Why don't you just take five

iI’m writing this in January, when two things always happen: Firstly, I make vows or New Year Resolutions and, secondly, my money runs out, before the end of the month! There’s not much I can do about the money running out, but there is something I can do about my vows and resolutions, which are often ‘resurrected’, year after year! ?

As usual, my resolutions are to get fit, to eat better, to exercise more and to drink less. Does this sound familiar? It should! Apparently, these are the most common resolutions all of us make at this time of year.

I have to make these resolutions EVERY year because every year I slip-up, trip-up or eventually fail to maintain my resolutions and fall into the same old habits of sitting in coffee shops, eating cake! ?

But this year it’s going to be different. My husband has bought me a book from Amazon. Not just any book, it’s a book by Dr Rangan Chatterjee that claims I’ll ‘Feel Better in 5’ minutes! I lead a busy life, and a shortage of time is one of the reasons (I mean excuses) I never persevere with my annual resolutions to improve my health and fitness.

Dr Chatterjee points out a blindingly obvious fact at the start of the book - that it’s hard, perhaps impossible, to make sweeping and lasting changes to your health by solely relying on willpower and motivation. Willpower and motivation may get you started, and they do have some part to play, but in the long term you need more. In Dr Chatterjee’s book, ‘more’ is a change in lifestyle, because the way we choose to live, effectively defines how healthy we end up being. If we make good lifestyle choices, we’ll feel well. If we make bad lifestyle choices, we’ll end up struggling and feeling sick. This is pretty obvious, but it’s something we forget or overlook, as we follow our busy lives, full of amazing temptations, often in the shape of coffee shops!

The great thing about Dr Chatterjee’s book is the last bit of the book’s title. The 5! 

We all lead busy lives, so (at least for me) exercise often takes on the form of a huge, time-consuming project involving: finding your gym kit, packing your bag, getting into the car, driving to the gym, taking the class, showering, putting on your make-up, getting back in the car and driving home! Phew! No wonder I put it off. No wonder I feel tired just writing about it!

The book points out that - if it only takes 5 minutes, we are much more likely to do it. And amazing things can be achieved in 5 minutes.

But, we also need to get into the habit of spending 5 minutes, changing our lifestyles and making better choices. The book points out several ways of doing this. But I have some suggestions from much closer to home! For example, my husband has always used techniques that could have come straight out of the book to help him with his teeth flossing routine. He has a post-it note on the bathroom mirror to remind himself. He also makes sure his flossing brushes are always right in front of him, reminding him to floss his teeth whenever he brushes his teeth. 

You can imagine lots of other ways of getting into good habits that take very little time, but make it easier to make good lifestyle choices: keeping your gym kit in a bag beside the door; having your coat, boots and dog-leads at the front door, so it only takes a minute to get out on a dog walk; putting the fruit and healthy snacks in clear view, at the front of the fridge shelves; putting the crisps and chocolate out of sight and ‘harms way’. (My husband also has a habit of hiding the chocolate in our house. This can be good or bad, depending on my mood!)

I could go on and on, or you could go on-line and buy the book from Amazon. It’s absolutely full of little things (some, take much less than 5 minutes) that you can do to improve your lifestyle. This includes: what you eat, little exercises that can be fitted into your day, suggestions for relaxing and doing something for you, or for others.

And, if you’ve ‘mislaid’ your resolutions, or your book, and you need some help with a busy life, a stressful job and life’s little aches and pains, you could always try reflexology.

If you would like to know more about how complementary therapies can help you, contact, Catherine Harper on 07962975124 or email catherine@tranquilhaven.co.uk or check out www.tranquilhaven.co.uk


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