When I discovered that there is actually an acronym for “new start” that focused on this concept, I was delighted! Newstart™ is a lifestyle club primarily aimed at reducing illnesses through natural wellness promotion.
Newstart™ suggests we can improve our physical, emotional, and spiritual health by tending to the following needs on a daily basis: Nutrition, Exercise, Water, Sunshine, Temperance, Air, Rest, & Trust in divine power.
By tending to these 8 simple points, we can restore strength and focus in the here and now, making the acronym a great, daily reminder especially applicable to those working through recovery.
To give you a picture of how this wonderful tool might be helpful, I have jotted down some ideas of its relevance to eating disorder recovery.
Consider nutrient-dense, whole foods as medicine, helping the body to repair and rebuild
Follow a regular times to train your body to restore hunger signals
Remember that adequate intake correlates with a more stable mood and increased energy
Consider finding an RD who can help with meal planning and encouragement
Write out a list of menu ideas and grocery shop for staple items so you always have something on hand
When you are ready, integrate food challenges into your meal plan (desserts, eating out, etc…)
Eating with trustworthy friends, family, or professionals can provide accountability and support
Exercise for health of MIND and SPIRIT, not just physical body
Healthy amounts of exercise can boost neurotransmitters and brain chemistry
If you struggle over-exercising, work with a professional to create safety and boundaries around your physical activities, which may include taking a break for a period of time.
Have variety and choose activities that are FUN: walking, playing soccer, cycling, skateboarding, bodyboarding, etc…
Enjoy moving meditations such as dance or yoga.
Our bodies are about 70% water, making hydration imperative for every cell of our being
Hydrotherapy, massage, and water enhance circulation and immunity
Drink more water, tea, and diluted juices à less coffee! Have realistic expectations. Start with one cup today and work up from there.
Relax in a nice, warm bath
Enjoy nature’s bounty of water. Swim in a river, lake, pond, or ocean.
Sunshine helps restore our healthy metabolism and hormone balance
Sunshine is a great source of energy (solar energy!) and offers the human body a source of vitamin D, especially important for those on a plant-based diet
When I go outside, I feel a surge of life force energy! The warmth and energy opens my heart.
Of course, use sunscreen when prolonging exposure to the sun.
Moderation in all things (including exercise and nutrition J)
Aim for striking a balance in life rather than being ruled by obsessions
Too much of anything throws us out of balance
Perfection is an extreme on a continuum. You are “good enough” as you are.
Fresh, pure air is the body’s most essential resource: oxygen!
Get outside (and maybe take a walk) and feel the breeze against your skin
Open the windows and screen doors to circulate air throughout your home
Practice yoga pranayama / breath work [Read more…]
Sleep allows the body to renew itself
Try to follow a regulated sleeping schedule
Remember moderation. Too little or too much sleep disrupts our energy and mood.
Practice good “bed hygiene” …Avoid reading, working on the computer, and watching TV while preparing for sleep. The lights and activities stimulate the brain, which is counterproductive to winding down.
Trust in divine power (divinity):
You have a great purpose in life. Your impact in the world may be greater than you can ever know.
We are all interconnected. We breathe the same air and drink the same water as all other living creatures
Practice honoring your gratitude. When upset, find one simple thing you are thankful for
For many, prayer and meditation are food for the soul.
Now, I invite you to consider each of the 8 key points of the NEWSTART acronym and write out ways you might be able to apply this tool to your own recovery. Remember, every day is a new start with new potential!