If you are walking along and you feel a pebble in your shoe you stop, find it and take it out, you don’t take an aspirin for the pain and keep on going without removing the pebble.
The example above is laughable but that is exactly what we do when we are not feeling well or dealing with an illness. When we get sick we take medication that only deals with the symptoms instead of stopping and taking time to understand why we are sick and addressing the cause. Taking medication makes us feel better because it relieves the pain or any other discomfort we are experiencing but it does not deal with the underlying problem.
When we medicate we are chasing symptoms not health and well-being. When you experience an illness stop and take an assessment of your lifestyle habits and choices. There are 5 key areas that impact health and well-being, what I call the 5 Pillars of Health. As you begin the process of assessing your lifestyle the 5 areas to consider are what you eat, how you move during the day, your thoughts and mindset, the quality of your sleep and your time outside.
Be careful about what you eat, making sure it is organic, minimally processed and free from pesticides, herbicides, preservatives, and hormones as often as possible. Shop the perimeter of the grocery store and visit the farmers market when possible to buy fresh foods that are in season and organic. Avoid excess sugar and refined carbohydrates. Eat meals with healthy fats, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, meat, and salmon. Drink lots of water instead of soda and sugary beverages.
Make time to exercise, get and stay active throughout the day. It is not enough to simply exercise in the morning for 30 minutes then be sedentary behind a desk for the rest of the day. Movement should take place every hour to stretch and keep the body active. Keep your weight in a good range by finding a food lifestyle and exercise routine that works best for you. Take time to research and experiment with different exercise plans until you find one that best suits you.
With the many challenges we face on a daily basis it is very important to find healthy ways to relieve stress. Some ways to relieve stress are praying, journaling, fresh air, a workout, time with friends or yoga. Take time to unplug regularly and spend time with family and friends. Nurture your spirit by taking time to connect with God daily. Spend time praying and reading the Bible each day to maintain a healthy perspective. Take time daily to be grateful for all that you have.
Organize your daily schedule so that you get the optimal amount of sleep for your body. Everybody is unique but 7 to 8 hours of sleep is ideal for brain health, mental clarity, and physical rejuvenation.
Take time every day to get outside in nature. Go for a walk during lunch, walk in the neighborhood after dinner, go hiking, biking, skiing, or snowshoeing. Find ways to get outside and enjoy the fresh air, sun and calming effects of nature.
If you would like help navigating the 5 Pillars of Health and addressing the root cause of your illness, let me know.