Growing Healthy with Self Reflection
by Cheryl Radford, BioMed Programs Coordinator
The beginning of the new year is always a reflective time for me. I am choosing to take a moment to look back on some of the small changes I have implemented over the past year to improve my health and overall well-being. Seeing how these changes have enhanced my life, I feel privileged to have the opportunity to share them with you!
Take time for your family. In the past I have let work and other commitments get in the way of simple pleasures with my children. Over this past year with two growing teenagers I am realizing how precious my time is with them now, more than ever. I have adopted a new policy of lessening the no’s and bringing on the yes’s. YES, I have time to play a board game. YES, I have time talk about silly stuff. YES, I have time to help with your homework. YES, I have time. Even when 24 hours in a day never seems like enough, it’s important to carve out that time when your family is willing to give it to you.
Move your body. It’s something I have always known, but now make an effort to do it daily. This doesn’t have to be grueling hours at the gym. Most days for me it means taking the time for a good walk with my dog; it’s good for me and him. Some of my best ideas come to me while walking with my yellow lab, George. You really can walk yourself out of a bad mood! Of course, sometimes just being with your dog can get you out of a bad mood. My friend recently purchased her dog a treat-dispensing toy, similar to the ones found at JugDog. Her dog seems to love it, and she said it’s also funny to watch him try and get his treats out of the toy. Seeing your dog play with a toy like that must lift your mood! Perhaps I’ll have to think about getting George one. It’s important that we stimulate our dog’s minds with toys like that. So, spending time with George often helps me to relax and exercise. Of course, sometimes I am able to incorporate more than a walk; maybe some light weights, yoga or even a trip to the gym. Other times I am solely falling back on my walks, but I have realized it’s all about consistency for me. I am a creature of habit and moving my body is a habit I am not looking to break!
Everyone can benefit from Vitamins and Minerals. I could go on and on about each supplement I have added to my daily routine, but I would prefer to concentrate on one, Magnesium. Magnesium has helped me be able to stop taking a prescription medication I once took to control my migraine pain. I have gone from approximately three to eight episodes a month to as few as one every few months. Not only do I supplement with magnesium, I also enjoy foods that are rich in it like; spinach, avocados, almond, black beans, cashews and peanuts. It’s amazing how incorporating this trace mineral into my life has improved its overall quality.
The power of forgiveness. There have been times in my life that I have held onto a grudge for something I saw as an injustice to me. In reality the only person my grudge was hurting is me. Forgiveness is truly a gift you are giving to yourself. Now does this mean I will no longer get angry? Absolutely not, I still have my Irish temper! But rest assured if I have become angry or done wrong, I will come to terms with it and move on. It really does just take too much of my energy not to forgive, and I am selfish with my time. Forgive and move on!
Drink Fire Cider. So if you haven’t tried it yet, it is a must! It will deliver on warming up your palate with equal parts of sweet, tart and spicy. With its apple cider base and ingredients that include; garlic, turmeric, lemons, wildflower honey, habaneros, onion, black pepper, horseradish, and ginger, it’s an invigorating way to start your day and jump start your immune system.
Remember to appreciate nature. I have learned to take the time to enjoy a splendorous sunset, wake up early to take in a colorful sunrise, revive my taste buds with home grown herbs and vegetables, directed my eyes up to the evening sky for stargazing, walked the beach to collect shells and have added trash collection along the way to preserve the nature I am enjoying for the future.
Listen to others. Be open to learning from the experiences of others. Sometimes you play teacher and other times you play the role of student. Everyone has something to bring to the table, you don’t always have to be right but you should always be kind and respectful.
It is my hope others are able to reflect on their own journey towards health and well-being, as I strive towards my continued growth over the upcoming year.