The unprecedented circumstances of lockdown and social distancing may have put a strain on the mental and physical health of you and your family. Of course, you desperately want to put things right — but with the overwhelming demands on the NHS, you may have — in most cases, quite rightly, avoided taking up the valuable time of medical care professionals.
So perhaps for the first time, through recommendation or through frustration, you’ve been searching for an alternative, effective approach to supporting the general well-being of you and your family.
The good news is that sometimes all we actually need to soothe body and mind is to implement a few simple lifestyle changes. And as time goes on, perhaps like me, you’re finding that those changes don’t have to be big and dramatic, they just need to become routine.
SLOW PROGRESS IS BETTER THAN NO PROGRESS.
We’re all different, but you don’t know what will work for you or what you will enjoy, until you try it! Here are a few effective, healthy routines that have worked for me and my family:
Exercising: Walking in nature, even at a moderate pace has a noticeable calming effect. Yoga or team sports relieve stress and moodiness. Physical activity also trains your brain.
Meditating daily: Even brief sessions of mindfulness produce major mental health benefits. Regular practice eases stress and social anxiety as you increase your self-awareness and compassion. (See below for a free downloadable meditation track)
Sleeping well: Psychological issues can interfere with your sleep, and lack of sleep can make symptoms more difficult to manage. Break the cycle by sticking to a regular bedtime and keeping your bedroom dark and quiet. If you should need additional help — there are many natural supplements to aid sleep, rather than resorting to pharmaceutical drugs.
Eating healthily: Most adults can get enough vitamins and other nutrients from a balanced diet. But as you’ll know — that’s easier said than done. Despite our best efforts and avoiding the obvious ‘no-no’ foods; it may be that we need a little booster. A couple of likely examples that spring to mind, are i) Vitamin D — which helps with mood regulation and brain function. Egg yolks and sunshine are both great sources of this essential vitamin. Although eggs are easy enough to come across, if you live in the UK, access to sunshine can be a bit hit and miss to say the least! So a quality Vitamin D supplement might just do the trick. ii) B12 is important in keeping up energy levels and having a healthy heart. But if you’re vegan (as I am), there’s a very good chance that you won’t be getting enough of this vitamin since it’s found mainly in animal products. Again, a supplement can address the problem.
Taking Supplements: A word of caution though! Beware the rapidly growing supplement market. Fake or low-quality products aren’t going to support you and aren’t worth the money however great a bargain you’ve found. So my advice would be that, if you do decide to support your health with a supplement, search online for recently up-dated and reputable sites for the recommended strengths and dosage for your condition. And do tell your regular doctor what you’re planning to do! (Especially important if you are already on prescribed medication.) Always check the quality of the product you’re buying — especially if it’s an online purchase. Is it a specialised website or is it a ‘we sell everything and anything to make a quick buck’ website? Are you buying from a general high street store or a health shop? Although this is not an infallible rule, give yourself the best chance of improving your health & wellbeing by purchasing from a specialist supplier. I’ve included links to a few resourceful sites below.
GIVE YOUR BODY THE CHANCE TO HEAL ITSELF.
IT’S SMARTER THAN YOU THINK.
No matter how skeptical we may have been in the past regarding natural remedies and alternative therapies, as we come through this lockdown period, there’s never been a more appropriate moment in time to acknowledge that our health is the most valuable commodity we can have.
I’m not suggesting that vitamins, supplements, exercising and natural remedies should replace medical advice. They won’t provide a solution to every health condition, but they certainly have the potential to offer a better quality of life in many cases.
I’ll leave you with this lovely, on-point quote from the great motivational speaker
im Rohn: “Look after your body, it’s the only place you have to live.”
Feel free to download the meditation tracks and take a look at the links below.
