Overwhelm can grab hold and give you a big squeeze at this time of year. I’m seeing and feeling it’s effects on many clients as well as myself.
In today’s world we are bombarded with infinite distractions, choices and responsibilities. Perfect conditions for overwhelm – where you get crazily future focused, over-thinking and fearful, letting go of where you are right now. You’re left feeling dis-empowered, disconnected and exhausted.
What happens to you – fight, flight or freeze? Or a you a mix of all 3?
“You can’t calm the storm, so stop trying. What you can do is calm yourself. The storm will pass.” – Timber Hawkeye
What can you do about overwhelm?
Overwhelm is more about how you choose to respond to the world rather than the actual events. Managing your time and energy are crucial elements and keeping a big picture perspective.
Here are symptoms of overwhelm:
- Feeling anxious
- Nerves are shot
- Have no inner space
- It’s hard to breathe
- Constantly feeling stressed and tense
- You’re irritable
- There’s no fun in your life
- You’re feeling constant pressure
- Procrastination and indecision
Awareness is essential to finding YOUR antidote to overwhelm. So many people unconsciously live in an overwhelmed, anxious and stressed state. Take the time to check in now by stepping your mind back into your body then scan from head to toe like a glass of water emptying – “how do I feel?”, “how does my body feel?”
Here’s what you can do to shift overwhelm –
Have the courage to stop what you’re doing, step back and get a big picture perspective. Do this by shutting your eyes, deep breathing and checking in with your body – how do I feel? Opt out for chill time – 15 minutes, an hour, a day or a weekend to reset.
Overwhelm is literally your head being full of complicated thoughts. Let’s aim for simplicity and spaciousness. Ask yourself, how could I make my life simpler? Brainstorm possibilities.
3. Know your priorities
What’s most important to you? What do you value? How do you want to live on a day-to-day basis? How do you want to spend your precious time and energy? The answers will give you focused flow, which will feel so much easier.
4. Value yourself
Needing to constantly produce, perform and prove can be a sign of low self-esteem. You turn yourself into a human doing to get external appreciation and approval. Are you over-doing and over-committing? Check in – why am I doing what I’m doing?
When you value yourself, you are approving and appreciating yourself from the inside out.
5. Tune into what you want to feel
Refocus your attention and intention on how you want to feel most of the time. Is it balanced, free, kind, playful? What are your words? Now aim towards living it. Aim for progress over perfection.
6. Let go or limit things
Notice where you’re spending most of your time. What’s draining your time and energy? What are you able to delegate or let go of? A good way of uncovering these things is to journal nightly to uncover your overwhelm triggers.
Paradoxically by creating more discipline in your life, you have a greater sense of inner freedom.
7. Commit to less
Are you over-committing your time and energy? Are you setting unrealistic goals? Are you a people pleaser? Is it time to say thanks but no thanks more often?
8. Re-imagine a new schedule
Ok, it’s time to create a new schedule that keeps you out of overwhelm. If your happiness and health were a priority, what would your day look like? What time would you go to bed and wake? What morning routine would you have? How would you set up your day to thrive? What self nurturing elements would you include regularly?
Overwhelm is a very uncomfortable place to live. Know that it is only a perspective shift away and you have a choice in every moment. Is it time you chose, checked in, scheduled and made time for a new way? Start somewhere and improve over time.
“Promise me you will not spend so much time treading water and trying to keep your head above the waves that you forget, truly forget, how much you have always loved to swim.” – Tyler Knott Gregson
Wishing you a soul nourishing week.
PS. If self care has been missing from your schedule? Please value yourself and make time. Click here to book in with Emily Pettigrew, a Self Care & Relaxation Specialist for 1 hour Divine Massage (only $70) or Nurture Package or purchase a soul-nourishing bath soak online.
Your brain is running your life whether you are Awake or Asleep.
Sleep isn’t a luxury and the brain has a big ‘To Do’ list to achieve during your sleeping hours.
“The brain is actually very active during sleep doing important things. It’s not just resting, and if you don’t get sleep you don’t function on a number of levels the way you should.”…says Dr. Caitlin Tynan Doyle, Professor of Neurology at Columbia University Medical Center.
