Is your fuel tank empty? This is a time of year when we seem to need a break – maybe you’ve already taken one, maybe you have one planned. We need to recharge our batteries at regular intervals, or we risk becoming tired, irritable, and even ill. We need to be aware of what is draining us, and take action to keep all parts of our life in balance. Very simply, we need to take good care of ourselves.
Do you lead a well-balanced life?
What does that mean? It certainly takes some thought. Most of us focus on some areas of our lives more than others. It’s a good idea to take stock every so often to see if you like the balance in your life, or if you need to make some changes. Here are some basic areas to think about:
- physical and emotional health
- spiritual well-being
- fun and adventure
- contributions to others.
Ideally, these areas should be balanced; often, work dominates our lives while other aspects are ‘put on hold’ or neglected.
How can you correct an unbalanced situation?
- Are you trying to do too much? If so, what can be eliminated?
- It helps to start by having a clear idea of your priorities – make a list.
- Then look at how you currently spend your time. Where can you make changes so you can spend more time on your priorities? It’s a good idea to make notes – this helps to organize your thoughts, and lets you see more easily where changes could be made.
What is draining your energy?
If you feel that your situation could be improved, but aren’t exactly sure where to start, it might help to ask yourself a series of questions about different areas of your life to try to pinpoint issues you might need to work on. The following questions don’t cover every possible situation, but may be helpful to get you started. Again,
- Are there people in your life who drain your energy?
- Is there a relationship that you need to work on, or even end?
- Do you have unresolved conflicts with family members or friends?
- Do you need to do a better job of staying in touch with friends and relatives?
- Is your car or home in need of repair?
- Does your home need to be de-cluttered and organized?
- Do you like where you live? If not, what action could you take?
- Body, mind and spirit
- Do you eat a healthy diet?
- Do you get enough exercise (at least 30 minutes 5 times a week)?
- Do you get enough sleep (7 to 9 hours a night for most people)?
- How would you rate your physical, emotional and spiritual health?
- Do you enjoy going to work each day?
- Is your work stressful, does it leave you exhausted at the end of each day?
- Is your desk organized; can you find things easily?
- Do you have to deal with a conflict situation at work? Do you try to avoid it?
- Do you have the skills you need to do your job well?
- Does your job make good use of your skills?
- Are your provided with the tools you need to do your job well?
- Do you work well with your supervisor and colleagues?
- Can you pay your bills easily and on time?
- Do you live within your income?
- Do you have a plan for your financial future?
- Do you have a regular savings plan?
- Do you have adequate insurance coverage?
- Do you have debts that need to be paid off?
- If you have a mortgage is it manageable?
- Is your will up to date?
By asking yourself these questions, you can see where you need to make changes to reduce your stress and improve your health. You may be able to make a plan on your own, or you might want to talk with me, another counselor or financial advisor for advice on establishing priorities if you feel overwhelmed.
Energy sources such as adrenaline, coffee, sugar and anxiety may fuel some people for periods of time, but they are like bad gasoline – the car won’t continue to run well for long.
If you are running on adrenaline, you may
- be overcommitted both personally and professionally
- often be late for appointments
- have no time left for yourself
- put things off until the last minute, or use tight deadlines to make yourself get things done
- feel constant time pressure
- wake up in the night with your thoughts racing
- find yourself frequently in conflict with others
- often forget commitments or appointments.
It takes time to eliminate these habits, but you can start by
- arriving a few minutes early for every appointment
- using relaxation techniques such as yoga or meditation
- eliminating distractions
- setting aside time for yourself
- taking steps to make your environment more relaxing at home and at work
- nourishing yourself with healthy food/fuel.
While all aspects of our lives are important, optimizing our health is essential to make other areas work well. Good nutrition and disease prevention go hand in hand. Past newsletters have dealt with several aspects of good nutrition, but I will summarize some key points here.
keeps organs and tissues hydrated, moves food through the digestive system, and helps the body rid itself of toxins. Juices, sodas, and coffee or other drinks do not count as water! You need pure water, preferably filtered so your kidneys and liver don’t have to do the filtering.
2. Digestive enzymes
are key to healthy digestion, restoring pH balance, and vitamin/mineral absorption. Remember that cooking fruits and vegetables destroys naturally occurring enzymes (see Newsletter, October 2009). You need lots of raw fruits and vegetables. Also, as you age, your body produces fewer pancreatic enzymes, so digesting your meals will become more difficult unless you take enzyme supplements.
– the best sources are fresh fruit and vegetables; whole grains are also excellent, such as oats and whole wheat. Fibre fills you up so you’re less likely to overeat, and it is beneficial to good colon health, it regulates the digestive process, and helps keep blood glucose even. For maximum benefits, you need 30 – 40 grams of fibre a day. That’s a lot compared to the average consumption of only 11 – 13 grams, which is the reason so many people suffer from constipation, hemorrhoids, diverticular disease and other colon diseases.
4.Multivitamins and minerals
– supplements are easy and beneficial to our health. However, you need to be sure you are taking good quality supplements. Many don’t dissolve properly meaning that you don’t benefit from them.
– I’ve emphasized the importance of consuming adequate amounts of ‘good’ fats, eliminating trans fats, and limiting saturated fats (see Newsletter, April 2009). Remember that monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are good, and the most important are DHA and EPA – both omega-3 fatty acids, found in fish oil or supplements. They have numerous health benefits, including heart health, and benefits to the eye and brain.
are the body’s defense against free radicals, or molecules that are looking for an extra electron. Antioxidants fight inflammation. Foods rich in antioxidants include fruits, vegetables and fish.
are good bacteria that are essential to our health. They aid in digestion and nutrient absorption. They also fight inflammation by killing off ‘bad’ bacteria, including salmonella and E. coli. Some good bacteria include lactobacillus rhamnosus, lactobacillus acidophilus, and bifidobacterium longum. Although some yogurts contain probiotics we don’t get enough from them. Therefore, supplementation is best.
I hope these tips are helpful to you. Each topic could be expanded, but I wanted to provide you with an overview as food for thought. Please see www.ramilas.com for information about emotional release techniques and nutritional healing that I use in my practice. For information, please email email@example.com; or call Ramilas Healing Arts Clinic at 613.829.0427 for an appointment. Please continue sharing our newsletters with friends and family.
The suggestions and recommendations in this newsletter are not intended to be prescriptive or diagnostic. The information is accurate and up to date to our knowledge, but we are not responsible for any errors in our sources of information.
1. Richardson C. Take Time for Your Life. New York: Broadway Books, 1999.
2. Duarte A. Running on Empty. The Untold Truth Series. Wasatch Research Institute, 2004.
These newsletters will help you make better choices for better health. The choices that you make today can either have a positive or negative impact on your overall health. Begin by choosing better. It is a step toward longevity.
Ramilas Healing Arts Clinic