The biggest learning of this year has been this: Taking effort to keep ourselves healthy, is way better than trying to spend your money curing an illness.
Every alternate forward we receive on our chats nowadays, is about some recipe, remedy or miraculous herb that can restore our immunity, and keep us strong. However, health is a long term journey, and a process we need to follow every single day.
One of our vital organs that we neglect till it’s quite late, are the kidneys. They work noiselessly, and are damaged in equal silence. People with kidney issues, and those already on dialysis have to constantly be watchful, to prevent aggravating the situation. If they are mindful, they can live healthier and fuller lives.
Here are a few ways to protect our kidneys from stress:
- Physical diet: Our food is the first parameter of good health. A good dietician and nutritionist can help you create a personalised meal plan, so that you include more fibre on your plate, while avoiding foods that increase creatinine.
- Mental diet: We consume meals, but we also consume media. And that can affect your mind, increasing your stress levels. It helps to, instead, choose what you’re watching, reading or listening to. Focus on the good stuff that’s happening around you, listen to your favourite music and podcasts, and stay optimistic about life.
- Emotional diet: What are the emotionals you feel most days of the week? If you’re constantly worried, angry, anxious, nervous or sad, it will affect your health immediately. All our health issues have a psychosomatic root. It’s always a good thing to focus on the bright side of people and situations. Even if there are challenges, look for something to smile and be grateful about. Your moods will lift immediately.
- Cut down salt: Except in extreme cases, there’s usually no need to avoid salt altogether. It is easier and better to bring down the quantities, and find alternatives that flavour your food more. Try adding peppers, spices and some freshly squeezed lime, to give you a burst of flavours in your mouth
- Cut down sugars: All your health issues benefit greatly when you go off excess sugar. Slowly bring down the quantities of sugar you add in your tea or coffee. Replace it with jaggery, or similar natural substitutes.
- Tend your garden: This simply means, whatever it is that makes you feel happy and fulfilled, you should do more of. So, please bring back your hobbies and passions from out of the closet and feel inspired to create. Art, music, gardening or craft – get started on a favourite project, and feel the difference. The enthusiasm you feel will boost your immunity.
- Exercise: If you are a regular at your gym – great. For those who find it difficult to stick to a gym routine, opt for long walks, yoga and breathing exercises,
- Bring in the elements: Air, water, sunlight, sky and the earth are nature’s best healers. Being in Nature can immediately bring down your stress levels, and therefore, take the pressure off your kidney. Also, ensure that you keep your gadgets aside for at least an hour a day.
- Sleep: A good night’s sleep works wonders, because that’s the time your cells restore themselves. Also, do not underestimate the goodness of a short afternoon siesta. Even 20 minutes of rest can help calm your system, and help you stay more alert and upbeat through the rest of the day.
- Create Goals: A goal gives you focus, and helps channel your energies to something you have committed to. Short term goals can make you achieve more, in easy to accomplish steps. Long term goals help define who you truly are. Write down your goals, and an action plan that will help you stay driven and inspired.
Treat your health issue as a challenge, and not a punishment. This will help you come out of the self-pity mode, and remind you to appreciate all the other things you are blessed with in life.
Dr. Venkatesh, Senior Nephrologist, Apollo Dialysis Clinics