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Well this is kind of a strange thing: a blog intended to be about zero waste and earth friendly living is talking about health. And coming from a non-health expert nonetheless!
First, luckily the health experts have already done their health expert-y things and have provided us with the information we need!
Second, of course the main focus of this blog is on sustainable living, but a large part of living an eco friendly life is also living a healthy one. Because we can’t take care of the earth or others if we aren’t taken care of first.
With a virus being such the big deal that it is, people are taking healthy living very seriously, which we should be doing all the time anyways! So let’s get into some essential parts to a strong and healthy self and immune system.
The more sleep, the more rewards we will reap. I’ve been trying to figure out something that rhymed for far too long, sorry. But it’s true, a lot of us don't get enough sleep! This is such a simple thing that we can do as part of a healthy lifestyle.
With more free time yet maybe added stress, less work in one aspect but more in another, we need all the sleep we can get. Really make it a priority to push for those 8 or 9 hours, with maybe even a nap during the day, if you feel like you need it. Check in with yourself, we all have different needs at different times.
Not only will our immune system thank us, so will a lot of other parts of our bodies. Oh, and energy and focus, that will probably improve too!
Starting to recognize a pattern? The things on this list are so simple and we’ve probably been hearing about them all our lives! But now is the time to act on them.
It’s so easy to forget about the importance of healthy eating and enough rest in our busy lives. Oh...and because things like doughnuts and muffins exist. Yikes.
We should always be loading up on densely nutritious foods. Flu, allergy, and pandemic season or not. Variety is always key to make sure we are getting a full range of nutrition. Plus, it’s just more enjoyable when we mix things up.
Focus on those dark veggies like kales and cruciferous. Eat the rainbow as they say! But leave skittles out of it. And if you feel like your deficient in something, look towards supplements.
“If you suspect your diet is not providing you with all your micronutrient needs...taking a daily multivitamin and mineral supplement may bring other health benefits, beyond any possibly beneficial effects on the immune system. Taking megadoses of a single vitamin does not. More is not necessarily better.” (Harvard)
Beach season, feeling good, looking good, our immunity, our focus, our sleep! All of these things can be improved via exercise!
Humans have a body that is meant to move. We need circulation, we need to use our muscles, our heart, our lungs. Exercising these things are essential to good health. Which is easy to forget when there is sooooo much on Netflix these days. It’s so easy not to exercise!
“Just like a healthy diet, exercise can contribute to general good health and therefore to a healthy immune system. It may contribute even more directly by promoting good circulation, which allows the cells and substances of the immune system to move through the body freely and do their job efficiently.” (Harvard again)
If not for your immune system, exercise for the numerous other benefits that it will bring. Not to mention maybe some mental health as well. Which maybe all of us need a little boost of during this.
Most of our body is just water, which is very strange to think about.
Like a lot of things on this list, without water a lot of problems will arise, not to mention a lowered immune system. Pretty much everything that is going on in our bodies depends on hydration and nutrition.
We are basically a bunch of talking plants running around!
Drink water...lots of water, rest, then drink some more water.
Attempting to not put too much weight onto one item in this list, this one seems very important. I say this because we need to slow down in order to be mindful about our health, mindful about our work, about our impact.
We must take time for ourselves because no one else will be there to give it to us. It’s easy to get caught up in the business of the world, and during this we then forget about the important things.
By simply slowing down and breathing, we will begin to check in with what we need. Whether that be exercise, water, healthy food, or simply doing nothing!
“Modern medicine has come to appreciate the closely linked relationship of mind and body. A wide variety of maladies, including stomach upset, hives, and even heart disease, are linked to the effects of emotional stress. Despite the challenges, scientists are actively studying the relationship between stress and immune function.” (Harvard, one last time)
It seems counterintuitive to focus on these seemingly unrelated parts of life in order to better our impact. But as we venture deeper into our sustainability journeys we may find that the world is even more connected than we thought.
Zero waste often leads to more intentionality, which intersects with minimalism, all to be more focused on the essential. Making us all live more fulfilled and less cluttered lives.
Health often leads to focusing on things like quality over quantity, what works and what doesn’t work for us, and meeting our needs by focusing away from what is unhealthy or unessential. This ultimately parallels with a more deliberate and sustainable life.
Take care of yourself so that you can then, take care of others and the earth.