We’re in a period of unprecedented times, times when we have been isolated, cut off from what brings us joy, from human connection and connection with nature. We, by design are a social species. We’re not meant to “go it alone” all the time nor be cut off from experiencing human touch, connection, physical fitness, etc. Much of what the masses have been exposed to has a direct and/or indirect correlation with health degradation – spiritually, mentally, emotionally, physically, and energetically. So, what can we do about it?
- Decrease stress
Stress is one of the, if not the, biggest factor in dis-ease. What are some of the states of dis-ease that stress can impact? Insomnia, anxiety, high blood pressure, diabetes, over or under eating, mental health, cancer, brain fog, increased susceptibility to infection, increased inflammation, heart dis-ease…
What are your current sources of stress? One of the keys to reducing stress is to become clear about what is causing stress in the first place. Once the source of stress has been identified (which can be numerous, at times), the next step is choosing to take definitive action to reduce that stress. This can and often does differ for each person.
What brings you peace? Calm? Relaxation? What, when experienced, invites you to let out a big sigh of relief? Some stress relievers may be yoga, meditation, tai-chi, qi-gong, spending time in nature, gardening, receiving a massage or energy work, sharing a deep conversation with a trusted friend, having sex with your partner, or receiving a really good hug. Once clear on what brings you relief, the next step is putting it into action – carving out time for you to take care of you. That is also where most people experience the biggest challenges – in following through and doing what is needed for stress relief and health optimization. And, that’s a much bigger topic for another day.
- Get a good night’s sleep
Getting quality sleep allows the body and its immune system to regenerate. Have you noticed that when you are overtired and/or overworked that you are more susceptible to coping poorly to stressors in your life, more prone to injury, and more likely to feel ill? Sleep plays a highly important role in the body’s ability to restore and heal itself.
What if you experience insomnia? I would invite you to consider what your evening practices are. Are they relaxing? Do you watch TV or are you on your computer or phone prior to bed? Are there certain foods that you eat that cause weird dreams or make it difficult to sleep (caffeine, garlic, alcohol, sugar, and spicy foods can be culprits)? Do you argue with your partner right before bed? Do you wear blue blockers? How’s the temperature in your bedroom? Is your bedroom a place of rest and calm that’s primarily used for sleep and being intimate? Or, is it also a place where you work, watch TV, etc? How’s your mind? Does your mind race at night?
Some recommendations are to eliminate caffeine and stimulating food after 3 p.m. Make your room as calming as possible and reserve the bedroom for sleep and physical intimacy. Turn off electronic devices 1 hr before bed and/or turn the background light down and wear blue blockers so your system isn’t being activated by the light. Try to carve out time for potentially triggering conversations with your partner earlier in the day rather than just before bedtime so you both have time to work things out and wind down. If your mind races, trying putting your thoughts on paper, then stepping away from them – your thoughts and ideas will be there for you in the morning if you choose to revisit what you’ve written. Incorporate calming exercises/movement or meditation before bed to help you relax.
Exercise will not only help reduce stress but can help boost your immune system and improve your overall health and wellness. Are you exercising? If not, what’s stopping you?
One of my most frequently asked questions when it comes to movement or exercise is “what type of exercise should I do?” In my opinion, the exercise you choose to do should be the one you are going to stick with. If your favorite thing is lifting weights, lift. If it’s martial arts, study and practice martial arts. If it’s hiking, hike. If it’s turning up the tunes and dancing around the kitchen with a mop, turn up those tunes and dance. If the type of exercise you are doing is something you absolutely despise, you’re far less likely to stick with it. Set yourself up for success from the start.
- Eat healthy and nutritious food
This topic, like many of the others, is worthy of a blog post and seminar on its own. So many of us eat the SAD – Standard American Diet – that’s filled with GMOs, processed and refined sugars and grains, preservatives…crap. It’s no wonder why so many feel like crap! We are what we eat and a lot of us like to eat, eat often, and/or emotionally eat.
What is an example of healthy and nutritious food and how do we go about getting it? If you are a supermarket goer and tend to shop there over hitting up the local farmer’s market or eating wild foods, a key to avoiding crap is to shop the outer aisles. The outer aisles tend to have fresh fruit, vegetables, meat, fish – most of what is needed to eat healthy. I can hear people grumbling about price. A solution? Make more slow cooked meals, soups and stews. This is an invitation to get creative about what you put on the table and in your body. If you have a nice expensive sports car, are you going to put the cheapest gas at the pump in your car? Or, are you going to fill it up with premium fuel? If we want to function at our optimum and reach optimal levels of health, we need to feed ourselves food that is going to support that.
While there are many additional things we can do to boost our health and immunity, I’d like to wrap up this blog by asking…
Do you feel happy?
If you’ve worked with me or have been following me for a while, you know I don’t believe in sugar coating anything. This is an invitation to be very authentic with yourself. Do you feel happy?
Happiness, while an emotion and not a state of being (contrary to popular belief), is key to living a fulfilling, healthy life. Do you feel happy about your health? Do you enjoy the work you are doing? Are you happy with your level of physical fitness? How is your environment? Are you happy with where you are living? How are your relationships? Are they supportive and uplifting? Do they inspire you to be your best self? Do you have people in your life that you can rely on to be there for you? And…how is your relationship with yourself? Is it loving? Supportive? Kind?
Where do you find yourself struggling the most? How can I best support you to overcome perceive or actual roadblocks towards your improving your health and modulating your immune system? Drop a comment below or send me an email amanda(at)amandaleighpatti(dot)com. Whether it’s writing another blog, doing a FB or IG Live, offering a seminar, or 1:1 coaching, it’s likely I or another person in my network can help.