How often do you choose to do absolutely nothing?  Doing nothing as part of self-care is something which you may not think fits into today’s busy lifestyle but which is actually really important if you want to feel fab.
GP and functional medicine practitioner Indra Barathan  shares her experience of the benefits of doing nothing as part of self-care.

A week of doing nothing

Recently I did a week of doing nothing. I had no TV, no books, no music, no computer just was with myself and looked out into the world. This was totally enlightening. It helped me realise how I had not connected with the symptoms my body was trying to tell me.
Fatigue I put down to laziness, headaches down to not drinking enough and leg pains due to not training enough. I stopped, sat quietly without judgement, and listened to what my thinking was doing and how my body felt. In my busy life I didn’t have time to connect.
Sitting still and watching and listening allowed me to realise I needed to sleep, and I did for 3 days! The fatigue was nutrient deficiency which I need to support with supplements and more colourful vegetables. The headaches were lack of hydration but also related to lack of sleep and nutrients. This was a cumulative lack of sleep and pressure through the years of being a GP and then starting my own clinic. I had always told myself that I only needed 7 hours of sleep, now I have realised 8 is my minimum. My leg pains needed vitamin D.  I am on the road to recovery again.
Life is all about being curious about what your needs are now and time out from time to time helps you to reassess.

Three steps for doing nothing

look after number one self empowermentMy 3 steps for doing nothing:
  1. Be kind to yourself and you deserve this time to do nothing.
  2. Prepare with your friends and family so that they are aware that you are just going with the flow and they have to sort themselves out.
  3. Enjoy and have a book to write down what come to you or what you notice.
Have a go at one day of doing nothing. No books no screens and just flow with what your heart says you need. Be curious in your thinking and be kind to yourself. Tell yourself what it is that you have learnt and continue to practise self-care.

Functional medicine

Functional medicine is root cause medicine and it helps people to understand why they are experiencing the symptoms have. Most symptoms stem from chronic inflammation. Inflammation is where the immune system defends itself and brings us back to balance. When it is chronically triggered it can cause symptoms such as headaches, sore throats, brain fog, stomach cramps, bloating, indigestion, fatigue, pain and much more.  Understanding what is driving your inflammation helps us to make a choice as to how to improve your health and well-being.
The 5 areas that trigger changes in the body are:
  • allergies
  • infections
  • stress
  • nutrient deficiencies and
  • toxins.

Knowing what it is can help you decide how to support your health.  When your body is out of balance, we use sleep, movement, nutrition, restorative activities and community to bring you back to equilibrium.  If you want to find out more about how functional medicine could help you in your health journey do have a look at We have a lively health care team looking to support you.

Photo credit for portrait of Dr Indra Barathan: “

Thank you Dr Indra for sharing your expertise.

PS.  For more simple ways to biohack your body and mind to unlock your potential, check out this blog:

What is biohacking?

* Biohacking is using all of the tools we now have at our disposal to improve our lives by taking control of our biology.  Biohacking has actually been used for centuries. Human beings have always looked to maximise their performance.  This is why nutrigenomics is a fundamental part of biohacking a healthier life. Based on the study of the effects of nutrients and natural compounds on our genes, scientifically-backed products that support healthy ageing on a cellular level are now available to add to your biohacking toolbox.

Nutrigenomics products support the body’s natural cellular function by targeting the main biochemical effects of ageing, issues like oxidative stress, natural mitochondrial deterioration and more. By reactivating your body’s ability to do what it used to do – such as triggering your genes’ ability to produce their own antioxidants and your cells‘ ability to produce mitochondria –  we can now feel as fab as possible for as long as possible to get the most out of life.

Biohacking and antioxidant activation

So why are antioxidants so important if you’re looking to keep feeling like you for as long as possible? When you cut open an apple and it goes brown, it has basically oxidised which has caused a rapid increase in its ageing process. As we age, we oxidise just like the apple because over time – from our 20s onwards – our bodies produce fewer of the antioxidants needed to neutralise the cellular damage caused by the free radicals around us.

This means we have a high oxidative stress level so our cells don’t function quite as well as they did.  Typically our energy levels drop, our sleep patterns change and our inflammation levels rise as just three results of this process.

Supporting your cellular health

So what are our options to get more antioxidants into our bodies? How it works is that one antioxidant basically hands over an electron making one free radical happy so that it can continue on its merry way without causing damage.  The problem is that you can’t eat enough antioxidant rich fruit and veg or take enough antioxidant supplements to deal with the 300 sextillion or so (that’s 300 plus 18 zeros!) free radicals your body has to deal with every day.

Up to recently, these were our only strategies to counter free radical damage but in reality they’re like throwing a glass of water on a bonfire and hoping it will put it out…

By naturally reactivating your own antioxidant production through biohacking, you’ll support your cellular health from the inside out. The good news is that you can now trigger your body to produce its own antioxidants again.

Find out more about a natural product which is patented and clinically proven to lower your oxidative stress level by an average of 40% in just 30 days for the price of around half a cup of coffee a day: Protandim Nrf2.