When it comes to wellness, we believe in each person’s varied and nuanced experiences. There isn’t “one” way to be well or whole. When you Google ‘wellness’ or ‘self-care’ there are hundreds of lists that claim optimal health if you follow these easy (or not so easy) steps. While many of these habits are accessible and accountable to a diverse range of peoples, many are not. Not everyone or everybody can simply follow a checklist to better health, but as farmers, we believe there are a few ways nearly every human may experience a more whole existence.
Water. Sunshine. Sleep. Exercise to suit the body. And Hemp CBD!
Here we will discuss the simple and important benefits of water, sunshine, sleep and gentle exercise, and how Hemp CBD could be a meaningful addition to your routine.
Self-care is a buzzword right now. Many wellness advocates, holistic practitioners, therapists and social media influencers seem to be talking A LOT about self-care.
What is it, anyway?
According to the Crisis & Trauma Resource Institute, self-care is housed in four dimensions of well-being: emotional, physical, psychological and spiritual. These different dimensions each have their own weights and scales of importance in a person’s life, and they interact in a cyclical manner. Not one is separate from the other!
In the physical body, self-care can show up in how we care for our bodily vessels: drinking water, going outside, engaging in easy movement and in this day and age, cutting down on screen time. There are so many ways that physical care supports the following bullet points. (Check out our most recent blog on how exercise benefits the body!)
The emotional body can be cared for in more energetic ways. Setting boundaries with loved ones and yourself may be a necessary tool for emotional thriving. Surrounding oneself with people that are affirming and loving can be extremely life-giving. These actions are intangible at times and may require more support from a therapist, counselor or mentor.
Psychologically thriving can be related to personal and professional growth. This can include taking action and caring for things that are within one’s control. Journaling is one of our favorite ways to document personal growth! Writing down short-term and long-term goals can also be a way to actualize your experience.
Spirituality is another extremely subjective experience — this can look so different to every person! There are simple at home ways to cultivate spirituality including meditation, mindfulness and gratitude practices. We love this article on how to simply acknowledge and gratefully receive the beautiful things in life!
For people that work in service to others, self-care is a necessary act. The social justice icon Audre Lorde stated that self-care “is an act of political warfare.” When we are more aligned with our body and spirit, we can engage more with our loved ones, our communities and the Earth. These actions can be seen as both powerful and instrumental in sustaining our personal and professional lives, nourishing children and partners, and creating change.
Of course, the wide array of tasks that fill our daily lives can put self-care on the back burner. You might be saying “HA! Meditation would be nice if I didn’t have three kids” or “It would be nice to buy healthier food but my budget can’t afford that.” While these things are SO very valid, it’s important to remember that self-care can be easier and much cheaper than we like to think.
Ready? Here are our five favorite components of a healthy routine. And the best part?
They are free and simple!
1. SUNSHINE AND GOING OUTSIDE. As farmers, this is a given. We love greeting the morning sun, the dirt under our fingernails after a long day harvesting veggies and the utter bliss of hard work. This work certainly is not for everyone, but in our duty we have taken away the sacred message of being outdoors.
Sunshine is an extremely important component to health. Sure, too much UVA radiation is going to hurt you. Too much of anything is not going to be beneficial to the body. Contrary to popular thought though, a higher rate of global disease actually comes from not enough UVA exposure. While too much UVA radiation can contribute to skin cancer, collagen damage and accelerate skin aging, not enough radiation can be detrimental to the musculoskeletal system and increase the chance for autoimmune disorders and life-threatening cancers.
As humans, we need Vitamin D to metabolize calcium and promote healthy neuromuscular and immune functioning. Not unlike plants, our bodies actually go through a process of photosynthesis that occurs in the skin. This process can be aided and inhibited by how much clothing, sunscreen and sun time we engage with. According to this 2008 research, most white-skinned people need only a half hour in full sunlight in a bathing suit to intake 50,000 IU — which is 1.25mg of Vitamin D. For darker-skinned people, the same amount of time results in 20,000 to as low as 8,000 IU.
We love this simple list of health benefits from sunlight which includes, improved sleep, reduced stress, maintenance of strong bones, better metabolism, strengthened immune system, depression fighting and even longer life.
2. SLEEPING. Wow. Sleep. What a sacred time. Sleeping is one of our absolute favorite things to do. An absolutely medicinal 7+ hours of healing where we don’t have to “do anything.” Our amazing bodies take care of it for us.
Our bodies have an internal clock that regulates the circadian rhythm of feeling awake and feeling tired. Usually, this aligns with the sun if a person spends time outdoors. There are four stages of sleep which repeat throughout a full night of sleep. Each stage plays an instrumental role in signaling different chemicals to our bodies. About 90 minutes after fully falling into slumber, REM sleep begins. This stage is where we dream and has been shown for its importance in memory processing and cataloguing.
Sleep is vitally important. Without enough of this healing down time, our bodies are significantly more prone to decreased brain functioning, delayed action responses and more intense mood swings. Babies need more than 14 hours of sleep per day to develop and begin growing into their small bodies! Adults between ages 19-65 should be averaging 7-9 hours per night. Though this is not necessary for every person, it holds true for vast numbers of the population. Here’s a short list from the Sleep Foundation on tips to induce and maintain better sleep:
“Establish a realistic bedtime and stick to it every night, even on the weekends.
