This post is sponsored by Rennie, who I am incredibly proud to partner with.
Isn’t it scary to think that burnout is becoming more common than ever?
74% of millennials feel stressed to a point of burnout, of feeling unable to perform everyday tasks. And a few years ago, I also experienced serious burnout and, aside from being unable to see past the fog, I ended up with alopecia (the loss of about a third of my hair) and failing digestive health that left my skin in tatters.
In fact, I ended up going through a huge dietary shake-up overnight to try and combat it, but to nobody’s surprise, it wasn’t sustainable to make such a huge, immediate change to my lifestyle.
One of the things I’m championing the most at the moment is living a more mindful and sustainable life, which goes hand in hand with making little changes to build healthier habits, maintain positive mental health and promote better digestive health.
So when Rennie® asked me to document a week of making little changes to positively impact my lifestyle, I jumped at the chance…
I’m a huge advocate of exercise to improve mental health as well as physical health. Did you know that mental health can have a huge impact on your digestive system? I personally strength-train 2-3 times a week and attend Barre and Pilates classes once a week each, but whilst on holiday in Hong Kong recently, I loved heading out for a gentle after-dinner stroll.
Ideally, you should wait about an hour or so before heading out. Thanks to having a nutritionist auntie, I like to finish my meals with a piece of fruit, and standing for around 20-30 minutes after eating (being upright helps to avoid acid reflux).
Walking and breathing in fresh air encourages the digestive system to start working, and what better way than to embark on the World’s Tiniest Hike? I adore hiking in Hong Kong and couldn’t believe that a) I’d never hiked Braemar Hill/Jardine’s Lookout, and b) it only took 15-20 minutes. And of course, being rewarded with this epic perspective of the city didn’t hurt either.
A better-balanced diet
Back in December, I pledged to move to a plant-based diet and I’m now more than 3 months strong in my vegan life. But that hasn’t come without its own complications. I’m not a huge fan of meat replacements, but also struggled with getting the vitamin balance right.
I’ve always been great at getting my 5 servings of fruit and veg in each day, but adding in more pulses, oats and wholegrain carbs has revolutionised how I feel throughout the day. Adding black beans to my meals, brown rice to my dinners, and switching up the grains in my lunchtime salads means I feel fuller for longer, rarely feel sluggish (aside from the obligatory 3pm lull!) and the fibre boost has certainly helped my digestive system, if you know what I mean.
Finally, what I was most intrigued about trialling was smarter eating. Life in 2019 is all about the now and instant gratification, which is essentially the opposite of how our bodies were made.
Little changes like thoroughly chewing your food starts the digestive process properly, not talking when eating (oops, guilty!), not eating on the go (again, SO guilty!) can alleviate pressure on your digestive system and reduce bloating. I’ve been doing my best to be present when eating, concentrating on breaking my food down properly and not rushing to make it to a meeting or to tick another thing from my to-do list.