Every year is a new beginning, a way to add another chapter to your book of life. In looking back on my life over five decades I can see that there are some key elements that I’ve incorporated. When I get off course, it feels so great to apply these tools and get my mind, body and soul back into balance. Try them for yourself to recharge and be ready to tackle anything that comes your way. Have fun!
Water – Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate is what it’s all about. I didn’t always think like this but it’s become a regular part of my life and now it’s an important habit that makes my day. Water is the solvent by which toxins are released from the body.
If you’re worried about being up all night in the “loo,” remember that you can also get water from the foods you eat. These are the foods with the highest volume of water:
You can also include caffeine-free tea, or water infused with veggies and fruit. You will be so hydrated your skin will thank you, your digestion will improve, and your sleep will be so wonderful you’ll awaken without creaky, stiff joints.
Fibre – Fibre is necessary to clean out the colon. Men and women require 35 to 50 grams of fibre per day. No one can be truly healthy with a stagnant colon and if you’ve been told it’s okay to go a few days without a bowel movement then please think again. This isn’t healthy, in fact it can be toxic to your overall health. The best fibre-rich foods include fruits, vegetables, grains, beans and legumes. Ask your holistic practitioner about the “beet test” and whether fibre supplements might be right for you. Tracking your bowel movements in a food diary is a quick and easy way to see if you’re lacking fibre.
Stimulant reduction – Do you find it hard to start your day without your extra-large double double? Does your breakfast always include some fast-releasing sugar like jam on toast? Up goes your blood sugar and adrenaline levels and you start to feel normal.
Or, do you lie in bed thinking about all the things that have gone wrong, could go wrong or will go wrong? About ten minutes of this pumps enough adrenaline through you to get you out of bed.
Whether you add sugar to your drinks or food, drink caffeinated beverages like coffee, tea or pop, or you’re an adrenaline junkie, stimulants like these encourage the adrenal glands to release a combination of hormones, including dopamine and adrenalin, that break down stores of glucose and raise your blood sugar levels.
Pick one stimulant you use frequently (other than cigarettes – quitting smoking requires a different strategy). Could you realistically cut it out for a month? If not, how much could you reduce your intake?
Sleep – What are your sleep patterns? Are you getting night sweats or hot flushes? Do you wake in the middle of the night and, if so, when? When you wake can sometimes indicate a particular body organ trying to recharge and rejuvenate, for example Chinese medicine teaches us that liver time is between 1:00 a.m. and 3:00 a.m.
What did you or didn’t you eat or drink in the day? Create an environment that encourages restful sleep. Aim to get to bed before midnight, read a good book, journal, turn off any devices at least one hour before bed, and please do not sleep with your phone turned on near your head. If you use it as an alarm, switch it to airplane mode at bedtime. Reducing the electromagnetic frequencies in your bedroom is a must.
Me time – “I don’t have time,” is our most common reason (excuse) for not achieving a goal or target, but is it really true? When we want to make changes in our lives, one of the first things we need to look at is how we are spending our time.
Is your life in balance? If you want to find more time to take better care of yourself, contact me to look at your “wheel.” We’ll look at how much time you spend in all areas of your life: social, career, health and exercise, family, personal development, fun, free time, and romance.
Preparedness – When do you grocery shop? Do you have a list made up before you head out to the store with all those distractions? Most importantly, have you eaten prior to shopping?
Stick to the perimeter of the store while shopping so you stay clear of a lot of the refined sugary and salty foods. Around the perimeter you’ll find more whole foods (fresh and frozen) that have very little processing or added salt and sugar. Organic is the best choice, but if that’s not possible please make sure all your produce is washed, peeled and properly stored when brought home.
Cut up your veggies and store in airtight containers. Some can be wrapped up in paper towels and stored in bags. Jars are great for storing nuts, seeds and things like granola, spices, and herbs.
Ask for assistance if you’re having difficulty with preparation. Having healthy foods in the house will definitely help you to rebalance.
Thought patterns – Often we can get into a “pity party” – feeling sorry for ourselves or like it’s impossible to create new solutions for balance in our life. Retrain the brain, charge it up with the good foods you’re eating, and fill it with kind thoughts, words, and images. Surround yourself with people who energize and fill you up with positive words rather than negative people who take rather than give and suck energy from those around them.
To shake yourself out of negative thinking, do something out of the ordinary! Recently a friend said that rather than sit around with her friends eating and drinking she reserved a bowling lane at the local bowling alley. They all bowled, laughed and had a great time doing something active and out of the ordinary.
Start a walking group with a few friends at a local park or indoor mall. Take turns picking a topic and have some great discussions. Book clubs are another great way to get thinking about other things. Changing our thoughts can change our lives.
Health and Happiness,