The way we measure success is skewed by the messages thrust at us daily via our phones, computers and mass media. Having the trappings of success – demanding job or business, cars, nice homes, clothes, trips and the lifestyle – is wonderful but if you do not have your health and wellbeing, money in the bank means nothing.
While we pursue this version of success, many of us are left exhausted, burnt out, overwhelmed, and questioning if work life balance is really just a theme from a fantasy novel. When we focus on pursuing success in one area of life – work and business – families, relationships and health is often placed on the backburner until the wakeup call of thyroid disease, cancer, diabetes, and other chronic diseases.
When our bodies are under constant pressure, not eating properly, our gut health suffers. The microbiome (gut health) is important for overall health and is impacted by stress and our frantic lifestyles.
To have it all – holistic success – you need to work towards a Five Step MBA – Mind Body Accountability.
Step 1 and 2 – Mind – leave it at the door
Step 3 and 4 – Body – what you eat
Step 5 – Accountability – record wins, goals and gratitude.
Here are the five steps to help achieve your MBA.
- Leave it at the door
Short fuse, premenstrual tension, loss of libido, no time for husband or self – does that sound familiar?
When we feel under the pump with work deadlines, a mountain of projects and demands, coupled with trying to juggle family commitments, it can seem overwhelming. It’s hard to leave work and your worries at the door in the evening but for your ongoing sanity, you have to.
When you walk into the house, imagine you have a box you can leave the events of the day and pick it up later. Put all the devices that distract into the box so you can spend time with your loved ones and yourself. Set a time so you can focus on your family. I know there are many who will say this is not possible but even if it is an hour or two; you can always go back to work later. So between 6pm and 8pm, this is your time to unwind, have partner time, walk the dog time, yoga time, speak to your mum time…whatever it needs to be to make you feel good, treat yourself with compassion and fill your emotional bucket.
- Sleep hygiene
Most of our days are a whirlwind of activity, deadlines and staring at brightly lit screens. Little wonder we find it hard to get to sleep at night – our brains are go go go. A great way to set yourself up for a good night sleep is to set a bedtime. At 9pm or as soon as dinner is over, turn down the lights, put on some soft lamps or candles.
The soft lighting helps elevate your melatonin – the chemical that helps us get ready for sleep. The latest research says that using electronic devices right up to when we go to sleep is upsetting our sleep patterns and our love lives. The bright lights from our smart devices elevates cortisol levels, which make our brains active; not sleep inducing. If you do suffer insomnia, try having a banana before bed. Bananas are high in tryptophan – a feel good amino acid.
- Plan ahead
A girl’s best friend is a slow cooker and rice cooker… and a timer to get it all underway without you being there. The beauty of a slow cooker is you can prepare enough food for lunch the next day. How would it feel to walk in the door knowing a yummy dinner was done and all you had to do was serve it up?
- Eat and drink well
I’m not going to tell you what you can and can’t eat; you know what is not good for you. But you will benefit from increasing plant-based foods in your diet and drinking more water. Instead of grabbing a chocolate bar for energy, grab something that will give you sustained energy like a cold cooked potato and some salt.
- Be grateful
As you snuggle up in bed, spend some time writing what you are grateful for in a journal. Expressing gratitude gives a sense of calm. A 2012 study published in Personality and Individual Differences showed people who express gratitude over physically healthy and Robert A. Emmons, Ph.D., a leading gratitude researcher, found in his many studies that there is a gratitude and well-being. Or you can have a victory folder, where you celebrate your wins. Or have a worries folder, where you can record the worry and put out to the universe for a solution overnight.
Kathy Ashton understands which foods benefit the body. As a nutritional medicine practitioner she uses whole food, plant based, oil free foods to produce amazing results, transforming lives through improvements in sleep, energy, sustainable weight loss and a reduction in symptoms from chronic diseases. Kathy believes change is only one decision away. Visit www.flourishnutritionalmedicine.com.au