We recently hosted a fabulous evening in Dunedin called 'Live Life Well'. The evening consisted of a mini-expo of local health and wellness businesses, and a panel discussion with our five experts, who all spoke on different topics relating to womens' wellbeing. The experts were: Nicola Brown - Efficiency Queen; Dee Copland - Naturopath and Nutritionist; Kelly Henbery - Personal Trainer, Les Mills; Heidi Timms - Owner of Ora Wellbeing, a holistic beauty therapy practice and natural skincare collection; and Georgia Harrison - Awaken Meditation and Mindfulness. Our 130 guests were able to enjoy an informative, enjoyable and thoughtful discussion, and these were the top takeaway tips we learned from each of our experts:
Nicola Brown - Our reliance on technology to get our ‘highs’ via validation (‘likes’ and responses to posts on social media) is detrimental to our health, both physically and mentally. Let’s stop checking our phones all the time - we lose so much time by staring into our screens, when we could be doing something more productive. Try to keep phones out of bedrooms, as the blue light emitted can play havoc with our natural sleep patterns. If we really can’t live without our phones in our bedrooms at night, at least switch them onto flight mode so we’re not constantly disturbed by notifications. Try to have an hour free of devices in the evening before you go to bed to help wind down for optimal sleep. Use an app such as ‘Checky’ to monitor how often you are checking in with your smartphone - you might be alarmed at how often you unconsciously do this - and really think about how to free yourself from your phone at certain times of the day/week.
Dee Copland - So much of how we live now is causing our adrenals to become overloaded, which means we are functioning daily in a state of stress. Sugar, too much coffee, stress, not enough sleep, processed food and alcohol can create a fight or flight response, linked back to our caveman days, and living in this constant state affects all of our body’s systems. We need to think about how we can limit these and take better care of ourselves, physically and mentally. Nutrition is a huge part of our wellbeing - try to choose foods that aren’t processed or only minimally processed. Convenience foods - such as a bag of frozen wedges - may save a little time but if you check the food label, there will be a long list of other ingredients beyond potatoes (emulsifiers, flavourings) - think about how much time it would really take to cut up some potatoes, add a drizzle of oil and bake in the oven, and how many processed ingredients we could avoid by doing so.
Kelly Henbery - To make exercise a consistent routine, you have to choose an activity you really enjoy - if you dread it, you won’t do it. Try out a variety of fitness options - group fitness classes, personal training, a dance class, or a walk with a friend - find something you enjoy. Find a buddy to train with - you can motivate each other to stick to your goals. You can’t out-train poor nutrition - if you’re not getting the results you want but you are training regularly, it might pay to have a look at your food choices. The recent trend towards body-sculpting is something that needs to be approached with caution - while the results may be aesthetically pleasing, it’s not always a balanced approach to fitness and nutrition which achieves these results, and, once achieved, can be very hard to maintain in a healthy manner.
Heidi Timms - With skin care, the focus is usually on the products, but facial massage is often overlooked, and is a really important part of your skin’s health. Try to incorporate a facial roller or other form of facial massage into your skincare routine. Be aware of green-washing - products can claim to contain natural oils and ingredients, but these may be very low grade quality oils (not therapeutic grade), chemically-processed or just a very small part of the formulation. If you have cleansed your skin at night, it isn’t necessary to do so again in the morning. Vary the products you use according to what your skin needs. And it’s not just what you put on your skin that matters - lemon water and a green smoothie in the morning cleanse and nourish from within.
Georgia Harrison - We can all benefit from mindfulness. Mindfulness helps you to be in the present moment and calms your mind from all the daily clutter. Incorporate it throughout your day - when you wake up, when you eat, when you are busy, and especially before you go to sleep. Make gratitude part of your daily life - think about what you eat, where it came from, who made it, how it came to be on your plate - and give thanks. Take notice of how you feel after you eat to find out which foods make you feel good, and which foods do not. Try to be a mindful listener - don’t spend conversations thinking about what you are going to say next. This can help you make stronger connections and strengthen relationships with others.
We had such a great night at Live Life Well - we will do it again sometime, so make sure you have subscribed to our newsletter to stay informed of future events, in Dunedin and beyond.