By megfiddler

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Watering Your Garden

There is a saying, “you can’t water your garden with an empty vessel.” Makes sense right? How often though do we attempt that very thing? We are constantly in the “doing or going mode”, even when we are exhausted. We shorten our sleep from a rejuvenating/repairing 8 hours to 4 or 5 hours and convince ourselves “that is all I need”. We eat at our desk or in our car or worse skip meals entirely.

We burn the candle at both ends, trying to meet the demands of spouses, children, employers or employees, elderly parents that need our attention, social obligations that require participation and numerous other drains on our energy. Yet we continue to add more things to the list and push forward; draining our personal vessel, our human form.

Take a bit of time to really examine your life. What things in your life can you eliminate or delegate to others? What things can you add that will enhance your life?   Can you work from home one or two days a week? Can you carpool or take the bus to work? Does the entire family help with cleaning, laundry and yard work? Maybe you are able to have someone come in once a month and clean your house. Do your kids need to be involved in every sport or club? Will they really be less rounded if they don’t do it all? How much sleep are they themselves getting and are they eating adequate and healthy foods? They themselves are developing life long health habits.   Are you eating healthy foods?

It is important that we get 8 hours of sleep a night or close to that amount and no 4 hours is not close. The bedroom is for sleeping, not doing homework or finishing up that work you brought home from the office. It’s not for reading, playing games on your tablet or phone, or watching TV, in fact get the TV out of the bedroom. The mind needs to associate the bedroom with relaxation and sleep. The bedroom is your sanctuary. You have numerous other rooms for everything else. Make sure the bedroom is dark. If you have light shining in from outside get blinds or drapes that block the light.

When we are stressed we tend to eat comfort foods, which are often high in sugar and carbohydrates. They give us a quick little feel good boost, but then we crash. I myself have a weakness for sweets, so I am aware that some habits can be hard to break. Fresh fruits and vegetables are of course better than canned, as canned foods often are in syrups and have can have unhealthy additives to preserve them. Buy a steamer. This is a great addition to the kitchen. Wash some fresh broccoli or cauliflower and put it in the steamer for 12-13 minutes and you have an easy healthy side dish. You can sprinkle with some sea salt and squeeze some orange or lemon juice on it to enhance the flavor. This is just one vegetable that you can easily prepare, explore the other options. If you like yogurt in the morning go with a Greek yogurt and sprinkle a few nuts, or hemp seeds, which are a good source of Omega 3 fats, add a little cinnamon, as that is believed to have blood sugar balancing capabilities. Instead of margarine or butter on your toast, why not substitute with some organic unrefined coconut oil? Coconut oil contains lauric acid, which may help with health issues such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol, even though it is high in saturated fats it does not seem to elevate the LDL levels. Don’t skip meals though, as this is your source of energy to get you over the speed bumps that show up during your day.

It is good to get exercise of course and if it is something you enjoy then you are more likely to do it consistently. If you can combine some strength training to keep the bones strong with some cardio to keep the heart happy that would be great.

Finally, take time to enjoy life daily in as many ways as possible. Our lives are created moment to moment, not event to event. It is the moments that make our life. Create daily health practices that will keep your vessel full, so you can water your garden and enjoy all the moments of your life.