I have come up with a list of natural "Meds" that I hope will help me get into a better state of being.
Think extra virgin olive oil-
covered John Stamos.
I've read for years about the benefits of the Mediterranean diet and have always leaned toward that style of cooking. I use a lot of extra-virgin olive oil and fresh vegetables. I try to cook fish as often as possible. I don't fry food; I bake or grill or saute. I am going to try to incorporate even more fresh veggies and fruits and eliminate most processed foods from my diet. I started doing a gluten free challenge several weeks ago and have noticed a big difference, so that will play a part as well. Gluten free can be challenging, but I've found some really great alternatives to the things I love. I've also discovered lots of great recipes using leaner cuts of meat and healthy proteins. I have a regularly updated pinboard dedicated to the Mediterranean lifestyle here: Mediterraneans Don't Need Prozac. I will also be re-instituting Meatless Mondays. For info on that, click the following link: Meatless Monday Recipes.
Lama lama lama... ka-dingita dinga dong
The term "meditation" means different things to different people. For me, it isn't necessarily sitting cross-legged and chanting, but more a time of quiet reflection and peaceful thought. I tend to rush around from thing to thing every day without taking any time to unwind and just sit and enjoy a moment. Whether I spend the time in prayer, listening to calm music or just occupying one of the rocking chairs on my front porch in the early morning or evening, it will be time well-spent. I plan to try a return to yoga. I tried some simple moves and stretches years ago and greatly benefited from it. I have also found that keeping a journal or diary (or blog!) is a great way to work through my thoughts and emotions and can be very cathartic.
Media (As in Social Media) Limits-
While social media sites like Facebook can be great for keeping up with friends and relatives, they can also be a big distraction and time-suck. I live out in the country and don't often see my friends and family. Facebook is a nice way to stay connected, but I've found that more often than not, I waste valuable time reading through the events of people I rarely speak to on a normal basis. I lose myself in the endless procession of cute kid pics, inspirational memes, Buzzfeed quizzes and funny videos. And don't even get me started on Candy Crush. Social media, like junkfood, is fine every now and then and within limits. I can't live on brain junk. I need real, valuable experiences outside of cyberspace. Yesterday I cut back my Facebook timeline to the bare minimum. I kept all my friends, but there are only a handful that I'm actually following. I've also deleted all the apps junking up my sidebars. It looks a bit sterile, but in a good, I-just-bleached-the-bathtub kind of way.
Medium (Moderate) Exercise-
I have never been the athletic type. I'm the sit-and-read-a-book type. For years, this wasn't a problem because my metabolism was fast and furious. However, as I've gotten older, my metabolism has slowed considerably and I can no longer just sit around. I have to do at least some moderate activity. I enjoy walking and here in the country there is plenty of room to just amble about. I also have a walking partner. Her name is Lady and she is a very energetic and enthusiastic canine companion. We walk just about every morning when it's cool and quiet. I enjoy the sunshine and Lady sniffs everything in sight. I also plan to head back to the gym to spend some time on the bike and maybe even do some light weight training. I'm not so concerned with losing weight as I am with just being healthy and in shape.
I am very hopeful that these new "Meds" will help me in my quest for total health and wellness. They're natural, simple and most importantly, enjoyable! I will try to keep updates on my progress on here. Of course, if anyone has any suggestions, feel free to leave them in the comments!