We all grew up with our parents, grandparents and teachers preaching the “be nice to others” card -no hitting, give back, share, say please and thank you -but who taught us how to be nice to our bodies? Did our elders intentionally neglect to teach us the importance of health and wellness? Likely no, they were never taught themselves because they lived in a generation where food was natural and remedies were made at home – not by a manufacturer adding a bunch of chemicals into products.
So yes, we need to start being kind to our bodies. Longevity starts with a healthy body and a healthy mind.
Detoxify Your Brain
Let’s take it from the top. Be kind to your brain. Try not to let the small things overwhelm you so easily and try not to let stress become chronic. Remove toxic people and relationships in your life and focus on self-care and controlling your stressors.
Did you know that chronic stress increases the amount of cortisol in our adrenal glands, which can lead to hormonal imbalances; low energy and thyroids; decreased immunity; increased blood pressure, inflammation and depression; and weight gain? Terrifying right?
Chris Johnson, author of On Target Living, wrote: “All too often people lose their health to make money, and then lose their money to try and get back their health.” What a sobering reality.
Self-care is the most powerful tool you can use towards taking care of your mind and decreasing your stress. Ask yourself these questions: Do I take time for myself on a regular basis? What do I enjoy doing? What did I used to enjoy that I am not doing currently? Why did I stop doing that? What can I do to make time for myself?
Jump start your own self-care with these ideas.
- Write in a journal -write your disappointments and frustrations and, more importantly, your goals towards becoming a happier and healthier person, mentally and/or physically.
- Organize your days (planners/agendas are fun) to make time for you and your goals. Organization makes me excited for the day…I feel useful and accomplished. If you ever feel you look at your to-do list and have too much to do, become overwhelmed and frustrated, make sure to delegate and/or scale back. Don’t be afraid to say no…you can’t do it all!
- Relaxation: yoga and stretching; music; warm baths; reading with a cup of tea; spa (facial, massage, manicure/pedicure).
- Re-live your old hobbies (crafting, painting, scrapbooking, sewing, running).
- Plan: meal plan; meal prep
- Exercise and listen to music (while walking/exercising).
- And don’t exercise! Take a day off and let your body rest and restore itself.
Detoxify Your Body
Remove as many toxins going into and onto your body as quickly as possible
Did you know plastic can cause direct toxicity? Let’s begin with removing the plastic in your life not only for you but for the environment: plastic zip locks, bags, water bottles, wrap, straws, Tupperware, wrappers/store bought food items, baby toys. Instead, purchase stainless steel straws, silicone zip lock baggies, beeswax wrap, a re-usable water bottle, bring your own cloth bags to the grocery store, wood/silicone toys, glass/silicone Tupperware containers as well as purchasing food in glass or metal jars.
Next, let’s look at what you’re eating. Remove products with ingredients on the label you can’t pronounce. Food labels should have short ingredient lists and be full of real, whole food items. Make it easier on yourself by enjoying more home cooked meals and eating more foods in your diet without food labels (produce/whole foods).
Just like food, make sure you are buying skin care products with the least amount of ingredients that include the most natural products. Have you ever looked at the ingredients of dry shampoo or face wash? Heavy metals (mercury, lead, arsenic, cardimum) can make their way into cosmetics through clays, minerals and colorants; be careful as these are toxins that can increase risk of cancer and/or organ damage.
Now, don’t forget to sleep! Sleep enhances your performance mentally and physically; rejuvenates and restores our cells, muscles and hormones; increases your energy; and encourages weight stabilization/loss. Did you know melatonin is inhibited when we are in the sun or in front of a blue screen and it tricks our brain into thinking it’s still day time? Time to drop that phone before bed especially if you are having trouble falling asleep at night. If you feel you experience plenty of screen time each day (job, TV, social media), I would highly recommend purchasing blue light blue screen glasses. I use Pixel glasses.
Finally, your legs, butt and feet…”get up off of that thang and let me see you move it”. The importance of exercise cannot be overstated. Our bodies were not made to live a sedentary lifestyle; however, most of us do. Don’t be afraid to ask your employer for a standing desk (if possible) or bring in a large medicine ball to sit on at work instead of a chair.
Detoxify Your Home
Remove the in-house toxins (candles, plug ins, air fresheners, etc.). These smell good items are filled with artificial fragrances that release volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and can not only ruin our air quality, but can damage our organs by entering through our cardiovascular (heart) system, endocrine (hormone) system and respiratory (lung) system. The chemicals from our cozy scents are overwhelming the air in our homes, which then interact with ozone compounds and make secondary pollutants. Essentially you are destroying not only your health but your children’s, animal’s, spouse’s, and friend’s and family’s health as well.
I truly believe this is the start of a new era of wellness and we should all be instilling this concept in our brains. This is a big, healthy step away from the conventional mode of health: fix me (typically with pharmaceuticals). If any of you are in need of a chiropractor, acupuncturist, nutritionist or massage therapist please, don’t hesitate to reach out to me as I will be able to help you start/follow through with your functional medicine journey!