When Life Throws You a Curveball – Part 2

As the country (NZ) wraps it’s head around the second wave of COVID-19; it would be easy to allow feelings of disillusionment, anxiety and frustration to kick in. Here’s some tips on how to keep your cool over the coming weeks in level 2 and 3.

Everyone has their own war stories, be it self isolation, work stress, cancelling dream holidays, wedding plans disrupted, and running out of toilet roll. It doesn’t matter who you talk to, what their age is, the dreaded C word is the first thing on peoples minds.

If the latest announcement has sent you in to a spin, here’s some simple hacks to keep your body and mind on track.

Nourish your body by making sleep, exercise and good nutrition a priority

When under stress it is really easy to let go of the well-being basics but I want to encourage you to make sleep, exercise and fueling your body a priority starting from today!.

Sleep

Easier said than done I know but start with these simple hacks and if you want more in depth suggestions, keep an eye out on my social media platforms and website www.freshcoaching.me/blog

Turn off electronic devices 1.5 hours before bed

Dim the lights 1.5 hours before bed

Consider taking tart cherry juice before bed

Listen to a guided meditation or sleep cast

Take electronics out of the bedroom. Go back to a good old fashioned alarm clock or even better a light therapy alarm clock (simulates sunrise so you wake up naturally instead of a blaring alarm clock sound!)

Make your bed time routine as consistent as possible with the same bedtime.

Exercise

We are born to move! Don’t over think it. Use Mel Robbins 5 second rule to get you off the couch and outside. (Literally count down from 5-1 and kick yourself in to action) Remove potential excuses. Get your exercise gear out so you trip over them getting up in the morning. Put it in your diary and make the commitment to yourself that you will move that glorious body of yours! Arrange a baby sitter or find the perfect youtube video ahead of time.

Fuel your body

You know what’s right for your body and if you listen, your body will give you signals to let you know what is working and what isn’t. Instead of giving you a comprehensive list of what to eat, here’s my offerings to you.

  1. Stick to 3 meals a day.
  2. Use your common sense when it comes to what to eat. Good, wholesome food. Unprocessed and as close to nature as you can get!
  3. Always sit down to eat.
  4. Chew your food fully.
  5. Slow down and taste your food!
  6. Only eat at the dinner table. (This hack will stop you eating unnecessary calories throughout the day)

Be a role model

Kids pick up on energy and conversations. Funny how they can’t hear you when you ask them to put their school bag away but when you’re talking to your partner or friend about something they pick up on every word. It’s our opportunity to be a role model by holding fact based conversations, keeping drama to a minimum and pointing out the good in a situation. Show them articles of the medical teams working on the front line. Statistics of those who have recovered. Monkey see, monkey do. Looking after your mental and physical health, doing good for others and sticking to the facts will go a long way in keeping the children in your life calm, secure and connected.

Practice acceptance

My friend Henry Fraser (inspirational guy, check him out www.henryfraser.org) uses the phrase ‘accept and adapt.’ The term is also widely used in the military where at any given moment the best made plans can blow up and they are left thinking of their feet with life or death decisions to make.

Practicing acceptance is very different to giving up. It is a choice. It is empowering. It makes life much easier to tolerate.

I have long been a migraine sufferer and learning the art of acceptance has been a revelation for me in terms of how I handle them. Gone are the days where I get an attack and fight it, get cross with my body, stress about missing work, letting clients down and the the kids eating toast for tea. By letting go, accepting that what will be will be, being open to the possibility that it’s just a migraine allows me to go in to a calmer space, less resistance, less stress and ultimately less pain.

This is true of so many scenarios in life. I see clients pushing their problems up hill. Feeling the résistance with every step , almost as if it has to be difficult in order to be worth it.

Think of a situation that you are resisting. How much precious time are you spending dwelling on it? How much of it can you actually control? How much freer would you be if you took a breath, and let it go?

Know that you are not alone

Opening up may seem alien to you but the chances are other people are feeling similar feelings to you. Opening up to people that you trust can be one of the most helpful things you can do. If you feel alone and would like free support from a trained counsellor, MIND have a 24 hour helpline. Simply text or call 1737 and someone will be there to talk.

To read Part 1 click here

Written by Anna Veale at Fresh Coaching. Visit http://www.freshcoaching.me to connect with Anna.

