Connection

‘Connection’ by Terri Pouliot

“Well, for one thing, the culture we have does not make people feel good about themselves. We’re teaching the wrong things. And you have to be strong enough to say if the culture doesn’t work, don’t buy it. Create your own. Most people can’t do it.” 
― Mitch Albom, Tuesdays with Morrie

I’ve been thinking about this quite a bit lately…

Our culture is spiraling out of control. I feel it, sense it, and am witness to it almost daily. Humans are becoming more agitated, stressed, rude, hostile and, here’s the worst one; disconnected.

Social media is a big part of the blame. Electronics are another. We are constantly ‘plugged’ in and not ‘tuned’ in.

We live our lives in comparison mode. We don’t feel good about ‘ourselves’ because everyone else’s lives look so much healthier, happier, more fun, ______ Fill in the blank with your own comparative adjective.

We are chasing the ‘wrong’ things in life. And missing the most important lessons of all.

The ‘health and wellness’ industry is amassing billions of our hard earned dollars by selling us ‘quick fixes’ to ‘feel’ better about ourselves.

The ‘self-help’ industry is getting wealthy by our lack of ‘feeling good’ in our own skin.

But here’s the thing.

NONE OF THIS IS WORKING.

We are missing the key element.

Human Connection.

We are starved for it. In fact, I believe our lack of human connection (love) is one of the main reasons for our addiction to social media and our electronics.

We believe we are connecting…but we aren’t. We follow celebrities, athletes, instagram stars and are addicted to following these people like they are family. They aren’t even real! These larger than life people have created an image. And we fall for the distraction.

And yet, we aren’t connecting to the people around us. You know, the very people who were put in our path. We are lacking the basic intimacy with other humans that we desperately crave.

We have forgotten how to communicate. Converse with one another.

We must learn how to reconnect. We have to return to love.
It’s a basic human need. Or we are missing the whole point of life.

Now That the Holidays are Over

Now that the Holidays are over…

You’ve shopped until you’ve dropped, gave and received presents, recovered from food coma, and uploaded your festive photos on Instagram and Facebook. All that’s left is a fridge full of leftovers and that ‘drained feeling’. The Post-Holiday let-down.

This is typical of the ‘crash’ after the Holidays. In spite of all the good cheer and joy, the days and weeks of socializing, gift shopping, cooking, planning and traveling; the expectations and stress of the Holidays can be overwhelming and often flip a switch inside our brain sending us into overdrive.

The Holiday aftermath. Reality. Stress amplified. Something had to give; exercise routine, meditation, quiet time, healthy meal planning and other self-care may have suffered. Motivation, unanswered emails, over-indulgence in food or drink, too much sodium, neglected routines, all leave the body feeling sapped.

There is a reason for this. “The stress of regulating blood sugar during mega-consumptions of junk food can depress our immune systems,” says Justine Campbell, R.D., a holistic nutrition therapy practitioner.

How to face ‘The Reckoning’

1. Unplug. Taking a break from constantly being connected to our devices can drag us down. The feeling of needing to check our devices 24-7 raises cortisol levels and over-stimulates the neurons with too much information, may create anxiety, comparison of everyone’s ‘perfect holiday’ photos (which could lead to envy) and possible depression. Set some time to go ‘Tech-Free’ and be truly present. Set some time during the day to unplug whether it’s during dinner or while taking a walk.

2. Re-Set your palate. Over-indulgence in food and drink often leads to the attitude of, “Oh well, I’ve already ‘blown it’ so why not eat more junk. After all, it’s the Holidays. The problem is, insulin levels spike when we overeat and the higher they rise, the more drastic the blood sugar crash hours afterward. This tends to leave us feeling irritable, and wanting more sugar. If we have eaten foods that are loaded with sugar, fat or salt for a few days, we end up resetting our palate toward those types of foods, rather than healthier choices. On a more serious note, the immune system is compromised from the food frenzied consumption of junk food.

3. Skip the Guilt. Give yourself some slack. It will take a bit of time to get back on track with your healthier routines. Plate some patience with those extra veggies. Make this the week you write down your goals and expectations and re-align your routine. Rather than totally re-hauling your entire diet; add extra vegetables to your meal rather than trying to scale back on everything ‘bad’.

4. Take time to enjoy. While the weeks leading up to the Holiday may have left you with little time to enjoy due to excessive obligations; now is the time to s-l-o-w down and breathe. Take time to reflect on the beauty of what is around you. Many of us leave decorations up until after the New Year. Now is the time to focus on their beauty.

5. Gratitude. Does anyone write Thank-You notes anymore? Expressing gratitude for gifts and time spent can promote well-being and foster a positive attitude.

6. Looking forward. Research shows that having something to look forward to promotes happiness and elevates the mood. Plan a few fun and simple activities with friends or family. Now is a great time to try something new.

7. Prioritize. Do take time to make your health a priority by including exercise as a part of your day. There is simply nothing better that getting out for a brisk walk. It elevates the mood, oxygenates your body and provides cardiovascular benefits. Find new ways to move! Exercise should be a reflection of your personality. Dance, walk, run, stretch, lift weights or do it all! Mixing up your exercise routine keeps it fun and will provide enjoyment.

 

A Physical Activity Specialist / Professional can design a program that is safe, effective and perfect for every activity level.

Terri

S-T-R-E-T-C-H Yourself

 

S-T-R-E-T-C-H

Take stretch breaks often, throughout the day.

–Increases blood flow to the muscle
–Maintains flexibility
–Helps decrease risk of injury
–Invigorates and refreshes
–Helps you to maintain mobility with less pain
–Reduces stress and cortisol levels
–Helps create better posture