As I sit here reflecting , I am very grateful that, over the years, I have developed a “toolbox” to support me in both good and difficult times.
In the past 2 months I have been challenged in ways I would not have imagined – much like everyone. This time has also shown me that I have resilience and strength that I did not realize I had. My heart has opened in ways I haven’t experienced, I have experienced feelings at a depth I had not felt. There is no telling what each day may bring.
What I do know is that I have many tools to draw upon that I have been very valuable to me and, over the years, provided a foundation to navigate uncharted territory.
It is never too late to develop a foundation of wellness! Much like a tree, this foundation will grow with branches that will flourish and be invaluable to you on a day to day basis. It is never too late and now it can be valuable.
You may tell yourself that you cannot do it – you can! Step out of your comfort zone and start making some changes. Don’t listen to “that voice” that makes excuses, talks you out of it.
I wanted to share with you my recommendations for health and wellness. For purposes of this discussion, I will call them the 4 pillars of good health.
Daily Exercise has been a foundation of my daily regime. Getting my heart rate going (for me it is using an elliptical) or going for walks made such a difference in my energy level. Deep breathing walking
Healthy Eating has also been a foundation of taking good care of myself. Eating breakfast with protein (either from eggs, turkey bacon, warm cereals with ground flax ) each morning helps get my metabolism going. Staying within Traditional Chinese Medicine Dietary Guidelines, lightly steamed vegetables, soups (when the weather is cold and damp).
Supplements: My own personal supplement regime includes supplements that strengthen the immune system.
- Vitamin C – 2 grams/day
- Vitamin D – 200 IU/day
- Probiotic – daily with food
- Chinese Herbal Medicine formulas to strengthen the immune system.
Meditation and Breathwork: I must admit, I have been resistant to meditation. I have often thought that “I had too busy of a mind to do it”. I didn’t think that my busy mind is a reason to do it! Much like any practice, starting at the beginning is a good place to start.
Breathing meditation: I usually allow myself 5-10 minutes each morning to sit and relax with my eyes closed, legs uncrossed (if in a chair) hands in my lap. I close my eyes and slowly start to take a deep breath in through my nose and exhale through my mouth. With each exhale, I relax more and my exhale is more relaxed. I work to come back to the breath when my mind wanders.
I also often do the alternate nostril breathing which was mentioned in a prior Facebook live.
Books: I often rely on “self-help books” written by authors whose message I resonate with.
- Brene Browne – Daring Greatly
- Byron Katie – A Mind at Home with Itself
- Susan Jeffers – Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway
- Life Lessons – Elisabeth Kubler Ross and David Kessler
- The Four Agreements – Don Miguel Ruiz
Sometimes my “overthinking” can get me into trouble. Which is why I rely on the other 3 pillars to balance my overthinking! That said, having mental stimulus is important to keep me sharp! For me this looks like staying connected to my work and my education.
- CEU trainings
- Creating structure in my daily work when I am not working and seeing patients.
- Online classes, workshops and seminars
- Puzzles, crosswords and other games that challenge the mind
For me the spiritual quest has been the foundation of my growth and expansion. I have followed many interesting and diverse pathways over the years that have helped me grow, develop and learn about myself and the world that we live in.
When I think of spiritual I think about how I want to live my life on a daily basis – what are the “rules” that I like to follow to keep me in alignment with myself and the world.
My morning ritual gets me ready for the day and
- Journal – The morning pages – Julia Cameron – The Artists Way
- Daily Meditations – really help put things in perspective
- Tara Brach – radical compassion, radical acceptance
- Pema Chodron
- The wisdom of yoga
- Meditation and breathwork.
- One Day at a Time
- Keep it Simple
- Be Kind, everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle
- Place your fearful mind in the cradle of loving kindness
My life has been a journey and so can yours. Don’t hold back, dream, set goals and carve out parts of the life you would like to live! If there is anything about this pandemic that is a silver lining it is that we cannot take life for granted!!