Maintain comfortable temperature settings and low light levels in your bedroom.
Consider a “screen ban” on televisions, computers and tablets, cell phones, and other electronic devices in your bedroom.
Abstain from caffeine, alcohol, and large meals in the hours leading up to bedtime.
Refrain from using tobacco at any time of day or night.
Exercise during the day; this can help you wind down in the evening and prepare for sleep.”
3. EXERCISE AND MOVEMENT. Ah, once again, one of our favorite parts about farming! Exercise is built into the job. Being able to be outside and move our bodies every single day is such a gift (and a curse at times!). The best thing about movement is that it does not have to be strenuous to reap massive health benefits. Check out this excerpt from our last blog “The Benefits of Exercise and Hemp CBD” :
The American Journal of Medicine states that exercise does need to be included in a daily routine to reap the benefits, but can come in increments as low as 20-30 minutes. Research shows that moderate exercise for more than 45 minutes a day seems to reach a “plateau” when it comes to bodily benefits. This means that strenuous daily exercise for more than an hour may not actually be helping the body in significant and sustainable ways. As aforementioned, exercise can come in very short time allotments to affect the body in positive ways.
Exercise can be such an easy thing. In Western culture there is a complex built around “working out” and “getting fit” that can be harmful and not actually promote optimal wellbeing due to burnout, injury or negative psychological associations. Instead of worrying about running everyday or going to the gym instead think of: stretching 15 minutes before bed, going on a 30 minute walk around your neighborhood, dancing to a fun playlist, or riding your bike to the grocery store instead of driving!
4. DRINKING WATER. Mmmmm sip it slow and not too fast. A favorite way to cool down on those scorching summer days outside or a respite in the night. In Colorado, our winter nights can be so dry that it is not uncommon to wake up with a dry scratchy throat. Drinking water is one of the easiest things to do, and one of the easiest to forget.
Drinking water plays an important role in many essential body functions, we are made of 60% water after all! According to Harvard Medical School water’s many jobs include:
carrying nutrients and oxygen to your cells
flushing bacteria from your bladder
protecting organs and tissues
regulating body temperature
maintaining electrolyte (sodium) balance.
Science suggests that most people need 4-6 cups of water a day. For those of you that carry a water bottle, that’s 2.5-3.5 liters! As with everything else in this blog, water intake is also subjective. The amount of water someone needs depends on their health situation, medication regimen, exercise frequency and diet. Water-rich foods also contribute to one’s daily water intake — lots of fruits and veggies!
Dehydration can lead the body to the opposite functioning of each benefit listed above such as, slower brain function and de-stabilized mood as well as impaired digestion and more frequent headaches. If plain water isn’t your favorite beverage, think about mixing it with a few lemon, lime or cucumber slices.
Ok ok ok. You get the picture. Taking care of yourself may definitely seem hard, but can be so simple. Wake up, take a walk with your lemon water, stretch for 10 minutes, go about your day, SLEEP, repeat… What’s missing?
This is where our dear friend Hemp CBD comes in. Remember the four dimensions of wellness from earlier? The system that governs these dimensions in our bodies is known as the endocannabinoid system (ECS). A natural bodily miracle, the endocannabinoid system is responsible for a number of sympathetic and parasympathetic responses as well as the nervous, endocrine and immune systems. The endocannabinoid system is massively responsible for the body’s ability to maintain homeostasis — relatively stable equilibrium. It is known as the body’s “master regulator.”
The ECS is composed of a number of complex cells. These cells are responsible for communication and responses across body functions. Take this example from The Journal of Young Investigators:
“For example, a fracture in the toe would result in cell death. The resulting lymphatic response would increase blood flow and the migration of white blood cells to the surrounding areas. The ECS would then recognize the excess lymphatic signals, and after deciding that there is no longer a need for the increase of inflammation, the CB receptors in the surrounding immune cells and tissues will begin to bind with cannabinoids and start to slowly reduce these inflammatory responses.”
In today’s day and age, we are overwhelmed with distraction. Our screens, work and lives can easily tip the scales off balance. Especially in the last year of living through a global pandemic and adapting to an ever-evolving lifestyle, our brains and bodies are frankly tired and experiencing low mental health. As homeostasis is disrupted, body functions can quickly deteriorate. Making even the simplest things difficult, like getting up and taking a walk.
To regulate homeostasis, Hemp CBD may be actively incorporated into wellness and routine. One of the awesome aspects of Hemp CBD is that you can make it work for you. As an adaptogenic plant, it has potential to regulate where and what your body needs over time. If you are wanting better and longer sleep, try taking Hemp CBD tincture right before bed. If your work focus is off due to anxiety, incorporate a CBD capsule in with your morning meal. Before or after a workout, you can try rubbing Hemp CBD oils on sore muscles and joints. There are so many ways to intake this miraculous plant, you have freedom to see how it might fit into your routine and work best for you.
We feel so lucky every day to have this job of growing, loving, researching, writing about and making medicine with hemp plants. Sharing our North Field Farmacy full spectrum hemp with you is a joy beyond measure. Your health, wellness and peace are our first priority. Your health is sacred. We are here to always honor and support you in your journey to finding answers that work FOR YOU.