That’s what Rita Karapurkar Williams, 40, mother of two boys in Lewes, says about her family. Rita, who works as a health coach with Beebe Healthcare, finds balance mentally, physically, and spiritually in the day‐to‐day mindfulness practice she tries to adopt.
With husband, Andrew, and sons Bodhi and Keenan, 5 and 9, Rita’s family stays busy. They spend a lot of time at the beach kayaking, stand‐up paddleboarding, and swimming. They travel, and both kids play sports. Rita, who has always loved yoga, practices regularly. “Practice” is a word Rita uses often in talking about her life.
“I consider myself a learner and grower in every aspect of life, both physically and emotionally,” she says. “There’s a reason we call this practice—these healthy daily habits are something I’m always working on and asking ‘what do I need right now?’ I reflect and ask that question often—and repeat. For a long time, I didn’t put myself on that priority list.”
Rita encourages time for self‐care and healthy habits. Adopting these habits, whether it’s staying mindful throughout the day or weekly meal planning, is a process and a practice. “I try not to judge when I feel like I’m not doing what I should be doing,” Rita says. “I stay grounded by signing up for exercise classes that keep me accountable.”
Find Connection with Others
Social ties with family members, friends and acquaintances do more than make us feel good—they can lead to healthier lives. According to a study in Harvard Health Watch, these relationships can relieve stress and provide crucial social support, especially in difficult times. But what happens when making time for friends is causing stress?
Evaluate your commitments and regular activities. Are these habits—and people associated—contributing to your overall well‐being? Mindfulness can help cultivate healthy habits.
“When we become more loving and tolerant with ourselves, we’re able to be that way with other people,” says Cheyenne. “Mindfulness training has to do with focusing on the moment, being aware of our feelings, and responding appropriately. This training can help us in the relationship with ourselves and with others.”
Sleep for a Balanced Life
Rita and her family journal about what they’re grateful for every night—it’s one practice for settling down for sleep. Beacon talked with Vikas Batra, MD, about how good sleep affects overall health.
Adults need seven to nine hours of uninterrupted sleep. Because of our busy lifestyles,we are sleeping less and less. Quality of sleep is affected by certain sleep disorders causing fragmented sleep, like sleep apnea. Conditions like depression, anxiety, and chronic pain syndrome affect sleep quality.
While sleep deprivation causes daytime tiredness and lapses in attention and memory. Learning and acquisition of new information is reduced. In fact, 24 hours of constant wakefulness reduces cognitive function to a level equivalent with having a blood alcohol level of 0.10.
Chronic lack of sleep causes higher anxiety levels and levels of depression. Lack of sleep triggers our stress response, leading to a release of hormones like cortisol and norepinephrine, linked to a higher risk for diabetes. Sleep helps maintain a balance between hormones that make us hungry or full. Sleep deprivation decreases the body's immune system and increases risks for infections. If you are not sleeping well, seek help. You may have a sleep disorder that can be treated, and treatment may improve your health and longevity.
Healthy Body, Healthy Back
If you suffer from chronic back or neck pain, you understand how frustrating and debilitating it can be. With the Beebe HealthyBack program, there’s help.
The program pairs individuals with a multidisciplinary care team—including physical therapists, exercise physiologists and health coaches—who help the patient improve his or her quality of life. They work together to functionally restore muscles by improving strength and mobility, as well as address other health issues that contribute to success, including stress and weight management.
“Through HealthyBack I help patients discover their vision and why they want to be healthy,” says Rita, a health coach with Beebe’s program. “Together we set goals and establish accountability. I help them uncover what’s really important to them and put small steps in place to reach bigger goals.”