Gentle Ways To Welcome The New Year With Self Care

I have declared that this upcoming year will be the year of self care for myself and my family. So, this year, rather than having a specific resolution (that I’m not likely to stick to) I’ve decided to explore different ways to really improve my personal well-being through self care. I’m going to let my intuition guide me to figure out what I need at any given time to provide myself with the best self care possible.

What Does Self Care Mean To Me?

There are four major themes I’m going to focus on this year, which we’ll explore together below. My intention is to let my self care evolve as I make changes and become more grounded and focused.

Here are my four main focuses for a better me include;

  1. Become more gentle with myself
  2. Move my body in different ways, everyday
  3. Remove ‘junk’ from my diet
  4. Grow my list of hobbies – try new activities and visit new places
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Become More Gentle With Myself

I have begun by allowing myself time to rest (and I don’t mean sleep). By taking time to;

I am providing myself with valuable time to relax and feel satisfied. My goal is to step away from the chaos in the world and work at keeping my life more tranquil and serene. I am working on pushing out the negative thoughts, media outlets, and interactions to maintain a more positive outlook.

I believe that gentleness is the cornerstone of self-care and my mission is to inject gentleness into my daily life, and routine. Even the mundane tasks, to experience them in a more meaningful way.

best stretches

Move My Body In Different Ways Every Day

My goal is to get off the treadmill (of life) and step into different ways to move my body.  I have already begun by incorporating;

I’ve been mindful to listen to my body and really connect with the sensations that are left behind in my body from a good workout. That also includes listening to my body when it is tired and needs a break from exercise.

best diet

Remove ‘Junk’ From My Diet

Over the holidays we tend to loosen our grip on our normal daily eating habits. This usually means ‘junk’ foods start to creep in and become the new “norm”. So, I have started focusing on removing the simple sugars, and foods high in unhealthy fats. I’ve also been more conscious of my portion sizes and making good food choices that are going to nourish my body and provide me with a clean source of energy.

Click here to read, “How To Find The Best Diet For You”.

Remember to be gentle with yourself here – we are not always going to make good food choices and feeling guilty about our choices is not a means to be gentle with yourself. Work towards a healthy balance that still allows some flexibility in your diet so you feel fulfilled and satisfied.

new hobbies

Grow My List Of Hobbies – Try New Activities And Visit New Places

This one is like a mini bucket list for me. Trying new things is exhilarating and it can help to strengthen relationships with our loved ones as we try new things together. My intention is to feel more free and alive with excitement to have the opportunity for new experiences.

Hopefully during this new year, you too will find ways to improve your self-care and infuse gentleness into your daily life. Let’s make this year more fulfilling, successful, and joyful than the last.

Vision and Health: Can’t have one without the other

Vision for Health

I had worked at a homeless shelter for 2 years giving free chiropractic care to the down and out in Hamilton. The man in front of me had come in for back pain. I always asked these men the same question at their intake exam:

“What is the vision of what you want to do with your life?” His response tore my heart: “I have failed at everything I have ever tried and I’m not even sure if I want to live anymore.”

As you can imagine if people have LOW or NO vision, like the above example, their investment of time and money into health disciplines like nutrition, exercise, spinal health and relationships will probably be VERY LOW to NON-EXISTENT. Consequently, their health will be very poor, as it was with the above man. The BEST way to get healthy is to NEED good health because of your vision for amazing health. 

If we NEED our bodies to be healthy in order to accomplish our BIG dreams, then we MUST take care of them. 

Vision is EVERYTHING. As a chiropractor for 20 years now, I realize that the MOST important piece of information we can glean from the New Patient exam is precisely what I asked that man: “What is your vision for your life?”  We then ask: “What do you miss MOST due to your poor health right now?”.  Finally we ask, “If this condition was left alone for 5 years and did not improve how would that affect your life?”

EVERYONE has a vision and desire for CRISIS care. This puts us in a place of “no choice” meaning that we MUST fix the problem, no matter how long it takes or how much it costs. Crisis care may be the 30 year old Dad who can’t work as a mechanic due to sciatica. His wife and kids will starve if he can’t get his spine fixed. No choice. It may be the 65 year old widowed grandma who has hip pain and can’t play golf. Her Tuesday and Thursday night golf league is what she lives for and she can’t give it up. No choice. These people will ALWAYS proceed with their corrective care plan. 

The BIG SOLID YELLOW differentiating line is this: once the crisis is gone, do people have a vision for ongoing wellness care? This may mean weekly or bi-weekly adjustments for life. The answer to this question depends on their belief. Will on-going wellness chiropractic in some REAL way help me achieve my dream of being healthy until I’m 90? If they can’t see how chiropractic may help do that then they will NOT continue into wellness care. This same decision making process will determine whether they work out for life and eat healthy food for life.   

The first pre-requisite here is that you have a VISION for good health which means a compelling REASON as to why you need good health. This varies for everyone but could be grandkids, travel, ministry work, sports and golf, taking care of sick family etc.   

The second pre-requisite is understanding how a healthy spine will get you there. A spine that has good mobility and structure IS that key to amazing health in older years. A spine that is immobile, mis-aligned, arthritic and decaying will rob people of their ability to fulfill their dreams especially in later years.

