Utilize your down time to find balance

Health & Wellness
Thursday, March 19, 2020
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You know what can be really calming, cathartic, relaxing and healthy? Cooking at home. Obviously, this depends on what you choose to cook and what ingredients you choose to utilize. In a month of instability and unpredictability, take the opportunity to spend some time at home with friends and family.

We spend so much time in front of computer screens, smart phones and detaching ourselves from our immediate environments that we don’t always see what is right in front of us.

Whether or not you have been directly impacted by the nation’s situation, in one way or another we are all, at the minimum, indirectly affected. Rather than seeing this as a hindrance, you can choose to see it as a way to refocus, balance and reprioritize your time.

Look up recipes you have never had time to try before and cook together. Get outside, explore your mountains, rivers and valleys. Take your family for a walk or a nice spring run. Whip out those old board games that have been collecting dust in the corner for years and get your friends and family around the table for an evening of fun competition. Read a book. Start beading again. Call your kaale from another Rez and ask about the history of your people. Watch a YouTube video that teaches you how to change your own rotors and brake pads. Maybe it’s time to splurge on your own Netflix instead of borrowing your auntie’s password. Check out some cool documentaries and have a family movie night. Add more fun by making homemade fruit smoothies. Simply, blend one half cup of ice, one cup of almond or coconut milk, one medium sized banana, fruit of your choice and an optional packet of stevia plant-based sweetener.

I encourage you to take care of your mental, spiritual, emotional and physical health. Obsessing over the news and social media will only create more cortisol in your body, which is the stress hormone that contributes to weight gain, reduces energy level, triggers high blood pressure, contributes to diabetes, negatively impacts your mood and disrupts your sleep.

So relax, play with children and feed Rez dogs, make someone smile, cook with vegetables, switch your canola or vegetable oil to olive or avocado oil. Get outside and get some vitamin D. Stretch, meditate, yoga, pray, smile, laugh, learn, love and respect one another.

I can always be reached by email for recipe and fitness ideas. Also, wash your hands.

Cheryl Birdhat-Polacek, PhD. is the Athletic Director at Little Big Horn College. She can be reached by email at drbirdhat@gmail.com