Feel bet­ter in 5

Big changes start with sim­ple steps. Try th­ese ideas to help im­prove your well­be­ing

Diabetic Living - - Contents -

Learn to en­joy spare time, away from a screen

ZINC CHECK

Sim­i­larly to mag­ne­sium lev­els, peo­ple with di­a­betes may have a lower level of zinc due to the amount ex­creted in urine when ex­pe­ri­enc­ing high BGLs. But what’s so im­por­tant about zinc?

Well, it is of­ten re­ferred to as the hum­ble achiever – it’s a vi­tal min­eral re­quired by every cell and or­gan to con­duct func­tions such as im­mu­nity, brain func­tion, growth, senses and wound heal­ing. As zinc is found in a wide range of foods – es­pe­cially high-pro­tein foods such as red meat, dairy, oys­ters, seeds and nuts – peo­ple as­sume they get enough. How­ever, de­fi­ciency is pos­si­ble. Those at risk in­clude women who are preg­nant or lac­tat­ing, and those peo­ple with gas­troin­testi­nal, kid­ney and liver dis­eases. Be­fore you take sup­ple­ments, though, dis­cuss it with your health­care team to de­ter­mine if you are re­ceiv­ing enough zinc nat­u­rally.

ARE YOU BORED?

In a world so switched on it has be­come in­creas­ingly hard to switch off, it seems that any time we are bored we tend to switch to an­other plat­form, movie, game or app. Psy­chol­ogy lec­turer Sandi

Mann ar­gues in her book The Up­side of

Down­time: Why Bore­dom is Good that the more we shy away from bore­dom and use dig­i­tal de­vices as a dis­trac­tion, the more stim­u­la­tion we crave. And a study pub­lished in the jour­nal Academy

of Man­age­ment Dis­cov­er­ies con­cluded bore­dom has the abil­ity to spark in­di­vid­ual pro­duc­tiv­ity and cre­ativ­ity. But it’s not just that. Rather, a lit­tle down­time – and em­brac­ing bore­dom – is a pos­i­tive (in)ac­tion that en­cour­ages you to:

• be cu­ri­ous

• de­velop grit

• use your imag­i­na­tion (hello day­dream­ing!)

• pur­sue new goals

• de­velop prob­lem-solv­ing skills

• build con­fi­dence (through tak­ing risks in try­ing new things)

• im­prove men­tal health (learn­ing to dis­cover your own thoughts, rather than be­ing driven by the thoughts of oth­ers)

So, next time you go to fill the void with technology, why not em­brace bore­dom like an old friend and see where it takes you.

CON­NECT WITH YOUR TRIBE

As 2020 con­tin­ues to throw curve­balls, it is im­por­tant to con­nect with your friends and fam­ily. While some are stranded in an­other city or coun­try, and oth­ers are un­able to visit those in iso­la­tion, technology has been a bless­ing. Whether you join a vir­tual game of bingo with friends or videochat with fam­ily, stay­ing con­nected is vi­tal – es­pe­cially to those who are ex­pe­ri­enc­ing height­ened lev­els of stress, anx­i­ety and in­se­cu­rity, and who feel as if they are lack­ing con­trol over their life.

One of the big­gest fears among ex­perts is the un­known long-term ef­fect the pan­demic and iso­la­tion has had on the men­tal health of all age groups. Make it known among your close cir­cle that you are avail­able to lis­ten or help those who are strug­gling where you can; or, if you are strug­gling, reach out to your tribe. Make it a habit to catch up weekly, whether in per­son (fol­low­ing gov­ern­ment re­stric­tions in your re­gion) or vir­tu­ally. If you’re find­ing things are dif­fi­cult, help is avail­able. Visit ruok.org.au. ➤

EM­BRACE IM­PER­FEC­TION

The Ja­panese art form of kintsugi re­pairs cracked pot­tery by fill­ing in fis­sures with gold-dusted lac­quer. This show­cases the beauty of the pot, rather than hid­ing its dam­age and flaws. This is a per­fect ex­am­ple of wabi-sabi – the Ja­panese phi­los­o­phy of em­brac­ing a per­fectly im­per­fect life. And, by in­te­grat­ing this into your own life, you can en­cour­age your­self to ac­cept your flaws, ac­cept that life is un­pre­dictable and make the most of the life you have. When you pur­sue per­fec­tion, it of­ten in­creases stress and anx­i­ety and can cause de­pres­sion in try­ing to reach for some­thing that isn’t al­ways pos­si­ble. To­day, it’s more com­mon than ever for in­di­vid­u­als to aim for a level of per­fec­tion so they can boast about it to the world. But, rather than cav­ing in to this, find a way to re­mind your­self about wabi-sabi, slow down and cel­e­brate the way things are.

STOP SLOUCH­ING!

Did you know hunch­ing makes you more tired than sit­ting or stand­ing up straight! Al­though it takes a lot of strength to hold a per­fect pos­ture 24/7, the ben­e­fits of good pos­ture out­weigh those of slouch­ing. Re­searchers from

Saudi Ara­bia found healthy lung mus­cles are un­able to fully ex­pand as you in­hale if you are slouch­ing, com­pared with when you’re main­tain­ing good pos­ture. When you are in proper align­ment, cir­cu­la­tion and di­ges­tion are also im­proved as or­gans aren’t work­ing dou­ble time be­ing in a po­si­tion they’re not in­tended to be in. Fur­ther, cor­rect pos­ture also re­duces back pain and ten­sion headaches, and helps to im­prove your core and up­per back mus­cles by be­ing ac­tive and en­gaged to hold the po­si­tion.

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