Everyone has their habits of day-to-day rituals. Sometimes it's clear they're the best for our overall health and well-being, and other times, maybe less so. They say old habits die hard, but it's not always so black and white. As it turns out, with a little focused effort and directed energy, it's not all that difficult to rework your routine to ensure your healthiest habits are the higher priority, all the while weeding out those guiltier go-to's that are no longer serving you.
Getting enough rest may seem overrated when you're on a Netflix binge (or doing whatever other time-consuming activity you may think is more important in the moment). The truth is, it's not. Being under-rested is bound to impact every other aspect of your life. Feeling sluggish at the end of your shift? Make sure to hit the hay a bit earlier than usual. If you have trouble winding down around bedtime, try to build a routine to get into the right headspace to rest up. This is different for everyone, but it can involve calming music, relaxing lighting, aromatherapy, and even boosting up your bedding situation. Make your Z's a priority, and you'll soon see how it positively affects other areas of your daily activities and obligations.
What goes in your body matters immensely. We all know it's true, but sometimes we have selective memories. It's easier to stay hydrated and eat well when you make them genuinely appealing. Bored with plain old water? Add some ice, vitamin-enriched flavor powders, and berries -- or try infusing it with cucumbers to feel like you're at a fancy day spa every time you sip.
If it's tempting to eat foods that make you feel icky, remember that afterwards feeling before you get hungry, and plan for a satisfying meal that won't have a taxing effect on your energy level or your waistline. It can be helpful to browse for appetizing recipes online beforehand, so you can look forward to that meal throughout the day. When you've been craving your perfectly pink pan-seared salmon dinner since lunchtime, you'll surely be salivating by the time it's steaming on your plate.
All too often, people put off working out because they think it's a bigger hassle than it has to be. Not every workout requires packing a gym bag, or endless amounts of preparation. There are countless ways to work exercise into your regular activities. Not all of them are as overt as biking to work, although perhaps choosing one day a week to bust out the bicycle isn't the worst idea.
Other easy ways to bring calorie-boosting maneuvers into your life: chair dips off the couch during commercial breaks, yoga stretches in the shower, curling soup cans while you wait for water to boil -- get creative and see how many ways you can incorporate some bonus reps into an otherwise idle span of time. If you really want to lean into your home exercise routine, people are raving about the ease and accessibility of the Mirror smart gym. That's right, amazing personal trainers can now be virtual and customized. How great is that?
Sometimes it might seem like a busy life simply doesn't allow for luxuries like bubble baths. If you think staying productive prohibits carving out some special you-time, think again. Restoration is proven to boost our performance. There's no shame in self-care, especially given all the unprecedented craziness the world's been facing recently.
Whether it's a mani-pedi every couple of weeks, a semi-regular steamy soak in a hot tub, a monthly professional massage, or any other sweet slice of relief you desire, it's just as important as the other parts of your regular routine. In fact, it will facilitate the rest of your flow to happen more joyously and efficiently. Give it a try and notice the difference.
At the end of the day, being too hard on yourself is counter-productive. If any of these ideas to amp up your routine seem tough at first, or even out of reach in general, simply start slow and see how much the positive reinforcement allows for continued improvement down the road.
Whatever you're doing for you at this point is awesome. If there's room for improvement, even better. This isn't about self-criticism, it's about enhancement of your every day in ways that make you shine even brighter. Because living your best life means being your best self, and that is never something to undervalue.
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