We all know that sleep is one of the most important building blocks of good health. But with busy schedules, daily stressors and “just one more episode” of Stranger Things leading to a full on season binge, tossing and turning all night long may feel normal for many of us.
As the temperature increases, so does our desire to travel someplace far, far away to feel the warmth of the sun and our toes in the sand. Or, for others, the idea of traveling to Europe to experience the rich history and fascinating architecture of ancient cities might be exactly what we had in mind. A good vacation, especially as the pandemic (hopefully!) comes to an end, is just what the doctor ordered.
We know we all need to eat. The question is truly: Howmuchdo we need to eat to be able to optimize our days, keeping both our mental and physical health in mind? While this differs from person to person, the US Department of Health set baselineminimumsof 1200 calories per day for women and 1800 calories per day for men.
We’ve all heard the downsides of elevated cortisol levels. But did you know that cortisol isn’t all bad? Our bodies make cortisol to help us get out of bed in the morning, maintain energy levels throughout the day, and assist in our overall health and wellbeing. But, when our cortisol levels are out of balance, our whole body is, too.
Diet plays a large role in our overall health; we should aim to eat whole, nutritionally dense foods to optimize digestion, balance mood, and decrease inflammation. We can also use herbs to help with inflammation! Specific herbs, like ginger root, dandelion, and slippery elm have been shown to have many positive health effects.
Let’s face it: stress is a part of life! Sometimes, feeling stressed gives us that extra 'umph' we need to perform at our best, or gives us motivation to head to the gym or finally tackle that to-do list. But, have you ever known you have a million and one things to do, yet all you can think about doing is climbing into your bed, drifting off to sleep, and escaping reality for a little bit? Or you’ve tried to work on a project or brainstorm a list of ideas but you just feel “off” and not like yourself? This may be due to extreme emotional exhaustion, also known as burnout.
Our brains are powerful; they dictate our thoughts, emotions, and behaviors by using various neurotransmitters to communicate different signals, depending on various factors like mood, activity level, and stress. Our brains are split up into various parts, each having its own responsibility within our intricate neurological system.
Sleep is an essential part of life; it allows us to recharge our bodies and minds, leaving us feeling refreshed, alert, and ready for the day. Healthy sleep plays a significant role in digestion, the repair of cells, immunity, hormone regulation, and disease prevention. Without enough sleep, or upon waking up from a restless sleep, our brains and bodies can feel tired and lethargic.
As temperatures drop, snowfall comes regularly, and the days get shorter and shorter, it’s not unusual for people to develop “SAD”: seasonally affective depression. It’s estimated that 10-20% of Americans get mild SAD with the changing seasons, especially those living in colder, more Northern places. With so many of us working from home and spending time indoors, the idea of getting in 10,000 steps seems dreary when the windchill is at -10º. Sound familiar? We feel it, too.
With some light at the end of the pandemic tunnel, many of us are eager to book our next flight to a vacation destination far, far away. Whether you’re thinking about turning up the heat in the Caribbean or experiencing snowfall in the French Alps, one thing is for sure: you won’t want to worry about a grumpy gut.
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, so no wonder your anxiety levels may be increasing! There is a lot expected of us this time of year: holiday parties, cooking, hosting dinners, and buying gifts; It can all get overwhelming and start feeling like an impending anxiety attack instead of the holidays. With all of this increased stress comes a decrease in the time we take for ourselves, but self care is essential for getting us through, and more importantly, enjoying, the holiday cheer.