Here we are again at this amazing time of year.
In reality, every day is a great opportunity to change course when we find ourselves on a less than an optimal one. And, there’s something about a new year that presents us with a special opportunity to forge ahead on a new path, one that brings greater health, happiness, and abundance.
Most people would probably agree that their health is vitally important to the quality of their lives. Yet given the demands of the day, work and family, and the pace of the times we live in, it can seem overwhelming to stay on track making healthy choices, day after day.
Yet, how we choose to fuel our body, both nutritionally AND emotionally, is the best opportunity we have to prevent premature aging, illness, and disease. Stress on the body, whether it comes from our daily nutrition, lifestyle, resulting weight, or unmanaged emotions, is what is doing us in, way before our time.
On every corner is fast food something or other. The company break room has sweets on the counter almost daily. The stress of the job is overwhelming. The kids’ schedule is consuming. Wine at the end of the day helps us unwind. A late-night snack helps us sleep. A cup of coffee gets us going.
It is this intersection of our emotions and life where our greatest opportunity lies to improve our health, wellbeing, and happiness. How will we respond to events and circumstances, is the million-dollar question?
With over 70% of Americans overweight, almost 40% obese, about 80% experiencing physical symptoms from stress, and one-third of us saying stress is extreme, we can see the results of our lifestyle and culture.
We over-eat, over-work, over-care, over-spend, over-indulge in something because it feels like that is where we can control things, where we can get comfort, or escape for a bit.
So how can you take control of your life to best support your health, happiness, and longevity?
Reaching and maintaining a healthy weight and lifestyle are key. Reducing emotional stress throughout the day (not just the end of the day, the weekend, or the vacation) is key. The body needs healthy inputs, both nutritionally and emotionally.
Here are 7 tips to help you fuel your body, both nutritionally and emotionally, throughout the day and 2020:
- Within 30-60 minutes of waking up, eat a small portion, nutrient-dense meal like oatmeal and berries.
- Also, first thing, fuel your body with healthy emotions like care, compassion, and appreciation. Move your attention to your heart to move away from head brain activity like your schedule, deadlines, resentments, or fears. Take several slow, slightly deeper breaths, in and out of the heart. As you breathe, appreciate something or someone in your life for a minute or more.
- Repeat steps 1 and 2 every 2-3 hours to continue to fuel your body with healthy food (mostly plant foods) and healthy positive emotions throughout the day.
- Eat 5-6 meals a day with plant food being the majority of EACH of your meals.
- Drink water all day long, around 64 oz., until early evening. Your body is mostly water and it needs clean fresh water running through it. Drinking past early evening can keep you up at night.
- Sleep 7+ hours each night. Your heart needs to get to its resting point and can only do so with long, uninterrupted hours of sleep. Not only does your heart depend on it, so does your brain, your weight, your immune system, your body, and every aspect of your life.
- Physical activity most days of the week including cardio, weight-bearing exercises, and stretching for flexibility.
Your health is one of the best gifts you give yourself and those you love.
Let’s make 2020 the year to re-take control of our lives by taking control of the way we fuel our bodies, nutritionally and emotionally.
And let’s teach our children to do the same.
From that healthy and well-balanced internal place, well-fed emotionally and nutritionally, the world you see and experience will slow down, look rosier, and will provide you optimal health, clear thinking, high productivity, and joy. You will feel, look, and be your very best for that next chapter and that new path that awaits you.
Stay tuned for the next part of this series this time next week! You’re invited to take Laurie’s Personal Health Assessment.