The Carousel is delighted to welcome Karina Stewart, the co-founder of Kamalaya Wellness Sanctuary and Holistic Spa, as a regular contributor. Here, she give us some practical tips on how we can start living a healthy lifestyle with less stress.
Realising that taking care of yourself is also a priority is a great place to start living a healthy lifestyle.
Creating moments of time for yourself in your day to be with your self and enjoy alone-time is a healthy practice that helps you ‘Slow down’, relax your mind and reset your nervous system which is a mini recharge for your energy.
Guests often ask “How can I find ‘me’ time with a crazy schedule each day?” Everybody deserves ‘me’ time but this can only happen when you create it. If you have children, you mustn’t feel guilty to schedule time just for you. You can still be the best mom or dad in the world but even you need a break for yourself, however short it may be.
If you make sure to take care of yourself you will be better equipped to take care of others around you.
Mindfulness practices often begin with just 5 or 10 min a day and these few minutes, over time with consistency can and do create huge changes in people’s lives in a matter of weeks. Everyone can find 5-10 minutes, once or twice daily for a quiet moment in which to practice breathing or mindfulness.
Many of us tend to have a very busy schedule and complex lifestyle in our personal and professional lives.
Trying to juggle different demands and responsibilities at the same time we may not be able to find the time to be as healthy as we would like, whether that’s an hour in the gym, going for a walk in the fresh air, cooking a healthy meal or getting to bed early enough for sufficient restoration. Daily pressures can make it quite difficult for us to stay balanced in our lifestyles and connected to ourselves, listen to our needs and make time to take care of them.
One thing I always recommend is trying to get daily time in nature and walking outdoors as and when possible. Daily walking is a gentle and ideal form of exercise. Daily movement is essential for vibrant health in Traditional Chinese Medicine as well as reconnecting with nature for our health and wellbeing. As well I recommend having a good eight hours of restful sleep each night. Getting enough sleep is not only vital for overall wellbeing, but also for prevention, management and treatment of various health imbalances. An inadequate amount of sleep (that is less than eight hours), has been associated with a weaker immune system, higher risks obesity, heart disease, depression, diabetes and even colon cancer (according to a study by University Hospitals (UH) Case Medical Centre and Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine that has been published in 2011). Nowadays it might be difficult for some of us to get a full eight hours of sleep on a regular basis, but we might want to prioritise it once we understand how important sufficient sleep is for our overall health – physically, emotionally and psychologically. Research has shown that we recover best when we go to bed between 9.00-10pm, allowing your body to wake rested in the early morning.
Are you ever stressed out and what do you do when you realise it?
Yes, of course I too get stressed out! In these moments I consciously try to slow down and breathe. No matter what you are doing, take a mental note to consciously slow down. Take a pause for only one or two minutes and focus on 10 deep abdominal breaths. Inhale through the nose and breathe deeply and slowly into the abdomen then exhale through the mouth. It is proven that this practice lowers cortisol levels immediately and significantly. You will feel it! So my first effort is to stop and breathe. Next I try to visually connect with nature.
At Kamalaya, I am very fortunate that I can look out the window or step out the door of my office and I can immerse myself visually in verdant, lush gardens, beautiful ocean views, small islands in the horizon and big vast blues skies. This also helps me reduce my stress immediately. And sometimes I have to take a 5-10 minute break for longer breathing or walking to move the energy, clear my head and reset my nervous system.
Kamalaya as a multi-award winning wellness sanctuary and holistic spa on the tropical southern coastline of Koh Samui offering inspired healthy cuisine alongside a choice of tailored wellness programmes including detox, weight loss, stress & burnout, sleep and personalised yoga.
Want to age beautifully? Read Kamalaya Co-Founder, Karina Stewart’s top tips for health ageing here…