You were born with a fantastic raincoat – your natural resilience. But like most things, it needs maintenance!
Yes, I know skin is waterproof (good thing for those of us in rainy climates) but what am I talking about?
Why did you did not die of the first cold virus that drifted by, or from a major infection from that nasty splinter – or simply when the weather got too hot?
Because your system dealt with the problem effectively and efficiently. Not just your immune system, but your whole central operating system which keeps you on the road. It does anything from maintaining a healthy internal environment to swiping incoming microbes with a range of effective self-defence strategies and propelling you into the shade when you’re overheating.
None of us would be alive without this system. It is, if you like, your own personal raincoat – your immune system, your body’s self-care and repair abilities and your personal ability to withstand stress all rolled into one.
We need to focus much more on doing what we can to be as healthy as we can, so we are in the best possible position to deal with any problems that life might throw at us – whether accidents, illnesses or emotional crises. After all, it makes much more sense to look after your raincoat than to spend your life avoiding all possible threats of rain!
And if you keep your raincoat in good condition, it matters so much less what life throws at you.
You have resilience.
So what do we need to do to keep our personal raincoats in good condition?
Five things. Five toes.
Together they make the feet we stand on and the resilience we need to thrive and enjoy life.
- Sharing Joy.
This is a big one. We need contact with friends and family, and we need opportunities to share joy in life. Even on the most difficult days there is somewhere to find a spark of joy. By looking for it, smiling about it and sharing it with others we make our days lighter and more cheerful, and we actively help keep ourselves healthy.
Even in our difficult times, you can share a cheery good morning with the postman, you can smile at a stranger, you can meet your friends and family outside or on a video call or the phone. Make a positive effort to be positive! Get into the habit of finding some joy to share. And where you can, be in contact with others. Hold hands, share a hug, stroke someone’s dog or cat. Look for the contact, look for the smile you can share.
It all fuels your system’s energy banks, keeps everything working (not least your immune system) and makes you better able to cope with the odd storm.
- Green Outside
Evolution is a strange thing. As a species, we have largely “evolved” from being outside most daylight hours, to being inside most daylight hours.
Being outside is really important for your health. Plants are green: green is a calming colour and spending time looking at living green things can help you feel better. Plants produce oxygen, which we need to stay alive and which helps keep our air healthier – so go outside a breathe some of it!
Spending some time outside every day – be it in a park, a nature reserve or on a public footpath – is one of the best things you can do for your health. If there is some sunshine to catch as well, even better: your vitamin D production pathways will be stimulated as the sun falls on your skin, your bones will grow stronger and your immune system will be reinforced too.
Being outside helps keep your raincoat healthy!
Exercise is what we were designed for – not sitting in a chair in front of a screen. If you want your body to function for you, you need to use it.
You’ve heard it before a thousand times. Exercise helps your body be healthier and stronger and allows it to function better. It has also been shown to improve your state of mind. All of these mean that exercise is an important part of maintaining a healthy operating system – and keeping that raincoat whole!
Do what you can and start today. Take the stairs instead of the lift. Go for a walk. Skip. Dance to music. Exercise a dog. Cycle to see a friend. Go the gym. Find an exercise routine, start small and follow it every day. You don’t have to be running a marathon to make a difference.
- Eat and Drink
You can’t run an engine well on poor quality fuel. The same goes for you and me. We are, quite literally, what we eat. And if what you eat is doughnuts and crisps, or processed food washed down with coke, you are not producing a machine that’s going to function well: your raincoat is going to be less waterproof.
So eat more vegetables, eat organic food where you can and try to drink 2 litres of water a day, filtered if possible.
If you find this hard, then take it one step at a time. Add one green veg a day to your diet and make sure you drink two 500ml water bottles of water a day, and then build on this bit by bit.
- Get the zzz
Shakespeare was, as usual, right on the money when he said:
“Sleep … knits up the ravelled sleave of care.” (Macbeth, Act 2, Scene 2)
Sleep is your body’s major repair system, and you need to get enough of it so that your system stays as healthy as it can be. We all know that we get ill more quickly when we are tired, so instead of watching one more episode on NetFlix, chatting until 2am or moving on to the next chapter in your book, think about system maintenance! Going without sleep is like putting holes in your raincoat: not something you want to do much of.
If you are someone who finds sleep difficult, seek. There is lots of advice on-line, or get in touch with me and find out how you can make a real change with homeopathy and get your body back into balance so you sleep better. In the meantime, try to schedule in some nap time, and some quiet time relaxing in dim light to give your body what help you can.
So, five crucial elements to being as healthy as you can and standing on your own two feet.
Don’t focus on dodging every drop of rain that’s forecast – develop your resilience, dance through the showers and live your life.
Feet in rain – Robert-Stump-AqLH2BUP1_E-unsplash