When Life Throws You a Curveball – Part 1

As the country (NZ) wraps it’s head around the second wave of COVID-19; it would be easy to allow feelings of disillusionment, anxiety and frustration to kick in. Here’s some tips on how to keep your cool over the coming weeks in level 2 and 3.

Everyone has their own war stories, be it self isolation, work stress, cancelling dream holidays, wedding plans disrupted, and running out of toilet roll. It doesn’t matter who you talk to, what their age is, the dreaded C word is the first thing on peoples minds.

If the latest announcement has sent you in to a spin, here’s some simple hacks to keep your body and mind on track.

Check in with yourself

How are you feeling? Learn to notice the subtle signs your body gives you throughout the day. Tight chest, butterflies in your tummy, lump in throat, shallow breathing. These signs when unnoticed can generate negative thought patterns which in turn exacerbate the physical symptoms.

Once you recognise your stress signals, take the time to stop and breathe. 5 slow deep belly breaths will take your body out of it’s stressed state and you will immediately feel restored. TOP TIPS: If your mind is too busy, give it something to do. Count backwards from 100 as you breathe slowly and deeply in and out through the nose. To enhance your feeling of wellbeing, make your exhale longer than the inhale. Breathe fully and deeply in to the tummy.

What are you thinking? We see what we perceive. Be aware of your thoughts and ask yourself ‘are they are true?’ and ‘are they helpful?’ With a minimum of 60,000 thoughts running around in our mind on any given day, it makes sense to acknowledge our thoughts and give the unhelpful ones the boot. Call yourself out when you think or say something negative. Is it true? Is it helpful? How would an optimistic, objective bystander see the same situation? TOP TIP: We all come with our own map of the world and see things in different ways. Many of our beliefs are created as a child. When you catch your thoughts, use it as an opportunity for a clear out. Are these beliefs outdated? Are they even yours? If so, what new beliefs can you substitute? If you want something or someone to change, go inwards and ask yourself how you could see things differently. There is no space for judgement here. Just a brilliant opportunity for growth.

Check in with others

Get out of your head and be of service. How good does it feel when you do something for someone else? Boost your feel good hormones by showing kindness, gratitude and thought to others around you.

I just called to say I love you: Pick up the phone and check in with your family, friends and neighbours’. Actually sit down and fully engage in the conversation. Notice how grounding this is for you both.

Pay it forward: On a recent road trip I stopped in to the BP garage and ordered a cup of tea. When I went to pay, the cashier said that someone had paid for it on my behalf. I cherish my tea, but THIS CUPPA was even more special. I took each sip with a grateful heart to the person that paid it forward on to me. Find a way to pay it forward to a stranger, friend or colleague and feel incredible knowing that someone out there will be filled with gratitude BECAUSE OF YOU.

Stay tuned next week for Part 2 “When life throws you a curveball”

Written by Anna Veale from Fresh Coaching http://www.freshcoaching.me

Improve your sleep

Strategies to Improve quality and/or quantity of sleep

Inadequate sleep and/or poor- quality sleep affects the non-athletic and athletic population. Consequently, adequate sleep is a critical component for post exercise recovery thus effecting performance. Therefore, below we have listed strategies you can implement to enhance your sleep quality to optimise your health, work/sport performance and recovery.

Nutrition do’s and don’ts
Do’s

Consume tryptophan containing foods such as milk, meat, fish, chicken, eggs, beans, peanuts, cheese and leafy green vegetables in the evening meal to increase melatonin production.

Try including carbohydrate foods at dinner to assist with Serotonin production, e.g. potatoes, rice, pasta… this may not be ideal if overweight or working on losing fat.

Try consuming 30ml tart cherry juice in the evening to increase exogenous melatonin intake (also decreases DOMS -Delayed Onset Muscle soreness). Use in a periodised way, e.g. around high volume training or to get sleep sorted initially if in a rut or during competition.

Consume a balanced, healthy diet, including adequate wholegrains, low fat dairy foods, fruits and vegetables for magnesium and B vitamins.

Try 300-400mg Magnesium supplement prior to bed.
Don’ts

Alcohol intake prior to bedtime (fragments sleep later in the night)

Caffeine and nicotine stimulants intake prior to bedtime (individual tolerances do exist). This includes coffee, tea, energy drinks, cola, chocolate.

