As we prepare to move into level two lockdown, Capsule talks to naturopath and nutritionist Jess Blair about finding balance, righting the wellness wrongs of lockdown (no judgement!) and the secret to adjusting to our ‘new normal’. She’s also mum to boys Harlem and Taika, and wife of New Zealand Warrior Adam.
First of all, how are you? How have you and the family handled the craziness of the last few months?
I think like everyone some days were better than others, I kept really busy and had lots to do sometimes too much! I was lucky to have Adam home for part of it too [Adam and the rest of the team are now based in Australia for the resumption of the NRL season].
As a nutritionist and naturopath, you must get asked all the time for your top tips for wellness – has your advice to people changed during lockdown at all?
I think sleeping habits and anxiety were two things that kept popping up for people – the unknown and the craziness put people’s sleeping habits into turmoil! I think it was also making sure you are taking time out for yourself too, but that is hard with little ones around 24/7!
Now that we’re about to come out of level three lockdown into level two, what you think is the most important thing for us to keep in mind when it comes to our overall wellbeing?
Our mental health is paramount, our sleep patterns and finding out new normal. Take time out to navigate through this time, and don’t dive head first back into your pre-lockdown routine, you might end up exhausted!! I can’t wait to get back into pilates and my gym. As much as I want to book myself in everyday when it opens I will be taking it slow!
Many of us would have just got used to the ‘new normal’, and now we’ll have to adjust all over again – and with that comes stress and anxiety, whether it’s money, or change, or illness. How can naturopathy help people deal with all of these feelings?
Exactly! Naturopathy is really about listening to our bodies and making sure your spiritual, mental, physical and emotional health is looked after, which is different for everyone. I would personally recommend some adaptogenic herbs [herbs that specifically counteract stress in the body], or see your naturopath if you do have certain worries to address. A herbal formula can really help in times of need.
And, there’s definitely a few of us (ahem, us included!) that would have chucked healthy eating out of the window! What’s the best way to get back on track with a balanced diet?
I think again being kind to ourselves and not going ‘ all in’. My whole philosophy with health and wellness is around small changes for big results, so start small – less coffee, less alcohol, more water, more slow-cooked meals coming into the cooler months! More reading, more cups of hot tea!
Have you personally learnt anything about yourself, or changed any of your own habits during the pandemic?
I knew I didn’t deal well without a routine. That wasn’t new, but was highlighted during this time! I am very self motivated, I sort of already knew that, but I worked harder in lock down on projects, work and uni than usual. I know everyone was different how they spent lockdown but for me keeping my brain busy helped!
What are you looking forward to the most when all of this is over?
Well as you know or may not know, my husband is Australia and my family is in Australia – they can’t come here with the restrictions. So I want to go visit them, and see my friends. I really am missing them! As well, again spending time filling your cup back up, and I can’t wait to see my friends here too, maybe a nice walk or a massage (whenever that will be!).
Check out Jess’ website wellnessbyblair.com or her Instagram page, @jessblair_ for more