As an acupuncturist, I receive a host of health questions at the clinic. From how to reduce stress to recharging energy levels, you can imagine, I’ve heard lots. I recently chatted to a patient about some useful morning and evening tips, and now I’d love to share them with you.
If you have some spare time over the festive period, I highly recommend experimenting with these ideas to help with your health and wellness journey ready for the new year ahead. (yikes!).
Remember, small steps are complete game-changers.
I wish you a MERRY CHRISTMAS and HAPPY NEW YEAR!
– Emma xo
FESTIVE MORNING TIPS
I firmly believe what you do first thing in the morning is likely to affect the rest of your day. Often, setting aside half an hour for yourself, or even ten minutes, can be incredibly rewarding. Here you will find a series of morning tips I regularly share with patients that can quickly assist with your energy levels. Cherry-pick what suits!
Avoid social media: First and foremost, avoid starting your day checking your text messages or emails. Yes, I appreciate this may be difficult, but the goal is to minimise any unnecessary stress, so your energy feels recharged. Instead, go and put your Christmas tree lights on, grab a glass of hot lemon and water or a cuppa ready to focus totally on yourself before the household stirs. I know you’ll feel better for doing this!
Yoga: I favour a one-two-one yoga programme for that morning zen feeling. In particular, I recommend trying the Viniyoga or Yin yoga methods because both styles are complementary to Traditional Chinese medicine, helping to enhance and balance your energy (Qi). It’s a good idea to work on some goals, especially as we’re approaching a new year. For instance, do you want to reduce stress, improve your strength and fitness or support your overall wellness? A qualified yoga teacher will point you in the right direction. Once you find something you enjoy, I’m sure you’ll stick with it.
Meditation: Meditating in the morning is a must-try for 2020. I always recommend learning using a guided, safe approach. Find a suitable teacher or upload a professional app that hits the spot. In particular, I suggest listening to Headspace because it’s a perfect foundation level for newcomers to meditation. They also offer a free trial period, and guess what, you can even learn how to meditate while walking!
Walking: If yoga and meditation are not up your street, a brisk morning stroll is a great way to walk off your Xmas stodge. Where possible, walk in nature, focus on deep belly breathing and your beautiful surroundings. Hopefully, you’ll feel energised and less sluggish for doing some exercise. Also, another positive new year’s resolution might be to walk daily for 10-20 minutes.
A good, festive lie-in: Without feeling guilty, try catching up on your sleep with a lovely, long lie-in. It has to be one of the best ways to recharge your energy.
Eat breakfast: I do recommend allowing time for eating a healthy, relaxed breakfast such as gluten-free porridge, a shake, muesli or avocado with smoked salmon on buckwheat toast to name just a few. I also appreciate eating a huge breakfast may not necessarily suit everyone’s unique energy and physiology. This is where a full traditional acupuncture diagnosis can point you in the right direction, so your first meal of the day can be tailored to suit your unique constitution.
FESTIVE EVENING TIPS
Creating some healthy bedtime habits is essential for your health and wellness. I’ve always believed in the therapeutic benefits of a good night’s sleep. Here are some top shut-eye tips that can help you to relax and destress:
Switch off social media: Need I say more? Social media is becoming the bane of our lives. To unwind, I recommend switching off all modern technology an hour before you go to bed. Instead, focus on the simple Chrismassy things like playing some fun board games or quizzes, reading, talking, listen to some traditional Christmas carols or have a soak in the bath using your new Xmas smellies.
Organic French lavender oil: For a nighttime ritual, try using organic French lavender oil. Put three to four drops on your pillowcase or add some oil to your evening bath to create a lovely, calming therapeutic effect. I like to order my French lavender oil from Nature’s Dispensary due to its divine, crisp scent. It also happens to be one of the best health food shops I’ve come across selling high-quality products. If you’re health buff like me, and live nearby, this shop is highly recommended.
Magnesium: This tip is worth following all year-round. Studies show how magnesium can help to maintain and support the nervous system along with many other health benefits. It is a safe supplement to take half an hour before going to bed to ease any restlessness. For a wind-down bedtime routine, try taking good-quality magnesium with a cup of warm goat’s, almond or coconut milk. If you have supplement queries, Biocare offers great professional online nutritional advice.
Bathtime! Having a bath at the end of the day ranks as one of my favourite evening rituals. It sounds so simple, but often it’s neglected because of our busy lives. A good soak really can help to clear your mind ready for some peaceful sleep. Treat yourself to some lovely bath salts, place some rose quartz around the tub, and of course, you can’t forget the candles. Just allow yourself some well-earned rest after a busy year. Check out Energy Muse for some gorgeous crystals.
Journal: Journaling can be a lovely way to end your day on a positive note. And what a great time to start as we approach a new year. Buy a cute notebook and pen and consider all of your daily successes. Also, try letting go of anything that no longer serves you, so that you can start anew. I think self-reflection can be incredibly liberating and beneficial for your health and wellness. So, give it a go and have fun with it ready for an exciting 2020!
If you fancy treating yourself to a good-quality diary Dailygreatness have some lovely ones.
Please discuss with your doctor or traditional acupuncturist if you have a severe medical condition before trying any of my advice. As with all articles on emmasammels.com, this is no substitution for individual medical intervention. If you are interested in finding out more information, please visit my Bookings page.