RESOURCES: For a free introductory meditation track just click here and to hear more, go to http://angelwisdom.co.uk/
For info about Vitamin Supplements: https://www.nhs.uk/common-health-questions/food-and-diet/do-i-need-vitamin-supplements/
To find out about Homeopathy: https://bhma.org/
For vitamins & supplements, https://organicsecrets.co.uk
*Like a lot of people, I drank wine every day. I knew that I was potentially damaging my liver — but cutting back on alcohol was hard, so I took the easier option of taking a daily milk thistle supplement. It made me feel a bit more responsible about my drinking I suppose!
Why milk thistle? Well, I’d kept hearing of people taking milk thistle tablets ‘the morning after the night before’, to help the liver cope with excesses of alcohol. It’s got to be worth a try I thought — but decided to check online as to the pros & cons. It turns out that taking a milk thistle supplement with a high Silymarin content (around 80%) is renowned for being able to detoxify the liver and could offer other benefits including help with weight loss, high cholesterol and diabetes 2, which I’ll mention later.
When I’d been taking the milk thistle supplement for quite some time (and years into my drinking habit), I was quite nervous to be sent by my doctor for a liver scan. Surprisingly, my results were well within the ‘normal’ range. And not just in — the numbers were WELL within normal range! Had my decision to take milk thistle paid off?
Now this is a personal account. Your results may differ.
A WEIRD EXPERIENCE.
The scan was certainly a weird experience. Here’s why. You know when people comment on your drinking habits and you want to lie to them, play it down? This made me feel the opposite. I almost felt like a fraud . The Doc was speaking with an air of disbelief: “Those results don’t seem consistent with the amount you said you drank.”; “What do you drink”; “What strength?” I almost felt like I had to ‘up’ my drinking habits to justify my place on the scan bed!
When I offered my taking milk thistle as a reason for the great result, the medics present in the room wouldn’t or couldn’t agree with me, nor did they dismiss my reasoning. In fact they did admit to knowing that the supplement is given in rehab, to boost the liver function.
The active ingredient in milk thistle is called silymarin, and it apparently acts as an antioxidant. Scientists think this creates a detoxifying effect, and that’s why milk thistle may be beneficial for problems relating to the liver. Although I have no experience of the following conditions, there are claims that milk thistle can also help to: reduce cholesterol; boost the immune system; reduce insulin resistance in those with Type 2 Diabetes; and assist in treating degenerative conditions of the mind such as Alzheimer’s.*
It’s also claimed to help with weight loss. I may have unknowingly benefited from this as I’m just a normal, average build female and whilst I definitely could have done with losing the ‘stomach’ at that time, I wasn’t grossly overweight as you might expect - considering that I used to drink at every possible opportunity.
IS IT SAFE?
If you’d like to know what it is, milk thistle (Silybum marianum) is a thorny plant with purple flowers and white-veined leaves. Originally from the Mediterranean region, it comes from the same family of plants as the daisy. Traditional stories claim the white veins were caused by a drop of the Virgin Mary’s milk falling onto its leaves. I’ll just leave that one with you!
Whilst you decide whether you’d benefit from taking the precaution of a daily milk thistle supplement — remember that remedies such as this have been around for over 200 years and millions of people around the world consult homeopaths. In fact, it’s recognised by the World Health Organisation as the second most practised medical system in the world.**
For me, it’s a no-brainer. If there’s natural relief from a condition, then I’m all for trying it, as I’m very dubious about the ‘big pharma’ industry and the eagerness with which we are consuming prescribed drugs. Who knows what the long term effects of those will be?
I’m not using my experience to condone irresponsible drinking. However, if you do over-indulge often — or even if you indulge just occasionally, I can only recommend taking this supplement as a precaution to protect your liver. As mentioned, the Silymarin content is important. The link below is to the brand I took.
And of course, if you’re already taking prescribed drugs — talk to your doctor before taking any type of supplement, to make sure it won’t interact.
They say that Mother Nature is the ultimate medicinal chemist. If my experience with milk thistle is anything to go by, I’m inclined to believe it.
*= (source: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320362.php )
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