Teach us delight in simple things. —Rudyard Kipling

What can I do now

Stress Management : Improve Your Resiliency

Stress is a normal part of life and occurs when outside forces impact you. However, not all stress is detrimental. Good stress can have characteristics such as joy, exhilaration, and a feeling of accomplishment. Stress that challenges our coping skills can be associated with feelings of frustration, anger, low energy, anxiety, or a feeling that something is not quite right. A 20–year study by Kaiser Permanente found that unmanaged stress was the source of between 70-85% of illnesses presented by patients to physicians. The more effective our coping skills, the better we can face our more difficult life stressors and maintain optimal health.

Sleep

An adequate amount of good quality rest, relaxation, and sleep are necessary for optimal health and feelings of well-being. The following routine supports our natural bodily detoxification system leaving us rested and fresh for the next day. Experiment with this routine for a week or two, keeping a few daily notes to help ascertain if you experience improved quality of sleep and feel better overall during the day:

  • Avoid eating after 7:00 p.m. —Exception: you may drink a cup of warm milk simmered with cardamom before bed which can support sleep
  • Avoid TV or computer work and other stimulating activities for at least an hour before bed; choose a relaxing activity such as reading, listening to quiet music, or listening to guided imagery
  • Go to bed early enough to sleep by 10-10:30 p.m.
  • Rise the next morning by 6:00 a.m.
  • Avoid napping during the day

Nutrition and Eating habits

Nutritious food in adequate amounts eaten regularly during the day provides the energy needed to accomplish your day’s work feeling motivated and alert. Keep the following in mind as you plan your daily meals:

  • Eat most of your daily protein at breakfast and lunch —protein digests slowly fueling our energy throughout the day
  • Eat your heaviest meal of the day before 1 p.m.
  • Eat primarily low glycemic level carbohydrates for dinner before 7 p.m. —these healthy veggies and fruit will digest more quickly than protein, allowing your digestive system to be at rest by bedtime so your body’s natural detoxification process can fully activate
  • If you need a snack, choose one handful of walnuts or almonds or ¾ cup of plain yogurt—these snacks provide healthy energy producing protein
  • Eat cooked fruit for part of your breakfast and/or for dessert
  • Take a calming walk for 15–30 minutes after lunch and dinner to assist digestion —rigorous exercise is best in the morning

Breathwork

Dr. Andrew Weil www.drweil.com teaches several breathing techniques. This is his relaxing breathing exercise. Learn by sitting with your spine straight and later you may do it in any position. Place the tip of your tongue against the ridge of tissue just behind your upper front teeth, keeping it there throughout the entire exercise. You will exhale through your mouth, around your tongue. Purse your lips if this seems awkward. Practice this exercise 2 times a day:

  • Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound
  • Inhale through your nostrils with mouth closed to the count of 4
  • Hold your breath to the count of 7
  • Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound, to the count of 8
  • 4-7-8 is one breath; practice for a total of 4 breaths, twice a day

Contact Claire at [email address] to learn more or to schedule an appointment.