Welcome to another edition of Exploring the Circle of Life! This month, we’re shifting from our relationship to education to a discussion on arguably the most important element of our lives, our health!
Think about the last time you felt stressed. You may have felt overworked, you may have been fighting with your partner or a close friend, you may have had some stressful financial challenges. During that time, how did your body feel? Often, when we’re faced with a series of challenges in life, our bodies are the first to notify us when something becomes too much! But listening to these cues is easier said than done.
I often refer to this idea as the “Do-Rest-Sick” cycle, which has been beautifully illustrated by the incredible artist Britchida. When we constantly wrestle with life’s demands, but take no time to care for our bodies or ask for help, we get sick! And when we’re sick, we far more limited in what we can or cannot do.
Breaking this cycle is something we take very seriously here at Mahan Health. We only have one body in this world, and without it, we can’t show up for the people or things we love.
Take a moment to reflect on how your body feels right now, and if you feel you’re taking the time to truly nourish yourself in the way you want.
To support this reflection, we’ve compiled five basic tips and tools to help you take care of your most important asset: yourself! Please know that these tips are highly generalized. Everyone’s body is different and unique, so know that these are simply suggestions to play around with to see what works best for you.
- Balanced Diet: One of the most important elements to maintaining our physical health is ensuring we get adequate nutrition each and every day. We know there’s a lot of information out there about what we “should” and “shouldn’t” eat (you’ve heard me say here that these are dirty words!). Throw all that away and just go by the general principle that the more variety of nutrient-dense foods you eat, the better your body will generally feel. This of course differs if you know you have specific aversions, allergies, or intolerances to specific foods, so adjust this accordingly to what you know feels good and works best for you. Nutrient-dense foods include all the basic groups: organic fruits and vegetables, whole grains, grass-fed dairy, lean proteins, and healthy fats. We always say here at Mahan Health to try to get at least 9 cups of organic produce in your diet daily!
Keeping a balanced diet also requires making sure you drink plenty of water throughout the day. If you feel you’re drinking adequate amounts of water, but still aren’t feeling hydrated, try adding some electrolytes or Redmond’s Mineral Salt to your water for an extra boost of hydration.
- Regular Exercise: It’s well documented at this point that engaging in regular, daily physical activity can improve your physical health, and also boost your mood! Aim for at least 30 minutes of movement per day, whether that’s through moderate aerobic exercise, strength-training, yoga, walks, pilates, or just dancing around in your room! Whatever movement feels best in your body will ultimately help you to feel your best.
- Adequate Sleep: We know this is a tough one for many to incorporate. With so much happening in our daily lives, and so many things vying for our attention, we know that it is hard to prioritize getting 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night. What can help is creating a relaxing bedtime routine and committing to maintaining a consistent sleep schedule to improve sleep quality. This means turning off blue-light electronics (yes, that means shutting down social media and TV!) 30 mins before bed, and finding a relaxing activity like gentle nighttime stretches, reading a good book, having a nice cup of soothing tea, or meditating to help you tune off all that happened from the day. If you’re struggling in this area, consider getting an Oura Ring, or using a sleep-tracking app like SleepWave to track your progress.
- Stress Management: Stress is arguably the number one challenge to ensuring we support our physical health. Luckily, there are many ways we can address these challenges, including taking the time to try the following activities: meditation, yoga, deep breathing exercises, or mindfulness. Other ways to reduce stress can include making time for hobbies and activities that bring you joy and relaxation, connecting regularly with loved ones or pets, and getting outside! Ever tried forest-bathing? We highly recommend it.
- Regular Check-ups and Preventive Care: Even if you don’t feel like anything is wrong, it’s important to schedule regular check-ups with your healthcare provider to monitor your health, detect potential issues early, and receive guidance on maintaining a healthy lifestyle. That’s where we come in! Schedule an appointment with us to get started on supporting your body on a deeper level, or visit our website to gain more information on the ways we can support your overall well-being.
- Bonus Tip! Social Connection: Numerous studies have shown that social connection is not only a powerful stress reducer, but it also makes a major difference in improving our overall well-being, enhancing our quality of life, and even lengthening our lives. Therefore, make sure you make time for meaningful social activities, and nurture your relationships! Even picking up the phone to call a friend or family member for 5-10 minutes can support your well-being.
What are some ways you love to take care of your body? Or what are some ways your body speaks to you? We would love to hear from you!If any of the above feel like a challenge, or if you’re curious about how to incorporate any one of these items into your daily routine, come and book an Initial Health Coaching appointment! I’d love to be a resource for you.