Join the Resilience Retreat "Calm in the Time of Coronavirus." Learn More >>>
Programs About Blog Practitioners Shop Login

Movements and Routines for Better Sleep

 

Moving your body in certain ways while you're awake can prepare it for better, longer sleep. Specifically, there are two powerful strategies that can help you sleep better: 

1. Exercise During the Day

Exercise during the day will likely help you sleep better. Just remember to try and finish moderate to high intensity exercise at least three hours before you go to bed to keep your stress hormones down and your body cool at bedtime.

Don't have an exercise plan yet? In order to help you find a movement routine that works for you, we have created three resilient movement plans: the Basic Movement Plan, the Even Better Movement Plan, and the Ideal Movement Plan. Learn more and find the plans here.>>>

2. Create Evening and Morning Routines

Incorporating more meaningful movement throughout your day can play a big role in the quality of your sleep. One way to accomplish this is to create morning and evening routines. These routines incorporate...

Continue Reading...

Nourish Your Brain for Better Sleep

Nourish Your Brain for Better Sleep

What you eat--and when!--can have a significant impact on your ability to fall asleep and stay asleep. This may be more obvious for things like coffee and energy drinks, but there are other food items and the timing of when you eat them that may be helpful or detrimental to your sleep. 

The nourishment steps and food list below can help you refine your diet so that it supports your sleep. Pair these resources with The Resilient Diet and you'll have nourishment that fuels a good night's sleep.

Three Nourishing Steps to Support Your Sleep

Use the three steps below to change your food habits and improve your sleep. Don't feel obligated to put all of them into action immediately. Go step by step, take some time, and put each into action with confidence and commitment. You can do it!

First: Timing Is Everything

While eating balanced and nutritious meals throughout the day will support your sleep, it's not just the content of...

Continue Reading...

Sleep, Resilience, and Mental Health

 

Good Sleep Is Non-Negotiable

Your sleep, mood, and brain function are intimately related. Scientific studies tell us that our emotional states affect sleep and that sleep affects emotions. The good news is that you can create better sleep with fairly simple strategies.

How Well Do You Sleep?

Think about how you would honestly answer the following questions:

  1. How many hours do you sleep each night?
  2. How well do you sleep at night? Do you feel rested after you've slept a full night?

Did you know that your answers to these questions are intimately connected to your mood and brain function? Difficulty sleeping is sometimes the first symptom of a mood disorder; 15-20% of people diagnosed with insomnia will develop major depression (1). Getting your sleep right is one of the best things you can do if you have a mood disorder. Studies show that improving insomnia boosts the chances of recovering from depression by a remarkable 50%! 

Recent studies have also...

Continue Reading...

Move Your Body for Better Mental Health

Resilient Movement Plans

You may find yourself saying one of the following statements:

  • "I know that I should exercise, but I just don't have time."
  • "Running on a treadmill is so boring."
  • "I can't afford a gym membership."
  • "I just can't seem to stick to a regular exercise routine."

Does this sound like you? If you find yourself saying any of the statements above, you're not alone. Many people struggle to exercise regularly, even though they know it will improve their physical health. The fact is, scientific research has shown again and again that moving our bodies more frequently has a significant positive impact on our mental health as well. Regular movement can: 

  • Effectively treat depression1
  • Normalize cortisol levels
  • Protect against oxidation
  • Reduce inflammation
  • Normalize blood sugar
  • Improve learning ability2
  • Promote the survival of new brain cells3
  • Help you grow a bigger, healthier, better-connected brain4

Focus on movement, not exercise.

Good news! You...

Continue Reading...

Basic Concepts of Supplementation

Basic Concepts of Supplementation

We believe folks need more skills and fewer pills when it comes to supporting a more resilient body, mind, and heart. We like to start with three basic skill-based concepts before recommending supplements to the individuals we work with.

Concept 1: What you feed your body today will become your brain of tomorrow. In other words, start with diet. Consider these facts: 

  • Brain cells, like every other cell in the body, need constant fuel (energy) from clean proteins and complex carbohydrates to properly carry out their functions.
  • Neurotransmitters like dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine depend upon receiving key nutrients (like magnesium, zinc, B-vitamins) from diet.
  • The speed at which brain cells can communicate depends upon an insulating covering around the nerve cells (the “myelin sheath”). It is also made from nutrients in your diet.
  • Building a healthy infrastructure for brain cells requires brain-friendly fats such as...
Continue Reading...

