I discovered this article in Yahoo! this morning, and thought that it'd be a good clipping to keep and share. By Gabrielle Reese.
What does your checklist look like? I started thinking about my list of areas to focus on when I'm trying to be healthy, keep stress at bay, and stay in shape. Here's my list...
1. Exercise. I find this to be the one medicine that works well with all ailments. Even when I'm tired, exercise is my cure-all. Crazy husband or kids, stress at work, my time of the month psychoticness, questioning my existence and wondering "what does it all mean?" -- exercise gives me some grounding, a release and clarity.
2. Lean, real food. Real food (not from a drive-thru window or a microwave) can influence my mood. I feel so much more energized and level when I eat living food. What does that mean? Something that hasn't been deep fried to a yummy tasting death, zapped or frozen to the point of non existent nutrients. Is it tricky? Does it take more effort? Yup! Are there times I would rather have a meal that tastes so good, arrives so quick, and hurts after the fact? Yup! But we're living beings with organs working hard on our behalf. Food with nutrients and enzymes helps all of that flow so much smoother. My blood sugar levels (influences things like one's energy levels, mood and ability to concentrate) stabilize. Eat something green with every meal and don't be afraid of food and calories. Yes, watch the portions, but not to the extent where you starve yourself. We all have to eat to be healthy.
3. Sleep. We can't recover if we don't get some rest. I'm not going to tell you how much sleep to get, but you know for yourself how much you need to feel rested. I suggest getting to bed as early as you possibly can. Remember, they use sleep deprivation as a form of torture during wartime, and there's a good reason why. New moms and dads, it's going to pass.
4. Feelings of happiness. I'm not the type of person that walks around "la la la." I'm just saying within your personality type, can you find the smile? The joy? Search for the happiness in your own way, and express it in your own way. Find the peace. Believe me, the top 3 make this easier.
5. Have a passion. It helps me to be healthy if I have things in my life that I like to do and that challenge me. Gets me fired up to get out of bed on the days I feel hum drum. Find a passion that is just for you and is yours. It can be something that benefits others, but it's your passion.
6. Love. Friends and/or family. Someone to love and who loves you. We all need nurturing in this world. I'm not talking about romantic love. I'm talking about another spirit to connect with and offer support.
7. Fun. I have to remind myself that we're not here on this planet to just grind away. Laugh. Enjoy. Hang out. Be silly. Just have some fun...
8. Water. I gave water its own number, because I think it's that important. Oh, by the way, I read a great stat. We get 21% of our calories from what we drink. Last time I checked, water didn't have any calories. So by just drinking water, you could cut down on 1/5 of your caloric intake and do your body, skin, and butt a huge favor. Beware of the sugar drinks -- even the "healthy ones."
9. Spirit. We're all in this together. I find that if I'm nice to my fellow human or do something for someone else, it's good for me. See? Even within your unselfishness, you can be selfish.
I know it's gross, but we can't forget going to the bathroom. We need to go regularly. If stuff is going in, then it has to come out. The water and good food help with this.
10. Balance (this is the bonus checklist item -- extra credit if you will). That's right, the "b" word. I'm just trying to keep it all balanced, because it feels the best when I even get close to working the balance act out.