Whether it’s making meals for the family, helping the kids with homework, or powering through work projects for the boss, most of us spend a good bit of the day worrying about others. But you can’t serve others until you’ve served yourself. These 10 healthy habits to practice daily with nourish your body, mind, and soul!
- Hydrate – And start early! Try to get in a glass of water before your coffee. While there is obviously water in our coffee or tea, there is also aa great deal of caffeine that can lead to dehydration. After 7 or 8 hours without consumption, drinking water after waking up helps to fight dehydration and kickstart digestion. But don’t stop there. If you don’t already, carrying a water bottle – preferably a reusable one – is total game-changer. General guidelines say to aim for at least 8, 8oz of water a day, but if you sweat when you exercise or if it’s the dead of summer, 10 servings may be a better goal. Keep in mind that water doesn’t only come from the tap. Many fruits and vegetables carry a decent amount of H2O as well!
- Bust a Move – It doesn’t take logging hours at the gym everyday to be considered exercise. In fact, mixing up your routine keeps your muscles smarter and stronger. Try out yoga, walk the dog, go for a run, just move. Physical strength and body confidence may be the most obvious benefits of exercise, but there are a number of perks associated with a regular sweat session. Exercise improves our cardiovascular system, keeps our psyche in check, and can boost our immune system.
- Protect Your Skin – Tans may look great on the beach, but less so under the microscope. Roughly 5.4 million Americans are diagnosed with skin cancer annually making it the most common cancer. Many of us live healthy, active lifestyles and still manage to neglect our skin, often forgetting that it is our largest organ. Look for a daily moisturizer, preferably with an SPF of at least 30, though many concealers and foundations now have an SPF value. And unless you are only exposed to the sun at the start of the day and work in a windowless office, remember to reapply.
- Strike a Power Pose – Because confidence is key. Just as TED Speaker Amy Cuddy whose research shows that body language can drastically affect others’ perceptions of us. But if posing like Superman doesn’t boost your self-esteem, find something that does. Do something daily that makes you feel good about yourself or simply makes you smile. Belt out your favorite song in the shower or dance to some Bey while you get ready for work. That feel-good attitude will show up in your work and throughout your day not only improving your outlook, but also building the confidence others have in you.
- Mealtime Mindfulness – Don’t only limit distractions while you eat, but before you eat as well. If you can’t remember what you had for breakfast, or worse, are afraid to admit what you ate, changes are it was not a great decision. Mealtimes can become hectic during the week, and unless your office kitchen looks like Google’s you probably have to plan ahead. Spend your Sunday on the beach or brunching like a weekend warrior? We all get that, but remember before you reach for that quick snack at the bottom of your bag – not all granola bars are created equal. Cutting out some time on the weekends to pre-chop veggies or a couple of salads to last your through the week is a great option. When this isn’t an option, you can always reach for something low in sugar with all natural, organic ingredients like Nutty Goodness.
- Take the Stairs – You will probably still beat your coworkers to your desk. But this is about more than working your glutes on the job. I mean, haven’t you heard? Sitting is the new smoking. As extreme as that sounds, there is some truth to it. Getting that run in before work is great, but 45 minutes of cardio does not cancel out nine hours of inactivity. Find opportunities like using the restroom on the next floor or walking to your coworker’s desk instead of instant messaging them to get out of your seat. These bouts of movement may not burn mad calories, but they keep your metabolism from plummeting while adding some literal pep to your step.
- Get Some Fresh Air – The conveniences of modern technology have made it far to easy to escape the light of day. For many working class Americans, the most time they spend outdoors during the week is the beginning and end of day traverse across parking lots. Whether it means simply taking lunch outside or by a window or changing your daily commute from the car to a bike if possible, spend time outside. All your body needs is 10-15 minutes outside to soak up your daily dose of all-natural Vitamin D and even lower your stress levels – just a couple of the many benefits of spending time in the great outdoors. And here is something extra for the kids!
- Take a Deep Breath, or Breaths – No need to go Darth Vader on us here, but you might find it an interesting challenge to count the number of breaths you take per minute. On average, adults take around 16 rounds of breath per minutes. This may not seem like many , but even so these 16 breaths are typically shallow, only utilizing about a third of our lung capacity. Over time, humans’ habitual sedentary lifestyles that may include a poor diet or posture, smoking, or high blood pressure have hindered our abilities to breathe effectively. Taking slower, deeper breaths taps into our parasympathetic nervous system to reduce fight-or-flight symptoms thus lowering anxiety and increasing your overall sense of well-being. By aiming for around 10 breaths per minute you may also find that this simple breathing exercise transforms into a sort of daily meditation practice.
- Embrace Your Sense of Smell – There is a reason some restaurants have open-air kitchens and others do not. They’re either thawing out frozen nuggets or preparing an aromatic dish that entices the senses, thus making you hungrier. Our sense of smell can play a sizable role in our general attitude. Give yourself some daily aromatherapy with scents like lavender to soothe, citrus to awaken, or cedar wood to find focus.
- Rest – When the Center for Disease Control considers ‘Insufficient Sleep’ a Public Health Problem we know something needs to change. According to the CDC, 50-70% of Americans suffer from a sleeping disorder. Consequences from lack of sleep can include something as serious as depression or even falling asleep at the wheel. Even if you don’t suffer from something as serious as hypertension or obesity as a result of diminished sleep, you may suffer from diminishing friendliness. Think your exhaustion only affects you? More often than not, friends, family, and coworkers often experience the repercussions in the form of a short temper. Aim for the recommended 8 hours regularly to feel a little more happy and a little less hangry.
Are you looking for more healthy tips and tools to teach to your kids? We recommend heading straight to the source. Best For The Kids is filled with helpful, happy, and healthy resources for parenting, play, and the works!