Creating Radical Health on International Women’s Day
Creating radical health
Creating radical health for International Women’s Day 2020 (Sunday 8th March 2020) is how I’m interpreting the campaign theme #Each4Equal and key messages of ‘collective individualism’ and ‘collective action’.
Throughout 2020 and beyond I will be campaigning for creating radical health collectively.
We are all parts of a whole. Our individual actions, conversations, behaviours and mindsets can have an impact on our larger society.
Collectively, we can make change happen. Collectively, we can each help to create a gender equal world. An equal world is an enabled world.
Individually, we're all responsible for our own thoughts and actions - all day, every day. As individuals, we can actively choose to challenge stereotypes, fight bias, broaden our perception.
Collectively, we can radically improve situations and celebrate women's achievements and the #Each4Equal campaign is asking us to take collective action - to do what we can, to truly make a positive difference for women everywhere. It’s asking …
“For International Women's Day 2020 and beyond, how will you support #EachforEqual?”
We can do plenty!
Women really matter. As we transition through our life stages, in our roles as Queen, Lover, Mother, Wise Woman - we are all things to all people. We hold our partner, our children, our family, our community and the world in the palms of our hands with care, and passion and love.
It’s a heavy responsibility. When fatigue, exhaustion, sleeplessness and the feeling we need to do even more, be even more and care even more overwhelms us and we haven't made room to hold ourselves in the palm of that hand, our ability to hold everything together collapses. And all too often… so do we.
In our high-pressure lives maintaining radically good health is paramount, not just for ourselves, but for our families, friends and wider society.I say it’s time for women to take get radical about our health… #IWD2020 #femergy #healthcoaching #lifestylemedicine Click To Tweet
Women’s health matters because to help others we need to put on our own oxygen mask first, to put ourselves front-and-centre and to prioritise our own well-being. Because if not us, then who?
In my work, I see woman after woman who, at midlife is tired of being tired, overwhelmed and exhausted by the responsibility her roles of career woman, wage earner, partner, parent, carer, householder.
I see woman after woman who keeps on keeping on, knowing that she’s compromising her health to keep all the balls in the air… risking depression, anxiety, gastro-intestinal and autoimmune diseases, heart disease, breast cancer.
I say it’s time for women to take get radical about our health…
Radical on stress
Stress is a natural part of modern life, and it can have positive benefits. But chronic stress will cause long-term physical, emotional and mental damage.
Simple stress management techniques like breathing exercises, meditating, practising mindfulness, writing a to-do list or using a diary to organise your thoughts; reaching out to a friend, relative or partner about worries and concerns all helps to feel a sense of control and manage our stress levels.
Radical on rest
Rest is more than sleep. Taking time to rest away from the ‘normal’ daily routines helps recharge and maintain our physical and emotional energy levels… disconnecting from the Wi-Fi and walking in nature; cooking a meal from scratch using whole organic foods; enjoying eating with family and friends; painting a picture; reading a book; watching a TED Talk or listening to a podcast all count as rest.
Radical on sleep
Perhaps most important of all, get better quality sleep. Sufficient quality and sleep is the very foundation of healing and maintaining health. How often do we sacrifice sleep for digital ‘entertainment’?
Creating an environment that supports sufficient quality sleeps is a priority. Interrupted sleep cycles make us groggier than can lack of sleep, so download apps that track your sleep cycle.
Another disruption to your sleep cycle is blue light - turn off the television and screens at least an hour before bed. And don’t forget the distractions – put your phone on silent (or better still, leave it downstairs, away from the bedroom). Create a cool, dark bedroom environment and invest in blackout curtains, a comfy sleep mask and even soft earplugs will all help you get your much-needed sleep!
Radical on the future!
Get radically healthier today for a better tomorrow. The gift of youth is resilience… our body can more easily bounce back from the abuse we heap on it and stay (relatively) healthy. But there are no free lunches… in mid-life and beyond, we start counting the cost: Our energy tanks, niggling health issues start showing up and escalating… and before we know it, we’re having those “ain’t it awful” conversations with our friends!
We need to ‘future-proof’ our nutrition and lifestyle (80% of chronic, degenerative and cardiovascular diseases are lifestyle-drive) and to remember that health isn’t a short-term state of being, but a long-term investment in a journey.
