Health-Boosting Habits to Keep on Hand (And at Work)
Last week my husband came into the room laughing. He confessed that when he reached in my bag looking for matches, he not once, but twice, extricated a crystal, smoky quartz and Ziploc of herbs, respectively – then swiftly decided to abort mission. When it comes to dispensing advice on how to keep your personal wellness pharmacy up to date, you might now get the sense of why I deliver the alternative practice woo’s with the why’s.
Let’s be clear about one thing: self-care and wellness need not be about blowing your bank account to buy the latest product. Rather, it could be a combination of habits to get you through a stress-filled day, with a few top shelf staples tucked in. Keep this list on hand – and these habits in mind – to support the woo in you and the work you do.
Washing your hands is not just about germs, but rather nerves – specifically, the vagal nerve. The vagal nerve is your nervous system’s behind-the-curtain wizard of Oz, and it’s finally getting the attention it deserves. The best way to help regulate this magic nerve? Cold water therapy. If you find yourself between clients or meetings, or you’re just generally feeling flushed and agitated, simply wash your hands or face in icy water for a few moments. Doing so will actually help to strengthen the nerve – and your nervous system.
I have a few tinctures in my purse on any given day, which are user-friendly and often more compliance-friendly than their pill forms. You don't need water to swallow tinctures, and you can adjust based on how you’re feeling that day. Stuck on which tincture is right for you? Whether it’s your energy, mood or immune system, figure out where you need support, then consult your local natural pharmacy or herbalist, who can help you figure out an individualized routine. My personal favorite right now is licorice root – it supports your adrenals and digestion, both of which can become compromised under stress.
Thanks to our fluctuating hormones, our sweat actually smells differently when we’re stressed out than during our more mellow moods. It’s totally normal, but it’s also a good indication that you might want to take a few breaths. I love using a spray deodorant with cortisol-combatting ingredients to help fight the stink. My favorite is by a company called Primary. It mixes both odor-offsetting magnesium and CBD into the formula.
Magnesium is so depleted in our bodies that the World Health Organization put forward that up to 75% percent of adults are not getting enough of it in their diets, its importance made all the more obvious by the fact that it is known as the ‘calm mineral.’ Stressed out individuals sleep better, poop better, and even feel better with adequate or supplemented magnesium. The ultimate chill pill might be an Epsom bath, magnesium spray applied topically, or better yet, Magnesium Bisglycinate taken daily as supplement. Word to the wise: stick with professional brands and watch out for pesky fillers.
The simple act of setting one or several alarms a day is a hack that has helped myself and plenty of clients find more mindful habits. Need a reminder to take a few belly breaths? What about that glass of water? Having some accountability with your wellness habits might be the friendly accomplice you need when working the long shift.
Teas are just as effective in supplementing powerful herbs as any store-bought capsule. Keeping several teas on hand to treat the woes you might come up against is worth considering. In my repertoire: green tea for energy, raspberry leaf for period woes, ginger tea for indigestion, and licorice root for coughs. The list goes on and you can get creative, but combining the medicinal properties of herbs with the ceremonial-nature of making a tea is sure to be a helpful pick-me-up to your day.
Honorable mentions go to probiotics, which will boost both your immune system and gut life, and aromatherapy, which I have not included, because well; we could talk all day about it. Needless to say, both are in heavy rotation. Truth is, if my husband had reached in one more time, he likely would have found his matches, but I guarantee you they would have been these ones.
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