Whether it’s eating more fresh vegetables, getting extra sleep, reducing stress, cutting back on caffeine or alcohol or exercising regularly, it seems most of us are continuously striving to improve our health. And I am no exception!
Over the last couple of months, I have incorporated several new lifestyle changes into my daily routine that I am excited to share with you. They are uncomplicated, inexpensive, and some are even enjoyable. Imagine that!
Most importantly, they are effective. I have noticed improvements in the way I feel – body, mind and spirit – since incorporating them into my everyday life.
Here are my 5 Healthy and Simple Lifestyle Tips:
1. Start Your Day With a Later Letter
In July, I submitted my first article to be published in an actual for-purchase, hold-in-your-hands magazine. I worked on my piece for weeks and when it came time to submit it to the editor, I was nervous. Being somewhat new to the world of freelance writing, I worried I would have to write it over again or make significant changes.
In an email to a friend the morning after my submission, I wrote that I wished my email to her later that day would read something like:
“I heard back from the editor and she loved my article. I don’t need to make any changes!”
I included more details about the day ahead like having a great workout, getting some chores completed and enjoying a relaxing evening at home. I sent it off as though those things had already occurred and suddenly I felt calm and super motivated to begin my day. I had a positive outlook on the day ahead all because of the email I wrote. Soon, my friend sent back an email of her own, writing as though it was later in the day…and a daily habit was born.
That afternoon, I received an email from my editor telling me my article was wonderful and ready to go as-is. In fact everything I detailed in my email to my friend that morning became a reality.
It’s been several weeks since that day and my friend and I are still exchanging what I call “Later Letters” every morning. Not everything I write in my Later Letter comes to fruition but it does set a positive tone for the day.
You can do it too. It’s easy! Find a friend who would be open to doing this with you or write it to yourself. The key is to be realistic. What do you want your day to be like? For instance winning the lottery, while possible, is a long shot. But finishing a work project, carving out time to work on a hobby or exercise, or assuming the best about an upcoming event is doable for most of us.
I believe a big part of why this method works is due to the physical act of writing down your hopes for the day and sending it off. I think it’s the ideal way to set your intentions and it’s much more fun than a tedious to-do list!
If you try it, I would love to hear about your experience.
2. Get Off Your Derriere
You have likely heard about the dangerous act of sitting on one’s rear for long stretches on an on-going basis. The medical community has been after us for years to move more, sit less. But when your job, hobby, or form of entertainment involves parking your rump in front of a laptop for hours at a time, what can you do? You can invest in a standing desk. I have long wanted one but thought it would be too cumbersome and too expensive.
But then I found a small standing desk on Amazon for less than $50.00. This Techni Mobili Laptop Cart is lightweight and it has wheels!
I drag mine all over the house. I use it in the kitchen, my bedroom, in front of the tv, on the porch…just about anywhere! It’s adjustable to the user’s height, has storage compartments and it’s quite sturdy given it’s small size. If you suspect your lifestyle is in need of more standing and less sitting, I highly recommend this desk.
3. Enjoy an Apple Cider Refresher
Many people, including Dr. Oz, tout the wonderful benefits of drinking a little apple cider vinegar daily. I like to add vinegar to my diet but drinking it straight or with water is not for me. Talk about a nasty stomachache! Instead, I make my Apple Cider Vinegar Refresher.
First I make a batch of ice tea with an herbal tea such as Celestial Seasonings Tangerine Zinger. To the tea I add liquid probiotics, a squeeze of lemon, a few drops of stevia and 2 tablespoons of organic apple cider vinegar and I’ve got a palatable and refreshing drink full of healthy benefits.
I usually have one of these drinks around 3:00 pm when I am at my most sluggish. But lately, I’m beginning my day with one. Read up on all the great things apple cider vinegar can do for you here.
4. Turn Off Your Electronics
It used to be that the last image I saw everyday before I went to sleep was my iPhone screen. I would look at my phone – usually Instagram or Pinterest – well after the lights went out. I actually thought mindlessly browsing these visual platforms would help me sleep better. As it turns out, that’s not the case. The light emitting from a smartphone coupled with the barrage of images you see stimulate your brain, thereby decreasing your chances of a healthy slumber.
I decided a couple of weeks ago to switch off all electronic devices at least an hour before bedtime each night to give my brain some downtime before I go to sleep. I notice an improvement in the quality of my sleep and feel more relaxed when I turn in for the night.
5. Just Breathe!
I recently bought Easing Your Mind Calm by Dr. Allay Fair, a short and low-priced ebook that has lots of great instructional material for how to meditate and relax your mind and body.
In the chapter titled “Retire and Retreat” I found an easy exercise I can do after I settle into bed. It’s a great way to cap off my day and it helps me sleep better.
You simply close your eyes while breathing deeply. During exhalation, visualize all your thoughts coming together in one single unit as you expel your breath. Do this five times, take a 30 second break, then do it once again. I find that it really does put my mind at ease and quiets that chattering voice in my head, quickly sending me off to sleep. It’s a much better way to end the day than having my face in a phone!
What healthy habits have you incorporated into your lifestyle recently?
Make it a rich – and healthy – day!