How did you learn to take care of yourself? Were you taught by your parents or grandparents or family physician?
It was likely a combination of many influences. When we are young, we are taught how (and required!) to care for ourselves every day, including bathe ourselves, brush our teeth and hair, get enough sleep, and eat our vegetables including an apple-a-day to keep the doctor away.
No matter how much a toddler resists, their mom knows that it is important to teach the skills and knowledge of taking care of yourself.
It’s still good advice, right? However, are these basic hygiene steps enough for you today?
If you find you always cover the basics, yet you still need to build your immune system or increase your energy, we have a few other simple techniques that may help give you a boost. These are simple steps, no requirement of upheaving your entire lifestyle in order to feel better.
What are your favorite tips? Here are a few of ours:
- Plan to wake after a 90 minute sleep cycle.
A single complete sleep cycle is 90 minutes long. Waking prior to a completed sleep cycle can make you feel unrested. Actually sleeping 8 hours may result in feeling more tired than the 7 ½ or sleeping 6 hrs may feel better than 6 ½ or 7 hours. Plan on waking after a 90 minute cycle. How? Set your morning alarm for the time you need to wake up, then just count backwards in 90 minutes to help you determine when to go to bed. Be sure to estimate how long it typically takes for you to get to sleep after crawling into bed. For instance, if you need to get up at 6 am, you need to be asleep by 10:30pm to get 7 ½ hours of sleep (5 sleep cycles). Try it and see the difference.
- Use a tongue scraper to boost your immune system.
Scrapers do more than clean your tongue and improve your breath; they scape bacteria and fungi off your tongue, unlike merely brushing your tongue. Removing this bacteria and fungi leaves you less prone to illnesses and periodontal disease. Scrape away!
- Try Oil Pulling
Swishing with oil has been shown to have benefits to your oral and sinus health. Oil pulling traces its roots to oil gargling practiced in Ayurvedic medicine. Every morning on an empty stomach, take a heaping teaspoon of your preferred oil (coconut, mild olive, sunflower, sesame, almond, etc.) and swish it in your mouth by pulling through your teeth. Do not swallow. Swish for 15 – 20 minutes and then spit it out. This technique has been shown to improve oral health and some claim it improves their sinuses and other infections.
- End your day with an Epsom salt bath:
Epsom salts are inexpensive and beneficial in many ways. Epsom salts are made of the mineral magnesium sulfate which, sulfate is absorbed through the skin, such as in a bath, it draws toxins from the body, sedates the nervous system, reduces swelling, relaxes muscles, is a natural emollient, exfoliator, and much more. Relaxing in a bath is great to soothe and calm, and adding the Epsom salts will enhance this already beneficial practice!
Taking care of yourself is a great investment. We should still be eating enough vegetables, getting enough sleep, and keep ourselves clean. As we get older, additional tips like those above can enhance our existing practices of self-care even further.
Be sure to let us know your favorite practice. Stay well!