Skimping on zzz’s compromises a wide range of functions including…
- mood regulation
- immunity/the risk of getting sick
- cellular regeneration
- premature aging
- weight gain & obesity
- thinking and memory
- hormonal balance
- sex drive
- anxiety and depression
- and obviously fatigue and insomnia
Our whole body and brain can get thrown off kilter when our sleep is not optimal.
For 30% of the population, insomnia is a debilitating condition affecting every aspect of life.
About 50% of people lose sleep due to worrying and anxiety. We all know that feeling of something “weighing” on our mind. It can be hard to switch off and slow our train of thought to relax the brain and get to sleep.
Many employees say they actually call in sick or even doze off at work after their anxiety kept them up all night.
So what can be done?
To explain what can be done, it is important to understand that everything is a pattern in the brain.
These patterns, called “Neural Maps” determine the way we feel and think such as with Anxiety as well as our behaviours and physical functions such as in Sleep.
When anxiety is the cause of insomnia, it’s best to treat a patient for the anxiety, changing both the pattern or “Neural Map” as well as addressing the initial underlying cause of the worrying.
Even though sleep is a natural function, it can sometimes get out of balance.
Our brains produce Melatonin and Serotonin and regulate their balance.
When the sun goes down, Melatonin levels go up which makes us sleepy. When the sun comes up our brain naturally produces Serotonin which makes us feel alert and switched on.
Serotonin incidentally is our a happy hormone and is the primary element in depression medications.
Whether it’s due to irregular hours, worries, hormonal changes or other stressors in our lives, once the sleep pattern in the brain gets out of balance it needs to be reset and a new pattern of sleep established.
This can be done through clinical hypnotherapy which resets the sleep pattern and neural map in the brain.
I treat many people, both women and men, every week for sleep oriented issues.
However women are twice as likely as men to be hit by insomnia… finding it hard to get to sleep and stay asleep, every week.
The good news is, if your brain created the problem it can also be influenced to create the solution.
In hypnotherapy we reintroduce healthy sleep patterns by creating a ‘Sleep Protocol’. This is list of individualized triggers that the brain associates with going into a deep sleep.
It’s like a series of reminders that move the mind towards the brain wave pattern that occurs when we are deeply asleep. This brain wave pattern is called Delta.
There are 5 types of brain waves.
Gamma and Beta are both high brain waves associated with alertness, learning and communication.
Alpha and Theta are lower brain waves associated with relaxation and creative thinking.
Finally, Delta brain waves occur while we are in deep sleep.
Once the brain is retrained to move into Delta, normal sleep patterns are re-established.
I always make patients a digital voice recording of the hypnotherapy on their own phone. They can use this at bedtime to strengthen the sleep pattern.
I’ve had a number of patients who after successfully changing their sleep patterns, still use their recordings years later if they have had a late night and need to get to sleep quickly! It’s a great tool and is free as part of the consultation.
Your Brain Is Running Your Life Whether You’re Awake Or Asleep
Your brain made the pattern so, it can make something different.
Every pattern is susceptible to change.
So if you’re ready for a change and a better sleep, book in to see…
Perri at Mt Eliza Wellbeing Sanctuary by calling 9787 2111 or email any queries to email@example.com
Most mums will already be planning on how to shed the baby weight even before the baby has arrived which in turn can lead to unsafe exercise and extreme ways of showing the world that you can ‘bounce back’ quickly.
Nope. Nope times two. Wrong.
Okay, sit down, we need to chat. You just grew a human so give yourself a huge pat on the back and be proud of what you have achieved. Don’t be so hard on yourself after your body has done so much for you!
Now, to the fitness side. Although we are all different and pregnancy is a completely unique experience to each and every woman – there’s a way to get back into the world of fitness and do it safely. Listen up!
Okay, you’ve had your baby and it’s all joyous and overwhelming! Firstly, enjoy this. In the most cliché way possible – it genuinely doesn’t last forever. Take it in that newborn smell, feel the love and have all the cuddles – all while doing pelvic floor exercises.
Yes, this is the first exercise you can do to start getting your body back to your version of normal and feeling more human. Not long after, ease in slowly with short walks (even if they are around the lounge room!) and concentrate on nourishing your body with good food.
