It’s a new year, which means it’s time to hit the reset button, it's time for new beginnings. This week we’re talking about cleansing, however, we’re not talking about juice fasts and colonic cleanses! There are many toxins out there, in our food, in the air, in our home and in our relationships, so we’re going to talk about ways to detox your entire life. Let’s start with your home.
Cleanse Your House
Just about all of us have possessions in the home that we don’t need, whether it be furniture, knick knacks, clothes or paperwork. Everything that you own is an expression of your personality, so let’s make it the most authentic expression of you! It’s time to clear out the cupboards and the wardrobe. You will need garbage bags for the things that you are going to throw away and boxes for stuff that you can donate. There are so many things we don’t need, old make-up, clothes we never wear, things from our childhood or past holidays. Start easy, walk through your house and get rid of those things you don’t want anymore but haven't taken the time to get rid of. Then open up cupboards and ask yourself 5 questions about your possessions:
- Has the item (shoes, photo, memento) been used in the last 6 months?
- Does the item bring you down, or make you feel bad about yourself?
- Does it contribute anything positive to your life?
- Can you imagine yourself or anyone in your family ever loving or needing it in the foreseeable future?
- Would this item be useful to someone else?
Based on your answers to the above questions you can decide whether the item is worth keeping, donating or throwing out. Purging your house of items that don’t serve you in a positive way is a very cathartic experience. Don’t forget to detox the pantry by going through and throwing out things like chips, chocolate, biscuits and check the expiry dates of items, including the spice rack. Basically, any packaged food with a list of more than 5 ingredients contains lots of preservatives and is choc full of chemicals. Stock up on fresh fruits, vegetables, legumes and pulses. Another way to cleanse your house is to keep indoor plants in every room. They detoxify the air by taking carbon dioxide in and releasing oxygen. The plant and the soil absorbs other toxic chemicals in the air, plus they make the house seem brighter and fresher.
Cleanse Your Body
Now you've cleaned out your pantry and have the fridge full of healthy food, let’s look at cleansing the body. There is no need to go on a month long green juice detox, here are some small changes that will help you get healthier:
- Drink the juice of half a lemon in warm water first thing every morning to kick start digestion and cleanse the system.
- Include more raw foods in your diet, they contain more nutrients and enzymes.
- An oldie but a goodie, drink 8 glasses of water per day, it helps move lymph around the body and flushes the kidneys.
- Start dry body brushing, it improves circulation and increases skin detoxification. Using a loofah or natural fibre body brush. Brush the skin with firm circular strokes from your feet to neck before you step into the shower.
- Do a form of exercise that increases your heart rate and makes you sweat. Your body expels toxins out of the body via your sweat (plus you will look and feel great!).
- Get your 7-8 hours of sleep per night. When you’re sleeping your body goes into repair mode because your immune system gets kicked into high gear.
Cleanse Your Social Life
Have you ever left an interaction with a person and felt drained of energy? I like to call these types of people Energy Vampires. They may be nice enough, but they are negative, complaining about their life (woe is me) or being nasty about other people. We all know people like this, it’s time that we get rid of them out of our lives and got our energy back! It’s about quality social interactions, not quantity. Detoxifying involves letting out the bad so you can let in the good. This might be as simple as defriending them on Facebook, or unfollowing them on Twitter. It’s the New Year, so why not purge your social media sites and remove people that add nothing to your life. Another thought whilst we are on the topic of social media; USE IT LESS! Go on an ‘Information Detox’. We tend to over consume, do you really need to get onto Facebook as soon as you wake up? Do you need to look at it whilst you are commuting to work or at lunch time? Social media and the consumption of information disturbs your focus. I suggest limiting yourself to ½ an hour per day, to make this easier you may need to uninstall social media sites from your phone. Now, back to people, you don’t need Energy Vampires in your life. They can poison your mind with negative thinking, encourage you to do things that aren’t constructive to your health and cause emotional distress. Stop seeing them all together, it may be an initial awkward conversation, but trust me, you won’t miss them.
Cleanse Your Mind
So you’ve detoxed your house, body and social life, time to cleanse the mind! You might not notice negative thoughts but we all have them e.g. you do something wrong at work and think to yourself; damn I am such an idiot!. It’s a small thing but thoughts are powerful, thoughts can become actions or beliefs. If you have negative thoughts towards yourself, in the end there will be negative consequences. The first step to turning this negativity into positivity is to notice your thoughts as they come up. Then evaluate your irrational or unhealthy thoughts and make a conscious effort to correct them. When you catch a negative thought such as the one above, stop and reframe into something more positive e.g. turn ‘I am such an idiot’ into ‘I am good at my job but mistakes happen, I will know better for next time’. Make sure you're easy on yourself during this process however, you’re only human – it’s okay to stumble. Another way to bring more positive thoughts into your life is by repeating mantras. You can write them on post-it notes and stick them where you see them each day like the fridge door or the mirror. Examples of mantras can include positive personal traits or goals you have for the year like; I am happy and healthy, I am loved, I am calm and patient, I choose to shine, I am growing, I am strong and powerful, I will start my own business this year, or I will lose 5 kgs this year. Another tip is to think of something positive that happened during your day before you go to sleep.
Cleanse Your Finances
If you have money problems, life isn’t so good and you’re more likely to engage in toxic activities. If this is the case you need to fix your budget. Even if you don’t have money issues, we all spend money on things that we don’t need or aren’t good for us. Setting and sticking to a budget is a great exercise for anyone, regardless of the size of their pay packet. There are quite a few online budgets or Apps like Mint Personal Finance or PocketMoney that will help to analyse your spending trends and let you know if you’re sticking to your budget. When you get your budget back on track you can then work towards treating yourself, because when you buy yourself something nice it makes you feel good! Decide on something that you’re going to splurge on; it could be a fancy meal, a new pair of shoes, or a holiday. This will motivate you to stop spending money on frivolous things you don’t really need. Another simple way to stop spending is to leave your credit cards at home when you go shopping.
Detoxing your life can be hard; things like removing toxic friends from your life can be difficult. Getting your finances back on track or throwing away your childhood teddy bear can be equally as hard. But stick to it, day by day you will see the improvement in your life and be happier and healthier for all your effort.
Western Wellness Team
(Your friendly neighbourhood yogis)