Q&A with Cam #2: Sleep, Exercise, Social Health

This next instalment of Q&A with Cam we're asked by Ann. Thanks for getting in touch Ann :) 

1. How much do you usually sleep?

It varies a little, but generally between 8-10 hours. I seriously avoid exposure to artificial light after sun down because when our bodies are exposed to especially blue light (but technically any spectrum of artificial light) after the sun goes down, it interferes with the hormonal release of melatonin. So even if you do fall asleep quickly, any exposure to fake light will have an impact on how deep your sleep is, and how rested you feel waking up. This really helps set your "internal clock" to that of the planets and let me tell ya, I get tiredAF around 9pm. I'm usually in bed by 9:30 (sometimes I rip it a 7:45pm, don't judge...) and then although my alarm is set for 7am I usually wake up naturally just before 6am. Sometimes I sleep all the way till 7, and I just assume my body needed some extra zzz's.

9:30pm might seem early to sleep but honestly, what the hell really happens after 9:30 that you couldn't achieve earlier in the day... when I used to stay up late/ really late, it was to watch a show, or mindlessly browse Facebook- two things that are terrible to do before bed. By going to bed this early my body is able to wake up naturally, which feels the most right to me. People all have an opinion on how long humans should sleep - but the best way to find out what YOUR body needs is just let it wake up when it decides its done sleeping!

2. What's your favorite form of exercise?

Definitely weight lifting in the gym. I started training with weights in the gym at the start of university in 2009 and have only fallen more and more in love with it throughout the years. My style of weightlifting has shifted over the years as I gained more knowledge, and currently I'm doing upper/lower body splits with a combination of push/ pull exercises that super set exercises that target fast twitch muscles and slow twitch muscles. I really focus on balancing functional movement, mobility, strength, and endurance. 

I also love hot yoga (moksha or bikram) and every couple of months I sign up for a month pass and smash out as many classes as I can in the month.

3. How important is social health for you?

Man, thats a tough question. I really love spending time alone. My way of recharging my batteries is absolutely spending time by myself, and I genuinely enjoy being by myself. It's a balancing act between making time for people but also setting boundaries in terms of knowing what you need to stay happy. When I was younger, I was a hardcore social butterfly; I can't even imagine a time I wasn't either spending time with friends or past boyfriends, I was always surrounded by humans, always. But in the years following university I really started to appreciate alone time. This also coincided with a shift in my priorities, like no longer drinking alcohol/ partying, and more recently taking a hiatus from the dating life to really focus on my Self. 

As I went through that transition out of the party scene, I moved to Australia, which couldn't have been a better timing because all the new friends I was making were totally in line with the person I was becoming. Even then, I really prioritized my alone time (spending time at the ocean/ in nature) especially when I was working full time around people all day- it was necessary to balance out my energy.

At the moment, I make very little social commitments. I have so much going on with work (I nanny two kiddos part time), school (pursuing a post-grad in holistic reproductive health that is extremely demanding), and recently launching this website- which are all serious priorities for me. I just turned 27 and it feels like this year is particularly important in shaping my future. I do have a few girlfriends that I spend time with in Toronto, and stay in touch with my close friends in Australia- including my best friend who I speak to every day- but other than that honestly I truthfully like to be alone. Long solo hikes or bike rides (whilst listening to music or a podcast) is pretty much my favourite thing to do ever. 

That being said, I do focus on having deep meaningful connections in my day-to-day life, at places like the gym, at my acupuncturists, and at the health store I shop at. Those 3 places stand out because they're where I spend a lot of time each week- and I know the people there, and they know me.Those social interactions are genuine and meaningful, and actually every single interaction you have with a human throughout the day can contribute to social health too.

When I was younger I got a lot of self-reassurance being around people, and the confidence boost that came with having a tonne of friends. But today... I'm pretty happy to just Be. 

You can submit your questions HERE.