Wherever you find yourself in these rapidly changing times, life holds constant potential for the emergence of the good. In even the darkest times of 2020, I found that the hard stuff was easier and more bearable with contemplating new possibilities. The new year is a great time to for resetting priorities and sharpening skills for self-care. Coaching support is available here and see mind-body offerings below for support with reducing stress and increasing energy. Here is an article on Evidenced Based Health Benefits of Practicing Qigong.
In the midst of this global healthcare crisis, I am moved by our providers unceasing devotion. Over the holidays, Julie Tom, my dearest childhood friend, passed away from early Alzheimer’s at the age of 64. While not wanting to let go, her providers were profoundly helpful guides when considering quality of life decisions.
The experience of witnessing this beloved friend’s rapid decline brought additional pause and incentive for understanding more about the brain and taking good care. In Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s new book, Keeping Sharp, Build a Better Brain at Any Age, he speaks of Five Pillars of Brain Health:
- Move – Physical exertion has scientifically been proven to improve brain health and function. When moving, you are signaling to the brain, I want to be here!
- Discover – Get outside your comfort zone and learn a new skill or language. It’s change that builds resiliency and asking what is my purpose?
- Relax – Stress is particularly subversive, so we need to find ways to unwind and get restorative sleep. Poor sleep and chronic stress can lead to impaired memory diminishing ability to adapt to new situations.
- Nourish – Eat well, as diet affects brain health (and overall health, too). The human gut microbiome – trillions of bacteria that make their home in our intestines – also have a profound affect on the functioning of our brains.
- Connect – Gather (socially distant) where possible for interaction. Certain beneficial neurochemicals are released when looking another in the eye. Taking a brisk walk with a friend and talking about challenges can be extremely beneficial for the brain!