Wellness, what does that mean? It's a word we use frequently here at Birch Boys because we believe it encompasses many of the things we are trying to provide as a business! Here, we're going to look at the different components of wellness and show you how certain medicinal mushrooms can fit into each one!
First, let's take a look at the definition of wellness.
Wellness: The overall health of the body and mind, especially when attained through a conscious effort.
Seems pretty simple right? Yes!
Wellness is essentially taking care of all of your needs as a human being. In this article we're going to focus on the seven core aspects of wellness; physical, emotional, spiritual, social, intellectual, occupational, and environmental.
Tips For Physical Wellness
- Eat Well - Make sure you aren't skipping meals, breakfast is very important both for setting up your metabolism for the day and giving you a nutritional foundation so that your body feels in tip top shape throughout the day. Make sure you are taking in all of the nutrients your body needs. Half of your plate should be fruits and veggies, the rest can be composed of proteins, grains, dairy and fats. Don't interpret this in a way that makes you feel like you're dieting. It's important to treat yourself! But when you do treat yourself, opt for wholesome sweets such as smoothies, homemade or bakery made sweets and more. Heavily-processed junk food can give you a short boost of endorphins and guilty pleasure, but most people find that processed snacks and treats actually make them feel worse than they did before. A simple green smoothie helps me to get the sweetness I need for the day in a healthy way. Spinach, mango, greek yogurt, some ice, and just a tad of honey or sugar makes for a great smoothie. Throw whatever frozen fruits you have in a blender and see what you can create! You'll be amazed at how close it feels to ice cream, and how great you feel afterwards!
- Sleep Well - Most people need a proper amount of sleep in order for their body to function the best it can. Make sure you're getting 7-9 hours of sleep per night, and keep your bed free from screens and distractions when you want to settle down. The light from a screen can mess up how your body releases melatonin, the hormone responsible for proper sleep and sleepiness. If you need to watch a show or read on a tablet before bed, make sure your device is on an amber light setting, as the blue light inhibits melatonin production more than amber. Try not to consume alcohol or caffeine for a few hours before you go to bed. If you have trouble sleeping, try using a relaxation tactic such as meditation or yoga before bed to help your body chill out! If you have a bad night, and need a bit of extra rest during the day, take a nap for 30 - 45 minutes. This can be a great help for just enough energy to get you through a day where sleep is a priority. Make sure to keep it between 30 and 45 minutes, so that your body gets the energy it needs, but doesn't have time to fall so deeply asleep that you cannot motivate yourself to get back up.
- Be Active - Being active doesn't mean going to the gym religiously, or even at all! Some people meet all of their required activity needs just by going to work each day. If you're work keeps you confined to a desk or relatively immobile, try taking a short walk before or after work. Adults should get 150 minutes of physical activity per week, thats only a little bit over 2 hours! one 30 minute walk a day can greatly improve how your body feels and functions throughout the day! 30 minutes x 7 days = 210 minutes per week! That's well over the minimum requirements, maybe you'll even find yourself losing weight, or gaining muscle mass. A great way to motivate yourself to take short walks during the day is to get a pet! Walking a pet is much more enjoyable than walking alone, and you won't be able to skip it because your pet NEEDS that walk, even if you feel like you don't.
Mushrooms For Physical Wellness
- All medicinal mushrooms contain polysaccharides, which provide your body with natural energy throughout the day. A fantastic mushroom for energy is Cordyceps. Cordyceps actually stimulates the production of ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate, the primary energy carrier in living organisms) in your body. This way, your body makes more of your own energy, rather than leaning on an additional supplement to provide your daily boost.
- If you find that you're an over-eater, Chaga is great for helping to make you feel full!
- Reishi Mushroom is great for calming your body down before bed, ensuring that you will sleep peacefully.
- Tremella mushrooms can help you with skin problems, and help bring your body moisture.
- Not only do these mushrooms help with specific needs, but they will also provide your body with antioxidants, and vitamins/minerals to augment our nutritional needs.
Tips For Emotional Wellness
- Practice Self-Compassion - All to often we beat ourselves up whether it's beating yourself up over a poor choice, exacerbating low self esteem, or feeling guilt over things you can't control. Make sure to treat yourself with kindness and respect!
- Getting Help - If you're experiencing a low point, reach out to friends and family. This will help take your mind off your woes, and replace the void with fun and connectivity. If you're experiencing depression, unmanageable anxiety, or any involuntary behaviors that are a detriment to your life, consider seeking professional help. There is no shame in consulting a professional about how to improve your state of mind. Often times, it is important and necessary to talk to someone outside of your life, this way there is no worry about your personal thoughts becoming widespread knowlege. In addition to this, the way our brains work makes it very hard to self-examine. Getting an outsider's perspective on what you are going through can bring you clarity, and perhaps even help you to understand yourself better and find a community of people with similar issues.
- Respond to Failure Positively - Everyone fails in life. It's important to fail in life. If you look at some of the most inspirational people in the world today, some of their top advice to to fail. Fail hard and fail often. Failure provides a learning experience and your response to failure makes all the difference. Rather than letting yourself drown in your sorrows, take the energy and hurt from a failure and channel it into trying a new method or evaluate how to better deal with that situation in the future.
Mushrooms For Emotional Wellness
- Reishi Mushroom can help relieve stress and promote positive feelings.
- Having a good nutritional foundation can greatly improve your mood
- Hormones are sometimes to blame for negative emotions. Adaptogenic mushrooms such as Chaga, Reishi and Cordyceps can act as a hormone regulator and help you feel great. If you find that you are still experiencing hormone waves, try out St. Johns Wort, a natural hormone regulating herb, it works great for balancing your hormones, but if you are on a hormonal birth control method, consult your doctor before taking it.
