Slowing down and taking care of yourself can mean different things to different people, but the fundamentals stay the same. In this blog post, we are going to discuss those vital staple elements, that our mind and body need to keep us healthy, and in a healing environment.
The theme throughout the month for us at Truehope Canada is slow living. Creating a conscious effort to notice our subconscious patterns that often leave us exhausted and depleted.
This can be as simple as becoming aware than you’re not drinking enough water during the day, and that makes you feel fatigued and lethargic. Creating an aware effort to change that habit in your day to day, can be the difference between feeling well and unwell.
The 3 areas we are going to discuss are Water, Sleep and Food.
Most people suffer from a chronic form of dehydration, mainly from an unconscious habit to select caffeinated and sweetened beverages, over water.
Even non caffeinated herbal teas can cause dehydration due to diuretic compounds.
Drinking water is obviously important, but what does it do for our individual cells? It acts as:
a solvent in the blood
a filler within cellular spaces
and it keeps cell membranes intact and fluid
If we remain dehydrated, our cells become damaged and unstable. On a daily basis, people are incorrectly diagnosed with different pathologies, but in many cases, its simple dehydration. So let's slow down, take a breath and reflect on our water intake.
Action: The Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for water is 2 litres for women and 3 litres for men. What do you drink now?
Don’t go directly to 2 litres, double your current intake, and increase slowly. Your bladder and kidneys need to get used to a new intake.
The fact that sleep is important for health has been evident forever, but only recently scientists have begun to unravel why exactly we need to sleep.
Humans sleep about one third of their lives away, or at least they should. With insufficient sleep we function poorly. Reaction times slow, attention lapses, mood becomes liable, cognition foggy, and memory suffers.
With all that, decision-making can become faulty and logic blurry, affecting every part of our lives.
Sleep enhances learning, and is vital in the re-organization of memories. The brain is far from relaxed during sleep, it is active and working.
One reason children require more sleep is they are learning so much, all the time. Frequent naps help them learn motor and language skills more quickly.
Growth Hormone is essential for development, growth and repair. It peaks soon after falling asleep in the evening. Sleep acts as an opportunity for the brain to detoxify, replenish antioxidants and repair.
Recent studies suggest that sleeping less than 6 hours is associated with an increase in mortality and more than 9 hours of sleep at night is associated with an even higher risk.
Sleep deprivation causes increased hunger (especially for sugar) and promotes inflammation. Your immune health is totally dependent on good quality sleep.
Action: The magic of sleep healing happens before midnight, so try and be asleep 1 -2 hours before that. Decrease screens and stimulants in the evening to promote the appropriate brain-sleep hormones.
When you think about slow living and food, think about how during the winter months, our digestive system works slower than it does during the summer.
Bowls and bowls of raw salad during the winter months are going to be tricky for the body to break down when digestion is slower. So during the colder months, go with warm, nourishing foods that are easy for your body to obtain nutrients. Soups, broths, stews, etc.
Action: Try and always have nourishing foods available. Either in the slow cooker, fridge or freezer. Bone broth is something you can easily have a cup of anytime during the day!
For more advice and tips, don't hesitate to connect with us!
Simon Brazier. Dip HN, NNCP