Yes, stocks and home prices are down, but that doesn’t mean that we need to choose to become morose or stop taking care of ourselves. After all, you need to remain healthy in order to keep that job or that mortgage going, right? This month, I thought I’d write about 10 economical ways to take care of yourself during tough times – it’s important to me that Pavia’s clients are able to remain healthy and “well-thy” at all times, no matter what is happening around them, or how much they’re spending with us.

1. Drink lots of water, at least 64 ounces a day. They say that men should drink 13 cups of water a day, and women 9 cups, but these can vary depending upon factors such as how much you exercise and your environment. Water is vital to your health – 60% of your body is water, and every system in your body depends on it. It is water that flushes toxins out of vital organs, carries nutrients to your cells, and provides a moist environment for ears, nose, and throat tissues.

2. Dry brush your skin once a night. You can get a dry brush for $6-8, and the health benefits are enormous. Why? Your skin needs stimulation, and dry brushing stimulates sweat and oil glands, connective tissue and collagen, skin circulation (which improves elimination), and helps avoid lymph congestion.

3. Meditate regularly. Meditation is a way to calm the body, mind, and spirit and bring us into the “now,” which is the only moment that we ever truly live. Whether you wish to do this by paying attention to your breath, or visualize yourself in a sacred setting, or use a CD to guide you with imagery, you will find that the benefits are lowered blood pressure and better sleep.

4. Pay attention to your diet. Yes, during stressful times, many of us compensate by eating the “bad stuff.” But what we put in our bodies in the short-term has long-term consequences, and our diets influence our health in huge ways. Many health problems, ranging from cardiovascular disease to psoriasis to candida to osteoporosis can be solved or greatly ameliorated by following a diet high in vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. If you don’t feel you can afford to go the spa during tough times, at least go to a good nutritionist who can create a customized diet just for you and your body’s needs.

5. Get plenty of REM sleep. REM sleep, as it turns out, is extremely vital to our health. It is during Rapid-Eye-Movement sleep that we process emotions, retain memories, and relieve stress. It has also been shown that deep sleep works as a pain reliever, and that lack of it contributes to muscular aching and a lowered pain threshold.

6. Take advantage of Nature’s medicine chest.We have a wonderful and fragrant pharmacy given to us by Mother Nature, and yet we do not take advantage. So many times, we reach for Zantac or Tagamet when Licorice Root (deglycyrrhizinated) is so much more effective for peptic ulcers, or Dramamine when Ginger works better and without the drowsiness. Also, herbal remedies can cost 85% less than branded remedies. Why, then do doctors not prescribe herbs, nor do pharmaceuticals sell herbs? Because there’s no money in it…since they cannot patent a product of nature, they have no way to turn it into profit. But health is still a concern in a down economy (perhaps even more so), so arming yourself with knowledge about alternative ways to stay healthy can pay off in the long-run in the form of fewer doctor’s visits and increased daily health.

7. Exercise regularly. The importance of regular exercise cannot be overemphasized. Exercise and activity greatly reduces the risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and colon cancer, and also helps us build and maintain healthy bones, muscles, and joints. The good part is, you can start off slow – either by walking or swimming at a comfortable pace – and build up. The better part is, exercise also helps reduce feelings of depression and anxiety (especially necessary during these times of meltdown). But the best part is: exercise is free!

8. Get plenty of air and sunlight. Speaking of free things in life, fresh air and sunlight do not cost a penny and are wonderful boosters to our emotions and health. It’s obvious why we need air and oxygen as humans, but did you know that sunlight is the primary source for vitamin D for most Americans and Europeans? Vitamin D is one of those nutrients that are deficient in dietary sources and for which we need to use supplements carefully. This is why sunlight is such a great answer; obviously, we need to avoid burning or excess tanning, but if we go into the sun for 10-15 minutes per day without sunscreen, we can generate a whole day’s worth of vitamin D.

9. Laughter is the best medicine. I think I learned this while watching “The Secret” DVD, which featured a woman who cured her own cancer by renting all the funny movies she could find and sitting on her couch and just laughing non-stop for weeks and weeks. Other testimonials to the healing power of laughter include Paul McGee, Ph.D., who wrote, “Humor Your Tumor,” and this wonderful quote by O.W. Holmes, Professor of Medicine, Harvard University: “If all the medicine in the world were thrown into the sea, it would be bad for the fish and good for humanity.” Click here for a great site on healing cancer naturally.

10. Practice affirmations for health. Your thoughts create your reality, and therefore you can use your thoughts, words, and actions to re-program your body’s cells to encourage optimum health.

Some great affirmations for health, courtesy of Louise Hay, include:

  1. I allow my body to return to its natural state of vibrant health.
  2. I love my body and every cell in it.
  3. I accept perfect health now.
  4. I listen lovingly to my body’s messages.

As always, we at Pavia Day Spa wish you good health, happiness, abundance, joy, and laughter. We hope to see you soon.

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