A few years ago, after a period of grieving, I decided to take control of my wellbeing, and plunged into the world of alternative therapies. I met some weird and wonderful practitioners, from a fantastic doctor in Traditional Chinese Medicine, to a lovely man in Los Angeles who claimed to have expanded my aura.
Each practitioner bestowed their wisdom, ensuring me that if I just took 5, or 10 or 30 minutes a day following their advice, that my life would be drastically improved. 5 minutes of stretching, 20 minutes journaling and gratitude, 15 minutes of meditation, 5 minutes of inversions, 15 minutes to wind down the mind, 30 minutes of brisk walking – ‘try a new route on your way to work!’ and, ‘go to bed earlier, and wake up an hour earlier.’
It felt like each had a tip to bring me closer to heaven, – just ten minutes of spine twists a day, to everlasting peace. The problem was, it was completely unrealistic – if I followed all the advice, I’d never get any work done – I might be super limber with a strong and healthy spine (not to mention chakras,) but there wouldn’t be much time for anything else.
Clients often report the same problem – and I know how it feels when you just don’t have time for wellbeing – like it’s not a priority at that moment, and that other parts of life (work, friends, family) are more important. It’s all to easy to sign up to meditation apps, only to find a kind of guilt as the money comes out of your account, reminding you that you haven’t tuned in (or out as the case may be.) In spite of good intentions, it can be super difficult to put health first…to reach for the green juice instead of the pizza, to follow that early morning exercise regime – coupled with a glass of hot water with lemon and matcha tea.
So, I started to put together a list of doable gentle health hacks as a baseline to move in the right direction. Let me know if you have any of your own!
- Order an extra side of vegetables when eating out, and prioritize eating them. French fries don’t count.
- Do some form of movement every day – walking to work, taking the stairs, going to a class, stretching to Tim Senesi home yoga.
- No coffee after lunch
- Something that makes you laugh, or at least smile every day, even if that means secretly watching clips of the singing bush from the Three Amigos movie.
- Do more of what you love that’s also good for you, in my case, reformer pilates, attempting to surf, and horse riding.
- If I have an attractive glass decanter and glass next to me when I work, I’m more likely to drink more water.
I do more when I can, and also try and buy organic, non-processed food at home -and still love to try the odd beardy weirdy therapy occasionally! And generally, I feel more balanced and happy and calm and strong – even if I’m still not pooping rainbows.