A pandemic. Now what? Am I healthy? What is healthy? How do I improve my immunity and overall health right now? So many questions run through our minds amid the fire hose of media natural remedies and social discussions; enough thinking and let us start by doing something proactive.
Where to begin is as simple as routine, hydration, and sleep schedule. Get out your phone and pull up your calendar. Set a time on your calendar every day to wake up and a time to have your head on your pillow. Continue your other daily plans and activities but this change is now and permanent. At first this may be exhausting but stick with it and eventually you will not need the alarm. Consistent repetition will reset a natural rhythm in your body and reduce some late-night habits and overexertion that cause exhaustion. Ask any successful individual if they adhere to a solid sleep schedule and the answer will always be a solid yes.
Hydration. Chronic dehydration slows all the brain functions, metabolic and elimination processes causing congestion in the body and its tissues. Dehydrated body tissues cannot function at optimal performance and survival functions kick in producing an imbalanced state that can lead to chronic conditions. Keep a 16-32 oz glass of water by your bed and drink it upon rising. Yes, before your coffee. Gulping the water will flush the system from the night’s sleep regeneration. Sipping a little slower gives time for the water to hydrate like a soft rain upon the earth. Choose a drinking pace somewhere in between these two for the morning wake up. A one-liter water bottle is a perfect purchase to aid in keeping track of your hydration. Shoot for two to four liters drinking small amounts throughout the day.
Routine can be as simple as sleep cycle times, morning hygiene, meals kept consistently to the same times, a before bedtime wind down, perhaps a cup of herbal tea, a bath or some meditation, and head on the pillow at your chosen nightly time. This is self-care. The rest of the time is for everyone else and the things you choose to do to bring you joy and comfort. I challenge you to stick to this basic routine for 30 days, keep a journal of how your body feels, your thoughts or worries and differences you may notice each day before going to sleep. I will see you next month with more specific modifications to continue to improve your overall health.
Lori McDonald Prescott Campus Faculty