Small Steps that Lead to a Healthier You
Why?! I mean why do I put myself through this all the time? I don't want to do it. Do I really have to? I mean, if I do it, will it really make a difference? What am I talking about? I'm talking about what I think about around the choices I make every single day that lead to creating and sustaining a healthier me. How often do you think about this? Once a day, week, month, at the end of the year when it's new year resolution time? When do these thoughts and questions come up for you? It's funny because sometimes we can be intentional about taking steps that lead to a healthier lifestyle and other times, it just ends up happening and we don't even realize it. Let me share some of the healthy habits/routines that I've developed over time.
If you're anything like me, then you don't like getting up early in the morning. However, I find that as long as I've gotten a good night's sleep (I'll get to that later), then I'm refreshed and I have energy to get some things done. What kind of things? Well, let me tell you.
Wake Up! Wake Up!
Awwww, waking up after the alarm goes off. Challenging to do, but it's not impossible. I have an Echo Dot (Alexa) on my nightstand and I have it set to play music by Brian Culbertson (smooth jazz). I find it great and soothing music to wake up to because it fades in and doesn't scare me.
Breathe and Set Intentions Before Starting the Day!
As I sit up in my bed, I take 3 deep breathes to center myself before the Beta Waves in my brain start firing off like crazy with thoughts of worry or lists of things I need to do for the day. I then grab my journal that is right by the side of my nightstand on the floor (for easy access). I write the date and number 1 to 4 with words of intention for the day that have meaning for me. It's not my list of activities for the day but rather how I want to show up for myself. For example, I'll write words like "Grace," "Calm", "Breathe Deeply" (how often do we do this??!!!), "Smile", "Be slow with your words". These are all things that I'm working on so I have to be intentional to make them part of who I want to be for the day and who I want to eventually become as these are not all things I'm good at today so I focus on developing these healthy habits, small steps at a time, one day at a time.
After I breathe and set my intentions before starting my day, I go to my kitchen and take my vitamin supplements in isotonic form. Let me know if you are interested in daily essential vitamins for the body because I sell them along with other wellness products. I've been taking these products for almost 9 years and they have never failed me yet. They keep me healthy and the proof is that I barely get sick/catch a cold. Maybe once a year and it's never anything to "cry over spilled milk" about or that put me out! I also maintain my energy throughout the day from the B complex vitamins. Transparently, I take Multivitamins, Calcium Plus, an exclusive product called OPC-3 (A-MAZING anti-inflammatory product), B Complex and Magnesium (helps me get great quality sleep among other benefits). These supplements are essential and your body can not make most of the nutrients on it's own which is why they are referred to as essential. This is one of the best healthy habits I started. It's the way I take the vitamins that makes it the best because the absorption rate is roughly 90 to 95% because I'm taking my supplements in powder form so there are no capsules that my body has to break down which reduces the amount of absorption.
So, even though I'm not a morning person, I've discovered through trial and error that exercising, which I like to change the language and say movement, is better for me in the morning than in the evening. This is true for several reasons.
1) I'm not tired when I wake up because I've recharged my battery.
2) There is nothing in my way but me and the gym so I have no one to blame but myself if I don't get up and go. At night, it can be more challenging because I'm more tired after working all day.
3) I like to still be fasting before I move my body.
4) I have energy to get me through the day when I've had movement first thing.
5) My attitude is more positive after good movement,
I would think those are good reasons enough if you haven't tried movement in the morning, to give it a try!
Quick Me Time Break!
I like to break up my day with a mid-day 5 minute meditation. I love my Peloton App because it has so many options including guided meditations. It is especially helpful to take a little time for me this way if my day is hectic and I'm feeling stressed. I know the worries will still be there but I can take 5 minutes to let them go. We all have 5 minutes for "me time". I don't care what you say/think. Put you first for at least 5 minutes a day... to start!
