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As one year ticks silently over to the next, there’s a well-entrenched knee-jerk to embark on a complete reinvention of oneself. Like parodies of Nineties TV makeover shows, we vow to dress to impress, eschew all sugar and promise to only ever say nice things, even to people who probably don’t deserve it. Perhaps all that wishing and wizardry is why so many New Year's resolutions fall flat by February. A New Year does not require a ‘new you’ - you’re fine. Nonetheless, a next gen update that operates smoothly and with added memory storage might be nice.
Hard truth time; her over there, that woman who gets under your skin, the one who always seems to be nailing life when your nerves have been worn thinner than a Holy Communion wafer, she’s not an entirely different species, (unless you’re picturing Cindy Crawford, Maye Musk or JLo - they’re from two galaxies down). The difference between her and you does not lie in finding the perfect jean cut for your body type, upgrading to a next level PT or going on a thousand dollar immersive retreat. She may be managing her workload, keeping her cool and ticking off the to-do lists because she’s got the capacity but unlocking additional bandwidth is something anyone can do. There are simply a few aspects of life that, when resolved, push you into the next-level health, wellbeing and happiness stratosphere, aka the secret to being superhuman.
Betterment comes from building in the bandwidth and 99 times out of a hundred, that comes from getting sufficient sleep. Sleep is the cornerstone of all health and a fair amount of happiness. It's no overstatement to say that the body rebuilds itself during sleep because truly restorative sleep regenerates organs, rids the body of toxins, reboots the mind and improves mental resilience. “Sleep is a universal process that the whole body uses and has its fingers in every system; strengthening the immune system, improving blood flow and supporting energy balance,” explains Dr Michael Grandner, Director of the Sleep & Health Research Programme at University of Arizona.
The good news is that you can impact the sleep system indirectly and improve it through evidence-based supplementation. LYMA is unique in its combined formulation of ten unrivalled ingredients. “The rest state is the body’s time to regenerate and the premium formulation in the LYMA Supplement boosts those functions, making the body’s nocturnal processes even more effective,” advocates Grandner.
“Sleeping well heals you physically but also makes you a better person”, explains Chartered Psychologist Suzy Reading. “When you're well-rested, you are far more likely to be patient, resourceful and compassionate. Far from being pointless and unproductive, it's the stuff that allows us to be the kind of people that we aspire to be.”
Why do some people never seem to catch so much as a sniffle whilst others are single handedly upholding Kleenex sales? According to an extensive medical study by US immunologists, those who do five or more days of exercise a week catch markedly fewer colds and viruses. Good for them but there must be more to it than that. Our genes carry proclivities to certain diseases, viral illnesses and the rate at which we age, only world-leading clinical pharmacologist and immune expert, Professor Paul Clayton says we can temper our genetic predispositions with how we live, what we eat and when we move, thus dictating our individual health trajectories. “For those looking to turn back the clock, many of the drivers of inflammation and ageing are mutable, ‘hackable’ and their course is able to be changed via lifestyle and nutritional intervention.”
Time Restricted Eating, following a protein-rich anti-inflammatory diet and taking part in the right immune system-boosting fitness workouts can all alter gene expression and help to rekindle biological youth in a bid to prevent illness. Furthermore, Clayton stresses that, “Only by taking clinically dosed, patented and peer-reviewed supplements containing curcumin and 1,3 1,6 beta glucans can you reduce inflammation and rejuvenate the body at a cellular level.”
Some will always run faster on the treadmill, be able to deadlift more kgs - and look better in a high-cut bikini doing so - but increasing our immunity and being masters of our own health spans remains firmly within our grasp.
Nature has taught us time and again that adaptability is the key to survival but accepting change and not losing your absolute mind is way more impressive than any flower blooming in the Arctic Circle. More covetable than a J.P. Morgan Reserve Credit Card, mental agility is the difference between feeling buoyed rather than beaten and for producing calm, reasonable responses rather than going ‘Full Dragon’. “Increased mental dexterity is also about doing away with expectations and releasing ownership of how things should go,” supports Suzy Reading.
Meditation is excellent for this, as is CBT, whilst nootropics (or smart drugs), are well proven to increase cognitive function and shift the mind into proactive mode rather than eternally residing on the back foot. Frazzled doesn't have to be our default mode. By chemically nourishing neurological pathways, the brain operates more smoothly, solutions are clearer and obstacles present less of an issue.
Note to everyone, everywhere; betterment isn’t about feeling like a totally different person. For many it can be the admirable quest to feel like themselves again. Listen to that teeny-tiny voice that often gets drowned out by other people’s needs. Brain fog, lethargy, low mood and persistent poor sleep are all headline symptoms of perimenopause and if your hormones are out of kilter, they need to be rebalanced before any personal goals can be realised. Knowing how to speak to your GP about menopause is a skill in itself and if you feel you’re getting nowhere, fear not because world-leading women’s health clinicians like Dr Samantha Brown at The Bronte Clinic exist to pave a gentle and manageable path through menopause and out the other side.
We all have equal potential to feel better, be more creative and pluck out the joy rather than chin hairs. Let’s continue to embrace the New Year urge for betterment because it’s all up for grabs. You can get eight hours of sleep a night, you can increase your immunity, you can be mentally agile, you can be that heavenly woman - only even better, because you’re you.