Friday, April 12, 2013

Routine

It's true that sleep is the most important thing one can do to keep in good health.  I would go a step further and say that routine is the most important step toward good health.  Without routine, our bodies remain in a constant state of stress and confusion, not knowing what to expect next.  This is true even on the most simple level such as whether we will allow our body to eliminate when it needs too or  know what it's going to have to digest before something is suddenly and distractedly put in our mouth.

I know, I know, you're saying our bodies and minds are smarter than that, and they can figure it out pretty quick, but isn't it kinder to let our bodies know what we expect of it and give it some sort of routine and warning?  Sure, the body will figure it out, but over time the stress of this constant uncertainty and repression of natural urges takes its toll on the body and toxins begin to accumulate and that's never a good thing.  

Okay, you still don't believe me, but to steal a phrase from my brother: I dare you.  I dare you to try some of the things that follow and see if it doesn't help you to feel better.  I promise I won't say "I told you so" if it does help, so give it a shot.  Try something.  What have you got to lose?  

Wake up early.  Easier said than done, unless you have to for work, and even if you have to for work, take some time in the silence of morning.  There is a Quietness to the early morning that is not repeated at any other time of the day.  Take a moment, feel it, listen, and enjoy.  And for Pete's sake don't turn on the news!!!!  It's depressing and starts the day out on a bad note.  Just enjoy being with yourself.  It is said that the time just around dawn is the best time to study and the best time to pray and connect to the divine.  Or simply with nature.  

Start the day with a warm cup of WATER (meant WATER, not coffee) to wake up and cleanse the digestive tract.  Try a cup of herbal tea and sit with it and enjoy the silence.  

Remember that you have five senses.  Take care of them.  I'll go into more detail on some of these at a later date, but for starters:
The Skin: splash cool water on your face.  
The Eyes: splash cool water into your eyes.  Maybe splurge and buy a rose water spritzer (make sure it's real and stays sterile) and spritz away--with your eyes open.  
The Nose:  The nose is the closest channel to the brain, keep it clean and healthy.  Use a netti pot.  Use a nasal oil. 
The Ears: Drop a few drops of warm sesame oil into each ear.  
The Mouth:  Brush your teeth.  Tongue scrap your mouth to pull the toxins that have accumulated overnight off; a brush just grinds the toxins in.  Scraping the tongue also stimulates the digestive system and helps to get things moving.

Eat breakfast quietly.  Don't read.  Don't listen to the news.  Pay attention to your food.  Does it nourish you?  This is one of my new catch phrases when I eat: does it nourish me?  Sometimes, it is a good, happy nourishing meal that's good for my whole body.  Sometimes, it's a wonderful piece of chocolate and it nourishes my soul and makes me feel happy.  Does it nourish me?  Brings new meaning to food.

Do some gentle stretches.  Work the joints and wake up the muscles.  Maybe meditate.  Maybe do some yoga.  I find that even if I just mediate for three minutes before work it makes a huge difference in how I handle the rest of the day.  AND I just read an article that just three minutes of mediation a day is enough to make a difference in your overall health.  Three minutes!!!  Do it.  What have you got to lose?  A couple numbers off that blood pressure maybe....

I meant to get through a full day, but let's leave it here for now.  It's a good start.