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  • Clare Backhouse

Where you're headed

This time in early December can sometimes be a downer. It's not quite the sprint days before Christmas, not quite the end of term, not quite time for holidays. It's raining. Or it's snowing. And the bugs are going around too.

But this morning I had this happy thought. An absolute cliché, I know, but still useful I think: it's not where I am right now that matters, but where I am heading towards.

At this moment, we might just be holding things together before the holidays. But that doesn't mean we're stuck. Regardless of how things are now, our dreams and hopes are still there, and they still exert their impact.

This is because, even when we're distinctly not succeeding at our grand plans, we still 'nod' towards them all the same. Small actions now are preparing us for larger ones later.

For example, if the tail end of the flu has meant your exercise regime is out the window - perhaps this month you're just adding in brisk walks and cycle rides wherever you can. Doing something, is still something.

Or perhaps you are longing to address your eating habits, but Christmas parties or comfort foods are taking their toll. It can be easy to pile on the guilt at this time of year! Just for now, you might drink a glass of water for every other kind of drink this month, to help hydration. Or add protein to every meal to reduce peaks and troughs in blood sugar.

Another favourite habit of mine is the 10-minute bath-and-breathe. When clients find their down-time is limited, this can be a brilliant 'wedge in the door' against stress. Breathing gently from one's diaphragm and doing nothing for 10 minutes is, as I have discovered, effective enough to be worthy of a tick on the to-do list. A small but undeniable win.

For everyone who's doing brilliantly this December: congratulations! Keep going!

And for everyone who's feeling under the weather - 'keep going' to you too. You're still in the game, and your hopes haven't gone anywhere.

To your best of health, Clare

Clare Backhouse, dipION, Registered Nutritionist MBANT, Registered Nutritional Therapist CNHC

Consultations in London, in West Sussex, and online

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