08 Oct Wellness tips: focus on the things you can control
Here at Kinetik, we’re extremely fortunate to have Heidi Barker as a member of our team. Heidi practices Acupuncture, Traditional Chinese Medicine, and Healing Touch, and her holistic approach incorporates expertise in orthopedic and sports medicine, bodywork, mindfulness, and visualization.
In the following post, Heidi recommends three areas of focus for each of us in the current moment. Despite the uncertainty we have all faced in the past few months, we can choose to concentrate on the things we can control, like sleep, hydration, and state of mind, to build resilience and improve our health.
Immune health and mental health are critical. One of the least expensive and simplest ways to boost both is with adequate deep sleep.
Adequate sleep means anywhere from 7-10 hours a night depending on the demands of your day and your individual blueprint. Some people can really do well with less than others, but almost everyone needs at least 7 quality hours to fully recover restore and optimize growth hormone at night.
Best practices for sleep hygiene per the American Sleep Association:
- Go to bed and wake up at the same time +/- 20 min every day
- Avoid naps
- Don’t stay in bed awake for more than 5-10 min
- Don’t watch TV, or use the computer in bed. Ideally reduce blue lights 2 hours before bed
- Reduce caffeine
- Exercise before 2pm every day
- Have a quiet, cool, and comfortable room
- Use black out curtains to make your room as dark as possible
A lot of people experience regular fatigue and hunger simply because they are dehydrated.
This is another really simple way to increase your energy levels by helping your body purge toxins to stay healthy. If we don’t have enough water in our body, we cannot transport nutrients to each organ system.
General hydration tips:
- Try to drink ½ your body weight in ounces every day, or more if you sweat a lot.
- Consider adding high quality electrolytes if you do sweat. I love Hammer Nutrition’s endurolytes.
Practice training your state of mind: filter out anger and fear, and focus on positivity and love.
I recently created a visualization where my client brings himself into a state of unconditional love every single day. The more he cultivates this feeling and reality, the more he will see it in the world and experience it. This visualization is a lot like a gratitude practice.
The reason I chose unconditional love right now is because there is so much fear and negativity in our environment, we have to make a real effort to maintain a higher vibration. The only way to do this is with daily practice. It requires a lot of practice when things are calmer and not triggering, so that you can carry the habit into a triggered environment. The goal is to practice enough that you can maintain this mental outlook or habit in challenging situations. This practice takes advantage of the Reticular Activating System (RAS). The RAS basically filters out all the information you are bombarded with on a daily basis, and narrows your attention to the things that you focus on most. Therefore, you will see more of what you think is important or what you spend your time focused upon.
What does this mean in practice? If you focus on negativity or anger, and if you allow that to be a default setting, it is more likely that your RAS filter will allow more of that in while screening out positivity and love. This is one part of why meditation is so powerful: you can tune your RAS to filter in the states that you want to experience more often in your life. You create your reality by training your mind and keeping your filter in check.
- YOU ARE NOT YOUR MIND
- YOU ARE IN CONTROL OF YOUR THOUGHTS
- YOU ARE NOT YOUR EMOTIONS
Doctor of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine
MS in Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine