If you haven’t been feeling your best, look within and see if you are missing one of the above. I have been relying on them for years and believe they are the best prescription for a healthy and happy life. Each person’s approach to them will be different. Let’s dive in a little deeper.
Sunshine: the sun is nourishing and re-energizing. It provides vitamins the body needs and really has an impact on our mood. Are you getting at least 15 minutes of sun each day?
Water: I’ve seen so many people struggle with health problems because they simply weren’t hydrating themselves enough. Our body is made of 72% of water and when we don’t replenish it enough we can feel sluggish, hungry (which leads to snacking and packing on the pounds) and even depressed. Fill a large 1 litre bottle of water and make sure you drink two of them a day. I also love starting my day with a cup of hot water and lemon to detoxify by system before having breakfast.
Rest: Getting enough sleep but also not pushing ourselves too much is so important to feel balanced. We live in a society of performance focused on doing but we need to take moments to refuel and rest our bodies and our minds (meditation is a great tool to do this). Look for the signs when it tells you it wants to slow down and listen to them!
Air: We all know that we need to survive right? But what is the quality of the air you breathe and how you take it in? Do you spend time in nature surrounded by trees that generate fresh air that really feeds your body? Do you ever stop to notice the rhythm of your breath? Is it quick and shallow or deep and nourishing.
The breath is a gateway into reducing your levels of stress and as soon as you slow it down and deepen it (even if just for a few seconds) it sends signals to your brain that you can let go and relax.
Exercise: Move! Simple right? You know you should and you know all about the advantages but maybe life is getting in the way? If you struggle to incorporate exercise in your daily routine, start small with maybe just a 10 or 15 minute session. Go for a walk, do a few stretches or sun salutations.
You will start seeing how much better you feel when you get out of your head and take care of that temple of yours that allows you to do everything you accomplish in a day. I guarantee you that when you see and feel the benefit of exercise, it will create the motivation you need to do a little more every day and eventually the excuses you had not to move will fall to the side and your well-being will become a priority.
Diet: You are what you eat and you feel like what you eat. Eat crap = feeling like crap. Now an occasional pouting is fine and dandy (it’s my favourite fast food treat) but when you constantly ingest meals that don’t give your precious body what it needs it will eventually show the signs of the abuse you impose on it.
Once again, start with baby steps. Try focusing on a really healthy and complete breakfast. It will set the tone for the day and when you take an action that is good for your body first thing in the day you will be less tempted to “cancel it out” by eating poor quality food as the day goes on.
And to all these wonderful gifts you should give yourself everyday, I would add one final ingredient: love. Be gentle and kind with yourself. If you decide to try to incorporate some of the suggestions above, don’t be too hard on yourself if you fall off the wagon. At least you are trying and having an intention is the first step. The more you treat yourself kindly, the more you will eat like you love yourself, move like yourself and so on and so forth.
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Image via Food Matters