Wellbeing

Wellbeing

Slim Shady


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Sitting at a desk all day is just as bad for your health as smoking a pack of cigarettes.

Did that get your attention as much as it got mine?

For someone who has never smoked a cigarette in her life, hearing this made me sit up… Actually no, it made me stand up.

It’s a sad fact that the average Australian adult sits for 9 hours a day1, when research about the negative health impacts of sitting for prolonged periods has existed since the 1700’s2.

As part of my January ‘Whole30‘ health challenge, I decided to flick the office chair and fashion a stand up desk. With a sheet of timber and the engineering expertise of a very handy dad, it was a pretty simple task (I simply drew a little sketch on the back of an old envelope, and a wooden structure magically appeared outside my room!).

I have to admit, the first couple of weeks were tough going. The work day seemed to drag on and on, but after a month, I can comfortably stand for most of the day. And I have noticed my neck and shoulders are considerably less stiff than after a normal working week.

I now challenge you, Slim Shady, to please STAND UP!

Resources

1. Health Check: Sitting versus standing.
http://www.smh.com.au/technology/sci-tech/health-check-sitting-versus-standing-20140818-105jfq.html

2. Bernardino Ramazzini http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1446785/

Wellbeing

Veggie Patch Kids


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I once told my dad that I wanted to grow up so I could buy a car and drive to the beach to build sandcastles every day.

I’ve got a car now, but I don’t remember the last time I actually built a sandcastle. The closest I’ve come recently has been ‘Project Veggie Patch’, which involved a fair amount of digging and tipping buckets of sand. One of the perks of living on a sand dune.

I’ve never really been much of a green thumb, luckily my step mum is practically a magical garden fairy, so with her help and a fair bit of praying to the vegetable gods, we now have our very own organic veggie garden.

We’re keeping it simple to start with, the aim is to be self sufficient with salad leaves and herbs. Santa was kind enough to get us a copy of ‘How to Grow Food in Small Spaces‘ by  the Veggie Patch Co. A great read with some really simple, practical tips if you’re thinking of starting a patch of your own.

You’re all invited to dinner at our place after the harvest!

Wellbeing

Habits of Happy People


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Inspired by a recent Up for a Chat podcast, I set about writing my own version of the ‘Habits of Happy People’ based on nothing other than my own meandering experience…

1. Give to Receive

If happiness is what you seek then become a source of happiness to those around you. The more happiness you create within those around you, the more likely you are to feel it yourself. Be generous with compliments and positive thoughts and cut the whingeing.

2. Sleeping beauty

I dated this guy in my late teens and his solution to overcoming problems was to go to sleep. He’d have an argument with his mum, go and have a nap, and when he woke it was like it’d never happened… While probably not an ideal way to get through life, the point is, sleep does wonders to improve your mood. So try to get at least 6 hours of quality z’s a night (I know, I know, easy to say when you don’t have kids).

3. Wander the World

I try to begin every day with a 30 minute walk, as this in itself halves the total stress in the body (physical, mental and emotional). Use this time to energise yourself, and mentally prepare for the day ahead. Try and get out into the bush – the sounds of nature are incredibly powerful on the soul.

4. JERF

I won’t go an and on with this one, it’s a no brainer. Just Eat Real Food.

5. Loose Yourself

Call it meditation if you will, but find something you enjoy doing that allows you to ‘get out of your head’ for a little while. For me, it’s playing the piano – my total focus is on the music, there’s no room for negative thoughts to creep in.

6. Sweat it out

Exercise releases endorphins, it’s science. Want to feel happy? Then move your butt! Personally, I have an intense love-hate relationship with Bikram Yoga. It’s one of the most hot, sweaty and uncomfortable 1.5 hours known to man, but the rush when you get out – feeling completely stretched and detoxed is like no other.

7. Get on with it

You know all those little things you’ve been meaning to do and keep putting off? Write it down. You’ll get a lot of personal satisfaction and a great sense of accomplishment as you cross each thing off.

8. Gather Experiences

They say ‘do something everyday that scares you’. Well, I’m going to tone that down a little bit to ‘try something new, often’ (doesn’t quite have the same ring does it?). Say you found yourself at a random seminar and suddenly realised you were going to have to walk across hot coals, just go with it! (This actually happened, I blame Marcus Pearce).

9. Seek Beauty in Things

I’m a highly visual person and I find happiness in creating beautiful things, emerging myself in beautiful places and seeking out pretty things everywhere I go. It’s one of the reasons I moved up to the Sunshine Coast. If you’re like me, then take the ‘Photo a Day’ challenge and try to capture something beautiful everyday. And share that beauty with your peeps – hashtag the hell out of it.

10. Free Bear Hugs

For those of you not in a relationship, then there’s a chance you’re missing out on the power of affection as a source of happiness. But it’s doesn’t have to be between the sheets affection, hugs are (almost) as good. Go on, boys don’t actually have cooties, share your energy with another human being – become a serial hugger.

11. Laugh Everyday

I’m not one of those overly bubbly, happy types by any stretch of the imagination. But when you smile and laugh you get a surge of good chemicals through your body, it’s powerful stuff. I use the smile trick doing my most loathed Bikram postures – it makes them (almost) fun if you smile through it!

12. Good News

I got back from New York about two months ago and since returning I have completely stopped watching TV. I used to watch the morning news each day and I’ve found it so much nicer not starting the day of by hearing all the horrors that have happened in the world. I’m not saying bury your head in the sand, but limit your ‘media’ time to quality journalism and do it at a time when you’re in a good head space for it.