Before you know it, your six-week check-up comes along and you’ve been cleared for exercise. Please, please and I’ll say it again, please don’t instantly take this as an indication to run a marathon the next week or lift the heaviest weights you can find.
It’s still all a process. You have to remember that growing a human usually takes nine months with extreme changes to your body so you have it give it time.
Don’t decide to exercise just to get your body back. Do it for ‘you time’, for your mental health, to relieve stress or to help boost your energy levels. Having a newborn is very hard work – slow and steady wins the race!
It’s so important to not overdo it. Even if you’re feeling great after having your little bub, allow your body to heal and recover. Pregnancy hormones can affect your joints and ligaments for up to six months after birth which leads to a higher risk of injury.
You also may have back pain, issues with your bladder (pelvic floor exercises as stated above ladiessssss!) and even separated abdominal muscles.
Start off with low impact exercise, walking, swimming, yoga/pilates which will all help to strengthen up elements of your body that may have become weaker.
The most important tip of all is to find someone that knows what your fitness routine should be based on for your individual circumstances. There are so many gyms, PTs and fitness groups that don’t understand how much your exercises need to be changed in order to accommodate your changing body.
That’s why I highly recommend Emma and her team at Step Into Life Mornington, who understand these changes and can help you make a customised plan on what you should be doing and how to do it the safest way possible. You can also bring your gorgeous little babe down to the park when you train which not only allows you the freedom to start your fitness journey after birth but so many cuddles for us! Haha.
Get in contact with Emma today to find out more or trial 3 FREE classes.
It’s so vital for our mothers to nurture themselves back to health in a positive and loving way, honouring where they’re at. So, if you know anyone who could benefit from this information, please share it.
Heartfelt thanks, Julie xx
PS. Same applies to those recovering from injuries or returning to exercise after a break.
I see, hear, feel and totally get the frustration and challenges that go along with trying to arrive at your ideal weight. On the surface, eating a balanced diet and exercising sounds so simple, yet it’s not always that easy to arrive at your destination.
This is because being overweight is not about gluttony or laziness, but rather a complex interplay between your biology, environment and behavioural patterns.
Lisa was one of those stories.
She’d struggled for over 15 years to shift the extra kilos that kept stacking on around her waist, hips, arms and bum.
Lisa had starved herself until she couldn’t do it anymore then flipped to bingeing. She’s tried turning up the exercise dial but it was hard to budge and get momentum.
Dejected she spiraled into the I give up and who cares until she was now a borderline diabetic with close to 25kg to lose.
That’s when she saw me.
We negotiated a plan that suited Lisa, found what was sabotaging her success, then worked consistently testing, measuring and refining until we found what really worked for Lisa.
Four months later and Lisa’s a different person, both in body and mind.
She is now 70kg, exercises daily and loves it. Has 100% more self-confidence, is more active, feels freer and more engaged with her family and life. It has been 7 years now and still maintaining her 70kg target weight.
Do you want to find your path to weight loss success, just like Lisa?
Let’s explore 4 factors that can prevent you from making your weight loss goals real.
#1 Your metabolic set-point
Unknown to many, is your weight is under unconscious control; just like blood pressure, blood sugar regulation, pH and body temperature. Your body weight remains quite stable (unhealthy weight or a healthy weight) due to your metabolic ‘set-point’.
That is, your body will adjust your energy expenditure and appetite to restore fat mass back to its set-point;[2,3] despite your best efforts.
But don’t lose hope there’s ways to reset this set point so you can lose and maintain your weight long term. Pivotal to this are small changes done consistently but it’s slightly different for everyone. Hence no one size fits all generalised how to. Click here to book in to create a plan to change your metabolic set point.
Stress is a big barrier to weight loss, especially chronic stress. Under stress, your body releases cortisol that redirects glucose to your muscles, but causes your blood glucose levels to fall. This can trigger cravings for calorie rich foods that lead to weight gain and hinder weight loss. Emotional eating is also closely associated with stress. During periods of stress and emotional turmoil, you’ll tend to feel hungrier, with a preference for ‘hyper-palatable’ foods (high in fat, sugar, flavours and food additives), and you guessed it, weight gain. This is where help and guidance from a naturopath can help you build mental and emotional resilience, which may just one of your answers to losing those extra kilos.
