by Dr. Kristen Bovee, Peninsula Naturopathic Clinic, Hydrate IV Wellness Centre –
Time seems to slip by so quickly these days and it becomes more difficult to fit in the hours it takes for self-care. For 2020, here are my top four things to “commit” to this coming year to ensure a healthier decade.
Exercise. Not only is exercise the best way to keep your body in shape, it is also important for multiple systems in our body. Exercise ensures cardiovascular health by reducing blood pressure and sending oxygen and nutrients to our cells. It is also one of the most significant ways of reducing stress – people who exercise sleep better and have a more positive attitude. It is arguably nature’s best antidepressant. Moving your body encourages lymphatic flow which stimulates the immune system and helps remove waste and toxins from our organs and tissues. You can start with simply walking. One of the best times to walk is shortly after meals as it encourages digestion and metabolism.
Take your vitamins. Taking vitamins and supplements may not necessarily change your health by leaps and bounds, but it is important to help fill in our nutritional gaps. Our food these days is generally lower in overall nutrients levels than what we may have seen in our diet decades back. With over-farming, the use of pesticides and herbicides and genetic modification (GMO’s), our food is less nutritious and potentially more toxic to our bodies. Taking a comprehensive multivitamin, fish oil, probiotics and vitamin D (especially in the winter) will ensure that the food you enjoy is also balanced with supplements that can fill in these gaps.
Practice regular self-care. Self-care has different meanings for different people. Simply put: take time for yourself. Whether that be a regular monthly massage, scheduling a class you always wanted to take or get back into or take time on your own to read a book, it is important to put yourself first on a regular basis to avoid “nurturing burn-out.” This will allow you to approach your days with new focus and positivity and is also something you can look forward to each week. Start scheduling an activity each week so that it actually happens.
Keep in contact with your friends and family. This one may sound a bit curious but, in our lifestyles, today, we spend too much time using technology and become disconnected from our real world. No, waving hello to your mom on messenger does not count. It is important to pick up the phone, make that drive or plan a meeting place with friends and family to physically be close and connect. With rising levels of anxiety and depression, it is necessary as social beings that we maintain our traditions and community to gain support of those who love and care for us.
I was born in the decade of leaded gasoline; no cell phones or computers (!); McDonald’s was considered “eating well” and our parents smoked in the cars as we played unbuckled in the back seats. Our society today is so much different and better in many ways, but we still need to be cognisant of our health and well-being given new dangers and concerns. With a little commitment to the new decade we can certainly go forward and keep improving.