Tick Tock to a Healthier Lifestyle

Nicole McIntryre

We all know by now that while focusing on a healthy lifestyle through exercise and eating right is great, the balance of your mental and emotional health runs much deeper than a few good habits. Stress can inevitably rear its ugly head at any time and depending on the magnitude, it can really drag you down. Stress reduction can strengthen your body, build confidence and create loving relationships, which can trickle down to helping improve your career and finances. Making a lifestyle change is challenging, especially when you want to transform many things at once. This time, think of your life as a camera. Take some shots. Keep the good ones. Learn from the bad ones then delete them. Keep taking those shots to develop a beautiful and abundant canvas.

My balanced lifestyle

Lifestyle changes are a process that take time and require support. Once you’re ready to make a change the difficult part is committing and following through. So do your research and make a plan that will prepare you for success. Careful planning means setting small goals and taking things one step at a time. Reading this article can be your starting point.

To give you a little about how I currently take care of myself here it is… I get acupuncture once a week. This helps clear any blocks I have, relax my body and improve my sinuses. I get stress headaches which shoot down my neck. I also do fertility acupuncture at certain times of the month. This helps calm my nerves and pump blood to the uterus. Stress, anxiety, and depression is the most common reason patients come in for treatment. You can start feeling a change by the first treatment or do a series of 3 to 8. Try it! It doesn’t hurt, incredibly relaxing and can help uncover the root of your issue.

On top of the vitamins and probiotic I also enjoy occasionally getting a B12 shot. This gives me a bit of ‘pep-in-my-step’, helps me sleep and improves my mood. Vitamins are considered essential nutrients and they perform hundreds of roles in the body. They help strengthen bones, heal wounds, and bolster your immune system. They also convert food into energy, and repair cellular damage. I would caution purchasing vitamins from the grocery store as your body is unique and may be deficient or sensitive to some. I would suggest seeing a nutritionist, natural-path or your doctor first. Every good community has resources and online directories like this available too.

I also go see an osteopath once a week and this is my absolute favourite treatment! Osteotherapy is a holistic therapy that concentrates on the whole body. As opposed to chiropractors who focus more on the joints and spinal adjustments. Osteopathy is used to treat a wide range of problems across the entire body and some professionals can help clear up your energy chakras that are blocked. I decided to go see an osteopath because I overstretched myself in yoga which lead to sciatica pain in my one leg and to align my hips from a past pregnancy. It is an effective treatment for several conditions including lower back pain, neck pain, arthritis, sports injuries and pain associated with bad posture. One of their techniques is contracting, palpitating and relaxing muscles while discovering the underlying reason for the patients discomfort. I highly recommend it and if you need any referrals to some highly qualified physicians and clinics please message me – hello@hotmamaliving.com.

Last but certainly not least, being committed to a healthy diet and lifestyle is key. For the past year my family has used HelloFresh which delivers healthy meals to your door. Do I want to cook every night? Hell no! The recipes make cooking dinner interesting and they’re quite wholesome and healthy. For all you vegetarians! You can select meals to fit your needs best. I’ve gotten so bored with dinners and don’t get me started on meal preps. UGH! I hit a wall and decided a grocery delivery service, pounding the Vitamix and a cheater meal on date night was best for me! So this keeps it fun and exciting.

And don’t forget exercise. It may suck balls at times (yes I’m mature and said ‘suck balls’) especially when you are exhausted and just came off an 8-hour work day only to meet 2-hours of traffic. Whatever exercise looks like for you – onward and forward. I like to change my exercise up as I get bored really easily. So along with yoga I’ll try out a boxing class for 4-6 months, join a running group and then try out circuit training. This also helps you network and meet interesting people along your journey. If you can afford a personal trainer they are also the perfect motivator. Especially one that has large biceps…

Studies even show exercise improves mental health by helping the brain cope better with stress. In specific, exercise can produce endorphins which trigger a positive feeling in the body, similar to that of morphine! It also improves the ability to sleep, which in turn reduces stress.

