Each day we make choices to eat, drink, relax and work our way to either balance or imbalance. These choices are the expression of our habits and beliefs and become the foundation of our wellness.  As we live through this time of home based work and a sense of retreat from our normal worldly distractions, we are needing to create a shared culture for self-care, illness prevention and resilience that will allow us to adapt to constant change. This is requiring new ideas and behaviours, and so we need to create the new neural pathways in our brains to support this. The acronym  M E N D  is helpful as a bell that draws our attention during the day, to what needs to be done to layer in different positive living choices, that become our new normal way.
M E N D  is like a mantra to remind us to choose these 4 habits in the flow of our daily life. We check off that we have visited each step in our MEND for the day. If we can use this acronym with a heart connected focus, then the benefits are multiplied. For us to be truly well and resilient we also need connection and purpose. As you tune into your MEND, be aware of your self-connection and align with your purpose for how you want to live your life. Our connection and purpose keeps us living with a heart connected focus.

Meditate ~ bookend your day with a short mindfulness of breathing practice
Meditation creates the habit of returning our focus to a single point of concentration.  It brings us back home to our self, and so can reduce our cortisol and adrenalin stress hormone levels. These hormones block healthy immunity and the flow of our vital Qi. Meditation has been cultivated and shared by human beings for more than 5,000 years, and builds on our essential sense of self-awareness and our ability to make a knowing choice about where we focus our attention.
This guided meditation from Plum Village can make a good foundation practice: https://youtu.be/tcEGMSaQZks

Exercise ~ organise your day to include time for a purposed exercise session

A targeted Yoga session or short burst cardio walks in nature will stimulate blood, lymph and Qi to align your body and build your energy bank. You can use a staircase or a hill to raise your heart rate and then allow it to return to resting. Doing this in nature gives you the added benefit of the immunity boost that connection to nature provides for your body and mind. You will feel more self-connected and invigorated with daily exercise.

Nourish ~ cook delicious fresh whole food meals each day so that your plate is full of colour and nutrition

Choose seasonal vegetables and fruits, and locally sourced organic foods as the centre of your diet. Don’t forget plenty of seeds and nuts as your clean source of protein and fats – we have so much evidence now that animal fats and proteins when eaten every day, are a cause for inflammation in our body and lead to poor gut health. When you consider that 70% of your immune tissues reside in your gut, we can see the wisdom of choosing foods from a plant based diet to support building good gut bacteria for a robust and vital immunity.
Indian and Middle Eastern cuisine have a wonderful history of delicious and quick vegetable and legume cooking that is easily accessed on the internet.

Deep Sleep ~ make a nighttime ritual that calms and slows your brain activity to prepare for quality refreshing sleep

As the sun sets, mirror it’s rays with your external energy output – start turning down your activity and light levels.
Avoid night time exercise and stimulating movies that switch your brain activity back on. You’ll need to finish your screen activity an hour before sleep and switch from overhead light to lamps and candles.  The best sleep is achieved when phones and devices aren’t in your bedroom.
Make the hour before bed, a time for self-care, that is relaxing and nurturing.

M E N D  your immune system with conscious Connection to yourself and nature, and make time each day to attune to what is your passion and Purpose in life.
When we place our self at the centre of a healthy life rhythm guided by these 4 pillars, we thrive with vitality and the awareness to be able to navigate through the continuous challenges of life. It only takes a mindful effort to set up new positive patterns that align us with our life purpose.
May you be well, May you be happy.
Dr Andrea.