Control. It is something that seems to be slipping away from us in these times of massive change and uncertainty. However, even in the midst of a global pandemic, I want to remind you that your health is actually something that is mostly within your control.
Our western society has a tendency to look outside of ourselves for our health. We may turn to doctors and hospitals to determine our wellbeing. But all of those are only tools and support systems. It is YOU that is responsible for and in control of your health.
Are there health-related issues that may arise outside of your control? Absolutely yes, but many aspects of your health are actually a direct result of your habits and the way you live your life.
Laying a solid foundation of good health prepares you and your body to be better equipped when it comes to things that are outside of your control.
And the best part is, it doesn’t have to be complicated.
Change One Thing
My best advice when making the choice to prioritize our health and wellbeing is to just change one thing.
Start with one change and make it a no brainer habit in your life, and then think about changing something else. Too often we get overambitious and want to totally reinvent our lives and end up taking on too much. The vastness of the change becomes overwhelming, and we lose the solid ground under us.
Sustainable change happens when we are able to shift something from being a conscious effort into being a force of habit. Pick one thing that feels the most impactful and give it your full commitment until you don’t even think about it anymore.
What change should you make first? First of all, I’d like to see how strong of a foundation you’ve got laid down.
Lay Your Foundation
What is the foundation for your health? What you eat, drink, and how you sleep and move.
Diet - You are what you eat. Literally, what you put into your body becomes you as your body uses the fuel of your food to generate new cells. What fuel are you giving your body? The best fuel you can give it is whole (not processed), organic wherever possible, foods, with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables.
Hydration - Water truly is the elixir of life. How much water did you drink today? I like to say if you’re feeling anything unpleasant- physical and emotional, try having a glass of water and waiting 5 minutes. Your level of hydration affects everything in your body. Try having at least 8 glasses of water a day for 3 days and see what a difference it makes.
Sleep - Sleep is the time you recharge your batteries. What happens if you don’t recharge? You crash. Consistently running off partial charges also takes its toll on your entire body system, your brain, and your emotions. Consistent sleep schedules are key, in addition to maintaining good sleep quality by preparing yourself for sleep by turning off screens and devices at least an hour before bed.
Movement - Human beings are not sedentary creatures. We are made to move, and bend and lift and climb. Exercise is key for all aspects of our health, from our heart to our hormones, to our mental and emotional health. Our modern lifestyle has led to a loss in mobility for many people, but there are still many ways you can discover to move your body in a way that works for you. This also goes hand in hand with getting fresh air and sunlight on your body. Some great ways to start moving gently are walking in the beautiful vistas Vancouver Island has to offer, and exploring the healing powers of Yoga. Many studios are offering online classes currently.
When you have a solid foundation in place, you can begin to change and expand into wellness that is further up in your hierarchy of needs and fine-tune your health with specific supplements, treatments, and activities.
The piece of laying this foundation is SO important. In fact, I believe it is THE MOST important thing to set in place for the health of your body, mind, and spirit
Let Go of What is Outside of Your Control
Have a check-in with what is actually within your control. Can you wash your hands and practice social distancing? Absolutely. Can you take care of your body so that it is functioning optimally should it come into contact with added stressors such as environmental toxins, mental/emotional demands or bad bugs? Absolutely. Can you control what others are doing? Not really. Can you control whether or not you come into contact with people who might be carrying germs? You can only do your best to limit your potential exposure.
Stress and worry serve no purpose in protecting yourself. They actually weaken your immune system as well as lead to a host of other health problems.
Take care of yourself, be responsible for yourself, and let the rest go. Trust in those around you to take responsibility for themselves and keep doing your part.
We are going to get through this together :)