To be cautious of
Be conscious of food portions before bed (eating large portions of food can raise core body temperature and make it difficult to fall asleep) and fluid intake prior to bed (to minimise need to go to the bathroom).

Consume fluids with evening meal to increase absorption, then taper off;
i.e. individual fluid prescriptions may be necessary following late- night training/competition to ensure rehydration.

Aim for no more than one visit to the bathroom during the night to minimise sleep fragmentation.

Combating Stress
Use a journal to write down worries/thoughts before bed

Write a ‘to do’ list for the next day to help clear the mind

Body Temperature
Lowering core body temperature in the evening to induce drowsiness and sleep:

Skin-warming (for cool environmental conditions) – achieved through warm baths/shower/spa, hot foot baths, warm blankets or dressing gowns, wearing warm socks and woollen boots/slippers

Skin cooling (for warm environmental conditions) –achieved through cool showers, cold water immersion, appropriate use of air conditioning, light bed covers

Keep a Routine
It is critical to maintain a pre- bed routine to prime the body for sleep. This is crucial for proper sleep hygiene.

Allow 1 hour ‘the de-power hour’ to unwind before bed

Maintain a regular bed and waking time each day (entrains our internal body rhythm -circadian rhythm)

Avoid computer screens, texting, bright lights for 1-2 hours before bed (stimulates the eye). Some people may find a dimmer TV screen from a distance helps them relax.

Creating a sleep friendly environment
Keep the TV out of the bedroom.

Keep the bedroom for sleep activities only, and ensure it is quiet, dark and comfortable.

If you cannot sleep within 15 minutes of going to bed, get up again and try a different strategy. Eliminate the bedroom clock (avoids stress of ‘losing valuable sleep time/clock watching’).
Napping
Napping can be a valuable way of increasing total sleep hours. Experimenting with a 90 minute nap mid-afternoon (one full sleep cycle). Recommended for individuals during heavy training prior to competition or who are having short nights.

If insomnia is a problem, do not nap in the day. Otherwise time naps for 8 hours after rising time (2-3pm) and keep these no longer than 30 minutes.

Naps times between 30-90 minutes or longer than 90 minutes may result in temporary sleep inertia and performance impairments.

Napping 10-12 hours after morning waking time will likely disturb nocturnal sleep. Set an alarm to wake at the right time post nap.

Breathing -Its effects on our health, and the basics

How we breathe affects
 our health and wellness.
You can use this exercise to help you develop the relaxed, natural breathing that your body is designed for.

If you practice this exercise regularly, it’ll become a habit. You’ll feel more relaxed and energetic.

Sit in a comfortable chair or lie down to do this exercise at first. As you practice, you’ll be able to do it easily in most situations – while standing, walking, playing sport or sitting at your
desk at work, for example.

Choose a time and place where you won’t be disturbed.

Lie on your back comfortably. It may help to have 
a pillow under your head and knees. You could also sit in a comfortable chair. You may like to close your eyes.
Place one hand on your belly, with your other hand resting by your side.
Gently close your mouth, lips together, and keep your jaw loose.
Breathe in gently through your nose, keeping your upper chest relaxed and not moving. Feel your belly rise and your waist expand as you breathe in. Your breath should be silent and not forced.
Breathe out lightly through your nose, without forcing, keeping your belly relaxed.
Relax and pause at the end of each breath out. Notice how fully you can breathe out.
As you repeat this exercise, concentrate on ‘letting go’
of any tension in your body – especially in your jaw, neck, shoulders and hands.
Repeat these gentle, relaxing breaths as many times as you like but perhaps for a minimum of five or 
six breaths. Then repeat a few times a day, fitting around your usual routine – for example, before you get up in the morning, when you’re relaxing in the evening, and when you get into bed at night.
(If you have trouble breathing through your nose, you may need to see your doctor and get some treatment for that).

There are a number of App’s that can help with this but also the physiotherapists at Bureta can help with breathing retraining

RELAXING MORE DEEPLY

• Lie or sit in a comfortable position.

• Starting with your toes, tighten them and hold for two or three seconds, then relax your toes and let go. Repeat this with your calves, thighs, buttocks, back, shoulders, neck, face and jaw.

• When you’re feeling relaxed
all over, place one hand on your chest and your other hand on your belly at the level of your belly button.

• Notice how you’re breathing: Which part of your body rises and falls as you breathe in and out? Now practice your relaxed breathing technique.