You are one of the selfless few who sacrificed your time, energy, body, and mind to defend our country’s honor on the world stage. Whether you operated at home or abroad, on land, sea, or air, you bonded with your fellow Americans, fought to do the right thing, and were fortunate enough to come home.
You have already sacrificed so much for our country, yet you still feel the weight of that sacrifice daily. However, there are ways to mitigate that feeling. First tip, your CO’s advice of getting slow, fat, and happy isn’t one of them.
In recovery, as in life and wellness, you can’t focus on only one aspect of health and hope the rest fall into balance. Instead, you must find ways to create your own balance and build a foundation of health to base your recovery and life.
Yes, I often say cheesecake is life, but this isn’t the same. What we eat affects every aspect of how we live. In the short term, lean protein and vitamin-rich meals can help us feel more energized and alert compared to fatty, processed meals. However, these effects aren’t only short-term — even if we’re eating an appropriate amount of calories, if we aren’t eating healthy, whole foods, we may end up doing just as much harm as if we were eating too many calories.
Fifty percent of everything you eat should be fruits and vegetables — yes, an apple you bought for a dollar at the gas station on your way to work counts. Some people love smoothies for getting in extra nutrients — I recommend not blending your food for two reasons. One, you break down the fiber in your food, and we’re all getting older and need a bit of extra fiber. Two, it isn’t as satisfying to eat. If I have something to eat, I want to chew it — it’s more satisfying, and the act of chewing sends a signal to your brain that you’ve eaten something and turn off the hunger feelings.
Twenty-five percent of your diet should be fiber-rich carbohydrates. Here’s the caveat I’m going to include: if your doctor, nutritionist, or dietician has told you to eat fewer carbohydrates than this — they’re right. Nutrition has a few broad-brush healthy things but needs to be personalized to the individual. If a medical professional has given you specific, personalized advice, take it. However, for those of us who haven’t been to a doctor for this, remember, carbs are delicious, and we love them. Right, and only 25% of your day should be carbohydrates. If you eat the ones high in fiber while you’re younger, you’ll save yourself some pain as you get older too. So get that whole grain bread!
The last twenty-five percent of your diet should be protein-rich foods. Your beef, pork, turkey stuffed with duck stuffed with chicken, you know, healthy meats. Nuts, beans, chickpeas, dairy products, and eggs also fall into this category. It shouldn’t be the whole meal, but you need protein to function.
Water that is. I don’t care how much water you drink right now. Go have a glass. It’s fine, I’ll wait. I’m drinking water while I write this. Chronic dehydration is a serious problem contributing to mental health issues, physical issues, and sleep issues. If you struggle to drink two liters of water a day (not pop/soda, coffee, tea), please take this to heart and start carrying around a reusable water bottle.
Do you remember that moment after boot camp when you were in the best shape of your life and nothing creaked? We all wish we could go back to that. Unfortunately, we’re not as spry as we once were and getting older every day. Our exercise regimen should mirror that.
I’m not saying don’t go hard, but there’s a difference between running a marathon on your 21st birthday and cooling down with a six-pack versus training to run a marathon in your thirties. The key to training, as you age, is consistency. So make regular exercise part of your routine, even if it’s only a walk in the evening with your sweetheart.
Exercise is an excellent way to take a break from the stresses of everyday life and center yourself on the moment. Whether you want to go hard and train for an ultramarathon or take it easy and just avoid gaining the civi-fifty, a routine of exercise will help you. Remember that now is the time to begin good warm-up, cool-down, and stretching habits — because these routines can save you a world of hurt and money in the long run.
If you find your workouts are leaving you sore, you can also incorporate products like our 2 oz Salve Lotion that soothes strained muscles with our nano emulsified CBD.
If you struggle with mental balance, exercise can also help you. Yoga is a growing movement that combines meditation and physical activity. Tai-Chi and other martial arts also combine these two things, which is great for people who struggle to sit still and focus.
Mental health is the third pillar of health that is often overlooked. Mental toughness is a large part of military training, and it is an incredible skill. But it’s not the only one that you need. Self-love and self-care are just as important, if not more so, to help you develop long-term coping skills.
You had to be mentally strong to get to where you are today, but that doesn’t mean you just have to white-knuckle your way through your life at home. Meditation is a good way to help center your mind on yourself and help you process the experiences you had that got you here. Like exercise and nutrition, balance is key.
Listening to yourself, affirming your value, and striving for growth will only benefit you in the long run.
One part of mental wellness that’s often overlooked is sleep. Getting enough sleep every night to help you feel rested will greatly improve your mental well-being overall. Sleep will also help improve your workout performance and give you the strength to say no to unhealthy foods.
Maybe you can’t make all of these changes right away. However, small, incremental changes can lead to larger success. Even if you only incorporate five minutes of meditation, an extra glass of water, or that gas station apple, you’ve made an improvement.
Whether you’re looking to balance your mind or recover from intense exercise, Spirit Peak Organics has products that can help you. You don’t have to go this alone or do it all yourself. If you’re looking to improve your nighttime routine, why not try our CBD Softgels with Melatonin? Or, when you are cooking something new and delicious, incorporate one of our CBD tinctures into the recipe. Get the benefits of homeostasis from our hemp-derived CBD products.