In this months Blog I wanted to jump on the band wagon and big up a great local cause. The Be More Snail campaign. I’m sure those local to Brighton have seen around town all the beautifully decorated snails. Another great way to raise money for our wonderful local charity Martlets. One of the messages of the campaign is obviously to slow down and appreciate what is around you. Be more snail right. This really resonates with our clinic and I wanted to expand on how “Being More Snail” can not only help with you feel less pain but also improving your mental health.
Why Should We Be More Snail?
Modern life is fast. Really fast. We are constantly bombarded by the world around us. Traffic, work pressure, staring at screens, mobile phones, social media and interacting with fellow stressed out human beings are the ones that immediately spring to mind. Some of these things are good things right? Well yes, but they’re not what we were designed to do.
The human being was designed to go hunt and scavenge. Run away from stuff that was a threat and then chill out thankfully when safe again back at their cave. On a basic level this is what we still need to do today. Ensure our families are safe in our caves and go out and ensure our families have enough to eat – less use of spears these days, more use of Sainsbury’s. Surely modern life is easier than it’s ever been?
Granted the stresses we find ourselves under on an individual basis are less than they ever have been. Compare a stressful day at work with being chased by a saber toothed tiger. Compare popping to Sainsbury’s with the threat of starvation if crops fail. However, the stresses we face in the modern world are constant. In my head I visualise and stress equivalent of Chinese water torture. We have a constant drip, drip, drip of stress. And not much time of doing not very much. When was the last time you stopped and did nothing? When was the last time you were a little more snail?
Even what we consider to be relaxing may even be stressing us out. This article from Psychology Today shows how too much screen use is bad for our health. Is spending time on your iPad or smart phone truly relaxing? Another short article here shows 3 ways in which our gadgets negatively affect our ultimate way of regenerating – sleeping.
How Can I Go About Being More Snail?
Don’t pencil time in for relaxation. Put it in pen. Highlight it. Underline it. And make sure you do it. Take your time over things. Don’t rush around. Think snail man. Stop and have a herbal tea along the way – we don’t recommend caffeinated drinks and that increases our stress response. Cruise through life. Stop and smell the flowers on your journey through life. Easy to say of course. Probably a lot harder to do. Here’s our favourite life tweaks to introduce a more snail like mind set.
Breathe – take some time to stop and breathe. Even if it’s just a pause in your day when you take two deep breaths. We talk in great detail about the health and well being benefits of good old fashioned breathing here: Does Relaxation Breathing Really Ease Pain And Improve Your Mood?
Squeeze Your Bum! – I said your own, not others! Simply lie on your back and squeeze you bum cheeks together. This will lift your pelvis up and open it out. Your glutes are your muscles of power. Let’s make you more powerful so you can better deal with the world. Better still is doing the bum squeeze and the breathing exercise above at the same time. Powerful and relaxed, how does that sound?
Get Help – No man or woman is an island. Whatever it is that you’re struggling with, get help. There are so many people in various professions who will be able to help and nudge you in the right direction. We specialise in the physical. If your pain or lack of movement is getting you down we’re here to help. If you’re struggling emotionally there are a plethora of Life Coach and Physiotherapists who can help. If you’re struggling with your body image maybe a Nutritionist is your best port of call. Maybe your business is not what you want it to be – hire a Business Coach for a fresh perspective. We can’t all be experts in everything. Trust me, I tried!
Be Open To Change – One of my favourite expressions is: “If you always do what you always did you always get what you always got!” If we fear change nothing will ever change in our lives. Which brings me nicely onto my next point…
Be accountable – If there’s something about your life you don’t like, change it. No one else is going to do it for you. The buck stops with you. So Be More Snail. Take time out to work out what it is you need to change and do it. Don’t die wondering what if. If you slow down to a snail’s pace it’s easier to work out what it is you need to do to make yourself happy. Rather than be distracted by life and it’s pressures the way it is.
Go Check Out The Snails – The point here is to go for a walk. How many of us go for a walk for the sake of it? Just to amble along and be with your thoughts. If you’re with the family, enjoy your time with them rather than resenting the fact it’s keeping you from doing work. The Snailway is a great way of getting out and just going for a walk for the sake of it. You can find the map here.
Turn Your Notifications Off – Such an easy thing to do. Simply switch all notifications on your phone off. It will get you out of the habit of checking your phone every 5 minutes. It will reduce your background stress levels and you won’t be on high alert as much. Don’t worry the notifications about your ex-partner’s latest pictures can wait!
Remove Work Emails From Your Phone – I’ve recommended this to many clients. I have done this myself too. Most people get it. Some people look at me as if I’ve shot their mother! If you can’t delete them completely give yourself a firm deadline. Lets say 7pm. After this time, no work emails. Crazy I know. What would our beloved snails do? Give yourself that time away from work (and / or family if required) when you’re not on duty. Where you can switch off – just don’t waste that time vegetating in front of the TV. That’s a distraction. Not regenerative relaxation. Reading a book is a much more healthy pursuit.
Deadline For No Technology Use – To improve your sleep give yourself a deadline after which you don’t use any technology. You could read a book. Go for a walk before bedtime – it is possible to walk in the dark. You could even have a good old fashioned conversation with the other half. Anything that doesn’t involve a screen.
How Can I Help This Great Cause?
I hope you find the above useful. I could go on but that is plenty of ideas for now. You can see why I love the Be More Snail movement so much. It ties in beautifully with how we at the clinic believe is the right way to live. Sometimes we feel like salmon swimming against the current. But the more people we can bring round to a more snail like way of thinking the better.
It would be great if you could give to the Martlets as reward for all those people putting in the hard work behind the signs to make the Be More Snail campaign work. You can donate at this link.
Slow it down guys, Be More Snail!