Guest Posts

4 Small Changes for a Happier, Healthier You

With so many wellness pros around the world, we chatted to one special woman, Pazit Barak, who helps people from around the world enhance their health and wellbeing at her retreats in Cambodia. Here are her top wellness tips.

Tips for a Healthy New Year with Pazit Barak

Long working hours, lunch on the go and minimal sleep has become a normal way of life in today’s western society. Balancing work, family and friends as well as finding time for ourselves seems almost impossible.  However, finding time for ourselves is vital, yet somehow we put it on the back burner behind looking after everyone else. As Eleanor Brownn once said “Self-care is not selfish, you cannot serve from an empty vessel.”

When we push ourselves to the limit on a daily basis we slowly become more and more drained. We start getting aching, lethargic, can develop skin problems, anxiety and even depression.

For most of us, a demanding lifestyle is unavoidable, but the good thing is that we don’t have to change our lives completely to improve it. If you can make the time, signing up for a yoga and meditation retreat is a great way to reset and re-balance. However, the following small changes take up little time, can be integrated into your daily life and are guaranteed to result in a happier, healthier and more positive you.

 1.     Regulate your sleeping pattern

health resort spa

In Chinese medicine and throughout the practice of yoga we are taught that our bodies are at one with the universe and flow to the same natural rhythm. It is believed that when we fall out of sync with the universe and become disconnected that our energy levels drop. With this in mind, it is recommended that to shine our brightest we should rise just before the sun and sleep when it sets or no later than 10pm.

In Ayruvedic medicine it is understood that before sunrise the hours are governed by air and space, making us feel lighter and providing us with support for the day. After sunrise the hours are run by water and earth making us feel heavier and less energised.

Eight hours of sleep in total works out perfectly. If you do not feel like this is possible in one go, take an hour and a half nap in the day if you can, no more and no less. This is a full sleep cycle and will leave you feeling rejuvenated.

2. Exercise for 5 minutes a day

You’re probably wondering how 5 minutes of exercise a day could possibly make a difference, but trust us, it does. Whether you, walk, skip, stretch or practice yoga they are all great. Just make sure you are consistent and you will see a shift in how you feel both mentally and physically.

By being active each day, even for such a short amount of time, you will improve your overall fitness including cardiovascular health, burn off stress resulting in an elevated mood and even increase brain power. Make sure to pay attention to your breath for a more powerful practice and a deeper connection between the body and mind.

3.) Practice self-love

health resort spa

Every day we are mindful about how we treat others and try to always consider the outcome of our actions but, sadly, we do not tend to behave the same way when it comes to how we treat ourselves.

Today, in the West especially, we are constantly working towards the next achievement, living in competition with others and ourselves. Whether it’s a higher paid salary, a bigger house or a new car. The list goes on. We rarely, if ever, take the time to sit back and realise what we already have and how much we have already achieved.

Take a few minutes each day, at the same time if you can, to write down five amazing things about yourself. It can be anything from you inherent strengths to something wonderful you’ve achieved. Write it down, reflect on it and appreciate how great you are.

4.) Spend 20 minutes in nature

The setting of Aprivé Wellness'  January Retreat

The setting of Aprivé Wellness' January Retreat

It doesn’t have to be in the up a mountain or on a tropical beach, it can simply be your garden or the nearest park. We spend so much time in offices, houses, shops and transport we can forget how beautiful nature can be and how embracing it can benefit us.

Trees and plants are our best friends, our life source. Being amongst them cleanses our system as well as our soul. Venturing out barefoot can also help ground you as well as allow your body to absorb minerals from the earth. So get out there, connect with the universe and feel free!

We know this may not be easy to start with but give it a go for a few weeks and see how you feel. Fully embrace each change. Be consistent but if you do miss one, don’t be hard on yourself. You will still see change. You will still feel the difference. If you punish yourself you will only feel tension. Simply learn from it and change it for the next time.

By being mindful of your surroundings, taking time for yourself and being proud of who you are, you’ll feel lighter, happier and stronger. As Buddha once said “You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection”.

About the author - Pazit

The Temple Retreat

Pazit is a yoga and meditation practitioner and teacher as well as holistic healing therapist. She specializes in Reiki, Pranic healing and Reflexology. She is also a theatre coach and life coach at Vagabond Temple Yoga & Meditation Retreat in Cambodia.

3 Tips to Eat Yourself Healthy & More with Niki Bezzant

With so many conflicting ideas about healthy eating clogging up the internet, it can be hard to know what to trust. So! We spoke to Niki Bezzant, Editor-in-Chief of the NZ Healthy Food Guide to help you discover the 3 ways to eat yourself healthy, plus other handy tips.

What should i eat to be healthy

1. What first made you interested in healthy food?

I’ve been interested in food all my life and have always been a cook. I cook because I love to eat! I love flavour.

how to be healthy

2. What does healthy eating mean to you?

Healthy eating means eating what makes me happy, and listening to my body. That means eating with awareness and pleasure, as well as giving my body what it needs to feel good. I don’t believe in deprivation or denial or guilt in association with any food.  

3. What's your favourite meal of all time?

Roast chicken, roast potatoes and green veggies, with beautiful home-made gravy. Can’t beat it. 

what should i eat to be healthy

4. What's the best thing about New Zealand produce?

We have an incredible natural environment here which produces incredible seasonal produce. I love coming up with new things to do with our beautiful seasonal vegetables.

5. What are you 3 top tips for healthy eating?

1. Don’t diet!

2. Cook as much as you can.

3. If in doubt, add vegetables.

6. What's your favourite treat for summer?

I love beautifully-prepared sashimi. Especially when it comes with a glass of champagne. 

what to eat in summer

See? Even the healthiest people understand balance is key. To learn more from Niki, check out her TedX talk below.

To get easy ways to sleep, move and eat yourself to a healthier 2017, get our free digital wellness guide below.