Holistic health is the connection between our body, mind and soul and Vicky from VJW Holistic Therapies shares her expert knowledge with us during "Mental Health Awareness Week".
Our wellbeing is something that we can easily overlook in ‘normal’ day to day life. But in these current circumstances it is more important than ever. At VJW Holistic Therapies our approach is always holistic - the treatment of a person as a whole. So, Abbie, Ciel and myself have taken the time to collectively give some of our top tips for these unknown times.
To start, here are some tips to help towards your holistic wellbeing:
Stretch - it’s amazing what a short stretch can release in your body. A deep breath in with a sun salutation can set you up for another day.
Nature- Get close to nature. Make the most of your hourly exercise and find new paths and views in your area. It will keep you away from the news and put your mind at peace for a while.
Routine - it’s so easy to fall into a pit of doing nothing but scrolling and TV catch ups when there is no structure in your day. Try to plan a rough schedule for your weekdays. Maybe that’s setting an alarm so that you start your day before noon, getting out of your tracksuit once in a while or having a shower! We’ve all had those days, but trust me. Just adding these little steps will be good for your soul.
Self-Healing During a Crisis:
Using reiki and mindfulness to let go of stress.
With the continuing Covid pandemic, we have found ourselves living in a very strange situation that none of ever predicted or prepared for. It’s okay to feel stressed out and overwhelmed by this, because we’re living in stressful and overwhelming times.
How we deal with those feelings though, that at least we can have some control over. Reiki is a Japanese energy healing therapy that focuses on harmonising the body, mind, and spirit. There is a belief that when the mind is sick, the body will suffer, so by taking care of your mental health you can affect your physical health too.
Our renowned practitioner Ciel has put some helpful tips together for you:
Disengage. The easiest thing to do is to cut back on how much news coverage you’re consuming. Limit it to what’s necessary and don’t wind up wasting an afternoon scrolling through endless news articles or status updates.
Breathe deeply. Breathe at your own pace, but try to breathe from deep in your belly, not your shoulders or chest. As you breathe, feel your belly expand and inflate. As you breathe out, feel relaxed and heavier.
Spend a few minutes breathing, and simply notice your body: do you have any aches and pains, do you need to stretch out, are you actually hungry? How do you feel today?
Allow yourself to acknowledge these things, but don’t engage with them. You can imagine your troubling thoughts floating away each time you exhale. After a few minutes of mindful breathing, you can add a little affirmation to it: as you breathe in, say “I am_” and imagine yourself breathing in that emotion or quality (like “I am strong” or “I am calm” or “I am going to finish my to-do list”). Repeat it a few times, until you feel ready to face the world again. The more you meditate or practice mindful breathing, the easier it gets, and the better you’ll feel. And over time you’ll find it easier to brush off the little stresses.
Lets talk about the ‘Feel good factor’
You might have heard about endorphins when talking about laughter before, but you may not know exactly what they are and what they do.
What are endorphins?
Endorphins are one type of four chemicals in our brains that determine our level of happiness. Along with dopamine, serotonin and oxytocin, endorphins are called neurotransmitters. These neurotransmitters constantly channel through our nervous system, sending messages and signals back and forth between the brain and areas of our body to tell us how we feel.
Endorphins have the job of delivering messages about painful or stressful stimuli and react as an analgesic, commonly known as a painkiller, which means they provide us with a sensation of calm and ease. In this way, they help to relieve pain and also symptoms of anxiety and depression
What can I do to increase my endorphins?
It’s pretty simple, do more of the things that makes you feel good!
It could be having a skype call with a friend, reminiscing over the good times, going for a walk to your favourite spot or a personal favourite of mine is listening to a playlist on Spotify and singing at the top of your voice, like no-one can hear (yet they probably can).
Others way to increase endorphins:
- Through giving, volunteering or helping. The warming sensation you feel from doing good or donating.
- Exercise or Yoga. The ‘pump’ you feel during or post work out.
Here is one we can all do that’s FREE but it’s extremely contagious…
Laughter - Research has shown the health benefits of laughter. It’s also effective at boosting the ‘feel good’ factor of the people around you. I know hearing someone laugh from the belly often puts a little smile on my own face.
Now, dim the lights, turn your phone off and relax in the bath. Clear your mind of any mental chatter and just take some time for yourself!
Take Care, Stay Safe…
Love, Peace and Joy From Vicky and Team VJW Holistic Therapies