What are your New Year’s resolutions? Get your finances in order? Get your house in order? Lose weight? Start exercising? Join a gym? Get your closet and wardrobe in order? Fix your marriage or else? Please throw these resolutions out the window! This year I want you to consider a different kind of resolution. Resolve to listen to your body and reclaim your health slowly and gently.
So many people are suffering from various health issues. If you can’t lose weight even though you don’t eat that much, or if you are cold all the time, or anxious all the time, your body is probably in survival mode. You have pushed yourself to the limit and various systems in your body are shut down. This is common because we are all doing too much. If you don’t stop this, you will get worse and feel worse. So, please don’t add one more project to your already ridiculously long list.
Instead of “working smarter, not harder”, slow down, and consider starting with one of the following tips: (Please just start with something simple that you can do. Don’t feel you have to do everything you would like to do all at once. Start with where you can, not with where you can’t.)
- Go to bed at a decent hour.
Your body needs sleep to heal. You can’t catch up on your sleep on Saturday, or with catnaps. Just stop it, and go to bed like a mere mortal. Your body needs 8 hours of sleep. (Rant over…for now.)
- Make sure you are drinking enough water.
You should get at least half a gallon a day. Some of you may need up to a gallon. Tea, coke, etc. does not count. It has to be water. It is better to sip it throughout the day than to gulp down 3 glasses all at once. One tip is to never sit down without a glass of water next to you.
- Eat several smaller meals throughout the day.
Don’t skip meals. Make sure you are eating good food. This doesn’t have to be hard. Eat an apple. Make sure you are eating more vegetables. Stop eating fast food 3 times a week. If you have a problem with your schedule and have convinced yourself you have no time to prepare anything at home, you can make a sandwich and open a can of soup. No, it’s not the healthiest thing on the menu, but it’s better than fast food! Start with something easy and go from there. You can do this. Don’t overwhelm yourself with too much too soon, but start eating at home more. Open a can of beans and serve it over rice, add avocados, radishes, lime juice, shredded cheese, tomatoes, or whatever you like to spice it up. I won’t add any more specific ideas. The point is to keep it simple. (An added benefit is that you will spend less money and that can go to paying off some of your debt that is making you anxious.)
- Develop routines in your life.
Put together a morning routine that will help you get dressed without a lot of extra drama. Put together a weekly routine that will help you get maintenance done without having to think about it. An example of a weekly routine is that you would vacuum on Monday, water plants on Tuesday, clean out the refrigerator on Wednesday, go to the grocery store on Thursday, and fill up your car with gas on Friday. You just put the things that need doing on a certain day, and then you don’t have to spend time planning. It becomes an automatic part of your schedule.
Lastly, be kind to yourself. You are not going to make all of these changes right away. The point is to start somewhere, and keep going as it makes sense for your life. We all need a lot of maintenance. We need to eat our greens, and rest, etc. Stop trying to be superwoman or superman. Make this the year of taking care of your body, and see if all the other parts of your life don’t improve as well.