Any time of crisis is an opportunity to increase your creativity, wisdom and ability to connect to peace more deeply. It is important to be able to respond to stressors in healthy ways that allow a person to experience through their body, mind and spirit the ability to act, react, learn and share. If a person experiences being trapped and helpless without the ability to respond through these avenues they are more at risk of developing psychiatric conditions known as Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, Depression, Anxiety and others. Knowing this can guide you to setting up new routines to maintain your body, mind and spirit wherever you are and whatever you are currently facing. Before you can help others (children, aging parents, friends, a neighbor in need, a stranger) you must first plan for how you maintain these parts of yourself in your current environment. We start with a focus on you, working with three categories: body, mind and spirit. Today we want to start a discussion on body.
Body: What does it take to keep your body healthy? What do you have available to you?
- Sleep. Try to have the same circadian rhythm each 24 hours. This means the same wake up time daily. Adults need an average of 7.25 hours of sleep a night, children need 9 hours and adults under age 25 need 8 hours. This helps boost the immune system, sharpen mental awareness and decrease the risk of anxiety and mood disorders to name a few. If you are having difficulty sleeping, read about sleep hygiene and how to improve your ability to sleep. The CDC has some tips on this.
- Meals. Eat regular meals several times a day with at least 12 hours of fasting, usually during the sleeping phase. Brain health is improved by this fasting because ketosis takes place, a state in which fat provides most of the fuel for the body. Keep your meals well balanced. Get a book on nutrition and make some additions to your usual menu repertoire. Since our bodies are 70% water it is important to stay hydrated.
- Exercise: Daily stretching and aerobic exercise helps to clear stress from your body and keeps you strong. We can use the change in brain chemistry we get from exercise to help us find peace during this stressful time.
Include all three of these elements in your daily schedule. Talk to someone you know about how you’re both doing with sleep, meals and exercise. We can encourage each other in finding peace. Look for Keeping Yourself Healthy: Body, Part 2 tomorrow.