By the time the January rolls around many of us are eager for a fresh start. 2020 was a challenging year for us all, and has left most of us craving a new beginning so we can shed the skin of the previous year. While the beginning of the year incites motivation for better habits, coming off of the holidays can be rather rough. We go from eating junk and hanging out nonstop, to suddenly having a laundry list of healthy habits we feel pressured to adopt. If you know that you want to live a more elevated life, but you do not know where to start, try implementing these simple health and wellness tips.
A Morning Routine
Following a morning routine is the perfect way to start the day. Studies have proven that having a morning routine increases productivity and influences the remainder of the day. No, you do not have to wake up at the crack of down, swim 10 laps, and drink a matcha, protein, ginger smoothie all before 6:30am. With that said, it does definitely help to add some sort of discipline and structure to your morning. This could mean taking a 15 minute walk, completing a skincare routine, or reading a chapter of a book after you brush your teeth. Implement a morning routine that adds peace and mindfulness to your morning.
Incorporate a fruit or vegetable with each meal
Ah, there it is, the most popular resolution: eating healthier. Healthy eating is extremely important. It improves physical and emotional health, gives you a strong immune system and an abundance of energy. If you are eating french fries and chocolate shakes with each meal, it is not realistic to do a complete 180 and start eating raw vegetables 10 times a day. There are levels, grasshopper. A simple way to eat healthier is by simply adding a fruit or vegetable to each meal. Your meals may look something like this:
Eggs, slice of bread, banana and berry smoothie
Spinach wrap with chicken and and a handful of blackberries for a snack
Rice and stir fried vegetables
Are these meals the epitome of health? No. Are they better than some other unhealthy options? Yes. Start small and slowly make your way up to cutting out more unhealthy foods and replacing them with more organic supplements.
I think sometimes we get so busy that we tend to forget the importance of connecting with others. Human connection is so important because it fills us with love and fulfills our human need to be part of a community. These days, many people try so hard to separate themselves from others and sort of fend for themselves. Sure, it is great to be independent, but do not lose sight of the importance of connecting with others. Make time to meet a friend for dinner or have a phone call with a family member. It feels so good to be close to others, do not deny yourself the pleasure of it.
More time in nature
Nature is an extremely healthy and grounding force that does wonders for both your physical and emotional health. Time in nature reduces stress, reduces inflammation, relieves depression and anxiety, improves memory, and more. If you live in a climate that gets cold like me (hello from NJ!) you may struggle to get outside during the cooler months. While it is cold, I have found that going for a 40 minute walk during my lunch break does wonders for my mental health. I throw on my coat, gloves, and a hat and head out the door, instantly feeling more in tune and grounded. Sure, it may be cold at first but it honestly feels so healthy and relaxing that I don’t even mind. Even if you can do 10 minutes, it is well worth it. If you for whatever reason cannot get outside, I recommend opening up the windows or even taking some time during the day to sit next to a window and look outside. That alone is very meditative and will lead you on a healthier path.
Schedule a weekly date with yourself
Everything mentioned above well help you to take care of yourself, however it is also important to practice self care in ways that are meaningful and personal to you. You are the longest relationship you will ever have, so you need to treat yourself right. Schedule time each week to do something just for you. If you are a caretaker or just a busy person in general, this may seem pretty much impossible. However, I challenge you to do what you can to take even just 1 hour a week to treat yourself. This could be anything from taking a bubble bath to getting a massage or sitting alone with yourself and a book good at your favorite coffee shop. You are special, you are important, and you deserve nice things. Make time for healthy habits and watch your entire life blossom in front of your eyes.
Everyone is different, but these habits are a great place to start. As you follow these habits your mind will be opened up to new ways of living and will have greater insight as to what other habits will be healthy for you to adopt.
Let’s grow together.
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