We are at the mid-year point of 2019! It is the perfect time to re-evaluate our commitment to health and wellness and our focus on self-care. We only get one body (and one life) and thus, it is our responsibility to take care of ourselves – mind, body, spirit, and MORE. We all know about low fat, low sugar, healthy diets AND how ‘working out’ helps us stay fit. So, I wanted to provide a few unexpected and perhaps under-embraced tips to become (and stay) healthy. And when I use the word ‘healthy’, it is more than just physical, mental and spiritual health – it is also around our relationships and our financial health. So, here are 8 tips spanning all aspects of our lives…..I hope they provide a unique perspective and ‘cause for pause’ on how to become and stay HEALTHY.
Tip 1: Never drink cold water. In Ayurveda (a practice and philosophy I embrace) they encourage – even in hot weather – to drink room temp or even warm water. This boosts our metabolism and helps digestion. I have done this for years now – and YES it makes a difference. Two recent studies say by sipping a hot beverage, our body senses the change in temperature and increases our sweat production. Then, as the sweat evaporates from our skin, we cool off naturally.
Tip 2: Meditate every day – even if only for 10 minutes. We can just sit and focus on our breath to get started. This does not need to be ‘hard’ – and it can be right before we go to sleep. It will lower blood pressure, and align our mind/body/spirit.
Tip 3: Get REST and DRINK WATER. I am not just talking about the 7-8 hours of sleep a night…though that is uber important. Yet, never underestimate the power of a Power Nap!! Literally 10 minutes at lunch or mid-afternoon can dramatically effect our productivity. REST (and water) are the elixirs for our bodies – full stop. When we feel bloated, drinking water sounds as if it would only make matters worse, but it can often help. Drinking more water not only hydrates our skin (aka: helps with the aging process!) it also relieves bloating caused by dehydration. When we are dehydrated, our body clings to the water it does have, causing us to puff up.
Tip 4: Eat nuts. Yes – they can be high in calories, yet they are also loaded in ‘good stuff’ (think: vitamin E, fiber, etc.) AND they can boost our metabolism. In one study I read, by eating a handful of almonds a day, individuals lost 60% more weight! I have tried this, and have found my appetite is curbed by eating a small handful of nuts before dinner. (And yes, I have lost 40 lbs. in the last 6 months.)
Tip 5: Go deep or go home. Jumping from one social event to another without any time to come up for air could sacrifice the quality of your relationships. We need to take time to really listen and get to know other people. And, we need to get to know ourselves! By spending time alone, we can listen and process our thoughts rather than act impulsively and, as a result, we get to know ourselves. Alone time enables us to be more in touch with ourself and this enables us to better give and receive AND it can also reduces stress and anxiety. Try meditating (as mentioned above), or go for a quiet walk in the morning, or simply sit in a café and people watch. Our perspective on life will shift – without question. And studies show that those of us with strong, deep, and close relationships are healthier AND live much longer than those who do not.
Tip 6: Track our net worth. Our net worth—the difference between our assets and debt—is the big-picture number that can tell us where we stand financially. We need to keep an eye on it; as it can help keep us apprised of the progress we are making toward our financial goals—AND give us a ‘heads up’ if we are going the wrong direction. We can set a budget AND pay attention to compounding (putting our money to work for us!). We need to think ‘big picture’ and not get hung up if we have incurred debt, etc. – some debt is NOT a bad thing if we are investing in our future and building strong credit ratings.
Tip 7: Use fresh herbs and spices. And no, this is not just because they taste good. I have been amazed at the healthy, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits by simply integrating ginger, turmeric, parsley and many others into my meals. Easy, not expensive, yet with huge benefits.
Tip 8: Keep learning. Most of us (75%) consider ourselves to be ‘life long learners’. That is a good thing – as the benefits are huge. By taking up bridge or a foreign language or a new skill, we keep our brains healthy and our minds sharp. And, throughout our lifetimes, we will earn more by continuing to add skills and talents to our ‘bag of goodies’ – in fact, studies show that folks that continue to learn can add over $650,000 to our life-long earnings. Also, by staying curious and pushing ourselves to keep growing, this keeps us vibrant, open-minded, and interesting. We can do this by taking a continuing education course, hiring a ‘coach’ to expand our skills in a certain area (Note: I am doing this relative to social media skills, for example.), or just joining an organization focused on a key area of growth, like Toastmasters for public speaking.
Being healthy involves a lot more than not drinking sugary drinks, not eating processed foods, and ‘breaking a sweat’ every day. Sure….those are basic ‘tickets to entry’ for a healthy lifestyle. Yet, there are many more aspects to a holistic approach to self-care. My rule of thumb is to stay centered and in touch with a Higher Power….and I continually ask myself: ‘will whatever I am going ‘to do or eat or drink’, help me create my best life’? If the answer is no…..I try to redirect my thoughts and/or my actions. Am I always successful? NO! Yet, the intention is always there, and that is the key.