How are you doing with connecting with the season? Have you found any new joys?
Welcome to week 2 of The Winter Project!
(What is The Winter Project?)
This week we are going back to basics!
Finding joy in the holidays: Nurturing your basic needs
We are all familiar with the concept of the hierarchy of needs. We must do basic arithmetic before we learn calculus; food and shelter before fancy cars and trips abroad. Consider these basic needs in your life and think about how fulfilled you feel in each of these areas.
Don’t forget, happiness is cumulative! These things work together to keep you healthy and happy.
Consider these basic health needs and areas where you might need a little more focus:
- Sleep: Did you know that sleeping is the most important thing that you can do to keep your body healthy? When you are sleeping, your body is busy strengthening your immune system, clearing the clutter in your mind, and reaping the benefits of your workouts by repairing muscle tissue. Going to bed at a decent time is an area where I struggle. I feel much better when at get a minimum of 7 hours of sleep at night. How much are you sleeping?
- Hydration: Water is necessary for every process in your body to work correctly. If you’re not drinking enough, you may experience muscle cramps, headaches, constipation, bladder infections, fatigue, dry skin, or even chapped lips! Are you drinking enough water?
- Nutrition: How "clean" (by your own definition) are you eating? Getting the nutrients that you need while avoiding consuming too much junk (processed food, added sugar, etc.) will help to keep your immune system strong and your body fit and healthy. Place extra focus on getting plenty of fruits and veggies (for glowing skin and digestive health), b vitamins for mood support, vitamin D for strong bones and cancer prevention, and probiotics for for a healthy gut. Did you know that 95% of your feel-good neurotransmitter serotonin is found in your gut or “second brain"? Keep it healthy to keep you happy!
- Exercise: Have you heard the phrase “sitting is the new smoking”? Not only is not moving unhealthy for your body, it is also unhealthy for your happiness bank. Exercising regularly keeps you fit and healthy, helps you to sleep well, keeps you regular, and improves your mood. I love to run at sunrise in a natural setting near my house. It is my favorite way to greet the day! Are you moving enough? Go for a walk, take a yoga class, find and indoor pool, lift heavy things, play tennis. Do whatever feels the most like playing and try different things to keep from getting bored! Bonus points for bundling up and getting outside in the sunshine at the same time!
My plan: I will focus in getting to bed early enough to get a minimum of 7 hours of sleep. I’ll keep up with my exercise routine and not let workouts drop over the holidays. I’ll make sure to take a few yoga classes too. I’ll support my immune system with healthy clean food including a few new and old favorite things: magic mineral broth, green smoothies or juice, big ol’ salads, and soups like this immunity soup.
How will you nurture yourself through this season?
As we move through this project, I would love to hear about your survival skills, struggles, and success in the comments or by email (you can reach me at email@example.com).
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*Important note: I am not a licensed mental health professional. This advice is not intended to take the place of therapy or medications. Please seek professional care if you are suffering from depression or anxiety symptoms.