When we hear the word “health,” we typically think about physical health. But that’s only one aspect of our well-being. A more holistic view of health also includes a healthy mind. And a healthy lifestyle is built on the foundation of healthy habits that support both of those two aspects combined. So, what does that look like?
Here we’ll go over some simple and realistic tips to kick-start a healthy mind and body.
1. Start the Day with a “Mindful” Morning Routine
Having some time to yourself in the early morning before the day starts is crucial, in my opinion. Before the constant rush of things to do, people to see, and places to be begins, setting aside time to ease into the day with a mindful morning routine is key to a positive and productive day.
This idea is slightly different for just any old morning routine. That’s because the focus is on a “mindful” morning routine where you choose to be “fully present for a few simple activities to start your day off on the right foot.”
Keep in mind, one person’s ideal morning ritual may not be the same as another’s. There is no wrong or right way. Instead, your routine should be specific to you. Similarly, what you do doesn’t need to be etched in stone. It may change day to day, depending on what your mind and body are craving. For instance, one day you may prefer reading while on another day you may want to get outside for some fresh air and a walk.
It helps to have a few rituals you can choose from that help you get in the best state of mind for the day ahead. Here are a few suggestions.
- Keep a Gratitude Journal (more about this below…)
- Read an inspirational book
- Listen to a positive podcast
- Go for a mindful walk outdoors
- Practice deep breathing exercises
2. Fuel Up with Breakfast
They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day. And I wholeheartedly agree for several reasons. Studies have shown that regular breakfast eaters tend to get more essential vitamins and minerals into their daily diet. Also, skipping breakfast has been tied to obesity and excess weight. In addition, there is evidence that eating breakfast improves energy balance and cognitive performance.
But that doesn’t mean you should go out and stock up on donuts or pop tarts. Rather, you want to choose a good breakfast to support a healthy body. But what makes a good breakfast? A combination of protein, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats that get your metabolism going. Lean protein helps you feel satisfied, and complex carbs provide the energy your body needs after a night’s sleep. Healthy fats help your body absorb nutrients and stabilize blood sugar, which means you stay full longer.
One of my favorite ways to get all of this in a quick and easy breakfast is smoothies! There are many delicious and filling recipes to choose from. Another simple yet delicious meal you can have for breakfast is oatmeal. Both of these options can provide enough fiber and nutrients to jump start your metabolism in the morning and get your body prepped for the day ahead.
3. Get Moving
Incorporating more movement into your daily routine can make a world of difference. One obvious reason is that it helps with weight management. Movement also helps control blood sugar, lowers blood pressure, and lowers cholesterol. And there are other lesser-known benefits such as pain relief and improved sex.
Now, this doesn’t mean you need to run to your local Vasa gym today. Instead, it means if you’ve been living a predominantly sedentary lifestyle, then look for ways to build in physical activity more regularly. Taking some time to do stretching exercises is a great start! Walking and yoga are also ideal ways to get moving.
If you don’t currently do weight-bearing exercises, that could be an option to consider. In particular, as we get older, it gets more important to do so to maintain muscle mass and overall strength. Remember to check with your health professional before starting a new fitness activity.
4. Nourish Your Body
Self-care is vital for pretty much every single person on this planet, which is why I’m a big proponent of taking the time to nourish your mind and body. And I’m also a firm believer that everyone, including YOU, deserves to take care of themselves. The things you do in support of your well-being, whether it’s for your health, your mind, or your lifestyle, are key to your happiness. And they are crucial to the happiness of the people in our lives.
If we’re trying to “pour from an empty cup,” we have very little to offer to ourselves and others. How to do we “fill our cup”? First, let’s talk about a super-easy way you can nourish your body.
One of my favorite self-care methods is a soothing bath or a long shower. You don’t have to travel outside of your home. And you don’t have to buy any special products or accessories. Nor do you have to spend any money. All you need is a few extra minutes to take care of you. Although if you want to splurge on a really nice body wash, I say go for it! As I said, you deserve it.
While in the bath or shower, use a soft washcloth and body wash to gently scrub yourself clean. As you do so, picture yourself washing away all the negativity and stress that has been weighing on you. Imagine it all coming off you leaving you feeling clean and refreshed.
Afterward, dry off and rub lotion on your skin, massaging your muscles as you go to release any fatigue brought on by your day. If you have a few extra minutes, add in dry brushing, which is excellent for detoxing and regulating blood circulation.
To make the experience more spa-like, turn on some calming music and light a few candles. And lock the door, so your self-care session doesn’t get interrupted.
5. Nourish Your Soul
In addition to taking care of our bodies, taking care of our souls, our minds, is also hugely important for every human being on this earth. As I mentioned earlier, our well-being and happiness are greatly affected by how we treat our bodies and minds. We’ve gone over an easy way to show our bodies love. Now let’s talk about a super simple way to nourish our souls.
Not all of us are lucky enough to be born happy. Many of us experience stress and anxiety that leaves us feeling down or troubled. One thing I’ve found that has helped a lot of people overcome this is keeping a Gratitude Journal. It’s incredible how much of a difference a shift in mindset can make when you learn to focus on the good things around us, rather than the negatives.
It takes practice, but luckily it doesn’t take long before you start to shift your perspective and begin to see things on the brighter side. When your mind is more open to positivity, you’ll see more of it around you. This will feed your soul in such an amazing way.
All you need is a journal, a pen, and a few minutes a day to start your Gratitude Journal practice. You can do this in the morning or just before bed. Many find journaling in the morning helps set their positive intentions for the day. Likewise, journaling in the evening allows for a more peaceful, stress-free sleep. You can even keep your journal, so as things come up during the day, you can break out your journal and jot down your thoughts.
To get you started, here are a few prompts to help you come up with what to write in your journal.
- What is something that made you smile today?
- What is something that made you laugh?
- Who is someone that makes you feel loved and why?
- Name someone you love and why?
- Name something you are grateful to have.
- Name someone you are grateful to know.
- What is a quote that makes you happy?
Do this for a few minutes every day to nourish your soul and grow your appreciation for the good things around you. You’ll soon be on your way to feeling less stressed and anxious, and more grateful and positive minded.
6. Bonus Tip – Hydrate
I had to sneak this one in because it’s such a critical component to supporting proper bodily functions. And water is one of the most essential nutrients our bodies need. Unfortunately, it’s one many of us tend to forget or put little effort into.
Here are just a handful of the benefits of staying hydrated.
- Water in our bodies provides lubrication for our joints and can help reduce joint pain.
- Hydration helps maintain healthy blood levels.
- It also balances electrolytes and helps prevent muscle fatigue.
- It keeps our metabolism strong and supports fat and energy-burning functions.
- Staying hydrated allows our body to carry oxygen and nutrients through our blood system better.
The general recommendation to stay hydrated is to drink half of your body weight in ounces of water. Add more if you live in an area or participate in activities that make you sweat more.
With these seven easy guidelines, you’ll get yourself on track to feeling healthier in mind and body in no time. Pick one or two to start implementing today, and gradually build each one into your daily life.
Need help discovering which direction to take? Let me know in the comments below or contact me at email@example.com and let’s chat!