I wanted to take a moment and discuss your greatest asset…
It isn’t the money in your bank account, it isn’t the value of your real estate, or if your car can drive itself…
What do you think your greatest asset is, in this life?
The answer might surprise you.
You trade it for money, you trade it for material goods, it is it’s own form of currency. When we are young we think we have an endless supply, but as the years wear on, our stock dwindles.
What I want to discuss today is the concept of time, how we use it and how we can do our best, each and every day, to ensure we get the most out of it.
Time feels foreign right now. For most of us, we have been in lockdown on and off for nearly a year. We have been stuck at home, working, and managing a household. Our society tells us to value progress, wealth and “getting stuff done”, but in an article I came across today, the WHO reported nearly 398,000 people died from strokes and 347,000 died from heart disease as a result of working 55 hours or more per week. This global study is the first to examine the deterioration of health and life as a result of working long hours.
This is a clear indicator of systemic issues facing those in the workforce. This is compounded by the fact that work continues to move towards digitization, forcing work, meetings and other activities to be increasingly sedentary and with more and more hours in front of screens.
So what can be done about it?
I want you to value self-care the same way you value the work you do. Like the meeting you schedule for your job, it is equally important to schedule time specifically for you. Whether it is 30 min or a few hours, it’s time to open up those calendars and carve out time to feed and nourish all parts of your health.
I like to make sure I take time to address nourishing my body, mind and spirit. If you are familiar with my RED cards, you know I have a full deck of tips and tricks to help support these three key areas of wellness!
By engaging in self-care we not only can extend our lives, but we also increase the quality of life. I have outlined some activities you can use to get started today!
Nourishing the body
- Prepare a healthy, organic meal! By eating well, we give our bodies the building blocks to support strong healthy bodies.
- Get up and get active! Exercise, even a brisk walk, can boost mood, elevate energy, and support cardiovascular health.
- Sleep! Not only does this give our bodies a chance to heal and prepare for the trials of the coming day, a good night’s sleep can decrease stress and anxiety for many of my patients. I learned this the hard was last weekend when I was babysitting my granddaughter, she did not let me sleep much and I felt the effects of the lack of sleep for days after.
Nourishing the mind
- Play a board game or solve some puzzles! During puzzle solving, dopamine–the chemical in the brain that’s responsible for memory–is released. Jigsaw puzzles in particular help hone memory because they encourage the mind to stay actively working for a long period of time.
- Read a book! And I mean a REAL BOOK, no eReaders allowed! Give your eyes a break from the screen and enjoy the serenity of a good book. Reading is a very complex task that requires several different regions of the brain to work together. Neuroscientists at Emory University in Atlanta have determined that just reading a gripping novel makes changes in the way the brain connects with different circuits, and most importantly, those changes last for at least five days. They may not be permanent, but that at least suggests that the rewards from reading last longer than the act itself.
Nourishing the spirit
- Meditation! We touched on this a bit in last week’s email. When we are in alignment with our spirit, we have direct access to a higher wisdom to serve us through even the most trying of times. In researching blue zones, areas of the world that have individuals living past 100, we see two key areas that help to support a longer lifespan. The first is downshifting, finding TIME to decompress and eliminate stressors in our daily lives. The second is to belong and believe in something greater than ourselves. When it comes to mediation we can learn to: understand our pain, lower our stress, connect better, improve focus and reduce brain chatter to better connect with our innate wisdom.