This past weekend, I had the opportunity to spend some time up north by myself. As I woke up by the lake, everything felt so perfect and simple. I felt relaxed, joyful and completely content. The quiet and lack of “things to do” was perfection. Inspired by this moment, I decided to pen an article on how a little bit of simplicity can improve both physical and emotional health. With life being a little to busy and rushed for all of us –I think taking some built in down time is a must.
You will find once you implement the simple routines below, you will be better equipped to deal with the ups, downs and stressors that life may present you with. While I realize these routines cannot make “all better” in every situation, they do help your shoulders to relax a little more and may just bring a little more energy and joy into your day.
The 4 simple routines to improve your health are;
1) Wake up half an hour earlier each day
Instead of jumping out of bed, racing to your shower, getting the kids ready and rushing to work – try waking up a half an hour earlier each day to start your day off in a peaceful manner alone. I truly believe the morning hours are they “holy” hours that set the tone for your day. You can use that half hour to stretch, write, mediate or simply to have time alone to eat a healthy breakfast or drink a cup of tea or organic coffee. One of my favourite organic coffees is Ethical Bean coffee.
2) Improve the quality of your life by improving the quality of your food
The quality of foods that you eat on a daily basis can improve your health on several levels – physically, mentally and emotionally. In order to get the most out of your food, try including something “live” at every meal. Raspberries or strawberries at breakfast, spinach at lunch and broccoli or kale at dinner. Raw or lightly steamed, fresh fruits and vegetables are filled with anti-oxidants, nutrients and phytochmeicals (plant chemicals that ward off disease and even reverse certain disease processes) that your entire system will benefit from.
3) Practice mindfulness eating
I am a firm believer that we all have an emotional connection and relationship with food – happy, bored, sad, lonely – we eat! However, sometimes we become disconnected to the amount and quality of our food choices due to stress, life or work situations and we begin to eat unconsciously. If this has happened to you, try to snap yourself back into a state of awareness. I highly recommend food journaling for a minimum of 30 days to help with this process. Research has clearly shown that those who consistently food journal lose more weight than those who do not.
4) Take a 10 minute “time out”
Let’s face it, life can be fast and sometimes a little too complicated.In order to slow things down and get back to health and enjoyment, I encourage you to take 10 per day. In other words, take 10 minutes per day that offer you pure peace and pure enjoyment. Think of them as a mini escape and decadence to your day. Whether it is reading, taking a bath, journaling or stretching – a simple ten minutes alone per day doing something you love will do wonders for stress levels and overall health and wellness.
I have personally found even 10 minutes of meditation can change the pace and rhythm of your day. For a few “starter” books to learn more about meditation – try 10% happier by Dan Harris (a great read!) and Wherever You Go, There you Are by John Kabat Zinn.
Dr. Joey Shulman is a participant in the Amazon Associate Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sales to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.ca
Dr. Joey does not sell any products, rather – she refers to various website that offer some of her favourite, clean brands.