Want to get healthier today? Good news, there are lots of ways to get started!
1. Do whatever it takes to get more water into your system.
Many of us live in a chronically dehydrated state without even knowing it. We're made up of around 80% water and it's crucial for our wellbeing that we replish what we use up throughout the day. Our cells need water to function properly, and we want healthy cells. Bonus: having healthy cells is what gives us a youthful look, energy and proper assimilation of nutrients.
Start your day with a glass of water, and don't wait until you're thirsty to drink more. For more tips on how (and why) you need water, see my article Are You Chronically Dehydrated Without Even Knowing It?
2. Take as many moments as possible throughout your day to become aware of your breath.
The more we become concious of our breath, the more we're able to maintain an awareness of the present moment. It is only within the present moment that we're actually awake, receptive and alive. Often, we go for long periods of time breathing so shallow, that we forget we have lungs!
Take as many moments as possible throughout your day to become aware of your breath. Notice what happens when you do. For me, a sense of calm, inner knowing overcomes any transient thoughts. I become energized and focused. I begin to create a new pathway that embraces my awareness and intake of a deeper breath. With more oxygen comes less tension, toxins and controlling emotions. Our immune systems are strengthened, and our internal organs are massaged. Typically, once I become aware of my breath, I also become aware of my posture (or lack thereof). I keep a few subtle reminders throughout my home and vehicle to help remind me to become aware when I get caught up in the daily shuffle.
3. Move! Exercise, practice yoga, or play.
Exercise, movement, or play (whatever you want to call it!) is key to our health. It's connected with our breath and therefore our wellbeing. Some people are so overwhelmed by the concept of exercise that they'd rather just avoid it completely. The thing is, there are SO many beautiful ways to move and enjoy being in a physical body. Don't let anyone tell you the only way to exercise is in a gym!
For me, getting outside each day is the greatest gift I can give myself. It doesn't matter what I choose to do whether it's walking, biking, jogging, running, skipping, rollerblading, snowshoeing, kayaking, stand up paddle boarding, so long as I am outside and moving! On super chilly days, I get sweaty indoors by doing yoga, pilates or dancing up a storm in my room or at a concert.
The key is to stretch your body, let it tell you what to do. Listen. It knows what it wants, so trust your body's wisdom. The payback will be huge. By committing to moving your body at least 5 times a week, for at least 20 vigorous minutes, you will dramatically increase your mood, feel and look better both inside and out and increase your overall wellbeing by amounts only your greatest self can truly understand.
4. Use herbs and spices daily. (Don't be afraid!)
Throw some spices into your smoothies, salad dressings, soups, greens, sandwiches and desserts. Try using more spice than you normally would. There are infinite uses for these incredibly healthy flavor enhancers.
I always add cinnamon, nutmeg and freshly chopped ginger to my morning smoothies and put them on top of oatmeal or yogurt. They make it so tasty and have wonderful anti-inflamatory properties that will also help protect against colds and flus. Experiment with different herbs and spices.
Try throwing ginger in your next salsa (can you tell I'm a fan of ginger?), try blending in some anise seed into your next smoothie, add cilantro to your next soup once it's done cooking, try making a pesto without basil. I love fresh rosemary on both potatoes and eggs. Fresh thyme goes great with squash and in broths. It may be winter, but if you have any hardy herbs they will still be growing. Harvest them early in the morning and keep them on your counter in a little vase of water that will not only look pretty but will remind you to use them.
5. Be open to wonder.
Being comfortable not knowing everything is one of the greatest gifts we can give ourselves. We'll never know everything and we don't have to! Ah, what a relief! Learning to be open to all the possibilities that life has to offer us takes practice. Often, we couldn't have even dreamed up the blessings that we deserve. In order to receive them, we must be fully willing and open to surrender our expectations. Sometimes we don't even know that we're closed off. It can be as simple as getting stuck in a rut.
When this feeling happens, we have to shift gears and try something new. With newness comes change, and often inspiration and guidance to our truest and most meaningful path. A visual representation of this that I like is to remove the fences (or sometimes massive stone walls) that have been built up around our minds. The walls come in the form of expectations, silly excuses and judgment. Let those walls crumble! Be open to WONDER.