Monday, January 20, 2014
Organize Your Health!
Today for Organize Me Monday, I'm starting a two-part piece on health. Next week, I will focus on exercise, but today it's more total body/mental health.
Many of these topics come from my somewhat recent interest in Chinese medicine, as well as focusing on a more holistic approach to taking care of myself. For example, winter is the season of stillness. It's ruled by the water element. Imagine stepping outside in January after a heavy snowfall. Listen... what do you hear? If it's early morning, you may not even hear the birds chirping. Rather, take in that silence. Focus on your footsteps. The crunch of snow underfoot. Take a deep breath, even though the air is so cold it shocks your lungs. When it's really cold out, your body wants to be warm. So feed it with hot tea, warm soup, and tepid water. I've started that practice of drinking (mostly) warm drinks for the past two months, and it's developed into a nice habit. No longer do I crave a coke in the middle of the workday afternoon, but rather I want some green tea. (Tazo's Zen is my favorite!) I still indulge from time to time with a coke... there's something special about McDonald's coke that makes it taste great, no matter what time of year!
With winter comes a lack of sunlight, especially here in the Midwest. I began taking Vitamin D, which I have noticed has helped a great deal compared to how I was feeling at this time last year! Winter came early to Chicagoland, and it's been snowy and cold for months now! (Or at least that's what it feels like.) But, I am not feeling as tired (or as crabby!) as I was last January. I'm also making sure I get plenty of Vitamin C. My husband is big on eating a ton of fruits and vegetables every day, and (knock on wood) he never gets sick! So I've upped my fruit and veggie intake, even though it's hard for me, since I tend to not each much during the workday. I've begun packing carrots and hummus for an afternoon snack, as well as adding tomato juice or Naked green juice in the morning with my morning snack. I'm also eating Greek yogurt (almost) every day to add some protein.
At home, I making sure my plants stay watered and healthy - especially my peace lily and my bamboo plant. Did you know that houseplants can help detox the air in your home? Another thing I've added, both for the health benefits and because it looks so pretty, is a Himalayan salt lamp:
One of the great benefits is that it helps with sinus issues. I seem to have allergies year-round, and they have been so much better since I put on of these in our bedroom. (It was actually a Christmas present from my husband!)
But the most important piece of advice I can give you for total body and mental health is SLEEP!!!! Oh sleep, glorious sleep. I miss you. My 5 1/2 year old twins are going through a phase where they wake up 1-3 times a night for various reasons. Keira just likes to tell me she loves me and give me a hug (which, while sweet, is also exhausting at 3 a.m.) Colin wakes up and has a hard time settling back down, so he will oftentimes call for me between 2 and 4. The alarm goes off at 4:34 a.m. if I'm going to the gym before work, so I am still struggling with getting 7-8 hours of sleep every night. But it is my goal. And I have gotten better with it.
What are some things you do for your own total body/mental health? Share in the comments below?