Summer season is reaching to its end, the pace is picking up, traffic is picking up and schools are about to begin. Are you going to let stress get over your life once again? Don’t you think that it is time to do those steps towards the life that we all know we deserve? Dedicate this season to a healthier happier you and enjoy the journey!
1. Minimize distractions
For those who read last month’s blog post well done and I trust that you followed at least one of the tips for some moments of mindfulness during your day. For the rest I will just be brief: dedicate at least one hour for conscious digital detox per day. Social Media, TV, the Internet, Whatsapp are all very useful tools in keeping us connected with the rest of the world but we have all become addicted! I’m not asking for much; I’m being very realistic and I keep the target low: only one hour per day, just stay away. Keep them out of reach, don’t even throw a glance for 1 hour. You will be surprised to realize how much space they consume in your mind! Practice it for 3 weeks and you will notice an increase of memory, more positive thinking, and reduction on stress levels and even improvement on sleep. But most important you won’t believe how empowering it is going to be, being the master of your time!
2. Devote time for self-reflection
It’s not too complicated. You don’t have to spend too much of your precious time. 15 minutes are enough to stay in the company of yourself and only. Find a peaceful and comfortable space and do not allow anything or anyone to distract you. Take some slow and deep breaths, let your mind wander but avoid getting stuck on a specific thought. You can meditate or just do nothing. Either or, your nervous system will get the message and cool down all systems; your tight muscles will start to relax a little, your heart-rate will lower, your hormones will finally start to regulate. Extra bonus: deeper sleep and cell-rejuvenation!
3. Move and exercise… the right way
I will keep on saying it until I have no voice anymore! Life starts with movement and life ends when movement stops. Our heart moves, our lungs move, our organs move, there is absolutely nothing inside our body that is stuck. Keep this body active inside and out! Take deep breaths, take a brisk walk at least 3 times a week. Stretch and strengthen. But please, do not go from zero to fight mode. Stop punishing yourselves for the lost time by over-exercising, pumping weights without fixing a poor posture, joining a boot-camp after years of doing nothing won’t get you anywhere! It is a matter of weeks that you will get injured and stop again. Building muscles is like building walls for your house: what is the use of them if you don’t have strong foundations to support all this load? Pilates and some practices of Yoga focus on strengthening muscles while improving posture. TRX training is also very good as it uses gravity to stretch and strengthen joints and muscles. Plus you can adjust the intensity of your workout simply by positioning your body on a different angle. Just find the right trainers who will protect you from potential injuries as well as will challenge your limits. Start with 2 hours per week and your body will thank you!
4. Nutrition’s 1-2-3 rules
I know it’s easier to say than done. Talking out of my very personal experience there are months that I struggle to find time to go grocery shopping, cook or just to organize my meals properly. But seriously, this cannot continue forever. In the spirit of self-care and mindfulness, I follow 3 simple rules that make whole a lot of difference: First Rule is “Eat Simple” 2 meals of each day should be simple -nothing processed at all, containing a protein of any kind and vegetables. The second rule “Eat before you get too hungry”, otherwise you have fewer chances to make conscious healthy choices (and you know it!). Third and last Rule “Eat Less”. Try a fruit plate, which is what my mother kept on telling me since I was a child. It was impossible to understand up to now. I tried and tested, she was right. It may take you 3-4 days to get used to the smaller portions but then you will notice an increase in energy levels, most probably shrink one size and without a doubt much better about yourself!
5. Refresh your look
A new haircut, a pair of jeans maybe, a bright-colored top or a sassy pair of shoes can take you a long way and shake things up a little bit. Keep your mindset, your outlook and your appearance always fresh. It will make you feel good inside and out. When we have a positive image of ourselves, we produce hormones that boost our mood. Believe it or not, it sharpens our reflexes and observation skills. It reflects confidence and projects a positive message to those around us. Let’s stay fresh and young for longer!
6. Do one thing per week that makes you happy
It might be a hobby, a dinner with your partner, a friends’ gathering, a sport or group activity. All it matters is that it will make you smile and light up your soul. Remember to keep it regular. It sends a message to our brain that we are taking good care of ourselves. It reduces stress-levels, improving hormonal healthy intake and keep us stay connected with life!
7. Invest in your sleep
Nothing makes or breaks a day like a night before. Do not take your sleeping habits lightly. More and more people suffer from various sleeping disorders, either having trouble to fall asleep, waking up in the middle of the night without being able to sleep back again or waking up in the morning exhausted instead of refreshed. Specialists advise to stop drinking any caffeinated beverage at least 6 hours prior the scheduled bed-time, eat the last meal of the day 3 hours before (and make it a light one) and switch off the TV, computer or phone 1 hour before the desired sleeping time. This will help you train your mind and body to get into the mode. Efficient hours of good quality sleep help us stay healthy for much longer, minimizes cravings for sugar and carbs, without a double enhances our productivity and overall wellbeing. Happiness is in the simple things but most importantly within ourselves… Start with those baby steps and take good care of the most unique person in this world: You!