Recently at my clinic my patient, a 60 year old lady, had her adjustment and then sat on the table and announced that she got an award from her Gym. She had hit the 1800 mark.  She had done 1800 workouts over a 13 year period of time. WOW!! It just so happens that she finished 10 years of wellness care with me; close to 300 adjustments. She is one of the healthiest and most joyful people I know. She always comes in with a smile and is praising our team and her husband and her kids and friends. She has a VISION for wellness and believes that chiropractic is a large part of the HOW to be optimally healthy. 

Ultimately as humans we have two choices when a health challenge robs our ability to do what we love to do. The first choice is to LOWER our vision and NOT fix the health issue.  An example would be the 70 year old who decides to quit golf because it causes him extreme back pain every time he plays.

The second choice is to MAINTAIN our vision and dream and to FIX the health issue. This would be the 70 year old man who follows through on a corrective care plan and then ongoing wellness care for 20 years and continues to play golf until he is 90!

The most important question for the patient is: “What vision do you believe will allow you to have the most abundant and healthy life possible?” Life-time wellness chiropractic care OR symptom-based crisis-relief care? If you believe life-time wellness care is best for you then find that chiropractor that also believes this.

Without a compelling vision for your life, you may not need good health. If you lose your health you lose everything. If you lose your vision you also lose everything. They both go hand in hand. You can’t have one without the other. 

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Guest Blog by Dr. Mark del Cantero

Dr. Mark del CanteroDr. Mark Del Cantero has been a structural corrective chiropractor for 20 years now in Ancaster, Ontario.  He has helped thousands of people to not only restore their health but to maintain it and achieve high levels of health and vitality.  He not only takes an interest in spinal health but also in nutrition, exercise and stress management.  

He graduated from the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College as a Chiropractor in 1996 with clinical honours and has since taken all of the core courses in Chiropractic Biophysics Technique.  He completed his  undergraduate degree in Biology at the University of Toronto in 1990.

He has been a speaker at various venues including Warrior Coaching and dozens of groups locally in Hamilton.  

He lives with his wife and three children in Ancaster, Ontario.  

You can find Dr. Mark at:

Website: http://www.cedarspringschiro.com/

Social Media: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cedarspringschiro

Twitter: https://twitter.com/chirocedar

Instagram @cedarspringschiro

Put Your Phone Down & Go Outside!!

unplugged

How many times have you checked your phone today?  Email?  Facebook?  Instagram? Snapchat?  Linked In?  Text Messages?  Many of us just simply do not make it a priority to get unplugged and spend time outside.  Of course, in the northern hemisphere, the climate has a great deal to do with this.  If we don’t play an outdoor sport, or actively enjoy outdoor activities, we may spend the whole winter on the couch!

Alternatively, during the heat of the summer, many of us stay indoors for the air conditioning!!!  This gives us way too much inside, without the opportunity to get fresh air and movement!   It also gives us a great deal more access to screen time.

When is the last time you unplugged and went outside to ENJOY being outside?  Not just running to your car because you’re late for work?

There are many studies showing that many of us are addicted to our devices.  We are compulsively checking notifications, bells, chimes and rings.  We are tuned in to hear our device from miles away, even if we never let it out of our sight!

This problem is compounded for our children.  The time that they spend with a device is time that they are not interacting with you or other humans.

Technology & The Effects On Children

At a young age, children look to their parents for reassurance and direction.  This is where they need to receive feedback on right and wrong, as well as connecting with you while developing normal attachments.

When young children play games on a screen, win a game or get an answer correct, there is no one there to offer reassurance, so they lack an opportunity for confidence building by connecting with you.

The same is true when the kids are playing without a device.  They look to their parents for reassurance.  If you are not unplugged and busy on your phone, you miss an opportunity for eye contact, a smile or something to let them know you are paying attention to them.  Click here to read, “Is Today’s Technology Destroying Your Health?”

What Is The Answer?

Get unplugged!!  Find a few hobbies that your whole family likes to do, and do them often!  Play board games, go hiking, skiing, or skating.  Learn to dance, go swimming or learn a new healthy recipe to make together.  Put your favourite devices in another room.  Turn off the TV and maybe put on some music instead if you are at home.  For a great family recipe, click here for our Chocolate Bread/Cake Recipe.

It’s so easy to surf the channels for something to watch, browse YouTube, hit Netflix or scroll through your social media feeds and relax.  But don’t forget to actually find some ways to spend time with your family and grow together.  Try learning a new skill, enjoying a new hobby or connecting more frequently with your loved ones.  Click here to discover 50 Fun Things to Do Outside With Kids as a Family.

Additionally, it is really important for you to turn your devices off at least an hour before bed to wind down naturally.  Many of us work on a computer during the day, on top of having our device attached to us.  The artificial light so close to our faces in the evening can wreak havoc on our circadian rhythm.  Evenings are a time to enjoy more dull light, to let our bodies know that it’s time to slow down and ease into sleep.  With having around the clock access to artificial light sources, it can make it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep.  For more information, click here to read, “Ten Tricks To Get The Best Sleep EVER!”

So have fun developing some new hobbies with your family, and put your phone down every once in awhile!!!