I saw Dr Phil Hammond (doctor and comedian) on TV recently. I love this concept of his – simple and memorable.

As he says:

“The daily habits of healthy, happy people are easy to say but harder to do. Try to do your daily CLANGERS, and help others to do theirs. Changes in lifestyle are far more powerful than any drug we have to offer.”

These CLANGERS, he says, can apply to all age groups and are:

  • Connect with the world around you: people, pets, plants and places – and yourself.
  • Learn. Develop a passion for learning, keep your curiosity alive. What gets you out of bed in the morning?
  • be Active, in mind and body. Rediscover activities and try new ones. Aim for five portions of fun a day, each different, at least one outdoors and one that involves getting pleasantly breathless.
  • Notice, and be present in, the world around you. Fill up your senses. Catch sight of the beautiful. Remark on the unusual. Enjoy the everyday.
  • Give back – helping and caring for friends, strangers and those less fortunate than ourselves cements us into the community and develops more meaningful connections and insights.
  • Eat well – what’s good and enjoyable. Set time aside to sit and eat with friends and family.
  • Relax. Take time to rest and reflect on the day you’ve had. Meditate. Be kind to your mind – allow it to slow down and de-clutter.
  • Sleep. Don’t cheat on your sleep. it’s important. Relax and wind down beforehand.

There are strong similarities with other approaches I’ve come across such as:

It’s up to each of us to find what suits us as a way of looking after our own health – physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual (PIES for short).

I like the way Hammond invites us to choose a natural, holistic and integrated approach – and to help each other.

I also agree with the recommendation for fun every day. In some ways this can be hardest to do – perhaps in the way we used to – or maybe still do – find the 5 daily portions of fruit and veg a challenge.

But it’s the one that gives me the biggest lift – especially during, or after, a tough day – and maybe we can extend this category to include pleasure as well as fun – most of us feel better when we do something we enjoy. winking-face_1f609

Your fun, pleasure or enjoyment will be unique to you but my approach is to:

  • spend time with a friend – or pick up the phone to them, or Skype
  • laugh regularly with (rather than at) people I love and like – share the joke
  • notice the ridiculous in some of the things we all do and can sometimes take (too) seriously
  • walk along the seafront
  • listen to music I love
  • dance
  • read a good book
  • play cards and board games
  • have some uninterrupted quiet time
  • listen to podcasts that make me think – or laugh – or both
  • watch comedy programmes, clips and films

So here’s a short clip for you today (4 minutes). It’s one of my favourites – enjoy!