Poor sleep quality and/or quantity can stifle your weight loss by reducing your metabolic rate, increasing cravings and turn down appetite regulation. Research has found poor sleep to be associated with an increase in weight, waist and waist-to-hip ratio; and can also drive up your metabolic set-point.  Poor sleep also affects your energy balance, affecting what you eat, how much you eat, as well as your willpower and motivation to exercise. If a good night’s sleep is something you dream of, talk to me and I’ll help you restore healthy sleep patterns.
Often missed, inflammation can be a silent barrier to weight loss. Inflammation can increase blood glucose levels that triggers weight gain, whilst excess stored fat produces inflammation in your body. Reducing your body fat can lower levels of inflammation significantly. However, the toxins stored in your fat cells are liberated during weight loss and dial up inflammation, once again impeding your weight loss. That’s where as a naturopath I can help you dial down your inflammation through clearing these excess toxins with a tailored clinical detoxification program to get you back on track again. Click here to book in for your tailored Detox program.
Don’t do it alone
Losing weight is not always easy and everyone will face their own challenges at some point. Seeking the help of a naturopath who specialises in weight loss can make sure you’re channeling your energy in the right direction and provides solutions when you hit a plateau or fall off the wagon. Click here to book in to get a helping hand on your weight loss journey today.
Big hugs Julie X
Adapted with permission from Metagenics Australia
 Bray GA, Heisel WE, Afshin A, Jensen MD, Dietz WH, Long M, et al. The science of obesity management: an Endocrine Society Scientific Statement. Endocr Rev. 2018 Apr 1;39(2):79-132. doi: 10.1210/er.2017-00253.
 Schwartz MW, Seeley RJ, Zeltser LM, Drewnowski A, Ravussin E, Redman LM, et al. Obesity pathogenesis: an endocrine society scientific statement. Endocr Rev. 2017 Aug 1;38(4):267-296. doi: 10.1210/er.2017-00111.
 Speakman JR, Levitsky DA, Allison DB, Bray MS, de Castro JM, Clegg DJ, et al. Set-points, settling points and some alternative models: theoretical options to understand how genes and environments combine to regulate body adiposity. Dis Model Mech. 2011 Nov;4(6):733-45. doi: 10.1242/dmm.008698.
 Raman J, Smith E, Hay P. The clinical obesity maintenance model: an integration of psychological constructs including mood, emotional regulation, disordered overeating, habitual cluster behaviours, health literacy and cognitive function. J Obes. 2013;2013:240128. doi:10.1155/2013/240128.
 Taheri S, Lin L, Austin D, Young T, Mignot E. Short sleep duration is associated with reduced leptin, elevated ghrelin, and increased body mass index. PLoS Med. 2004 Dec;1(3):e62. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0010062.
You better believe it! There’s a strong link between gut health and happiness.
As you’re juggle life’s challenges big and small, while keeping all the balls of family, work, relationships and your health all balanced in the air. You may have overlooked an essential piece of your overall well being and happiness – your microbiome.
Did you know you have more bacteria in your body than cells in your body?
Scary isn’t it!! Well, these bacteria live in your gut, in your mouth, on your skin, in fact all over. Now they can be your friend or foe depending on the balance. You ideally want loads of the good guys that help to make your nutrients, decrease inflammation, help to digest your food and enable you to feel happy, energised and clear headed.
A healthy gut microbiome controls your ability to deal with stress, and that starts in your gut. If you have messed-up digestion, you’ll have a diminished ability to deal with stressful situations. And without the ability to release stress and get to a happy mind space, you end up building a higher and higher threshold for stress.
Your gut health is about way more than just digestion.
Let’s find out how gut health and happiness are linked.
Creates healthy immune system.
Did you know 80 percent of your immune system is in your gut? Right where the bulk of your microbiome lives. So protecting your gut barrier, crowding out and killing bad bacteria and infections and allergies all help your immune system play it’s A game.
What does this mean for you? Well, when your immune system is humming along, protecting you from bad guys and welcoming friends in, you can put the pedal to the metal and go after your dreams. Fewer sick days and more time to enjoy life and be productive.
Natural energy boost.
