January is time for self-reflection and a time to recommit to personal, community and environmental health. Here are some quick tips for the New Year.
Exercise and make it fun! Walk your dog, (or offer to take your neighbor’s dog for a walk) go on an early morning hike to take photographs of the sunrise, swim, put on some music and dance in the kitchen.
Hydrate! Pack water wherever you go. Add mint, lime, lemongrass for medicinal flavor or make sun teas. Use glass or polycarbonate containers to avoid pcb leaching from plastic bottles. Install and use a good water filter for all your drinking water and cooking needs.
Try some new healthy foods; Try dried Goji Berries on your cereal, flax seed oil on your salad, stevia instead of your usual tea or coffee sweetener, sprinkle dulse in your miso soup.
Read the labels and avoid MSG, Aspartame, partially hydrogenated oils, diet sodas and food with artificial color, meats preserved with sodium nitrates. Make a commitment to try it for two weeks and keep a simple journal of what you eat and your energy or pain levels. You may be amazed at the difference in how you feel.
Toss out those aluminum pots and pans and rice cookers. Teflon is a carcinogen and flakes into your food or is inhaled in your lungs when cooking at high temperatures.
Use environmentally sound cleaning products. Especially in Hawai’i, understand that every product you use impacts the environment, our food sources, our water tables, the ocean. Switch to bio-friendly cleaning products for everything including your car, your hair, your dog and your weed control. Using baking soda, vinegar, brands like Miracle Soap or concentrated Simple Green and will also be kind on your wallet, too.
Get enough restful sleep.
Peace of mind. We know how to keep the mind running, learn how to turn it off. Find your switch and use it. Is your mind in the past, the future or in the present? Recognize when you are time traveling, and find ways to be here now.
Plan ahead. Fill up your gas tank. Put a flashlight with fresh batteries near the door, create an “emergency shelf’’ of house staples, including bottled water and a toiletry kit. Plan a vacation or a party. Good planning is a proactive process and develops your observation and imagination.
Be prepared for big and little emergencies. Share your “just in case” contingency plans, (“If either of us is delayed, here’s what we’ll do…” Or, “If we get separated in the shopping center, or the county fair, here’s where we’ll meet.”)
Fix it! If your alarm clock, wallet, shoelaces, windshield wipers, “whatevahs” are a constant aggravation, get them fixed or get new ones.
Don’t do anything you have to lie about.
Practice non-violent communication with yourself and with others. Focus on understanding rather than on being understood, on loving rather than on being loved. Don’t keep score. Stop negative self-talk: “I’m too fat, too old.” Congratulate yourself along the way of achieving your goals.
Talk out your problems. Write your thoughts and feelings down on paper. It can help you clarify and give you a renewed perspective.
Allow time every day for privacy, quiet and thinking or singing.
Support those in your community that bring you good health and joy. Let them know you appreciate their efforts with your business. Frequent your farmers’ markets, suppliers of organic and GMO free food, your local businesses, your favorite restaurants. Give the gift of a smile or a funny story.
Be generous. Share your gifts, talents and interests and abilities with others. Have an optimistic view of the world. Most people do the best they can.
For more info, visit hawaiihealthguide.com. MTW