As we gear up for a new year, and as I ice the cake of my goals, dreams and ambitions for 2019, I feel compelled to reflect on my list of “Commandments of Being Healthy and Happy”, a list I created back in 2016 when I was struggling with big swings. Weeks of high energy followed by weeks of ambivalence. Weeks of finding zest in life, followed by weeks of blandness.
So I came up with these commandments. My Grandpa’s philosophy (whether he knows it or not) is that most problems in life can be solved by a good meal.
While I think that’s a little simplistic, I also tend to agree. We human beings are simple, and oftentimes the root of happiness isn’t this complex network but rather a bulb easy to uproot – and easy to plant.
We have this first layer of needs – food, water, clothing, shelter, warmth. Once those have been met, loving relationships add sweetness. But after that? If all of those criteria are met, then what?
This list will be a little different for everyone. We all have our own nuances. But I also think we humans have much in common. I don’t, for example, think most humans could thrive with a nocturnal schedule, or without access to fresh air.
Without further ado, here it is.
Commandments of Being Healthy and Happy
The following points contribute to my optimal health – physical, mental and emotional. When one of these points is disregarded, the whole structure becomes imbalanced. Even one missing piece can be a catalyst for illness, depression or anxiety. Therefore, it’s important to establish a habit of all the following points, especially in the early stages. Once a routine emerges, I can become a little more flexible, but until then, follow these as laws.
Go to bed by 11pm or earlier. This means lights out + eyes closed.
Wake up by 7am or earlier.
Get fresh air, in the rain and shine, warm and cold. Even just 5 minutes outside can make a difference.
Go for walks/jogs (outdoors when possible). It clears the mind and provide opportunities to reflect, and/or listen to something interesting.
Eat 3 meals a day (breakfast, lunch, dinner) at a consistent time.
Eat healthy food. Food primarily comprised of vegetables, beans, whole grains, fruit and nuts/seeds. Allow treats, but not in excess.
Ensure adequate nutrition by doing the following:
-supplement: -daily vitamin D, even in the summer (mental attitude/bones)
-B12 weekly (even when drinking fortified milk)
-flax for omega 3
-a serving of nuts or seeds every day (vitamin E, good fat)
-1 brazil nut daily for selenium
-nutritional yeast for B vitamins
-dark leafy greens at every meal (kale, collards, romaine, chard, spinach, brussels, bok choy and yu choy, broccoli)
read something awesome (audiobooks count) – note that really dark and depressing literature is best in small doses. Non-fiction and fiction, go where the wind blows, reading is pleasure.
Spend time with Michael – actual time, even if it’s just a little (watching TV doesn’t count)
Spend time with family and/or friends (on a near-daily basis)
Stay organized (yearly goals, monthly, weekly, daily)
Wishing you an excellent 2019. See you on the flip side!