Sleep is actually the best medicine. I am reminded of this every Saturday when my kids sleep in.
We need to sleep to grow and heal. If we don’t sleep well it is as though we are not eating our veggies or protein. How can we expect ourselves to be happy and healthy? There are numerous articles reporting the importance of sleep and healing. If you suffer from recurrent infections, digestive disturbances or repetitive muscle injuries, ask yourself if you are sleeping well. Most adults need 7-9 hours of sleep per night, while children need 10-12 hours in a 24 hour period.
Even though the birds are starting to fly south, it is important to savour your summer.
Find time to appreciate your summer while it is still here. Get outdoors for a hike in the woods, visit some waterfalls, do the mountain stairs or go for a bike ride along the shores of Lake Ontario. We are automatically relaxed when we are outdoors and “forest bathing”. If you can create the habit of spending time outdoors now, you may even continue your new found activity in to the fall and winter, and ward off the wintertime blues!
September can feel like the start of a New Year. Summer holidays are behind us, kids are back to school, and we are back in to our regular (hectic) routines. That is why it is important to take time for yourself before stressors build up. Consider starting some mindfulness techniques to deal with daily stressors before you are too frazzled to cope.
1. start your day with yoga and a sun salutation
2. deep breathe and envision your breath entering, nourishing, and leaving your body
3. experiment with your favourite essential oil; rub a few drops in your hands then inhale deeply
4. Zen doodle or colour
5. have a massage, bowen or acupuncture treatment
6. go for a hike in the woods
Staying ahead of stress means it can’t negatively impact our health
For all you outdoorsy-folks out there, you may have noticed the rampant increase in poison ivy this summer. My family and I certainly did!
This, however, enabled me to hone my skills on how to treat it. If you have been exposed to poison ivy (remember: Leaves of Three, Let them Be), you will want to lather up with good old dish soap (something to cut the oil – ie sunlight or dawn) and rinse the suds downward in the shower. You’ll also want to wash your hiking clothes and shoes.
Then, if you notice intensely itchy skin or little blisters in the days following your potential exposure, rub Jewelweed leaves &/or stem on your itchy skin. Jewelweed is an impatien that grows in moist forests. You’ll find it in July, but it starts to flower in August. And voila! Poison Ivy crisis averted!
Poison Ivy: Jewelweed:
Stay hydrated – Consider adding a pinch of salt & lemon wedge to your water for electrolytes or using an electrolyte powder. Coconut water is tasty, but it doesn’t have near as much sodium as we need when we are sweating buckets! Leg cramps are often a sign of dehydration and too little sodium, especially in this heat