your circulation going.

5.           Don’t fancy the gym?

Then get creative in your thinking and try some voluntary work at weekends. Near me you can join in with the National Trust clearing paths on the local heath and also helping pull up invasive non-native plants that have taken over local woodlands. Much better than the boring gym and as an added you will get to meet people too. This will help with the C (Connect) of B.O.U.N.C.E Model of resilience as well as the N (nurture)

6.           Get off the bus or tube at an earlier stop and walk the last 30 minutes to work each morning.

If you go at a good pace that’s your 30 minutes of moderate exercise 5 times a week sorted.

7.           Think twice before using the car, especially at the weekends.

Is it possible to walk to the pub, catch the bus into town, or walk to a friend’s house then share a lift to where ever you are both going? Walking 30-60 minutes daily will help you loose weight and burn off excess stress hormones.

8.           Taking the kids to school in the car?

Try parking at a friend’s house that lives walking distance from school and walking the kids to the school together. Not only will you feel better but also it will relieve some of the traffic congestion that builds up around school entrances.

9.           At lunchtime take your packed lunch to the park instead of eating it at your desk.

Even on a cold day its worth it for the health benefits of the fresh air, the exercise, the change in your posture by taking a break from your computer screen plus its more hygienic.. Our computer keyboards harbour all manner of germs from the debris of past meals that have dropped onto them.

10.       Rather than watching the TV with the family in the evening try playing an interactive game like charades, wii fit or twister

11.       Find an exercise class in your area that appeals.

These days there are classes for all shapes, sizes, and abilities. Pay in advance and you are more committed to going than if you pay as you go.

12.       Housework burns calories and gets your house cleaner and tidier.

It may not be the most fun job in the world but you can make it more fun by putting on some music and dance as you vacuum, dust, or tidy.

What simple measures can you put in place this week that will mean you move more and become healthier and happier?