Unplug, Refuel and Open Up to Wellness
The many swirling currents that run through our daily lives will often leave us spinning like a top. All the demands of work, school, family, friends, and everything else can make us dizzy to the point we begin to wonder where to go next and how to get there. Before we know it, we’re escaping the maelstrom by staring endlessly at our phones, or pads, or laptops while eating handfuls of junk food.
Whenever I’m feeling over-stressed and over engaged, I find it helpful to simply change mental gears and focus on the moment. That often means putting away anything electronic. Then I take a deep breath and open my senses to the world around me.
This morning, sitting at my desk by an open window, I could hear the wind moving quietly through the ash trees out back, and several finches calling to each other from a nearby garden fence, and our hens clucking contentedly down by their shaded coop. I could smell the freshness in the cool air and see the sun beginning to force its way through the morning mist. And, I could feel my mind and my body recharging itself.
I have a few more strategies for staying dizzy-free. My favorite: one is spending time in the vegetable garden. There is something comforting about putting your hands into the soft, rich, life-giving earth. I love the entire process, from preparing the soil and planting in the spring, to watering in the summer, to harvesting in the fall, to planning next year’s crop while sitting near a warm fireplace as snow falls quietly on a cold winter night.
Weeding, a bane for many gardeners, is one of my favorite tasks. The time spent pulling weeds puts me in a place that’s peaceful and quiet. It’s my way to hit life’s pause-button, allowing me to slow down and reflect on all that’s really important.
Some of my other recharging strategies involve the sense of taste. We all know we must eat to live, but it’s important to eat the “right” foods, so I consciously choose foods that will nourish my body. I think of food as fuel. And I try my best to put only the best nutrient dense as well as tasty fuel in my body.
A smoothie is one of my favorite fuels. I start most every day with one. My favorite includes fresh fruit, leafy greens, coconut milk, and cacao. The cacao makes the drink taste like a chocolate shake. But this shake is high in antioxidants and magnesium. And, according to preliminary research from Harvard University, published in the journal Neurology, it may even improve cognitive function and the flow of blood to the brain.
When things get hectic at work, I get up from my desk chair, and brew a hot cup of tea. My favorite, and it’s healthy too, is green tea. When I have a long car drive ahead of me, a to-go cup filled with green tea usually goes along with me.
Also, a healthy snack at just the right time does me wonders. At home, I have small containers and Mason jars filled with nuts and dried fruit. I nibble on nuts for their high protein and good fat properties and dried cherries for their inflammation reducing properties. Plus, nuts and fruit are filling and provide a good chewing experience to help satisfy food cravings. That helps prevent unconsciously eating. And they provide a welcomed energy boost.
By the way, if you want to find out which snack foods provide the healthiest fuel for your body, check out the website www.nuts.com and click on their “Healthy Snacks” tab. Each snack shown includes detailed information on the nutritional and health benefits.
I hope a few of these tips will help you cope a little better next time you find yourself spinning in place. Remember, focus on the moment, get up and do something that relaxes you, and eat healthy every day.
Yours in Wellness,