“Dincharya” – Creating a Healthy Routine

According to ayurvedic science, one of the most important things we can do for ourselves in terms of looking after ourselves and preventing illness before it happens, is to adopt a healthy, daily routine – “dincharya”.

Your dincharya can be something simple rather than complicated, and if you tune in and listen to your body, it can be easy to maintain. For example, does your body want or need breakfast, lunch and dinner? Do you give your body what it craves and what it needs when it needs it? Or are you in far too much of a hurry to sit down and eat a proper breakfast or lunch so perhaps end up “scoffing” something mindlessly (instead of mindfully) whilst on the run, driving or walking around the house, perhaps even sitting in front of the computer? Do you go to bed exhausted but wake up exhausted from a night filled with stressful dreams about all the things you need to remember? To finish? To start even? The truth is, that for many of us, when we go to bed it is simply to rest our weary minds – not our bodies. And the sleep, when and if it comes is rarely restful. Perhaps we all need to take a step back and consider some things we can and should do for ourselves each day if possible.

Some examples are:

    • Starting each day with a positive resolve or intention.
    • Letting go of the idea of perfectionism. Do your best instead.
    • Self massage. Take a bit of time to massage some natural oil – olive or sesame perhaps – into your skin every now and then. Let the oil soak in for at least 10 minutes before showering.
    • While your oil is soaking in, take five or 10 minutes to do a few stretches or exercises to loosen up your body if you don’t have time to go for a walk or do some more serious exercise.
    • Invest in a neti pot and introduce jalah neti to your daily routine to flush the sinuses – great for clearing the head!
    • Use a loofah or a salt scrub in your shower to get the blood stimulated.
    • Make time to sit down and eat freshly prepared, healthy meals in a mindful way.
    • Listen to soothing music on the way to work.
    • Turn the news off!
  • Take at least five or so minutes each day at least to focus on conscious breathing and muscle relaxation and try observing, rather than engaging with, your thoughts. Lying down with legs up the wall can be great to ease the nervous system (not recommended for people with high blood pressure).

All in all, your daily plan should be simple and not something so demanding that it is impossible to stick to it. Better to start with a resolve, for example, to exercise twice a week and eat only fresh food if you can. That way, if you find the time you can always do more. As most of us know, beginning with a plan to run 20k before breakfast each morning and to adopt a completely vegan diet overnight usually means we are setting ourselves up to fail before we start.

One thing I have done every single morning since I was around 15 years old, is drink a large glass of warm water shortly after I wake up and before I eat or drink anything else. These days, I scrape my tongue first,* and add a small pinch of pink salt and black pepper. This is simple and costs very little, but is a great digestive kickstart (the salt recharges the electrolyte / mineral levels and the black pepper is great for digestion generally and to manage any acid reflux).  Personally, I also couldn’t live without my daily jali neti (nasal cleansing) which clears my sinuses and soothes my sometimes foggy morning head!  So if you love how your head feels after you’ve been in the surf, you might like to give it a go!

*Lack of saliva as you sleep means your mouth is an overnight warm, damp breeding ground. You really don’t want all that stuff ending up back up in your stomach. In fact, I can promise you that this one, simple thing will contribute massively to your overall health.

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