I'm Sally Dibden and I'm delighted that you've found our guide.
My aim is to guide you to healthy habits that you can sustain, in the most efficient way. In my experience, baby steps always work best. This isn't a quick fix guide, though for some people who are able to implement the steps sensibly the effects can be seen pretty soon. It is however, a 'whole' approach to health in that it covers the various aspects of looking after your body, mind and soul. These are some of the primary steps that make the biggest difference. It isn't a complete guide and of course it isn't bespoke for you. However, if you are able to implement the majority, then I would hope you will feel a fair bit better. After a few weeks I would hope you feel a few steps closer to your idea of optimal happiness and health and be able to perform at your best at work, home or play.
STEP ONE: Sleep
If your sleep pattern isn't in order then life is difficult. This is where I start with all my clients. Is your sleep disturbed by pain? Anxiety? An unknown cause? Take some time when you aren't tired to really address this issue. Maybe you simply need to get to bed earlier? Maybe you need to step away from the tv or facebook earlier, improve your sleep routine and quality. Do get help quite urgently if this is a problem you can't resolve quickly yourself. Once our sleep declines, our whole health suffers.
STEP TWO: Mindfulness
Stop and tune in. Take 3 deep breaths. Let any busy thoughts float away as you notice what's really going on for you, right now. Are you feeling tired? Stressed? Overwhelmed? Contented? Just be aware. This isn't the moment for judgements as to how you 'should' or 'would like' to be feeling, it's just a moment to be aware of what is going on for you, right now. Try for short periods of time, ie. 5 minutes to start; it gets much easier with practice.
STEP THREE: Desires
Once you've done number 2 (and if you haven't, stop, breathe and go back!), take a blank piece of paper and write out what you would really love in the new you...health, happiness, lose weight, eat 'better', more fulfilling relationships, a change at work, a new environment etc. It's best to do this when you're feeling relaxed, in a place that's uplifting for you.
STEP FOUR: Diet
Let's consider what you've eaten so far today. Breakfast? Snacks? Healthy meals? Do you feel this food is the optimal nutrition/fuel for you? What's the number of changes you could make today that you could keep up with if you put your mind to it? It's definitely best to think baby steps here. If for example, you tend to skip breakfast but know you function better with it, set yourself a very achievable goal eg. eat something. Then gradually work on improving the quality and quantity. Or if you think you need to reduce chocolate or sugary fixes, have a plan to replace the habit eg. a glass of water or a square of raw chocolate instead. Set yourself up to succeed.
STEP FIVE: Fluids
Watch your fluids - those going in and out! We all know the importance of drinking adequate water. Take a few minutes to check in with when and what you've drunk over the last 24 hours. Aim to keep the caffeinated and sugar drinks (including fruit juices) as low as possible. Drink a good amount of clean water.
Check your urine! Is it dark coloured and smelly? Or nearly clear and odorless? Great reminder (and great for kids too).
STEP SIX: Nature and Exercise
Get outside! Nature can have a massive healing influence. Sweaty and dark gyms aren't necessarily the best use of your time if what your body is really craving is light, fresh air and nature. Exercise is vital for the body's functioning, but quality not just quantity needs considering.
STEP SEVEN: Body Awareness and Intuition
Go back to number 2...Now check in with how your body feels. Again, no judgements, just facts...does your chest feel released or tight? Does your tummy feel relaxed or clenched? Shoulders up or down? Just heightening awareness. Never ignore pain, be it emotional or physical. Pain doesn't show up without reason and usually needs exploring...by yourself or with the help of a qualified professional.
3 big belly breaths. Let your body and that little voice inside tell you where to start. We are all highly intuitive beings. However, the stresses and busyness of life take over and it can be overwhelming. So breathe and just concentrate on the one baby step you can take today that your body is screaming out for. That might be exercise, change in how and when you eat, more rest etc etc. The important thing is that we can't expect to live 'perfectly' all of the time, so let your body help you prioritise.
Most importantly......be realistic. This is a work in motion. My passion is to help people to achieve sustainable results, not a quick fix. I work to support people who are driven to get the fastest results possible.
Sally Dibden is a Health, Life and High Performance Coach. Originally trained as a Physical Therapist, she uses her 20 years experience in health and sport to support busy, active and high-achieving people to stay happy and resilient in strong, energised bodies with clear, focused minds. She lives in France and delivers her coaching programmes in person and via Skype to people all over Europe.
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