Your health is your wealth, so start investing in it NOW - and I don’t mean financially!
Radical on lifestyle change!
Radical on the collective!
We need other people to be healthy, happy and wise - it’s a fact. Loneliness and disconnection are the scourge of modern life and the biggest driver of chronic disease- the data shows that lonely people end up in the health system.
In recent years we’ve seen an explosion of self-help, personal development and spiritual enlightenment books, websites and on-line communities seeking to guide us towards a sense of connection, purpose, fulfilment, peace and happiness. While information is useful, people need people; it’s an adaptive, protective instinct - evolution has hard-wired us to seek the safety of the ‘tribe’.
Social connection matters throughout our whole life: singletons at every age have poorer health outcomes than those who nurture supportive relationships, while isolated elderly people don’t live as happily, as healthily, or as long as those with strong family or social connections.
Tribe matters, whether we’re in a conventional or non-conventional ‘family’, have a partner or are single. Whether it’s belonging to a club or interest group, socialising with friends, volunteering to ‘give back’ we need to connect.
It’s important too, to not only focus on self-health, but also to nurture the health of loved ones and others close to us. Make health a topic of conversation with friends and family, join or start a local group of life-minded individuals and share your health tips and concerns.
Join exercise groups or buddy up to go to the gym or for a jog. Set goals together and celebrate when you achieve them.
Building our ‘tribe’ – whatever that looks like for each of us – is important, healthful and unsurprisingly, it’s enjoyable! And we women are particularly good at it!
Radial on going deep and getting wild!
Dr Kelly Brogan, a Manhattan-based holistic women’s health psychiatrist, puts inner-connectedness at the very centre of women’s physical, emotional and spiritual health:
Personally, professionally, nationally, and planetarily, we have all bought into the mindset that tells us we are here to dominate, to win, to master, to fix. That includes our bodies, nature, and each other. Every man and woman for themselves.
To do lists. Email. Facebook. Appointments. Commutes. Packing lunch. Making that call. Hustling for that deadline. Ignoring the elephant of your sexless marriage, looming in the corner of the room. Feeling inadequate. Feeling like it’s too much. Like you don’t care. But also like you can’t stop caring. The frenzy of productivity and functionality. The busy. Is this what it’s really all about? Until we die?
We fell in love with our minds, with the promise of expansion, growth, and accelerated evolution that led us down a path away from our essential selves.
Women have been brought deep down the path of the masculine principle: thinking, doing, organizing, planning, achieving, mastering instead of feeling, being, touching, dancing, loving, connecting, creating.
But we feel its absence. The absence of our wildness, and we are being called to reunite with it. This is waking up. We must listen to the call … wake up from our slumber… and feel the wrongness of this disconnection from ourselves.
We have been normalizing abnormal. We wither, we starve, we get depressed, tired, flat, stuck, contracted, scared, hopeless, lost.
This is burnout, and I am here to tell you that burnout is nothing more than a mismatch with this natural order of self, other, and nature-connectedness.
The Radical Health Collective – getting better together
In light of all the above I’m making a commitment on International Women’s Day 2020 to help women create radical health… collectively.
The Radical Health Collective is for like-minded women who want to feel part of something different: women who want to meet, to connect, to share, learn, grow and to transform their health together.
Radical: Forming an inherent or fundamental part of the nature of someone or something; relating to or affecting the fundamental nature of something; far-reaching or thorough… especially of change or action.
Health: A state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.
Collective: A group or co-operative enterprise acting collaboratively.
Are you ready to get radical on your health? Stay tuned….
The pebbles of the Radical Health Collective will start ripples in Warwickshire, Worcestershire and south Birmingham … but the magic and energy of the collective will ripple far and wide.
In the meantime it’s never too soon to start making simple, positive and enjoyable lifestyle changes to create much better health…
What I bring to the party…
As a Real Food Nutrition & Lifestyle Health Expert and Health Coach, I’ve learned from the experience of helping myself - and scores of others - to reverse health challenges. I’ve learned that no matter the starting point, real food and a supportive lifestyle is the solution to much better health at any age.