Starting June 1 2017, I decided to incorporate simple habits in my life that would benefit my heath and overall well-being. After reading The Power of Habit, I was inspired to make some changes realizing that all of the little things I do (and stick to) add up to a much bigger result. Over time, if I kept adding in good behaviors that eventually became habits, it would start to feel like less of a chore and more of a natural state of being. For as long as I can remember, I've had a google doc of goals (everything from small goals to much larger, loftier goals) that inspired some of the ideals I manifested into my life.
I purchased a small white board and wrote a list of the ten things I wanted to do every day and hung it on the fridge so that it was in my face every morning. I truly believe that unless something is visible to you every day, your chances of acting on it are much less likely. Every morning, I make sure I do every single one of these on the list below.
There was a time when meditation wasn't the norm and it was seemingly reserved for buddhist monks only. Then came social media, and it overpopulated our minds, taking a toll on our mental heath. To me, meditation is as or more important than going to the gym. Your brain needs to be taken care of! It needs r&r every day to gain clarity and function at it's highest power. Think about how much content it processes every single day. It has to download hundreds of images of puppies, vacations and babies on Instagram and that alone is enough. Do your brain a solid and get into meditation. A lot of people like the very popular Headspace app, but I prefer Breethe. Lynne is calm, full of brilliant perspectives and a great source of energy to start your day with. I try to meditate for ten minutes every day. Because of this gift, my overall stress levels have decreased dramatically. Our brains need space to think clearly. How can we possibly get to great ideas without it?
2. Practice Gratitude
Instead of allowing yourself to get into negative self talk - remind yourself what you are grateful for. Write it down, say it out loud, sing it for all I care. But just do it. Every. Day. Because you have so much to be grateful for. Oh, you don't think so? If you're a living, breathing human being on this planet - you already have something to be grateful for. Here's a few: The sun rising every morning, the air we breathe in and our of our lungs, the ability to make a difference in someone else's life with something as simple as a smile. I list at least 5 things I'm grateful for every morning or before going to bed.
3. Drink Green Tea
I used to be a heavy coffee drinker, until I transitioned over to green tea. I realized that coffee wasn't really benefiting me - I felt like a shaky, crazy person running around without any clarity. I was moving quickly but not thoughtfully or intentionally. Until I turned to green tea, that is. After reading the book Feed your Face years ago, I learned about the benefits of green tea on your skin and overall health and it stayed with me. It's a huge antioxidant boost, calming as hell, and doesn't give me the caffeine shakes. I'm a huge fan of Tazo Zen tea and drink at least 3 cups per day.
4. Drink Water Mixed with a Teaspoon of Apple Cider Vinegar
Drinking a full glass of water when you wake up every day is necessary to rehydrate after 8 or so hours of zero liquid! Low energy stems from dehydration, so a large cup of water is essential to get you going. Add a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to that and you've just added a layer of healthy goodness. Apple cider vinegar has a very long list of benefits - but to name a few it balances your PH level thereby boosting your energy, aids in weight loss, and detoxes the liver. I like to mix acv with water because I once read that it can be harsh on your esophagus when taken alone. Make sure you get apple cider vinegar with "the mother" aka beneficial bacteria. I recommend this brand.
5. Take Vitamins
A multivitamin every day never hurt anyone! Try as we may, we don't always have the best eating days, and it's good to have a supplement to make up for some of the nutritional needs we might have missed. It can be as simple as picking up the yummy gummy versions (my favorite) at the drugstore or getting really in-depth with customized vitamins for your specific needs.
6. Wear Sunscreen
Don't even get me started about sunscreen - I could go on for days about this topic. If I could go back in time, I would tell my twenty-something self to WEAR MORE SUNSCREEN! Yes, I'm paying for it now as I watch the sun spots emerge on my face, evident of my past mistakes. Wear sunscreen every. single. day. I don't care how cloudy it is outside - UV rays are still all over you. Here's the most important thing you need to know about sunscreen: There are two different rays out there, UVB and UVA rays. UVB rays give you cancer and UVA rays age your skin. When you choose a sunscreen, make sure they have ingredients that protect against both. A lot of sunscreen brands list "UVA/UVB Protection" but unfortunately the true protective ingredients aren't listed. Look for Titanium Dioxide and/or Zinc Oxide - they are ingredients that will protect you from the aging rays. I like Blue Lizard Sunscreen as well as Cerave.
7. Take Probiotics
Gut health is so incredibly important for so many reasons, but let's just say my bloated stomach looks like it's been popped since taking probiotics. I really love these and I take one every morning.
8. Add Collagen
Ever since our trip to Japan, collagen has been on my radar. I remember a few girlfriends talking about it at work and thinking it was totally weird, but after doing a little research I'm now into it. It improves skin elasticity, your hair, and nails. I really like Vital Proteins because unlike others, it doesn't have a funky taste and it's easy to add to my green tea or smoothies without totally disrupting my flavor expectations. It's a simple scoop or two every day and I've noticed changes in my nail strength (not my skin entirely, yet).
9. Make Smoothies
Ah, the smoothie rage. I didn't really get into it until I had store credit to Williams Sonoma and opted for the Breville Personal Blender (which is now my best friend). I have to say that I absolutely love the ability to pour massive amount of nutrients in a blender and drink it all up. It almost feels like cheating it's so easy. I try to make one every morning (sometimes the night before so it's ready to go when I wake up). A personal favorite recipe is 1 banana, a cup of kale, strawberries, blueberries, unsweetened almond milk and sometimes a teaspoon of maca root powder for added nutrients. I also love my "chocolate shake" which includes a banana, raspberries, coconut flakes, cocoa, almond milk and cocoa nibs - only when I'm really craving sugar.
10. Listen to Podcasts
Every morning I look forward to my commute because I know there will always be a great story waiting for me. My two favorite podcasts for weekday mornings are The Daily for current events and MindBodyGreen for inspiring content from some of the greatest minds in wellness.
And that's it! The ten things I do every day that make a huge difference. I have luckily tricked myself into habitually doing them every day - but it didn't happen all at once. I slowly incorporated these behaviors in my life until they became one big lump sum of habitual goodness.
Thanks for reading and let me know if there's anything you do every day that I can add to my list!