Updated: Dec 13, 2020
It might be the time of year, following the clocks changing, and shorter days triggering our primal instincts to hunker down and "hibernate". It might be a malaise of a second lockdown and news of more confusing restrictive tiers to follow. Whatever the reasons I have noticed that a lot of people I have spoken to over the phone, via Zoom or in person have said that they are feeling out of sorts lately. Feelings of being "ungrounded", a "bit low", "tired" or "listless".
I know that over the past few weeks I have struggled to sleep well and feel generally out of sorts. I came across the Health Trinity when I was searching for ways to try and help "shake myself out of these feelings".
The model is an adaptation of the vicious cycle. It works by showing how lack of sleep reduces our energy levels, which means we may well exercise less, prompting us to eat more (taking on false energy). I noticed that when I am tired I grab a quick and easy "energy" option (chocolate) or something comforting (cheese, bread, wine). These foods, coupled with poor sleep discourage me from being physically active.
Like the vicious cycle by changing one element of the Health Trinity we impact on the others...the advice is to start with sleep. A few night's good sleep will make us feel more energised, making it easier to focus on being active; exercise of any kind drives a desire to eat more healthily; and the less stodgy comfort food we eat the better we sleep. I am working on stricter sleep regimes - prioritising sleep; tuning into when my body needs to rest. Banning screens from the bedroom. Clearing my head of things to do and worries by writing them down before I go to bed. A copy of this card is also now stuck to my fridge door - a gentle reminder that the treats inside form part of a bigger cycle that effects more than just my waist line...