Because we spend so much time on the go, we don’t always have the time or energy to jump into a fitness class after work and be immersed in all things healthy living. It’s easy for me to forget that those who are not in the health and wellness space may not always know where to start. They think that the only way to feel healthy is to “hit the gym”. I’m here to tell you that’s not the case.
In order to feel better, you only need to take a few small steps every day. As well, by setting the intention to feel differently often results in a complete transformation of perception. In the end, you WILL feel healthier as a result. You DON’T have to change everything at once. Simply choose one to two strategies I share with you here and you’ll be on your way to feeling healthier.
I also want to add that this post on the 5 steps to feel healthier is not for those who already have a system in place, or for the über health-conscious who likely have the right mindset. This post is for the busy parent, or health professional who just doesn’t know where to start at making changes in their life, or needs new habits that will serve the next phase of their life. The person you were 5 years ago is likely very different today. That means you need new tools to keep up with the times. Be a good friend, and share this post along to them …
Five easy steps you can take to feel healthier today
1. Design an easy early morning wellness routine
If you live a life with chronic stress, you may not be getting quality sleep that leads to improved health. This can lead to waking-up tired and unrested. Perpetual stress on the body affects our adrenal glads. If you are consistently in that “fight or flight” mode, and unable to experience relief throughout the day, you may find it difficult to self-regulate and feel mentally and physically healthy.While it’s impossible to remove stress and the day-to-day pressures from our lives, it is entirely possible to take the necessary steps to feel healthier by creating an easy early morning wellness routine.
All you need is 5-10 minutes each morning to get the most our of this practice. It doesn’t need to be a big ordeal – simply some simple actions you take in the morning that sets up your day to feeling healthier. It can be reading positive affirmations, doing some yoga stretches, or taking a few deep breathes while standing tall. See my article on An Easy Early Morning Home Wellness Routine to get yourself started.
2. Drink more water. Just plain ol’ water
I used to look forward to filling my 2nd water bottle at noon hour when I was working a day job as a public health nurse, many years ago. I figured 3 litres of water daily balanced-out perfectly with an 8-4pm work schedule, and I often pulled that over to my casual shifts at the hospital. But looking back now, I know that I was a bit obsessed. On the flip side, it balanced-out my coffee drinking habit. As you likely know, coffee is a diuretic, so it can deplete your fluids.
If you want to change ONE thing about your health, so that you have more energy and feel less bloated, cut-out soda, energy drinks and caffeine from your diet, and add more water (Distilled or Reverse Osmosis water is way better for you!). If you don’t drink soda, good for you. I read somewhere recently that 75 percent of the American population is chronically dehydrated. Might you be a statistic? Dehydration leads to a whole host of physical issues like dry skin, fatigue, headaches, mood swings, low energy, stiffness and many more unpleasantries. The good news is these symptoms are totally reversible. If you don’t like the taste of plain water, jazz it up with some lemon, lime, or orange slices. Set the priority to manage at least 1 litre of intake by noon. Try this for a week, and observe how your body reacts. And, try to avoid water in aluminum cans, as well as tap water, as they’ll just add heavy metals and toxins into your body. The point is to remove them, right?
3. Move your body more every day
You do not have to join a gym and attend a high-intensity group fitness class every single day to improve your fitness and muscle tone. Believe it or not, simply standing tall and moving your arms from side-to-side or shaking out the tension in your shoulders can do wonders for your body. If you are currently inactive, then start small. Aim to do 10-minutes each day, and set a reminder in your phone. If you have the ability to get outdoors or hit the gym to get on a treadmill, then great! I’m a huge advocate of taking the stairs as often as is possible, if you’re working in an office building or just shopping at the mall. Whatever movements you can do to get the lymphatic system draining better, and the blood flowing, the better you’ll feel.
4. Add supplements to your daily diet
Supplements are the path of least resistance. They’re a quick and easy fix to giving your body what it needs. Often times, we’re in a mental fog and all we need to do is add an amino acid. Acetyl-L-Carnitine is perfect for this. I use this supplement as a low-dose boost when I know I have a few days of heavy writing ahead of me. Your gut most likely needs a daily probiotics too. If you’re having a tough time getting to sleep early, a tiny bit of melatonin will go a long way to getting the process of relaxation started, which will improve your sleep, and help you to get to bed early and improve your health.
You don’t need to spend a lot of money to find good quality products, unlike what the supplements industry would like you to believe. Just be sure that the fish oils are batch-tested against some of the most prevalent contaminants and you aren’t taking supplements that might be contraindicated with certain medications. Become an investigator, and experiment with what will make you feel healthier.
5. Use positive affirmations
As a mindfulness coach, I can’t emphasize enough the power of using affirmations to shift our health habits. Affirmations are the “I AM” statements that support us at being better in all areas of life. When you combine affirmations with everyday mindfulness, you can explore the real meaning of what’s going on inside your busy mind. Affirmations help us set intentions for how we want to feel, instead of the story we tell ourselves. They really do help us shift our mindset.
Here’s how to use affirmations to feel healthier:
1. Choose something that’s not working for you right now…perhaps you’re not at your ideal weight.
2. Then turn the statement around to you being at a better weight “I AM x pounds”. At first, it won’t feel useful at all because it might very well be a statement you’re saying out loud for the sake of it.
3. Add some feeling to the statement. This is the hard part, but feel the feels my friend.
4. Repeat it several times until you feel you’ve reached that ideal weight.
5. Watch how you think, feel and behave around this new “I AM” version of yourself over the upcoming weeks. You may notice yourself taking-on different behaviours that eventually enable you to reaching your ideal weight.
6. Do it everyday!
On a personal note, I used “I AM HEALTHY & BALANCED” at a time in my life where I was suffering deeply. Suddenly, certain things clicked and I had no pain. Just like that, something happened and I truly felt healthy and balanced.
Just choose one thing and go for it!
And there you have it! Five small steps you can take to start living healthier. Don’t do everything all at once. Choose what seems most achievable for consistency, and work on it. After you’ve got that one step down, add in another in about a week or so.
Here’s the thing: We’re all used to putting our time and attention into our professional careers and the people we care about the most. However, we need to focus on what’s right in front of us: our health and wellbeing. There’s nothing worth investing in more than you, right?