Liz Earle’s 6 wellbeing wins for midlife women
When it comes to wellness, it really doesn’t need to be complicated. Simple wellbeing wins can really help to elevate both our physical and mental health.
“It’s really important […] that we have some self-care. And self-care isn’t selfish,” says Liz of her approach to wellbeing.
Liz’s wellbeing wins for midlife women
Sleep is imperative for our overall wellbeing. Without enough, we may feel grouchy and be less alert and more susceptible to illness. A lack of sleep in the long run can also put us at higher risk of serious health issues such as heart disease and diabetes.
“We don’t function with poor sleep,” explains Liz.
So how does she prioritise a good night’s kip? “I set my alarm for my bedtime rather than my time to wake-up as it’s important to remind myself that I need to go to bed,” she shares.
Liz also finds magnesium supplements helpful at nighttime, particularly magnesium glycinate, which is known for its calming properties. Liz says that the oestrogen part of her HRT also helps ensure her a solid night of slumber.
Staying hydrated is key to our health. But some studies show that almost 90% of us may not be getting enough.
So, how much should you be drinking? Liz aims for around two litres every day. As a rough guide, experts suggest that you should drink between 30 to 35mls of H2O per KG of body weight every single day.
“First thing I do in the morning is rehydrate – and I used to not bother about this,” says Liz. “But actually, [I have] two large glasses of water first thing as soon as I brush my teeth and that’s kind of baseline.
“That’s replenishing what’s been lost at night. It’s rehydrating and I do feel better for it.”
The health of our gut plays an important part in our overall wellbeing. As Liz points out: “We know about the importance of the microbiome. We know about it impacting everything – from hormones to the brain to sleep to mental health.”
To prioritise her gut health, Liz adds five Ks into her diet every day.
These are: kombucha, kimchi, kefir, kraut, and kamut (also known as sourdough bread).
All have beneficial fermented probiotic goodness, which helps to keep our gut health high (and the kamut or sourdough bread is easier to digest).
At the end of her morning shower, Liz turns the temperature right down for a 60-second ice cold blast.
She explains: “I’m not quite the Wim Hof, not quite that extreme, but there is definitely evidence to show that doing this in the morning stimulates just the right amount of cortisol and leads to better sleep at night.”
Aside from sleep, experts also believe that a morning blast of cold water (whether it’s showers, swimming or immersion) can help to set up our hormones and circadian rhythms for the day. It can help to lift a low mood, support the immune system and encourage a better night’s sleep.
Liz adds: “A little bit of shock is good!”
Simple but effective, daylight is one of Liz’s wellbeing wins.
“So many of us, particularly when we’re working from organisations and institutions, don’t get a chance to go out,” says Liz.
She suggests getting outdoors first thing if possible to squeeze in some time in nature and reap the benefits.
“Early in the morning, go out and really embrace the sunlight,” Liz explains. “Looking towards the early morning sun, without sunglasses and not just through glass, activates important receptors in the retina. Don’t damage the eyes by looking directly into the bright sun.”
And that’s not all. Being outdoors helps to boost our mood, sunshine tops up our vitamin D levels, and evidence shows that morning sunlight has benefits for our circadian rhythm, which in turn improves sleep quality.
The final on Liz’s list? Finding joy.
“I’m a joy seeker – I actually try and go out and seek pockets of joy throughout the day,” she says. “Exchanging a smile with a stranger, savouring a delicious cup of tea, picking a few flowers of some pretty foliage for a vase – simple things.”
She continues: “Little bits of these healthy things – I’m not very good at giving things up – I drink too much red wine sometimes, but it’s all about balance.
“If we can add in the good things, add in some of the specific supplements, add in probiotics and our probiotics, add in a bit more sleep, add in a bit more water, add in a bit more joy.”