Sandra Tonn, RHN
As balmy breezes become crisp winds and the green leaves change colour with autumn, September brings a positively charged current of change. The longer, lazier days of summer are ending as structure and routine take over. Students settle into a busy new year. It's harvest time.
As balmy breezes become crisp winds and the green leaves change colour with autumn, September brings a positively charged current of change.
The longer, lazier days of summer are ending as structure and routine take over. Students settle into a busy new year. It's harvest time. There's work to be done, schedules to be organized and goals to be set meetings, clubs, teams, classes, courses and clothing all get a fresh start. Some embrace change, while others resist it. Either way, it's our habits and routines that determine our success and health.
We are creatures of habit and there's nothing wrong with that as long as our habits are good. A recent 50-year review by researchers at Syracuse University concluded that routines benefit both physical and mental health. People sleep better and have fewer infections when they have a good daily routine. How do we get a good routine and good habits? The same way we got the bad ones: over time.
The road to successful change is paved with small steps, not giant leaps. Even one small, but healthy change each month will add up to powerful, synergistic, health-enhancing benefits over time. Trading a bad habit for a good one is an effective way to change.
It's as simple as opting for water instead of pop more often than not. You many find your new habit by walking after dinner instead of smoking. The morning may be the time for you to gather your thoughts, find some peace and gain a healthy perspective on the day instead of sleeping an extra 20 minutes. September brings us the premieres of our television programs. If you tend to let television eat up hours of your life, you may want to trade some viewing time for something more stimulating and rewarding. If not, the TV Guide will determine your routines.
If you don't want to trade a bad habit for a good one, you could just start by creating more good ones. Eventually they will outnumber the bad ones and a healthy transition will be a pleasure. Something as simple as adding a raw food to each meal, once a day or even once a week whatever you can do to start will bring great benefits. Once this is a habit, it will not be such a big step to eating even a bit more raw food, or investigating another simple, healthy change to make. Why not add one tablespoon of ground flax seed to one meal each day? It's easy to grind in a coffee grinder and is delicious in shakes, salad dressings and on cereals. This simple habit of increasing your essential fatty acids intake will, over time, significantly benefit your health by increasing energy and brain function, improving skin and nails, helping with weight loss, balancing hormones and much more. Add this little change to others and pretty soon your good habits are adding up to good health.
Making good decisions will result in good habits and routines. Keep it simple, celebrate your successes and don't get down on yourself if your bad habits are stronger than your good ones some days. Being good to yourself is a good habit to get into.
The days in September lend a special energy to the creation of new habits and routines. I wish you good ones.
We are creatures of habit and there's nothing wrong with that as long as our habits are good.