Meditation, acupuncture, massage therapy, even belly breathing can stimulate your body to produce endorphins. So in a nut shell this what I do to destress and stay sharp. There are so many other methods now offered in the holistic health care community. Ayurvedic medicine, Bio-feedback, Chelation therapy, Essential Oils, Guided imagery, Herbology/Herbal remedies, Homeopathy, Hydrotherapy, Hypnosis/self-hypnosis, Iridology, MassageMeditation/Visualization, Reflexology, TCM – the list goes on and on. If you require further details in any of what I’ve covered or referrals please email me.

Holistic approach versus prescriptions

Many people self-medicate or have an addiction to medications. This we all know and it’s as simple as that. All this does is mask the pain inside and lead to more problems. A more holistic approach has become highly recommended for healthy living as it prevents this reliance to medication and promotes ‘personal medicine’ in the form of looking at the whole person and not just the one issue. It forces the person to stop avoiding the problem to facing it first hand. Such alternative medicine varies from acupuncture, floatation therapy, physiotherapy, yoga, reiki and meditation to even natural remedies within oils and vitamins. Combinational therapies work wonders as well. For all the baby boomers and skeptics out there holistic lifestyles are not spiritual, hippy-dippy stuff anymore, this approach has broke free from its eclectic structure and can attach comfortably to anyone’s plan to improve themselves.

Fact #1 The World Health Organization, estimates that between 65 to 80 percent of the world’s population (about 3 billion people) rely on naturopathic or homeopathic medicine as their primary form of health care.

Fact #2 Traditional Chinese Medicine has been chosen by the World Health Organization for worldwide propagation to meet the health care needs of the twenty-first century.

Fact #3 Worldwide, only 10 to 30 percent of people use traditional medicine, 70 to 90 percent use naturopathic and homeopathic health care.

The truth is that prescription or OTC drugs interfere with normal human metabolism. That is a big reason why prescription drugs are killing people – coupled with depression. Ironically, the majority of people tend to be concerned about their health after something major has occurred.

Having the right mindset

Having the right positive outlook is key to all this. When most people attempt to get healthy, they focus solely on physical attributes. They change their eating habits and adopt a workout routine. Dig deep here and encourage yourself to come out of your shell a bit. Balanced living means protecting your mental and emotional health.

Tip #1 Practice positive self talk.

Tip #2 Use daily affirmations or create your own mantra (way of living).

Tip #3 Believe in yourself and visualize yourself succeeding.

Tip #4 Be curious and analyze (without criticism) things that went wrong.

Tip #5 Format discussions to evoke strength and confidence.

Foods that boost your mood

Food can directly affect everything in our bodies from our mood, energy levels to memory. An unhealthy diet has been heavily linked to depressive tendencies thus, it’s important to understand our diet is very important for our mental health. It may have a direct effect and prevent you from achieving your best. Here is an extremely brief and to the point summary of healthy foods that have a direct correlation to your mood.

Almonds – Mood Swings

Salmon – Emotional Well-being

Turkey – Sleepiness and Calmness

Milk – Calming Effect

Oysters – Improve Focus & Aphrodisiac

Berries – Stress Relief

Avocados – Prevent Anxiety

Dark Chocolate – Reduces Stress

Leafy Greens – Mood-Regulating

Bone Broth – Improve Sleep and Memory

Sunflower/Pumpkin Seeds – Enhance Thinking Skills

Of course organic is better but do what you can and shopping local can be fun! There are many definitions and interpretations of what a balanced life is. Some people believe it is about having control of every element of your life while some believe it is a state of mind. The biggest benefits of living a balanced lifestyle is you must enjoy doing it. Don’t eat seeds and dirt if you hate it. Don’t work out or do yoga if its not right for you. By pinpointing the obstacles preventing you from achieving happiness in your day to day life you can change how you approach those obstacles. The most important thing to remember is to start with one thing and the rest will follow.

In summary, this approach to your health considers the entire person – physically, mentally and spiritually. This is just a sliver of suggested lifestyle changes to positively impact your overall health. Building a balanced life is not about adhering to the rules set forth by health professionals and going off the grid to live longer. It’s about living a life of meaning, happiness and success. In any case, I hope you found this article useful as I certainly enjoyed writing it for you. If you have any questions please email me at hello@hotmamaliving.com.

Much Love,

Nicole McIntyre

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