Balancing act

lifestyle magazine online london

"Tips on dealing with all that life throws you"

With the holidays just around the corner, perhaps you are already feeling anxious about everything that will need to be done. This stress can manifest in both body and mind.

“Physically, there can be a tightness in the shoulders or hips. In the mind, it’s noted in a flurry of activity, like dropping things excessively or bumping into things,” says Lisa McClelland, owner of Beyond Balance, a Lambeth-based business which offers registered massage therapy and life and connection coaching.

She says there are some simple steps you can take to de-stress, such as deciding to smile when things are overwhelming. “It helps to quiet and de-clutter the mind, allowing the body to relax.”

McClelland, who sometimes does life coaching outdoors, suggests going back to nature to get relief.

“Ultimately when you’re in the elements, your body becomes very grounded.”

She also recommends putting your electronic devices away at least once a day. “Shut everything down and allow yourself just to be.”

Getting body and mind back in balance does not include watching Netflix all the time, agrees Dorit Osher, a London psychotherapist who offers body-centred psychotherapy.

“We may work all the time or abuse substances to distract ourselves. Those are not ways to balance.”

Creating equilibrium in life can only come from investigating ourselves, says Osher, who also has a degree in dance from York University.

“Train the mind and engage with the body so it can be open and relaxed and alter thoughts. Our thoughts can become very loud, consistent and they don’t shut off. You have to go into your body and listen to sensations in your body, which is your inner home,” she says.

Ways to be present and reclaim your mind from the constant chatter can include yoga, meditation, starting an herb garden or going for walks.

Osher says another method to train the brain can be through cognitive diffusion, which is a technique to become untangled from our thoughts.

“Watch your thoughts get on a train and leave or picture your mind as a cave that needs to be clean and sweep out your thoughts. Your thoughts then are not words any more, they’re just noise.”

McClelland suggests taking in more fluids to stay hydrated all day, especially in winter because drinking fluids frequently is not top of mind.

“Water is the most natural detoxifier that we have. Drinking as much water as possible will decrease stress by lowering cortisol. It will flush out any toxins, relieve constipation and relax muscles.”

The colder months can also be a perfect time to do more inner reflection.

“As we head into winter, there is not as much stimulation from the external world so we can better look at our internal home,” Osher says.