The 12 Moves to Wellness
- Thursday, 16 December 2010
This season, many of us feel overwhelmed by our to-do lists and do not want to add more to that list with New Year’s resolutions or other such self-imposed undertakings. Being a fan of simplicity, I’ve come up with 12 easy moves you can make towards wellness.
1. Drink water lemon in the morning
Lemons are rich in vitamin C and citric acid. Adding it to warm water and drinking it first thing in the morning helps stimulate the liver to produce bile which aid digestion. The vitamin C helps stimulate your immune system and promote the healing of connective tissue, bone, and cartilage.
2. Eat a real breakfast
As you may have already notice, “breakfast” can be broken down into the words “break” and “fast”. So, breakfast breaks the fast that you have been on (unless you are a late night snacker!) since your last meal before bedtime. Many know that breakfast is said to be the most important meal of the day, but many of you still don’t eat a good breakfast. Coffee is not breakfast and coffee and a slice of toast barely qualifies. A good breakfast will consist of protein, good fats, and complex carbohydrates.
3. Laugh at yourself
There are times when being serious is important. But sometimes we take things too seriously when it would be okay to laugh or at least take things in with a lighter mood. Being able to laugh at ourselves takes the pressure off a bit. We can’t be perfect and some things will always seem to challenge us. I like the Q-TIP mentality: “Quit Taking It Personally”. So use a Q-TIP and stop nitpicking yourself.
4. Try something new
We’ve all been on autopilot at some point in our lives. You get to work and then realize that you don’t recall any of the journey. Routine can be good. But too much routine, too much structure, too much sameness is just that…”too much”. You needn’t turn your world upside-down to try something new (though you could choose to if it suits you). Perhaps it’s as simple as taking a different route to work, going to that new restaurant that you’ve been meaning to check out, or even brushing your teeth with your non-dominant hand. Doing something new will stimulate your brain and keep the world fresh for you.
5. Be here, right now
Trying something new has another benefit. We tend to be more present in the moment when we are doing something new. That makes sense because we have to focus more on something when we don’t know it well. Well, one benefit of being present, being here at this moment, is that we are more likely to be happy. So, if you would like to be happy, be present.
6. Sit on the floor
One of my yoga teachers told me that when he asked one of his teachers what he thought would be the best pose for his knees and hips, he was told to sit on the floor. You might have thought he’d say pigeon pose or something to that effect. But no. Sit on the floor. It sounds simple, but it makes sense. Many populations spend a lot of time sitting on the floor and their elders move very well. They can squat, they can bend, they can sit on the floor, and even more, they can come to standing after sitting on the floor.
7. Take the stairs
It’s easy to take the escalator or elevator, but it uses the wrong kind of energy. It doesn’t use your energy. Climbing or descending the stairs powers up your legs and improves your cardiovascular health. Don’t have time to go to the gym often enough? Take the stairs. The rain made you leave your bike at home? Take the stairs. You’re feeling stressed and frustrated? Take the stairs. The exercise will give you a boost of endorphins, feel good hormones.
8. Make things fun
Just a spoon full of sugar helps the medicine go down. Mary Poppins said so. I’m not recommending you take a spoon full of sugar to help you do whatever you don’t like to do, but you get the idea. I hate housework. So, when it’s time to dust I call a friend and talk and dust. Need to vacuum? I dance and vacuum (thankfully with no one able to see me!). Dishes? Crank up the music and sing!
9. Be inspired
And, speaking of inspiration, check out this 91 year old woman who is competing in track and field events and has been doing so since she was 77!
10. Be enamoured by your breath
Another yoga teacher said this in class. I’m enamoured with this quote. In yoga we are often reminded to pay attention to our breath. It is an essential part of yoga. But this description just made me think about my breath differently. Being enamoured by your breath is a more passive form of loving your breath or focusing on your breath. It feels more like the breath is in control of the mind. The breath is so entrancing that your mind can’t help but focus on it. And we all know how important our breath is. So, breathe deep and be enamoured by your breath.
11. Set an alarm to go to bed
Many of us set an alarm to get up in the morning. Without that alarm we may sleep in and miss appointments or be late for work. But how easy it is to let time slip by us as we stay up too late and consequently do not get enough sleep. So, why not try setting an alarm to go to bed? When that alarm goes off, shut off the light and close your eyes.
12. Get acupuncture
Have pain? Digestion off? Sleeping poorly? Feeling stressed, anxious, or depressed? Tired? Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine may be able to help you. But, what if you’re feeling well? Do you need to wait until you’re sick before you get treatment? No, absolutely not. In fact, the ideal way to use acupuncture and TCM is to get regular check ups and treatments. That may be once a month or with a change in the seasons. Prevention is key!