How much time do you spend on your devices? Our phones and other devices are such integral part of our lives, and we don’t often consciously plan how we spend time with them, myself included. Digital wellness refers to the area of your physical and psycho-social well-being in the online world. Recent studies have shown that using social media may have an impact on our self-esteem and productivity. The first step in taking a healthier approach to your digital life is to get clarity on how we spend time on our devices. If you are one us who check our phones over 100 times a day, ask yourself: what is the purpose of this particular interaction with your device? This self-checkup is a good place to start. You can also use apps that track your usage in the background, to show you how you spent your time on your devices.
A recent survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows more than 35% of us sleep less than 7 hours on a typical day, and participants usually overestimate sleep time. This is because we often don’t take into account the time it takes to fall asleep and the times we wake up in the middle of the night. Stress and sleep deprivation are disruptive to quality deep sleep, making it hard for us to perform our best during the day. Poor sleep also causes cravings for tasty snacks that do not serve our wellness goals. How much sleep you need varies depending on the individual, but most of us need 5 full sleep cycles, 90 minutes each. This works out to 7.5 hours of quality sleep time. I recommend setting a hard stop for your schedule each evening to ease yourself into the relaxed state of mind required for optimal sleep. I also recommend budgeting time for your night routine after this hard stop. Work backwards to find out what that time is. For example, if your goal is to get up at 6 AM in the morning, you need to be asleep by 10:30 PM, tag on 30 min to get ready, and your hard stop time is 10 PM. If you have trouble falling asleep or find yourself waking up between 2 to 4 AM, you may benefit from improving your adrenal or blood sugar health. Our practitioners at the health centre can help you create a personalized plan.
The natural pigments and aroma found in fresh fruits and vegetables are often full of healing benefits. You can make it a fun activity with your family and friends to track how many different types of fresh plant-based food you have in a day. I recommend using five as your goal number. At Finlandia we believe in ‘Health Yourself’, we have so many colourful superfood powders at the herb bar that you can buy in bulk and add to your smoothies and drinks to boost your antioxidant level. Some of my favourites are hibiscus, camu camu berries, turmeric, spirulina, and chlorella. Feel free to pop by and ask us how you can incorporate these superfoods into your routine.
I always feel inspired when my clients make triumphant improvements in their health within a relatively short amount of time. Generally, no food is strictly off limits but when there is enough tasty, nutrient-rich foods in the meal plan, clients often surprise me with how well they respond to their programs, and they feel motivated to stick with the plan because they get results. My number one tip to help you get started on a healthier 2019 is adding one healthy food or habit that brings you a sense of accomplishment. Building your optimal health should be a rewarding and joyful process! This positive change can be as easy as trying out a new vegetable, or find a delicious way to prepare a vegetable that you don’t eat often. My tried and true principle for making healthy changes is: it’s always easier to add food than dieting.
Tahlia Sage (Bsc. Food, Nutrition & Health, Certified Nutritional Practitioner) is the founder of Sweet & Savoury Health, instructor at the Institute of Holistic Nutrition, and wellness educator. She is also a part of Finlandia Health Centre.
Her coaching practice helps clients achieve their wellness goals by embracing functional foods and healthy lifestyle changes. Tahlia’s own health challenges and weight issue prompted her to pursue an education in nutritional science and holistic nutrition. Tahlia empowers her clients to regain balance with easy, concrete steps.