5 LITTLE REMINDERS TO BOOST YOUR WELLBEING
There are times when we're all over worked, over tired and over it all. Whether you're working full time, raising a family or over loading your schedule, we all need to take a step back, inhale a deep breath and take a moment to re-energize. We all fall off of the good health wagon sometimes, it's inevitable, but it's important that we jump right back on.
I'm not about to tell you anything you don't know, but we all get a little off track sometimes so this is your gentle nudge in the right direction. Five little reminders to put your health in the front of your mind:
1. Eat Well
Health starts in the kitchen. Even though I sound like a broken record, what you eat really does play a major part in your health. I'm not just talking about not eating junk food. Picking the right foods is the easy part, making sure you're getting an appropriate amount of all your macro and micro nutrients is where it gets tricky. I highly recommend using a micro and macro nutrient tracking app like Cronometer to see where your fall with your vitamin and mineral intake. You could eat a fresh, healthy diet and still be missing out on important vitamins and minerals. An annual blood test will also let you know what your body is lacking and where your diet can improve. Hitting micro and macro nutrient goals is the first step to great health.
2. Calm Down (especially at night)
We all get a little wound up some times, and while a little bit of stress may seem innocent enough, it can have a major effect on your well being. Stress keeps you up at night, it clouds your judgement during the day and it builds tension in your body. I try to find several times a day to stop what I'm doing, close my eyes, and take a few deep breaths to refresh my mind. If you're stressing, try making a list of what is causing your frustration. Seeing it written down can help you evaluate how to resolve these issues. Tackle them one at a time and don't let yourself get lost inside the madness. Getting an appropriate amount of sleep will help you to be more productive throughout each day. Start to unwind before you go to bed. Drink a warm cup of herbal tea, read a book or meditate for a short time. Just like you warm up before exercising, you need to warm up before sleeping too. Clear your mind, let your stress wait until the morning.
3. Practice Mindfulness
Mindfulness is often disregarded as an outdated, hippy practice. But it's really beneficial in connecting your mind to your body to understand how your body works and what it needs. Centering yourself, listening to your body and acting accordingly are all proponents of good health. Start by taking a few moments each day to sit comfortably, close your eyes and pay attention to your body and your mind. Acknowledge your thoughts and then let them pass. This practice helps to keep you aware of all that is happening in your mind and in your body, rather then becoming run down and not knowing how it happened. I'm not a master of mindfulness so if you'd like to learn more, this webpage is very helpful: https://www.helpguide.org/harvard/benefits-of-mindfulness.htm
4. Move More
We all know that exercise is essential for good health, it's not just to lose weight or to gain muscle. Moving your body keeps your organs and metabolism working properly, your body wants and needs to move. Exercise regularly but in addition to that, find extra ways to incorporate moving into your daily life. If you sit to eat lunch, try standing on one leg and alternating your balance. While you're brushing your teeth, throw a few squats in there. If you sit at work for long periods of time, perhaps it's time to invest in a standing desk. Set a timer for every 30-60 minutes and when it goes off, stop what you're doing and do one minute of exercise. I work in an office and every 30 minutes I try to get up and do a lap of the floor, it takes 65 seconds of fast paced walking and it lets me refocus on what I'm working on by energizing my body. What ever you're doing, put a little more movement into it.
5. Put Yourself First
Whether you're a parent, a partner, a sibling or a friend, we all have a tendency to put our loved ones ahead of ourselves. It's how we show love, it's how we care for others. But it's also how we become lost and worn out. You don't need to attend every event to be a good friend, you don't need to have dinner on the table every night to be a good partner and you don't need to sacrifice your sanity to be a good parent. Take time to be alone, to take a long bath, even to just grocery shop by yourself. Do something that makes you happy. Maybe you can't do it every day, maybe you can't do it every week, but you do need to find time to put yourself ahead of all the others in your life.