So if there is one thing that I organically developed as a healthy habit that wasn't intentional was meal-prepping. I feel it is the second best healthy habit I could ever do for myself because it helps me with the following:
1) Honor my hunger because the food is there when I'm ready to eat.
2) It's healthy!
3) It gives me back precious time for myself and my family at night because I don't spend it cooking.
4) It keeps my kitchen clean throughout the week because I only cook and clean once on Sundays.
Wind Down! Wind Down!
My favorite time of the day is bedtime! When I slide into that bed and lay down, it's like woooo saaaa!!!! It just feels so damn good! Do you agree?!!! However, before I just get in the bed, there are a few things I like to do to show myself self-care and self-love to make my wind down from the day more of an enjoyable experience.
1) Shower- I like to shower at night as well as in the morning. I enjoy the scents from one of my favorite body washes as that is what I want to smell on me at night/when I'm in my bed. The warm shower also calms and relaxes me besides making me feel clean. I love showing myself love/care with a shower before bed.
2) Heating pad on bed- After I take all the extra pillows off my bed, I turn back my flat sheet and put my heading pad in my spot so it's nice and yummy toasty when I get in bed. Boy do I get excited each night I see that pad just waiting for me! The pad also helps to relax me as well as ease any aches I have in my lower back. Nothing like it!
3) Aromatherapy- While I'm washing my face and brushing my teeth, I turn on my aromatherapy oil diffuser. Three of my favorite scents are Gardenia, Jasmin, and White Tea. They smell sooooo good and do the same for my room. Lavendar, of course, is also a popular scent that I use. I got my aromatherapy oil diffuser as a housewarming gift from my friend and realtor who helped me get my home and I think it's the best gift to give someone for self-care! I ended up buying two more for my home and have given as a gift as well.
4) Light Candle-I love candles. It's a soothing thing to do. I light a scented candle on my nightstand after turning on my aromatherapy oil diffuser. Just seeing the flame further calms me!
5) Lotion My Feet - If you've read my blogs, you know that I've shared the benefits for self-care and that one of them is taking care of your feet since they take such care of you. Every night, I massage Gold Bond Ultimate Healing Foot Cream deep into my feet, massage for a while and then put on socks to ensure the cream sinks deep into my feet to soften and moisturize them. There are no hammer time/cracked feet over here! No nail technician uses that razor thing on my feet. Never has and never while! Take good care of your feet like they take good care of you by getting you around!
6) Read- I spend about 20 minutes reading to further help me wind down/relax so that I can get to sleep faster. Reading is definitely a healthy habit! Putting the phone away and really reading something of pleasure is great for the brain! Reading consistently strengthens connections in the brain, improves memory and concentration, and may even help you live longer. It reduces stress (I so need to do that)! Please set aside time every day to pick up a book, whether it's during your commute or before bed.
6) Sleep by 10:30-11:00P- I find the quality to be very good. There are many times that I wake up in the middle of the night and going to the bathroom is one of those reasons. The best way to fall back to sleep is to really focus on your breathing. That always does the trick. The trick is NOT to pick up your phone. Been there and done that. NEVER works EVERY time! Don't touch that phone if you want good/healthy sleep. All the phone does is create bad habits that become harder to break because of the addition. Make that change now if you are doing this at night. If you need to put the phone in another room to charge, then do that! Trust me, not something you want to keep as a habit if you do this today!
These are the healthy habits/routines I've developed over time. They are small steps that develop into big impacts for health, long term. The trick is just to focus on one healthy habit/routine, one at a time until you no longer have to remember/think about it. It's just something you do without thinking. Like brushing your teeth. I love my healthy habits/routines and I'm sure I will continue to develop more. Do you? Will you?
If there is anything I've shared resonated with you or you have blog topic recommendations, then I welcome you to leave a comment below or reach out to me for a free consultation to get help in an area of your life or a change/transformation you want to begin this year! Click here to book an appointment Work With Me | Life Chapters Coaching
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