Somedays are better than others and somedays can be worse. Maybe you’re feeling under the weather, maybe you’re a little stressed out, over tired, sore from a work out or working too hard. Whatever the case may be, instead of just feeling blah and laying around like a lump on the couch or sitting in a “poor me” or foul mood, here are some things I suggest doing to feel better, de-stress, and get back to your normal happy, energetic self.
“How do I feel better?” you might ask? Well, here are some helpful tips for you below.
1. Take a day off and do a fast and rest
If you have the flu, a viral infection, got food poisoning, or just ate too much and don’t feel well, you can benefit from skipping a meal or two, or even for a whole day and just taking it easy. You might even want to have a nap and catch up on some sleep, or if you’re feeling that awful you may even want to spend all day in bed.
Fasting (abstaining from eating food) can help when you are dealing with viral infections and stomach issues. It gives your body a break from digesting food three to five times a day, and instead can focus on detoxing and processing any leftovers in your stomach and bowels from the day before. Also if you feel lethargic it can help to skip a meal so you can have more energy later in the day.
Fasting is NOT recommended when you have a “cold” or bacterial infection. Fasting actually stresses the body in a negative way when you have a bacterial infection. Your body has surrounded the bacteria and quarantined it so that it does not infect the rest of your body and give you blood poisoning. If you stop eating for a long period of time, it weakens your immune system and this bacteria can break through the protective barrier and take over and make you even sicker, or cost you your life. There have been many fasters that have died of blood poisoning when they got an infection before or during their fast and chose to ignore it. There have also been people who fasted when they had Lyme Disease and this complicated their problems and caused lasting damage to themselves. Lyme Disease is a bacterial infection as well.
*Fasting for a viral infection is ok, because you are making the virus weaker by not feeding is sugar and nutrients. Bacteria are not the same as viruses, and you may need antibiotics if you have a serious infection so you need to consult a qualified health professional.
If you have a cold, at the very least I recommend resting, and also eating something whether it be fresh fruit or some soup to stay hydrated and feel better.
2. Have a “green” smoothie
I can honestly say I have NEVER felt worse after having a green smoothie. I have actually felt better and was really glad I had it. Now some doctorss like Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn might be extremely against the idea of having a smoothie (because it partially breaks down and blends the fiber) I have yet to see anyone’s health get worse, or gain weight from an occasional fat free raw green smoothie.
I have a few favorites, make sure to check out my Cherry Green Smoothie & Green Smoothie FAQ, and my Blueberry Grape Green Smoothie Recipe as these are two of my favorites. I recommend making your own smoothies as you know what goes into them and can insure fresh greens and good tasting ripe fruit goes into it (unlike the smoothie bar). But if you’re on the go hopefully you can find a fresh fruit smoothie bar, and not something like a chain smoothie bar that uses ice-cream, sorbet, bottled fruit juice, sugar and protein powders as these are not health foods.
3. Have a fresh juice
Whether you like green juice, or a fresh squeezed orange, apple, or grapefruit juice there is something for everyone. It’s best to have a green juice first thing in the morning as opposed to a fruit juice unless you have just worked out or intend to work out. As you’ve been sleeping you don’t have a high need for instant sugar in your blood stream, it’s better to have whole foods that release sugar steadily to keep you full until lunch. But if you are feeling parched, dehydrated, or sapped from a work out a fresh juice is just the thing to perk you up and help you on with your day. Check out my Kale Apple Celery Juice Recipe and Pomegranate Apple Juice Recipe.
4. Have a warm homemade vegetable soup
When you’re feeling under the weather with a cold, the chills, or are just plain tired of smoothies and salads, a homemade healthy vegetable soup might be just the thing you are looking for. Not only will you love it, but your family is certain to warm up to your veggie cuisine with a hearty tasty homemade soup. Check out my Mexican Black Bean Corn Soup, Clean Out The Fridge Vegetable Soup Recipe , or Dr. Fuhrman’s Anti Cancer Soup. My new recipe ebook “Comfort Soups To Keep You Warm” also has 30 healthy vegan soup recipes to wow your taste buds and includes recipes from all over the world.
5. Take a warm or hot shower
If you’re feeling tired, exhausted or even run down, sometimes just having a really nice warm or hot shower will pep you up and bring you back to life. If you’re short on time, or without a bathtub this can help you feel more like yourself again. I can’t say I’ve ever felt worse after having a nice shower, and I always think man why did I procrastinate? I should have done this sooner, I always feel so much better.
6. Do some yoga
Yoga that focuses on breathing, slow movements, and stretching can help you calm your mind, de-stress and relax. You don’t have to be flexible, you don’t have to do anything a contortionist would do or any difficult poses. It’s great for people who have stick backs, bad posture or sit all day at the computer. (I would know!)
7. Do some cardio to get your blood pumping or go for a walk
Sometimes I get the “working from home blues” where you’re inside all day in the kitchen and then on the computer and you feel so cut off and isolated from people. Getting out of the office, or out of the house to get some fresh air and get your body moving will do wonders for your mood AND your circulation. If you’re the kind of person who loves to jog, or go to the gym do that. If you prefer a nice stroll gazing at the trees and smelling the fresh air, go for it!
8. Curl up with a good book and enjoy some fiction
Reading fiction novels can help your mind relax and focus on something else for a while. I do suggest something other than horror and Stephen King novels though! With the advent of Kindles and iPads it’s easier than ever to take your book collection with you and read wherever you are. The Kindle is great for reading in all locations because of it’s E-ink technology which means it’s not back lit and can be read in direct sunlight without any glare. Kindle or Kindle Touch have really come down in price over the past few years and start as low as $79.
9. Take a hot bath with Epsom salts
Epsom Salts or magnesium sulfate is a compound of magnesium sulfur and oxygen that is named after the town Epsom in Surrey, England. Epsom salts help sooth sore feet and body aches. It helps prevent your skin from wrinkling so much when you take a long soak and when it’s absorbed into your body it can reduce inflammation. It is also effective at healing and soothing outbreaks of herpes and shingles. You may not notice a huge difference in your bath if you add Epsom salts, but it can make you feel a bit better if you have very sore muscles or feel ache-y all over.
10. Go for a relaxing or therapeutic massage
My absolute favorite way to feel better is of course having a massage. My top choice would be a Thai massage or a Chinese Accupressure massage. Although different in technique, they work on the entire body and not just rubbing your back and tickling your skin like many Swedish massage therapists.
Thai massage is done wearing a pair of loose pajama-like pants and a light loose shirt. The therapist uses their hands and feet to stretch out the muscles in your body while you lie on a soft mat on the floor and relax. The movements are slow and you can specify your preference for pressure. You end the massage by working on your back and neck while you sit up.
Chinese Accupressure starts out with you laying face down on a table with a thin sheet over you, and the therapist uses their palms, fingers, and elbows to press and work out your muscles and tendons. It’s like being stretched on a micro level I think, and they follow the lines of your body all the way down your legs and feet to realign your muscles and tendons. It can stay like this or end with a Swedish oil massage at the end. I like this because it’s generally very inexpensive and they are very thorough getting into every nook and cranny of your muscles and getting rid of any soreness or tension.