Did you know that that valuing rest would exponentially improve your health?
We tend to value productivity, work, and play over rest, relaxation, and rejuvenation. However, to optimize function and productivity, rest is a critical step. This is true not only for achieving our goals and aspirations but for our health as well.
Having been in practice for 16 years, I have noticed at the root of most chronic diseases such as autoimmune disease, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, and depression is the lack of time given for the body to rest. To think clearly, have plenty of energy, and to feel good emotionally, our bodies need nourishment in the form of food, love, and rest.
A smart rule of thumb, when it comes to rest is to follow the sun. In wintertime, the sun sets earlier and rises later, bestowing clues upon us to slow down earlier in the day and be active later in the morning. When we follow the sun, the winter then becomes the best time to shore up our root energy to prepare us for the more active times of the year of spring and summer.
Here are a few more simple and helpful tips to build your health reserves:
- Practice gratitude to cultivate a sense of peace and relaxation in your nervous system. Healing occurs best in a state of relaxation.
- Engage in human touch. Touch strengthens the immune system, improves sleep, and reduces stress.
- Eat with the seasons. This winter enjoy warm and cooked foods compared to cold and raw fruits and veggies. The winter season provides an opportunity to eat soups and congees(rice porridge), thereby warming the digestive system and transporting nourishing energy to the tissues.
- Invigorate your root level energy with this simple qigong exercise: Sit comfortably on the edge of a chair or the floor. Rub your hands together to generate warmth. Transfer the warm energy to your lower back and rub vigorously toward the center of your lower back. Feel your lower back strengthened as your root energy is amplified.
- Rest well friends. You deserve it and your health will thank you!