Destress tips

The Dangers of Treadmills


In this audio, Charlotte addresses the use of treadmills which are commonplace in most gyms in the country but many people are unaware of their dangers. Constantly using a treadmill can cause repetitive stress injuries and strain due the Read more

Kefir healed my skin


The power of Kefir I have been living in South Korea for a year now and I have become very sensitive to foods which may possibly have caused what looks like a fungal infection on my skin. When I went Read more

Ntosh's Journey to Health Part 2


I have been on the Better4life nutrition programme and I noticed something... For the past couple of days I've noticed that I'm happier, my mood is so much better – almost nothing can get me down. Also, the energy drinks – Read more

Kefir keeps me healthy!


All the Better4life products are a true God-send.  The kefir has been my medicine for everything. I have been applying the kefir on my skin for the past 3 weeks every night and my skin is producing such a Read more

Country living in the city


I picked up the March issue of “Country Life”, drawn to its fresh outdoor images. Print has suffered a decline and it’s amazing how this magazine continues to flourish, glossy and bright. And then it dawned on me. Many Read more

Country living in the city

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I picked up the March issue of “Country Life”, drawn to its fresh outdoor images. Print has suffered a decline and it’s amazing how this magazine continues to flourish, glossy and bright. And then it dawned on me. Many South Africans want to live in the country – away from the stress, noise and congestion. This is why this particular magazine sells so well. I’m not in the minority, wanting a simpler, cleaner life.

City living is hard on the soul. But, it’s not really the environment at fault, most of our cities and suburbs are green, lush and well taken care of. It’s how we live in the city. The constant drive and pressure, unending speed and impatience, a disconnect in our closest relationships. All this and more brings a fast-paced futility. Life can become empty-hearted with little joy.

I think the country calls to our essence, and reminds us that less can be more, and faster isn’t always better. However, you and I may not move to a small, quaint “dorp” somewhere in South Africa. We may stay in the city, in our workplaces and homes and schools for our children. The city is projected to grow dramatically in the next 10 years. So, if we are here, what do we do?

Well, I think there is only one simple solution. We can choose to change how we live – take some of those good, old fashioned farm town habits and place them into our blended concrete ‘n grass jungles. I don’t want to be unhappy or pointless here. I’m sure you don’t want to either. So, I’m training myself to set the tone of my life gently, with baby steps. Today, I drove slower and allowed harassed motorists to get onto the road. Tomorrow, I’ll take my lunch break in the garden out of the office. It’s how we live in the city or anywhere else, that determines our experiences.

May you be blessed to find the “country” in your city!

Charlotte


Examining our choices

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There’s a great sense of hurry, of stress and anxiety wherever I drive. People I see are rushing on the roads, shopping in a hurry and trying to pile as much activity into one day as possible. I see unhappy faces and families living past each other. Groups of people sit together but are on their phones and might as well be miles away from each other. “What is going on here?” I ask myself. Well, it is stress, that I know. That I can see but it’s also choices. The choice to spend time social networking when your wife or child is right there, longing for real interaction. The choice to treat every day like an emergency with an impossible deadline. The choice to be a slave to your work and not free to do your calling. I see choices in food, health, recreation, relationships. I see and make choices everyday. Leaders, politicians, business people, parents… everyone is making choices and they count. They affect them and those around them. The stress and anxiety is a choice too. We don’t need all the things we think we do. We need more love than luxury and less food than we need peace. Take a good look at your choice cupboard and see what is really hanging there. Is this what you really need? Do these things make you whole, happy and excited to do life? Or have your choices left you numb, empty, isolated and in despair? Make good choices. Choose life!


How to stay happy in an unhealthy world

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I was sitting with a friend, doing what we all need to do (have a picnic!) and we were speaking about health. The pressure of trying to stay happy and healthy in an unhealthy world came up. My friend is starting her health journey and she knows there will be challenges to face. “How do you get it right, all the time?” she asked. Well there are two things I live by:

  1. I only live one day at a time and actually, only one moment at a time. Each moment well-lived adds up to a day. And it’s a day well-lived that adds up to a life.
  2. There’s grace. And it helps me on the days I fall and miss it. Don’t be so hard on yourself! Getting 100% of what’s needed right 70% of the time is enough. It’s not perfection that matters. It’s steady faithfulness to the best you can do with what you have.


How to improve your sleep

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Struggling to fall asleep?

Try these simple ways to reduce stress and relax before you go to bed

  • Turn off the TV – especially in the evening. You’ll find that you can sleep better at night. Read a book instead.
  • Dim the lights – when your eyes are exposed to lights your pineal gland (a tiny endocrine organ in your brain) will not secrete the melatonin you need for a good night’s sleep.
  • Listen to relaxing music.
  • Take a hot bath with Epsom salts before bed.
  • Use essential oils, like lavender.
  • Ask someone to give you a foot massage. A foot massage is a great way to calm down that excessive nervous energy in your head.
  • Make a list of all the things you are grateful for every night.
  • Drink Chamomile tea early in the early evening or try one of Better4life’s relaxation herbal teas (contact info@better4life.co.za)
  • Don’t eat a large meal late at night.


How to enjoy the holidays in Joburg

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So, are you going away… Do you have an exotic December planned? Saving all your hard-earned coppers for a wonderful time in Cape Town, North Coast or Zanzibar? I’m sincerely proud of you, and encourage you to plan your trip thoroughly and get all your road worthy checks done. Also make sure you’re going with people you genuinely enjoy. This will make your holiday a real HOLY-day – no stress, no tension and no fuss.

For the rest of us who are staying, JHB will be nicer, quieter and happier. So don’t slump into envious depression or disappointment. Rest HERE. In your home, your neighbourhood and special places you’ve been wanting to visit all year, that are just up the road.

  1. Take day trips to places like Magaliesberg, the Free State, Rustenberg – they’re filled with wonderful side-road and onside cafes, tea gardens, places of interest and history.
  2. Find hiking and recreation areas close to you or within a day’s drive e.g. Emmerentia, local Botanical Gardens, Heidelberg Suikerbosrand. Pack a picnic, take a friend or two, and go and enjoy the BEAUTY of nature.
  3. Sit outside your home and read and doodle. Listen. Enjoy the privilege of doing absolutely nothing. BE. Prepare a delicious fruit juice blends. Serve yourself. Lie on your outside armchair or take the inside coach outside and transform surburbia into paradise.
  4. Book local shows at local theatres. Laugh. Share. Unburden your heart.
  5. Journal. Share the year and its highlights and lowlights with yourself. You’ll want to remember this. Someone will want to know. It matters that you reflect. As one famous person once said, reflection = direction.


Treat your feet

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It’s that time of the year when we’re aching all over. Feet, joints, necks, shoulders. There’s also a water crisis and we are very aware of our low dam levels. Well, at least I hope we are! Baths have become a luxury. Yet, how our bodies still need a long, relaxing soak. My solution: Magnesium foot baths. Super easy, super affordable and water-wise, green eco friendly. Take ¼ cup food grade (high quality) magnesium chloride (Epsom salts). Add it to a foot-sized container filled with hot water. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes to dissolve. Add candles, soothing music and a good book. Soak for 15-30 minutes. You can also a add few drops of essential oils (contact me to check which ones are best for you). Epsom salts are an easy, affordable source of magnesium – arguably the most important mineral in the body. Feel the tension drain away and enjoy a better night’s rest.

Charlotte@better4life.co.za