- Lion's Mane mushroom is a nootropic which means it helps your brain. It can improve concentration, memory, and help your brain in releasing those feel-good hormones such as dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin, and more.
Tips For Spiritual Wellness
- Spiritual Wellness does not mean going to church every Sunday. Everyone has a different way to embody spiritual wellness, church may be the key for some, but it is not universal.
- Take Time For Yourself! Take a walk in the woods, engage in your favorite hobby, practice self-care. Treat yourself to a massage, or an enlightening conversation with a peer, religious leader, friend, or family member.
- Practice Envisioning Your Future in a Positive Light. Set realistic and achievable goals.
- Explore Your Own Mind - Ask yourself questions such as Who am I? What do I want? How do I connect with the universe? These can lead to a greater understanding of your values and goals.
- Vent - If you're experiencing stress, talk to someone about it, write in a journal, send an email to yourself, talk to yourself in the mirror, talk to your cat or dog. Even if no one ever sees what you have written or hears what you have spoken, simply expressing yourself can help you work through a hard emotion and understand yourself better. When I am angry or upset, I write a paragraph or two, and this helps me to get my anger out, analyze the root of the problem, and learn how to combat it in a rational and peaceful way.
Mushrooms For Spiritual Wellness
- Reishi is a meditation aid. The 'Ohm and Breathe' method doesn't work for everybody. So if you have a hard time quieting your mind and sitting still, try drinking some Reishi tea and lying down, taking a walk, listening to music or enjoying some beautiful scenery.
Tips For Social Wellness
- Find True Friends You Can Rely On - Whether this is a friend, family member, or animal, make sure you have someone you feel supported by and know will not misinterpret you when you need to talk.
- Engage In Your Community - You'll be surprised how good getting out and helping your community can make you feel, and maybe you'll make some friends along the way. Community programs can also offer fun and stress-relief. Go to a public dance, tour your city or town, go to a farmer's market. People in these situations are usually very friendly and being surrounded by positive vibes can help you feel more at ease in a social situation.
- Try Not To Judge - No one wants to feel judged, and many of us have anxiety over how people view us. Looking at others in a positive light can help you to understand that most people either don't care enough to think badly of you, and realize that everyone just wants love and positivity. If you are a positive person, people will flock to you. Next time you feel jealous, or judge someone without knowing them first, reach out to that person and get to know them. People will surprise you with their experiences and reasoning for certain behaviors or styles.
Mushrooms For Social Wellness
- No mushroom will magically make you more social, but sharing a cup of tea can be a positive social experience in itself.
- Learn and teach about mushrooms. This can help build bridges and educate!
Tips For Intellectual Wellness
- Life is a Learning Experience. Humans are naturally curious creatures, it's in our nature to use our mind to solve problems and learn more everyday. If you aren't getting enough intellectual stimulation, your life may be taking a bruise.
- Read More Books! Whether it's reading for fun, for school, or to learn something new, reading can help you expand your horizons, increase creativity, and be fun!
- Play a Card Game - Sitting down with your friends and playing cards can help boost your problem solving skills.
- Learn a New Language or Instrument - Nothing is quite as satisfying as mastering a new skill. Learning a new language or instrument can open doors for your life. Want to go to Italy? Learn Italian. Want to impress your friends? Learn to play the guitar (or for an easier learning curve, the ukulele).
Mushrooms For Intellectual Wellness
- Lion's Mane mushroom is a nootropic. This means it helps to enhance your memory and ability to learn! If you're looking for a boost for your brain, Lion's Mane is for you! Cordyceps and Reishi also have nootropic properties, but Lion's Mane takes the cake.
Tips For Occupational Wellness
- Do Something You Enjoy - You've heard it a million times before, but people are happiest when they're doing what they love! Try to find work that you find pleasurable, or try to think more about the good aspects of your current job.
- Skill-Build - Build up your skills and knowledge to help you become better at your current job, or to help you become qualified for a new one!
- Work Alone and In Groups - It's good to get a balance of working with co-workers and working on your own.
- Don't Overwork Yourself- Life is all about balance.
Mushrooms For Occupational Wellness
- Chaga could be the mushroom for you! Once used to increase endurance in hunters and foragers in Siberia, Chaga can provide you with energy for your day. The best way to drink Chaga to augment your work skills is to have a cup of Chaga Bulletproof Coffee! Just a tsp of coconut oil or butter in your Birch Boys Chaga Coffee, and you're ready to go!
Tips For Environmental Wellness
- Feel Safe in Your Environment - Whether it's at home, at work, or in nature, you want to feel safe wherever you are! Make sure your home is free from negativity and bad influences.
- Treat The Earth Well - Recycle, Compost, try to limit the amount you're polluting our Earth. Not only will it make the environment better for you, but for everyone around you as well!
- Take Care of Your Home - Check your smoke alarms, label and dispose of chemicals properly, tidy up if messes stress you out.
Mushrooms For Environmental Wellness
- Once again, there's no quick fix for environmental wellness but if you find yourself in a living situation that makes you uncomfortable, try Reishi for help chilling out.
- Living with an angsty, rude teen? Try drinking Reishi together to build your bond and help both of you relax!
Now that you've read our wellness tips, try some mushrooms too!
Birch Boys currently stocks both Chaga and Reishi. The other types of mushrooms above can be found all over the internet, give them a try!
“Physical Wellness Tips.” Representative Repertoire | Lawrence University, www.lawrence.edu/students/wellness/counseling/living-well-/physical-wellness-.
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Geary, Ali. “Eight Simple Steps to Increase Your Intellectual Wellness.” News - Illinois State, 22 Nov. 2016, news.illinoisstate.edu/2014/03/seven-simple-steps-increase-intellectual-wellness/.
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