According to the CDC 1/3 of US adults report regularly getting less than the recommended 8 hours of sleep per night. If you are among this group, and don’t want to be, I’ve got some suggestions.
Most of us are our own worst critics. There is a definite role for honesty in introspection and recognition of our strengths and weaknesses, but there is no benefit in being overly critical or harsh in our self-talk. If you find yourself thinking harshly about yourself, whether criticizing your appearance, weight, abilities or potential, ask yourself if that thought is something you accuse your daughter of and if you would say it to her…out loud. If the answer is no, then try to recognize the thought as an unhelpful; transform it into an external realization (“…there is criticism” or “there is a judgmental thought”) and imagine it floating away like a helium balloon. Self-love and acceptance are profoundly different than arrogance and narcissism. They are good and necessary attributes to help you be your happiest.
Sometimes we all need a little help when it’s time to slide, and there are many reasons why. Whatever the reason may be, there are a variety of lovely products available to help keep you from feeling the burn, in a not-so-good way. There are several categories of lubricants, and you may need to experiment to find the one that works best for you. My favorite category is:
This profoundly simple, yet effective technique can have positive life-changing results. It takes practice and dedication, but can change your attitude and bestow you with more peace and less anger, envy, frustration to allow you to be happier every day. Practice makes progress, perfection isn’t always the goal, but progress is. Try spending the first 10 minutes of every morning immediately after waking up, listing the things you are grateful for. It can be a prayer of thanks, or 10 minutes of meditation, or simply reciting a list of things that you are grateful for. A good night’s sleep, good health, another day, healthy children, a job, nice weather, a successful accomplishment, whatever you are feeling happy or grateful for. The science of mindset is very powerful and gratitude can be the doorway to a happier life.
Good skin begins on the inside. Hydration, nutrition, rest and exercise are foundational components of healthy skin. Good skincare regimens, retinols to maintain and promote a more organized collagen for elasticity and to help with blemishes are important especially as skin ages. Many conditions like rashes, dry or cracked skin on the fingers or heels and a dull complexion can reflect vitamin deficiencies, dehydration or food sensitivities. Aesthetic procedures like microneedling, dermabrasion, and dermaplaning can help with complexion color, brightness and blemishes, but don’t forget to stay well-hydrated with plenty of water and get adequate rest to let others see your inner glow reflected in your beautiful skin.
Our gut microbiome is now recognized to be critically important in our health – impacting everything from autoimmune conditions, to mood health and everything in between. The typical western diet contains nearly 70% processed foods, with too much sugar, salt and ‘bad’ fats, and extremely little fiber. This diet does NOT promote proliferation of diversity in our gut bacteria and favors bacterial strains that do not support our good health or healthful aging. It is critical for us to change our eating habits, to a more fiber-rich, plant-based diet, in an effort to decrease the epidemics of autoimmune disorders, neuro-degenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease; cardiovascular diseases, asthma, and even autism spectrum disorders and cancers appear to be impacted by our microbiome health. There is NO dietary fiber in meat, dairy or sugar. Flour-based products (white-bread, cakes, breading on foods, etc. are all sugars). Fruits and vegetables are good sources of insoluble fibers and prebiotic foods specifically are forms of resistant starches that have the ability to resist degradation by stomach acid and to selectively nourish the “good” bacteria in our lower intestine. The mantra of ‘eating a rainbow’ of colorful fruits and vegetables has never been more important in the pursuit of good health. Prebiotic foods include: fermented foods, asparagus, leeks, onions, garlic, artichokes, bananas and apples to name a few. Changing our eating habits presents a huge challenge, but it is something that we must in order to restore some degree of health to our society.
We have different branches of our immune system that work together but have different functions. Some nutrients that have some data showing benefit in supporting our immune systems ability to fight viral infections include: