Ponder this nugget for a moment, “You are a spiritual being having a physical experience”. The first time I came across this statement I had to process it for a long while. Once we accept that we are body, mind and spirit then it makes perfect sense we should invest time and effort to develop, integrate and balance all three into one harmonious authentic experience.
“Prevention is better than cure”
The promotion of healthy habits and practices must be a significant investment by individuals, families, communities.
Nutrition: There are several health benefits that are derived from eating a predominantly plant-based diet.
The rule of thumb is to eat 3-5 serving fruits and vegetables. 6-8 glasses of water daily will keep you well hydrated.
There are exciting and creative ways of including legumes (peas and beans) in our meals.
Animal protein should be lean and free of artificial preservatives
Physical Activity: We keep many illnesses away when we are physically active. Whatever your ages, keep active, walk more, and drive less when it is practical. Brisk walking and low impact aerobics for 30 minutes, at least 3 times per week is recommended for individuals who are moderately active. Highly active persons can do jogging, cycling, swimming, and high impact aerobics for 1 hour at least 3 times per week.
Tobacco and Alcohol: Both tobacco and alcohol are additive, deleterious to health and difficult to treat.
The key is to avoid these substances all together. There are programs to help those who are ready to quit. Second-hand smoking happens when you spend time in the presence of others who smoke.
Immunization: Children should be fully immunized. Adults need to have certain adult immunizations including flu, hepatitis B, shingles vaccines and some boosters of vaccines given early in life.
Screening tests: Early detection and treatment of life-threatening illnesses will save lives. There are gender specific screening tests to be done at different stages. Check with your primary physician about the test that you need to do. Screening for breast cancer and cervical cancer is at the top of the list for females. Males age 40 and over should get screened for prostate cancer.
Sexual and Reproductive: Consult with a doctor if there are concerns about our libido, ability to have children or any unusual symptoms. Advances have been made with the treatment of sexual and reproductive dysfunctions.
Oral Health (includes dental health): new evidence has shown there is a link between poor oral health and heart disease. It is recommended to change your toothbrush every 3 months and visit the dentist at least once a year.
“Don’t sweat the small stuff”
We must remove the stigma from mental illnesses. The fact is everyone at some time or the other will experience a mental crisis. Emotional issues should not be ignored, especially depression. Depression is more common than previously thought. Signs of importance are; loss of appetite or over eating, sleep disturbances and loss or interest in regular activities are early signs of depression. We all must manage stress in our lives. Here are a few tips:
Talk to somebody about your concerns and symptoms. A trusted friend, relative or colleague will provide the practical support as you go through this mental or emotional challenge.
Walking or jogging helps depression or anxiety. Music, dance, and laughter are therapeutic.
Eat more fruits vegetables and herbs that are good for mental health. A few recommendations are;
Dark green leafy vegetables are brain protective
Fish, olive oil and food rich in omega-3-fatty acids
Legumes (peas and beans)
Enjoy sweets especially dark chocolate and wine in moderation
Find a therapist if symptoms depression and anxiety persist or worsen. A doctor, counselor, pastor or life coach can help you through the crisis. It may become necessary to be referred for more comprehensive treatment.
“You are a shining star”
Just as we grow and mature physically and emotionally, we should also grow and mature spiritually. To grow spiritually requires mentorship, discipline, practice, fellowship, study, and reading inspirational books. Modern living has normalized ‘being constantly busy, multitasking and an environment that is noisy.
o By setting the intention to be still and quiet allows for the replenishing of the soul
o If you are not particularly a spiritual person just spend more time in nature
o Walking along the beach
o Sitting by a river
o Exploring a walking trail
o Spend time around a mentor
o Seek daily guidance in prayer and meditation. Cultivate a special time to be still and silent
o The practice of mindfulness has helped many to be more focused and productive