Feeling weary from summer’s excesses? September is the perfect time to commit to a fresh start.
No need to limp on grumpily until January — renew and revive yourself now. Autumn is a cosy, understated season, so seize the moment to gain a headstart on those already accumulating resolutions.
December’s Bacchanalia is still three months away, so they’re achievable. And no need to sweat over extreme goals.
Some people take turmeric as a supplement, but we absorb it much better from our food (file image)
In this final quarter, implementing a scatter of small, low-key changes — as suggested by our brilliant experts — will quietly transform every area of your life.
Start now, and come the actual new year, you’ll already feel like a new you…
GIVE YOURSELF A LIFT
Ziggie Bergman is the woman behind the Zone Face Lift, (Zonefacelift.com) which uses pressure-point massage and healing techniques to stimulate collagen and elastin production, lift the face and spirit, and create a glowing, youthful complexion.
Her moves to relax the forehead can be done as you wash your face in front of the mirror, and only take a minute.
Persevering for 12 weeks, Bergman says, will soften frown lines and take years off. Bergman says: ‘Using both thumbs, press upwards underneath the inner part of the eyebrows. Press in for three seconds and repeat three times.
‘Then, using the index or middle fingers, smooth firmly across the one centimetre area above both eyebrows to smooth the forehead and stimulate the sinus reflex.
‘Slide from the centre outwards, stopping at the end of the eyebrows. This technique can be extended over the entire forehead to reduce tension and smooth fine lines. It also helps the lymphatic system drain away puffiness.’
Recent research suggests that degenerative illnesses such as dementia, diabetes and heart disease may be linked to longterm inflammation (caused when our immune system is chronically over-active).
Ziggie Bergman says to massage the face to stimulate collagen and elastin production (file image)
Turmeric, a root, is known to have anti inflammatory properties. Nutritionist Jane Clarke, founder of Nourish, says: ‘One habit I would instigate is to have a turmeric shot every morning. My recipe is half a teaspoon of turmeric powder, with some black pepper and an espresso cup-sized portion of coconut milk, whose fatty acids help you absorb the turmeric.’
The black pepper, she adds, is a catalyst. Indeed, reports show that, taken with black pepper, the body absorbs curcumin, the phytochemical component of turmeric, 2,000 times more effectively.
Clarke adds: ‘I use it with patients who have cancer or any level of inflammation in the body. It can help if you have arthritis, stiff joints or are getting over an infection.
‘Some people take turmeric as a supplement, but we absorb it much better from our food. Make a week’s supply of turmeric shots; warm the milk in the saucepan, mix it up, and when it’s cooled, keep it in the fridge.’ nourishbyjaneclarke.com
Most of us notice a change in fitness when we start exercising, but then our body gets used to our unvarying routine.
Want to see results for the party season? Performance coach Dalton Wong, owner of the Twenty Two Training gym in South Kensington, who trains the likes of Jennifer Lawrence, says: ‘Every time you exercise, it should be slightly more difficult than the previous session.
Most people do the same thing, which is why they never see any difference in their weight, body fat, or measurements.’
As Wong, author of The Feelgood Plan, tells clients: ‘Something in your workout needs to change, every time you workout. Maybe exercise with a bit more intensity, maybe hold the stretch a bit longer. Maybe jog a bit faster. As long as there’s a variable, you will start to see consistent changes.’ twentytwotraining.com
Be it in front of the TV or at a class with friends, if you want your brain to feel sharper by Christmas, ‘get dancing,’ advises Dr Sharad Paul, surgeon and author of The Genetics Of Health.
To thrive, humans developed particular traits — locomotion (we walked on two legs), orienting, ability to balance, and ability to grasp (essential, for example, when fighting).
That’s why ‘specific types of movement, such as tango and Celtic dances that involve leg movement, grasping, and balance, benefit the brain.’ drsharadpaul.com
ASK A VITAL QUESTION
If you want to improve the warmth of your relationship, consultant clinical psychologist Dr Elizabeth Kilbey says, instead of asking your partner: ‘How are you?’, once a week ask: ‘How are we?’ instead.
She says: ‘Take a minute to have a conversation about the relationship. ‘How are you?’ invites ‘I’m stressed, the kids are getting on my nerves, the car needs a service’.
But ‘how are we?’ leads to ‘I’ve got a lot on and I’m not feeling very supported…’ which allows you to respond to their need, which fosters emotional intimacy.’
Dalton Wong, owner of Twenty Two Training gym says: ‘Every time you exercise, it should be slightly more difficult than the previous session’ (file image)
SAVE YOUR CASH
Many of us splash out to escape an unpleasant feeling, says Simonne Gnessen — money coach and financial life planner at Wise Monkey Financial Coaching — which isn’t helpful, particularly at this time of year.
‘We use spending as an emotion regulator, just like some people use food,’ she says. ‘If they feel bad, they eat. Similarly, spending can fill a void.
There’s a trigger — you’ve been let down, had a bad day — and you find yourself shopping.’ Curtail this behaviour, advises Gnessen, co-author of Sheconomics, by taking advantage of ‘the tiny gap between stimulus and response’.
Pause, before you tap in your card number, and ask yourself, why? ‘If we become conscious of our emotional trigger and ask: “What’s actually going on for me?” there’s time to react differently. Ring a friend, organise your weekend — do something nice with the emotion: it doesn’t have to be spending.’ financial-coaching.co.uk
BIN SLEEP APPS
Sleep apps and trackers are popular, but they can ruin sleep, says independent sleep expert Dr Neil Stanley.
‘One, they’re often inaccurate, so you cannot rely on the information you get; and two, you make judgments based on that information. My app says I’ve had a good night’s sleep — I’ll drive to Scotland!
In the past you would trust your body: “I feel sleepy, I shouldn’t drive.” ’ To help your brain to regulate your sleep efficiently, get up at the same time every day.
Dr Stanley says: ‘The body craves regularity. Our hormones and neurotransmitters function on the 24-hour Circadian rhythm.
‘Getting up at the same time every day will improve your sleep quality as your brain knows how much time it’s got to get the sleep it needs.’
You’ll feel more alert in the day, because, Dr Stanley says: ‘Your body starts waking up an hour-and-a-half before you consciously wake. If it knows when that is, it can prepare.’ thesleepconsultancy.com