Lets Ritualize Wellness
Each individual may choose his or her own set of daily rituals.
As the pandemic continues to be volatile, it’s imperative that we take charge of our own health and follow the dictum, “prevention is better than cure”. The last 18 months have taught humanity the importance of discipline and routine when to comes to matters regarding health and wellness. Pandemic or otherwise, one can boost immunity and general health by following a few guidelines as part of daily routine. Ayurveda describes these daily wellness practices as “Dinacharya”. Each individual may choose his or her own set of daily rituals.
- Start your day with interacting with yourself alone before interacting with others. Basic morning wellness rituals can include Pranayam, Tongue scraping, Oil pulling, Nasya and Abhayanga. You may do one, two or all of these and more as per your routine. Pranayam increases mindfulness, respiratory function, cognitive performance, stabilizes blood pressure and helps clear toxins. Nasya (nasal oil drops) helps clear sinuses , rectifies hoarseness of voice and is known to benefit all 5 senses. Abhyanga (self oil massage) aids the movement of lymph which helps clear toxins from organ systems.
- Exercise and meditation together can boost release of feel-good hormones. Meditation helps strike a balance between body, mind and soul and helps calm the nervous system. Benefits of meditation include relief from anxiety, stable blood sugar levels, reduction in pain and inflammation and improvement in memory & focus. A recent research led by William Bushell , a biophysical anthropologist concluded that yoga and meditation practices can act as adjunctive therapies for even Covid-19.
- Mindful eating is another norm that will continue to pay benefits as long as you live. Starting your day with a functional food( customized as per your current health status & body constitution) like amla, tulsi, aloe vera, wheatgrass, lemon, cinnamon, apple cider vinegar etc ensure longevity and vitality. Make sure each meal is a well-balanced one, that includes vegetables, complex carbohydrates(grains like rice, wholewheat chapati , millets), protein(like daal. Chicken, fish, egg, curd), and good fat in the form of ghee/ cold pressed mustard oil, coconut oil etc. Including a probiotic like a pickle can improve gut function promote healthy microbiome. Avoid gulping large amounts of water with meals. Sitting in Vajrasana(diamond pose) for 15-20 minutes after a meal can facilitate digestion, prevent constipation and aid absorption of nutrients.
- A siesta or a mid-day nap can boost productivity and mental well-being. Ideal duration is 30 minutes . However, overdoing this can lead to feeling sluggish, according to a study published in the journal of the American geriatrics society.
- Try and space out your dinner meal and bedtime by at least 3 hours. Avoid having heavy desserts after dinner meal. Taking a blend of herbs like triphala powder , fenugreek powder can gently cleanse the digestive tract and also nourish body tissues.
- Sleep is an important pillar of wellness. Do not underestimate the power of a bedtime routine and the value of sound sleep. Try and wean yourself off all gadgets which emit blue light at least 1-2 hours before you hit the pillow. This helps turn your brain power off from constant stimulation. Practice self love by massaging your foot soles with 2-3 drops of pure ghee and say a gratitude prayer. Applying a drop of pure almond oil around your eyes can prevent premature wrinkling. William Bushell’s research also finds a significant connection between yoga and meditation and enhanced melatonin activity. Melatonin is the primary hormone that regulates sleep and wake up cycles.
Present day fast-paced social norms keep us detached from nature due to our constant access to electricity, handheld devices and the pressure to make the most of the day, social media and various other similar disconnects. Adhering to a few wellness rituals of Dinacharya can reroute us back to nature and attune our body to the circadian rhythm.
Remember, all the above practices will be beneficial only if you ritualize them. Consistency is the key word. Nothing changes overnight. Motivation can help you get started, but it’s habits that keep you going. And developing aforesaid healthy habits can be the best investment plan right now.
About the author -
Mansi Chaudhary is a practicing Nutritionist, Certified Diabetes Educator, Nutrigenomics Expert & a Holistic Cancer Coach. Her integrative approach towards health & Nutrition helps patients learn about Mindful Eating and manage lifestyle diseases, autoimmune conditions as well as manage weight effectively.
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