How to Keep Shining When Things Seem Dark.....
Wear a Smile - Smiling at complete strangers and saying ‘hello’ helps to increase your serotonin levels (a happiness hormone), reduces stress hormones1 and can have a profound effect on others around you. Never underestimate the value of a smile and a few kind words to people in your community. It starts a wonderful ripple effect.
Move as often as you can - Your body acts as a battery for your brain as specific nerve receptors in your spine (mechanoreceptors) send input to the central nervous system to help to fire it up. When you don’t move much, or sit for too long, it’s like you’re powering down your brain. You can become tired, frustrated and not able to think as clearly. Your stress levels can be heightened when there is less body movement to balance your brain chemistry.2,3
Use any excuse to move your body: run up the stairs, lunge when you unpack the dishwasher, dance while you’re cleaning, do squats when you're on the phone. Move continually and you will feel energised and more alive. Better still: getting out into nature to enhance the positive effect on your mind and body. A walk on the beach or in a garden will lift and rejuvenate you.
Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate - Your brain consists of 73% water, so it makes sense to keep your fluid levels up! Without water your body can’t work or repair itself properly. One of the simplest things you can do to keep your body at its best is to ensure that you drink the right volume of water per day. A useful formula to work out how much you need to drink is 35ml of water per kilogram of body weight (35ml/kg).
Follow the 80/20 rule - No one can behave perfectly all the time. The rule I follow is to be ‘good’ during the week, and a ‘little naughty’ on the weekend. In our house that means no alcohol during the week; and on weekends to have one alcoholic drink, followed by one water. I also try to have no sugar 6 days of the week, and one day on the weekend to have some treats like pancakes- or my biggest weakness: chocolate.
Sprinkle your magic fairy dust (x3) Many people are struggling at the moment and need your love and support. I find it best to not add to the doom and gloom or to contribute to polarising discussions. Find something positive and uplifting to talk about instead. Sprinkle you magic fairy dust by cooking something special for someone, or drop some hand-picked flowers to their door, or make them laugh with a message or in joke, or send someone a virtual hug. A little love goes a long way at this moment in time. Rather than focus on the negative, instead try to reach out to 3 people each day. Even just thinking about them with love will lift them.
Kimberlie Furness 21/7/2012