Lifestyle Audit. What is is it and how can it help?
When I first started training as a complementary therapist we were given consultation forms to fill in with our clients. On these forms there were a number of questions about lifestyle and habits.
At first I struggled understanding why we were asking these questions. Surely the client had come to have a treatment not be interrogated about how many portions of fruit and veg had darkened their dinner plates recently?
Did it matter if they drank a whole bottle of wine every evening?
What about if the only exercise they got was jumping to conclusions and walking between the fridge and the biscuit cupboard? Does it matter?
I scratched my head a few times, puzzled as to why we were asking such seemingly silly questions.
Why it is important to do an occasional lifestyle audit?
After a while I realised that these things are really important. Not least because it allows the client to get an overview of what they’re doing (maybe without thinking). It gave them a chance to do a quick lifestyle audit.
Some of them had a-ha moments realising that maybe they didn’t get as many portions of fruit and veg as they needed. Or they were not getting as many hours sleep as they thought they were.
Maybe that was why they were tired all the time? I know there were a few changes I needed to make to my diet and lifestyle which I’d not considered before. Small things that would make all the difference.
It highlights quick and simple changes to get great results
The questions allowed people to see really quick and simple changes that they could make which would get great results in super quick time.
They could then make a change if they wished, whether it be to take more exercise by walking to work when they could, or to increase the amount of fruit and veg they had in their diets, drink more water or drink less tea and coffee. Or lay off the alcohol. Or cut back a little.
The best bit about the whole thing was they were coming to their own conclusions. I wasn’t telling them that they had to swap their sauvingon blanc for H2O or that they’d have to give up their 7th coffee of the day and start drinking herbal tea instead (bleurgh!)
They were seeing where things were working well, for themselves and where things were working less so. They were able to make the changes that they felt were right for themselves, in that moment. But only if they wanted to. Some didn’t, and that was fine too!
If they were struggling to switch off before bed, they were able to create a relaxing bedtime routine which helped put their body into a calm, relaxed state, ideal for drifting off.
What might you consider if doing a life audit?
- How many portions of fruit you get a day?
- How many portions of veg you get a day?
- How many portions of dairy products, nuts, good fats etc you might eat?
- How much protein you eat?
- How well you sleep? How many hours
- How tired you feel day to day?
- How often you can take time for yourself
- How happy you feel
- Do you see daylight every day?
- Do you eat in a hurry and have regular meals
- How stressed are you at home and at work?
- How often do you exercise?
- How many units of alcohol do you drink a day?
- How many cigarettes do you smoke a day?
- How much support you have at home
Over to you!
Let me know how you get on either in the comments or via email email@example.com
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Sarah Cooper is a Reflexologist, Reiki Master Practitioner, Aromatherapist and Writer based in Boroughbridge, North Yorkshire, England.
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