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Thu 1 Oct 2020

By Roberta Hutchins

Roberta Hutchins BSc (Hons) MCPP MHGI

Be Well Devon ~ now Online!

Personalised Holistic Healthcare ~ Human Givens Psychotherapy, Herbal Medicine, Reflexology, Yoga & Somatics

07747 030629


Keeping well moving into Autumn

I wrote my last article during week 3 of the lockdown as our personal worlds were growing ever smaller. Now as I write this we seem at another pivotal point of 2020, as the virus remains at relatively low levels at Devon but is growing and affecting people in other parts of the country more significantly again. And as things tend to change quickly, I wonder what the current landscape will be when you are reading this article. The situation has affected people in different ways, whether you’ve been shielding and are now dipping your toes into spending some time out and about and with other people, or whether you’ve been a key worker and continued to work throughout. I have been fortunate enough to be able to continue to work from home, including much online work – ‘virtually’ teaching yoga classes and seeing people for herbal medicine consultations and psychotherapy/counselling sessions. I feel particularly lucky to have just had a week off enjoying some of the most beautiful and quiet parts of the Devon countryside.

Whatever your experience so far, it seems that spending time focussing on optimising health is the best preparation for the coming Autumn. Looking at ways to care for your physical and psychological wellbeing could make a difference to your experience of the coming months. In my last article I included the College of Medicine’s 6-point plan which focusses on specific ways to increase protection against COVID-19. https://ourhealth.directory/living-with-coronavirus/

These include increasing exercise and cutting back hard on refined carbohydrates and sugar, in light of the evidence that carrying excess weight or a diagnosis of diabetes are risk factors for worse outcomes from infection. Let your diet be dominated by plants foods, complemented by some very dark chocolate! Consider taking probiotics, and a Vitamin D supplement now sunlight levels are decreasing.

Also recommended is including more spices in your diet. You can do this easily by enjoying home-made curries, or if you prefer milder food using the spices without chillies. Cinnamon and ginger can be enjoyed added to porridge, drunk as infusions or stirred into stewed apple. Turmeric, cumin and coriander can easily be added to home-made soups and stews. A classic Ayurvedic herbal tea combination helps all sorts of digestive and other health complaints and can easily be made from kitchen cupboard stores. Simply bring 1 litre of water to the boil, add ½ tsp each of cumin, coriander and fennel seeds (and a little fresh ginger if you like), simmer for 5 to 10 minutes, then strain and pour into a flask and drink warm during the day.

Equally important is actively managing our psychological wellbeing. In the Human Givens model we recognise that by meeting our basic emotional needs, aka ‘the human givens’, we are much more likely to feel well balanced. Meeting these needs has been particularly challenging during the pandemic. Briefly, these include a need for some security and control in our life, even if that is just taking control of something small each day, such as choosing to go for a walk or eating a healthy meal. We have a need for both giving and receiving attention, emotional connection with others, and feeling part of a community. We need a balance of time to ourselves and time with others – this has been particularly challenging for some people who have been on opposite ends of the spectrum, either living alone and devoid of any time with others, and some with children at home 24/7, having to combine home education with working from home. We also need to feel stretched and that we’re achieving something in life, which can lead to us feeling like we have some meaning in our lives. Not everybody requires each of these needs in the same dose! At its simplest, clearly introverted people will need different amounts of privacy and time with others, to an extroverted person. We all have our ‘Goldilocks’ just right point for each of these needs and finding ways to meet that will help us keep on an even keel and thrive.

I am now working online. If you would like personalised herbal medicine or dietary advice, or online one-to-one therapy to help with anxiety, stress, depression or other mental or emotional difficulties right now, do call or email to make an appointment or find out whether I can help you: roberta@bewelldevon.co.uk


“Roberta, using the Human Givens approach, offered a simple, quick and effective treatment using the ‘best’ of a variety of approaches. I left empowered with the tools for self-management. Highly recommended.”

You can find out more on my website www.bewelldevon.co.uk

Follow me on:

facebook @bewelldevon 

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Other columns by Roberta Hutchins

Some new offerings – enhanced Reflexology treatment with Far Infrared Therapy and some free Human Givens Therapy sessions - Thu 24 Jan 2019

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