February 12th is the Lunar New Year.
For me, this is a really helpful date to tune into. We get our first New Year in January to recalibrate and focus on beginning healthy practices anew. What do we want for this year? What worked in 2020? What didn't? Then we get one more new year to put our intentions into a solid committed practice.
I'd recommend picking a cycle of time for any new practices you want to try, a 6-8 week cycle can keep your motivation and commitment up, and also allow you to have an endpoint where you can check in. Am I better? Have I achieved some new health goals?
This January, I've been getting back to the basics, renewing certain therapies that I believe are essentials to optimizing physical, mental and spiritual health and that simply make me feel good. I've learned to take on no more than 3, as anything more than that often conflicts with a full schedule and is hard to sustain. I have a much longer share of Basic Treatment Guidelines you can check out here. These recommendations are based on personal experience of what works, from 20+ years of naturopathic medicine research, work with patients and various healing retreats.
Here's what I'm currently doing, in case you'd like to be in the experiment with me.
1) Cold plunges - one of the best and safest anti-depressant therapies out there. My dear friend Tim Ferriss calls this the one thing he wouldn't want to go without. Yes, even better and more reliable than exercise. A cold plunge in the early morning keeps me alert, productive and POSITIVE throughout the day. Also great for skin and circulation. Read more here about the benefits of cold therapy or hypothermics.
What I do - I make sure I'm good and warm. This may mean a short run, or 10 minutes of Qi Gong shaking. Then I grab a big bucket, fill it with ice cold water from the outside hose, and pour it over my head and body several times in a row. Yes I do this outside in the winter. By the end, my skin is tingling and I am most certainly awake and alive. If you need any more convincing, check out Wim Hof, or watch My Teacher Octopus on Netflix, for a plug on the benefits of cold water.
2) Dry Skin brushing - I'd say this is the most underrated and unsung hero of healthy glowing skin and optimal lymph circulation. What's needed: a natural sponge or fiber brush or loofah sponge. Brush towards your heart using short, light, frequent strokes for about 60 seconds. Best to do this on dry skin before bed. Want to know more? Click here....
3) Lemon water with Salt every morning. I love this ritual of squeezing a half lemon into a large 32 oz jar of lukewarm water, adding several pinches of sea salt and drinking first thing in the morning. It's great for your kidneys, for alkalizing your body after sleep and to get in the hydration that you know your body needs.
These don't appeal? There are many more options for optimizing your metabolism, and your physical, mental and spiritual health. You can take a look at these in my longer blog post here. Or click here to schedule a consultation to create your own personalized health plan.
Here's to creating the best, here and now.
Have some self-care tips you enjoy and find helpful? Please share in the comments.
(photo of the Hudson River, also known as Mahicantuck, the river that flows both ways)