Monday January 31, 2011

 

Healthy Living 

Ten Things You Can Do To Make Today Awesome

Living life to the fullest

Submitted by Sorcha Kincaid

 

veryone I know occasionally has THOSE days. You know the ones. If it can go wrong, it does, and everything you touch turns to fecal matter. I had one of those days recently (even witches aren't immune) and it was horrendous!

Negativity was as an ugly beast, rearing it's many heads in the form of billing issues, manufacturer shortages, irate customers, and butter-finger mishaps (and trust me, spilling a bottle of 1000 Amoxicillin on the counter is no laughing matter). When these days happen we can do one of two things. We can give up on the day, ride the roller coaster of defeat until the end of the shift and try again tomorrow. Or, we can grab that negativity by the horns and show it who's boss. Here are a few things that can make one of THOSE days into something positive or prevent it from happening in the first place.

Eat Breakfast!

I know that your doctor and mother told you that breakfast is the most important meal of the day when you were a kid but there's a reason for that. It's true! What you put into yourself in the AM has an impact on how the rest of your day will be. The kind of fuel your body gets from scrambled eggs and toast is not the same as it gets from a big bowl of Chocolate Frosted Sugar O's.

 

The first type of energy will last the morning and make sure you are running at top form until lunch, the second will give you a short spike of energy and then fade, leaving you feeling tired and sluggish until proper sustenance is eaten (it may also leave you feeling nauseated and give you a headache). By supplying yourself with a tummy filled with healthy food you are taking the first big step towards making your day great. Your brain works better, your muscles react faster, and it could just mean the difference between avoiding that potential collision and spending the day (or longer) in the hospital.

 

Take Your Vitamins!

This one should be another no-brainer, but for some reason a huge amount of people ignore their own personal well-being when it comes to vitamins and supplements. In today's 9 to 5 world most of us eat what we can find when we have a chance to eat.

This usually means that the nutritional value of our foods goes down. To keep our minds and bodies fit to deal with the challenges of the day we need to make sure it has the tools it needs. A one-a-day multivitamin usually has everything we need, but other health issues may require a trip to the local pharmacy to consult with the pharmacist about what other stuff might be useful.

For example, during these cold and dreary winter months adults should be taking between 400IU and 1000IU of Vitamin D daily to make up for the lack of sunshine (we usually get sufficient Vitamin D from sun exposure), Calcium should be taken by everyone with bone density concerns (and most without them), and menstruating women should be taking 18mg of iron daily (27mg if you are pregnant). When you are feeling good the day will be brighter and the stresses easier to cope with.

Walk In Nature!

Feel the breeze on your skin. Smell the dampness and decay of last years growth as it prepares to fertilize the next. Hear the birds call and the fish jump. Nothing makes a human feel more free and alive than spending time outdoors. Not only is it good exercise for the body, the extra oxygen that goes to your brain helps you think better and deal with everyday stresses better.

 

As well, taking this time to reconnect to the divine in nature can recharge your batteries, help you see things from a different perspective, and even change a terrible day into something to remember. You may live life in the fast lane, but it's always a good idea to pull over every once in a while and take a break.

 

Wear Something That Makes You Feel Powerful!

When you look good, you feel good. Everybody has that one outfit that makes them unstoppable, a total knockout, and 110% awesome! Maybe it's that little black dress, or that tie that matches that shirt, or your black Metallica T. Whatever it is, take it out and wear it. It doesn't do you any good in the drawer/closet. If you just can't (either it's inappropriate for where you are or unconventional for your job) then take a moment before you get dressed and pull it out, lay it on the bed or just hold it up in the mirror, and think about how you feel when you wear it.

 

Capture that essence of power and hold on to it. That way, when you are in your lame clothes and feeling down, you can think back to how you feel with that outfit on and get a confidence and energy boost. Imagine it's on you right then and see yourself as a powerful person right at that moment. You might be surprised how much of a difference it can make in your day.

 

Write Down 5 Things About Yourself That Rocks!

