R&R the whole year through
I really cherish the time after the holidays when you never really know what day it is, and there are less responsibilities and commitments than ‘regular’ life. I find during this time my heart rate slows down, I sleep deeper and actually feel more refreshed. Personally, I want to carry this theme of rest and rejuvenation with me into 2023, and here’s how I plan to do it!
Proper sleep hygiene: Set strong boundaries around creating a consistent bed time, and eliminate electronics at least one hour before you get into bed. The brain needs one hour to wind down and dissociate from a hectic day. Aim for a minimum of eight hours sleep as studies have shown that less than eight hours can have detrimental effects on things like blood pressure, nervous system and life longevity.
Eliminate sugar: This is a tough one for me but when I do it, I feel consistently energetic and rejuvenated. When we eat sugar daily, our blood sugar can spike and crash, leaving us tired and looking for that next energy hit. Having sugar later in the day can also cause poor sleep quality.
Healthy water first thing in the morning: Create a self care morning routine that starts with you. Think “putting your oxygen mask on first.” Before making lunches for your kids or sprinting out the door, give yourself the gift of nourishment. My healthy water consists of four drops of vitamin D, two full droppers of Reishi and Lion’s Mane mushrooms (to aleviate stress and boost cognition), one teaspoon collagen liquid (for skin health) and two sprays of propolis (to boost the immune system).
Level out your coffee routine: That instant hit of caffeine in the morning can help us get out of bed, but can also send us on an energy roller coaster of spiking and crashing. Consider adding adaptogens to your morning coffee to balance your energy levels and protect your adrenal glands from “revving up.” I suggest adding a Reishi mushroom to help modulate your stress response, or Ashwagandha to help balance calm energy. Both can be found in powder or tincture form.
Cold showers: In the morning, try a cold shower instead of a hot one! A cold shower invigorates your system, decreases inflammation, modulates your stress response and boosts metabolism. You might not even need that coffee after a cold shower because it is so energizing! If you aren’t ready to endure the cold for the full length of your shower, you can still experience the benefits from ending your hot shower with a 60-second cold rinse!
Wishing you all a healthy and restful new year! Hoping that you can carry some rest and rejuvenation into the year ahead.
Kate Hunter is a naturopathic doctor and owner of The Creemore Apothecary.