In our latest series ‘Flourish’, we'll discover what it looks like to thrive in the four domains of life: physical, relational, vocational and spiritual.
We’ve asked people from across City on a Hill to share their top 5 practical tips on what it looks like to flourish in each domain.
Today's tips are 'physical'.
We hope these tips will help you to cultivate healthy habits, draw you closer to Jesus, and truly flourish in life.
Leo from City on a Hill Melbourne East
- Dedicate a specific time slot each week to do a physical activity you enjoy, physical exercise is proven to improve mood and reduce stress.
- Be conscious of your diet, try to incorporate plenty of vitamins especially vitamin B whole grains, leafy greens which is essential to having a healthy body and is proven to increase brain health.
- Connect with others, find someone who you can journey through the bible with or even just socialise, discuss current topics in the world and even discuss what you’ve learned that week from the sermon. Engaging in stimulating conversations helps the mind explore, examine, form opinions and develops ideas overall increasing brain stimulation.
- Try to learn new skills and try different things. New situations and learning a new skill often increases the value of the things of what we have now, it also helps to take our mind off any current stresses we could be journeying through.
- Most importantly, take time to relax. This biggest stress relief can be too simply pause, take some intentional time to step away from everything pray to God and rest yourself.
Dan from City on a Hill Melbourne
- Breathing - Not only does the autonomous function of breathing sustain life - but it also influences several of our higher-order brain functions. So next time you are under the pump try stopping for a full minute or two to slow down your breathing pattern - you may be surprised by the results (i.e. a reduction in stress, increase in mental clarity, heightened performance).
- Sleep Better - Besides exhaustion, our body prepares for sleep in response to two changes in the environment - light and temperature. Because of this going to bed slightly cold and in complete darkness can help with improved sleep quality and duration.
- Move More - Do you know that there is an under prescribed drug that can help you:
- Control your weight
- Reduce the risk of heart disease
- Improve mental health and mood
- Help manage blood sugar levels
- Strengthen your bones and muscle
- Improve your sleep (including other bedtime activities)
- Plus 100s of other benefits
- Healthy Eating – What is the best nutrition plan out there?
- Paleo? Nope.
- Vegan? Nope.
- Ketogenic? Nope.
- Carnivore? Not even close.
- Stay Hydrated - Drinking 2-3L of water per day can help with maximising physical performance, improving brain function, losing weight and maintaining good health. Not drinking an adequate amount of water can contribute to unnecessary fatigue, brain fog, increased feelings of anxiety, headaches and an overall reduction in physical & mental wellbeing. Enough said.
David from City on a Hill Melbourne West
- Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day aiming for 8 hours sleep. Your body runs on something called a circadian rhythm - if you're always going to bed and waking up at different times it throws your body out. If you happen to have a late night, commit to getting up at the same time even if it means losing out on some sleep.
- Have a winding down routine before bed. Do things like dim/turn off/limit lighting, schedule the night light on your laptop and mobile to turn on an hour or two before you go to bed, drink some camomile tea, do some reading and praying etc. This routine will cause your body to calm and make it easier to get to sleep.
- What you eat influences your mood, energy levels and sleep in drastic ways. Try to cut out processed foods and stick with healthy whole foods for most of your meals. A general guideline is to buy a majority of your food on the perimeter of the supermarket (fruits, vegetables, nuts, meat, fish, eggs etc.)
- Prioritise exercise in your daily routine - aim for the morning before work as there are added benefits. Think about how you spend the last hour of most working days in the week - often they are spent watching TV or surfing the internet. Instead, try going to sleep an hour early and wake up an hour early to begin your day going for a run or weight training at the gym.
- Don't view these things as a discipline that you're bound by but a delight to get to enjoy. You get to eat healthy which will make you feel good throughout the day. You get to wake up early to make the most of time before the busy-ness of a day hits. It's being a good steward of what you have and you'll be thankful for how much more energy you have throughout the day if you eat, sleep and exercise well.