I’m sure no one would say no to more real energy – it’s the fuel of life. Helping you to blitz through jam-packed schedules, endless deadlines, and often having little time to relax in today’s on-the-go culture. So, many people rely on caffeine and energy drinks to stay ahead of the game. Did you know your good gut bacteria can help you maintain your day-to-day energy levels naturally? No sugar and caffeine required.
How does it work? Well your microbiome helps to break down and digest all the food you eat so you can up take the nutrients you need to feel great. It also produces energy boosting B vitamins and keeps your blood sugar balanced, so no more mid-afternoon humps.
Your good bacteria cranks up your sleep quality so you are recharged and at your best producing and regulating important neurotransmitters and amino acids, like serotonin and tryptophan.
Helps you find and maintain your ideal weight.
Not being at your ideal weight can affect your energy levels, your mood, your hormones, your cognitive function, and even your immunity.
Where does your microbiome fit in? Well, it supports your metabolism and a healthy weight by producing enzymes that help digest food and absorb nutrients. So, no more overeating yet being malnourished, wavering blood sugar levels so you’re constantly searching for that next sugar fix and plenty of hormones that tell your brain when you’re full.
If you can get to that weight that is perfect for your frame, you’ll be on track to enjoying all the benefits of a performance-ready body and mind that are ready to tackle whatever comes your way.
Sharpens your focus.
Say goodbye to brain fog. Think of all the energy you’ll save when your clarity is dialled up. Did you know your gut is your second brain?
You see your microbiome communicates with your brain via the vagus nerve, where good bacteria send mind-boosting chemicals and messages to the brain that improve your memory and cognitive function.
A gut that doesn’t have billions of good bacteria can get out of balance and overrun with yeast and bad bacteria, producing chemicals and by-products that are toxic to the brain—leading to brain fog and memory problems.
This is also where your warrior gut barrier is so important. If you don’t have enough of the good guys standing guard, the barrier can become “leaky” and allow toxins into your bloodstream that negatively affect your brain. Focusing on the health of your gut microbiome can help ensure that your brain is getting all the communication it needs to support you.
Boosts and balances your mood
Your gut and brain are inextricably linked, so a disruption in either one has the capacity to seriously affect the other. Your gut bacteria produces more than 90% of all the serotonin, the “happy” chemical that plays a role in everything from mood and appetite to sleep in your body. Your gut microbiome also lowers cortisol (the “stress” hormone) levels, turns down anxiety, decreases depression and lowers inflammation that can cause loads of emotional and physical health challenges.
When it comes to living your happiest life, staying positive may just be the key to realizing all your goals. A healthy population of good gut bacteria will keep your mood balanced and high.
Your skin can be the first sign that your gut isn’t going well – breakouts, infection, dullness. When your gut is absorbing nutrients—thanks to your good bacteria—and getting rid of toxins and chemicals, your whole body is better for it and your skin glows it!
When fungus, yeast, and bad bacteria overrun your microbiome, it leads to chronic, systemwide inflammation that shows up as acne, redness, irritation, dry patches, fine lines, and even premature aging.
Your skin also has its own unique microbiome that plays a huge role in a healthy complexion. Not only do good bacteria in your dermal layers discourage the growth of nasty bacteria that can cause problems, but they produce substances like hyaluronic acid that plumps and moisturizes skin, and ceramide that strengthens and firms the skin barrier.
Healthy skin and a glowing complexion really do start from the inside out!
Did you know that your mouth has a microbiome as well? Beneficial bacteria in your oral cavity are your immune system’s first line of defence and have an enormous effect on the health of your teeth, gums, and even your breath. Harmful bacteria often cause tooth cavities and gum disease that can affect your radiant smile.
Research shows that smiling can improve your mood, lower your stress response, increase your productivity, and make you more creative—and make you seem more approachable and trustworthy to others. Now that’s a win-win!
One of the biggest issues with having an unhealthy gut is that it leads to leaky gut syndrome, which in turn leads to toxins entering the circulatory system and eventually the brain. This causes lower levels of happiness, mood disorders, and disease.
Need help getting your microbiome in tip top shape? Click here to book online.
Hoping this article helped you understand your body a little better. Know anyone who would benefit from it as well, please pass it on.
Loads of gut health and happiness, Julie xo