WHEW! 2020 was a doozy for a lot of people and I think we all can agree that some days we had to take it moment by moment just to get through. As with every new year that comes around, there is a sense of a new beginning, a reboot you might say, to do better, be better and live better.
I learned a lot this last year, as I’m sure many of you have. I learned new computer programs for my business, how to fly a drone, how to edit a movie, how to cook new, healthier foods, how to do house projects I didn’t think I could do, and how to navigate the days of masks, social distancing and staying home. But most of all I truly learned how to take care of myself.
I think we have all been “forced” to take care of our selves and learn patience, how to cook healthier foods, how to grieve, how to survive without socializing, and for me since I’m single and live by myself - how to enjoy time alone.
There were several things I found to do that are now essential for me in these crazy times and I thought I would share.
1). Go To Bed Early, Wake Up Early
I’ve always been a night owl - working into the wee hours and then waking up early and dragging through the day, plying myself with coffee, tea, bad food - because I didn’t feel like cooking and repeating that each day.
With the lockdowns and such, everything seemed to slow down and so did I. I found going to bed early and waking up early to be a godsend. I have more energy, I feel healthier and lighter, if that makes any sense. And this started me on a better routine of self care.
2). Find Your Inner Chef
I also found my body craved better food. Weird, since I’ve always been an emotional eater of junk food to destress, soothe and “heal” my soul. I truly started to listen to my body and what it wanted. Some days spinach called my name or another fruit or fish. I began looking up recipes and trying new things. I really and truly became aware of what I was putting into my body and low and behold, I have more energy, have lost a few pounds and my joints don’t hurt as much. So taking the time to stop, pick the fresh food, prep it and cook it has become a pleasure and part of a new routine.
The cool thing about this is you can make more than you need and have it for a few days when you don’t feel like cooking. If you’re feeling under the weather, find foods to boost your immunity and you will see results like no other. Listen to your body. It truly tells you what it needs.
3.) Bump Up The Supplements
We all know we haven’t been getting outside as much with all that has been going on. Add in food delivery is on the uptake if you haven’t fallen in love with finding your inner chef. So, it is extremely important to give your body the nutrients it needs to function properly and keep your natural immune system in tip top condition. Add in the possibility of getting a cold, the flu or Covid-19 and you definitely should be adding supplements to ward of these cruddy ailments.
Here are my go to supplements that have kept me healthy - I haven’t had a cold or the flu in two years (knocking on wood as I write this).
Vitamin C: A Study published in the journal Nutrients, found vitamin C contributes to your immune system by supporting various cellular functions.
Zinc: Zinc has so many health benefits that it’s almost impossible to cover them all in one post. This mineral has potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects; it’s essential for immunity, reproduction, mental health, skin health, cognitive function, and so much more! And it’s part of the combo recommended by doctors in arming yourself against Covid.
Allicin: Allicin, derived from garlic has antimicrobial, anti fungal, anti viral and antibiotic properties. And according to research by the University of Florida, it’s also has anti-inflammatory properties, which helps enhance immune cell function.
I take, you guessed it, AlliMax. What can I say, this stuff hasn’t let me down yet. I’ve done a ton of research on garlic supplements vs. allicin supplements and there is a BIG difference. Allicin is the key and since Allimax is ALL Allicin with no fillers and is standardized by way of a patented process, there really is no other like it for strength and purity.
I’ve found when I run out, my body just doesn’t feel as right. Maybe it’s me, but I swear by this stuff and have turned numerous friends and family on to it and they agree.
Ginger: I have taken a supplement of ginger supplement because ginger help decrease inflammation and has antimicrobial properties which also help to keep my immune system strong. Lately I’ve taken to making my own ginger tea by boiling sliced fresh ginger root, lemon and apple cider vinegar and then adding raw honey. I also have started making some vegetable soups with grated ginger in as well.
Multivitamin: I also take a good multi-vitamin to cover anything that I’m missing.
D3: Working hours inside, I don’t get as much natural sunlight as I should. So I make sure to take Vitamin D3 to make up for it. Why Vitamin D3? One of the most impressive benefits of vitamin D3 is its ability to enhance immunity and protect against infection. Not only can a deficiency in this important micronutrient slow wound healing and increase the risk of infection, but vitamin D3 is also integral to the function of immune cells in the body. D3 is also part of the protocols I’ve seen for Covid. Win, Win!
4.) Go Play Outside
Like I said earlier, working from home, I’m indoors the majority of the time. So I have made a point to now spend at least an hour or two outside. I created a water garden of sorts on my deck - 7 water features/fountains. I love making time each day to tend to them and the flowers and plants I have around them. I’ve created not only a hobby of sorts, but an oasis to escape to when I need to destress, breathe and create balance in my life. My friends call it my “healing deck” and they are right.
Find something you like to do outside and set aside time to do it. What do they say, do something over and over until becomes a habit. And this one is a “must do” healthy habit.
5.) Mind Over Matter
With all the crazy stuff this year, I know a lot of people who have or are experiencing anxiety, grief, trauma or depression. Now is the time to really be aware of your emotional and mental health as well as your physical heath. There are a couple of ways I’ve used to not lose my …. well you know.
a.) Meditating outside in my water garden and grounding myself when I’m feeling sad, depressed or anxious has helped enormously. It’s my happy place. And even just a few minutes in the fresh air, breathing deeply and clearing my head, helps to ease any unwanted feelings bubbling up.
b.) A good cry works wonders. I have learned to allow feelings to flow through me. If I’m happy, be happy. If I’m sad, I allow myself to feel sad. Allowing the tears to flow is so cleansing.
c.) Call mom. Yep, if i just need to be heard or purge I call my mom. She listens, allows me to throw all my crap on the table and truly look at what is bothering me. I have a couple of friends I can do this with too as they do with me. Create a support system with close friends or relative that you can trust.
If there is no one you feel comfortable talking with that is close to you, reach out to a professional. They are a wonderful option to unload and help you sort things out. You’ll learn how to see things from a different perspective and adopt positive habits and skills that can help your healing process, such as meditation, yoga, journaling or walks in nature.
6.) Educate Yourself
Unsure of things you are seeing and hearing? Go do your own research. Check numerous sources to get a wide variety of perspectives. Dig if something doesn’t feel right. Listen to your intuition. We are each born with those “gut feelings” to help us navigate life. Listen to them. If something or someone feels “off”, walk away. Learn to trust your instincts.
7.) Last but not least… Get An Attitude Adjustment!
This past year there were moments when I woke up with a bad attitude, hating the world and all the crap going on. Sometimes I couldn’t stand to be in the room with myself and even the dogs hid. When this happens it’s really important to stop, take a couple of deep breaths and find things you are grateful for.
I actually write down or post on FaceBook my gratitudes. I have found this changes my attitude almost instantly. It reminds me of how blessed I actually am. No gratitude is too small. Sometimes, for me, it’s just that I had time to step outside or had a yummy cup of tea. It’s all something to be thankful for.
So as the new year rings in, my wish for all of you is a happy, healthy, prosperous and loving future. And remember, you can’t take care of anything or anyone else until you take care of you. Happy New Year!