July 1, 2023
Did you know that the 12th July is National Simplicity Day? It was founded in honour of Henry David Thoreau, who was born on this day in 1817, he was an advocate of living simply and wrote a number of books on the subject.
Our lives today are often anything but simple, a non-stop assault of news, social updates, reminders and alerts. It may sound odd, but it can be a good idea to make an appointment with yourself to block out some quite time or just a short period away from screens and devices.
Our lives can be anything but simple, so plan to make some time away from screens and devices to recharge your own batteries.
It might not be possible to take a whole day away from everyday life, but maybe plan a few hours to give your body and mind some breathing space and a chance to relax. Planning is key! There is no point arranging to give yourself a couple of hours peace if all you are going to do is worry that you need to be somewhere else or someone needs something from you. Whether it is a deadline or the children wanting lunch, plan around those moments and prepare in advance, to get the best out of you break.
Maybe you can include family and friends and arrange a trip to a park or green space, for fresh air a picnic and time away from phones and laptops. Doing something restorative and simple, needn’t be done alone. Maybe you can plan something with your colleagues, a lunch time walk for half an hour or maybe one of your team does yoga and can demonstrate some simple breathing techniques or easy stretches to help quiet the mind and still the body.
Green spaces, time away from the desk, concentrating on your breathing, these are all things that can have a positive impact on your mental and physical health.
When it comes to keeping yourself healthy with what you eat and drink, again keeping it simple can have a lot of benefits. It is easy to eat a lot of processed food and complex meals, but giving your system a bit of a rest with nourishing simple foods can help your digestive system settle, especially after celebrations and holidays where you might have over indulged.
You don’t have to do full detox, simply give your body nutrient rich foods and uncomplicated meals. Yoghurt and fresh berries for breakfast, a large mixed salad for lunch with plenty of green leaves such as lettuce, watercress, spinach and rocket. Mix it up with tomatoes, grated carrots, cucumber, celery, grated apple and grapes, then add a protein such as chicken or cheese, tuna or eggs to give you a vibrant meal packed full of brightly coloured fruit and veg which help cleanse the system, provide antioxidants and support your digestive enzymes. Dinner can be soups and homemade bread, baked potatoes with toppings and a salad or a rice and pulse based dish.
Simple meals can give your digestive system a rest as well as helping you ensure you are getting nutrients into your body.
Even eating more simple foods for a couple of days a week can give your system a break and help restore some balance.
When it comes to your supplements, it is also easy to over complicate things or even to keep buying new and different formulations as you see them, without thinking about whether you are already taking something similar or perhaps doubling up on some nutrients.
Every three months or so, it is a good idea to review what you are taking and more importantly, why you are taking it. Where you taking a supplement to help an issue that is now resolved? Could you stop taking it or maybe move to a maintenance dose?
Have you added in new supplements and are now taking two or three with the same ingredients? Depending on the levels, you are not necessarily taking too much, but you could find you are taking more than your body can use in one go.
Have you got bottles that are out of date? Nutrients deteriorate over time, so if they are more than a couple of months out of date you may find you are not taking what you thought you were.
Take some time to simplify or adjust your supplements and get the most out of them. You can easily build a simple regime that provides the body with nutrients and botanicals that support your diet and lifestyle. Here are a few that might be useful to include in your regime.
It is very easy to keep adding more and more supplements to your regime, check what you are taking and why you are taking it.
There are a number of B vitamins and they are collectively known as B complex. Many B vitamins such as B6 and B12 contribute towards reducing tiredness and fatigue, so if your life is busy and you feel tired, B vitamins can be useful.
We many have plenty of opportunity to manufacture vitamin D from sunshine during the summer, but if you don’t get outside very often or tend to keep your skin covered, you could take a supplement. Vitamin D is plays a role in calcium absorption for bone health and also for the immune system.
We hear a lot about having a healthy gut microbiome, the good bacteria in our gut that plays a role not only in digestion, but also in supporting the immune system and many other areas. Research is now showing that these friendly bacteria play a role in our mental health as well as our physical health. If you don’t include many fermented foods such as yoghurt, kimchi, kefir or kombucha in your diet, a supplement can be useful.
A multi vitamin and mineral can give you a range of nutrients as a good foundation, look for one with the nutrients in their active forms so that they are easy for the body to utilise.
A multi vitamin and mineral supplement is a good way to provide yourself with a wide range of vitamins and minerals in one or two tablets a day.
Amongst the minerals, one of the most important for the body is magnesium, especially for our busy lives today. Magnesium plays a role in reducing tiredness and fatigue and also contributes to normal psychological function. It combines well with B vitamins too.
There are many supplements available that can be useful additions to your health lifestyle, the important thing is to be aware of what you are taking and why you are taking it. Start simply and don’t try and take one of everything ‘just in case’ you need it. Look at your diet and see what nutrients are in your food, use supplements to help you in areas you might be missing.
Overall, this July, and every other month, try to take some time out for some simplicity whether in your day to day life or in what you eat. Your body and mind with thank you.Back to Blog