Everyone has good qualities and bad qualities. Sadly, a lot of people spend way more time focusing on their negative aspects instead of their positive ones. “Oh, that was stupid of me.” or “What was I thinking?!” are both things that frequently come out of my mouth. When I notice them I stop and think of 5 things about me that make me a good person. Writing them down is an even better affirmation of how great you are.

 

They don't have to be long or thought provoking (one word descriptions are preferable really), just true. Be as honest with yourself as you can and you may find that you are way cooler than you thought you were. This simple act can make all the difference for that meeting, conference call, or just getting to the end of the day in one piece. Do the best you can and no one can fault you.

 

Tell 5 People 1 Thing About Them That Is Awesome!

This is connected to the last exercise. Think about how good you felt when you sat back and read the list of great things about yourself. It gives you strength, hope, and a sense of self worth. What greater gift can you give to another than to share that feeling. In a totally selfish way this works in your benefit too. Not only do you get to make someone you know feel good, but you get to make yourself feel good by doing that.

 

By simply letting someone know what you think, you can change their day, week, or even month for the better. When they get that feeling of pride and self love, they feel good and want to make others feel the same (just as you did with exercise 5). They will then go out and spread that joy and positive energy with others around them and before you know it you have changed not just your day, and your cubical neighbours day, but the whole office for the better. Congratulations, you made a change in the universe with only words. Feels pretty good, huh?

 

Stretch!

The body is a complex and fantastic miracle of nature. It grows, changes, and eventually starts to break down with use. Sitting in front of a screen for hours on end, walking endless aisles, and many other everyday parts of our jobs don't facilitate a healthy body. Not everyone can exercise regularly to off set this part of our reality. There is, however, one thing that everyone (or nearly everyone) can do to improve how they feel. Stretch! It's easy, you can do it just about anywhere without looking weird, and it's fantastic for you!

 

Stretching is important for the body in a number of ways. It increases blood flow and subsequently oxygen levels throughout your body. It increases your flexibility and range of movement as well as your balance. It can prevent injuries from lifting and exercising and helps our minds cope with the challenges of the day. Try it and feel how good it is. Your body will thank you.

 

Eat Chocolate!

Chocolate (and I'm talking about the darker stuff even though I prefer milk) is good for you! It contains antioxidants (nearly 8 times more than strawberries) which help protect your body from the damages of free radicals, it can balance hormone levels, relax blood pressure, reduce LDL cholesterol, stimulates endorphin production, and contains serotonin which acts as an antidepressant. Not only that, it tastes great! Eat a piece of the darkest chocolate you desire and feel your day getting better.

 

Read A Book!

One might not think that they have time to sit down with a real page-turner but let me tell you that it can change your entire day. Taking the time to do something for yourself like reading is incredibly important. It helps you relax and forget about the negative parts of the day that are unhealthy to hold onto, it facilitates learning new things and skills, exposes you to fresh ideas and opinions, and exercises that most important organ of the body, the brain.

 

Also, for those of you who have children, reading with your kids is without a doubt the best thing you can do for them. Spending that quiet time together helps to build a close bond, boosts self esteem, and gets them ready for the wind down to bedtime. Squeeze those minutes with a book in wherever you can, even if it's just for that 15 minute break or before you crawl into bed yourself.  Remember, you are worth it.

 

Laugh!

It is in the nature of mankind to make mistakes....frequently. Often with disastrous results. It's really dis-empowering to have one of THOSE days make you feel like a real fool. The best thing you can do at that point is to laugh at yourself. Yes, you might have goofed up something rather badly, but most of the time it's not the end of the world and life will go on.

 

Take a second to laugh over the punchline of that joke you heard, remember that sitcom scenario, or just give a laugh for the sake of laughing. It will raise your mood and improve your outlook on the day. After all, we're only human.

 

Sorcha Kincaid is a practicing Wiccan High Priestess, mom and works in a pharmacy. She's lived in Chilliwack for many years and loves the city and surrounding countryside. If you are interested, Sorcha and her Wicca group meet monthly in a local coffee house. You can contact her by e-mail here for more details.

 

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