Enhance Your Resilient Diet

Enhance Your Mind-Body Health Through Nutrition

Once you've incorporated the six principles of the Resilient Diet into your daily habits, you may be ready for these more in-depth practices to further enhance your mind-body health through nutrition. There's no need to adopt these suggestions all at once--you can pick and choose the ones that work for you.

Practice 1: Eat more frequent meals and keep portions small.

  • Always eat breakfast—after fasting overnight, your brain needs fresh fuel.
  • Eat every 4-5 hours throughout the day to keep blood sugar steady.
  • Ideal: Eat three meals of 400-600 calories each, along with 2-3 snacks of 100-200 calories each.  Have a snack in the late morning and mid-afternoon.  You may also want to add a small snack just before bedtime if you eat dinner early or wake at night feeling hungry. 

Practice 2: Have a modest amount of protein with each meal and snack. 

  • Note that some folks may want to avoid protein at...
Continue Reading...

The Resilient Diet

 

Adjusting your eating habits is one of the simplest ways to naturally improve your mental health. Because you are already eating and drinking things every day to fuel your body and mind, you don't need to add anything new to your routine. Instead, focus on making changes and adjustments to your diet to ensure you are nourishing your system with foods that promote mental health.

We have created the Resilient Diet to integrate seamlessly into your daily life. It is not a set of restrictive rules or detailed recipes. Instead, the Resilient Diet is made up of six broad guidelines or principles. These principles can guide your nutrition whether you cook for yourself, cook for a family, or don't cook much at all.

The Resilient Diet

PRINCIPLE 1 | Eat whole, natural foods.

Buy unprocessed organic food as much as possible.

PRINCIPLE 2 | Eat a wider variety of foods.

Eat more seasonal and local foods. Discover new kinds of vegetables, grains, meats, nuts, and...

Continue Reading...

HIIT: High-Intensity Interval Training for Resilience in Body and Mind

If you’re in fight or flight stress mode, your body is preparing you for brief, intense bursts of activity, followed by periods of recovery. We are wired for this, and as children we did it all the time. Consider adding occasional brief, intense bursts of movement to your weekly routine. This practice has many benefits.

The Benefits of HIIT

For instance, it can:

  • Improve weight loss, especially for that hard-to-lose abdominal weight.
  • Raise your metabolic rate for 24-48 hours, burning calories long after you’ve exercised.
  • Improve hormone levels, including cortisol, testosterone and human growth hormone.
  • Protect against adult-onset diabetes.
  • Boost energy, focus, and performance.
  • Help slow the aging process.

How to move quickly with interval training:

  1. Choose any activity you like that can be done intensely in brief spurts (20-30 seconds is enough). Good options include walking or running, biking, rowing, using a treadmill or elliptical trainer, swimming, calisthenics, or...
Continue Reading...

Plant-Based Diet for Beginners: Six Easy Tips to Start a More Plant-Based Diet

By Elly Hollenhorst

The following tips on how to eat more plant-based will not only satisfy your comfort food cravings in the cold fall and winter months, but nourish your body by helping you succeed in eating more whole foods.

What Is a “Plant-Based” Diet?

The term plant-based has been buzzing around the internet of late and hopefully, we will continue hearing more about it as time passes. A whole food plant-based diet means that the food you consume is centered around an abundant variety of whole grains, vegetables, legumes, beans, fruit, nuts, and seeds while aiming to eat food as close to its whole form as possible (e.g. brown rice vs. white rice), choose organic as much as you can, and avoid processed food.

Whole food plant-based diets have been studied and appear to be among the healthiest ways of eating. Let me put it this way, very few people argue against adding more vegetables and fruit to your diet to make you healthier. But wait, a whole food...

Continue Reading...

Outdoor Therapy and Grounding Techniques for Mental Health

 

By Tim Culbert, MD

Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.

-John Muir

Where do I go when I feel burned out? I head to the mountains, forests, rivers, lakes, and desert landscapes for rejuvenation and a sense of calm. That simple step of heading outside almost magically shifts my internal landscape. I think of this immersion in a wild environment as “swimming with the senses.”

As a physician, I’ve sought out the scientific support for how these healing effects of nature take place. It's a free activity, there are no side effects, but is it just good for me or is something my patients should do too?

Well-known authors, poets, political leaders, and healers from all over the world have understood this connection between health in mind, body, and spirit, and the natural world. I love Seth Adam Smith’s...

Continue Reading...
1 2
Close

50% Complete

Boost Joy, Calm, & Focus

The NMH newsletter goes out twice monthly. You'll receive helpful tips, resources, and special offers to optimize your mental health and create more joy, calm, and focus in your life.