For as long as I can remember, I have always been passionate about health and wellness.
Caring for my body, mind and soul with things that inspire me and bring joy to everyday living is a blessing. I love teaching and inspiring others how they can create a life they love, too.
But, like many, my life has not always been this joyful.
Struggling with anxiety for years growing up was a constant battle. I often felt overwhelmed, discouraged and depressed at the end of each day. My self-care habits were lacking, my mental health was failing, and I didn’t know where to turn.
When I suffered from a debilitating concussion and its life-changing effects in 2011, that event became the catalyst to finding new ways of restoring my health and vitality.
I promised myself I would not give up until I found the magic solution, and would commit to finding joy in the journey.
Immersing myself fully in my new mission, I took courses, watched documentaries, and did holistic cleanses. I started implementing some of the top self-care habits suggested by the most acclaimed critics. And, over time, I began to notice a pattern in all those recommendations.
When I broke it down, all of the bestselling authors, life coaches and speakers shared the very same tips and tools as guidelines for living your best life. Though each one claimed to offer an innovative new masterplan, they were really slight variations of what others had already claimed as the best. You know, all those self-help tips we have been told time and again but ignored.
Well, I finally listened and started implementing these rituals into my daily life (I definitely consider myself a work in progress, and never wish to claim that I have it all figured out)… however, slowly, my world was has started to change.
I began to find joy and contentment in the life I was creating and You deserve to feel the same.
Today I’m sharing the 5 daily habits that helped me create a life that feels good.
Friends, if you’re looking to enhance your health and well-being like I was, these five habits could be the answer you’ve been seeking. They certainly changed my life!
Remember that consistency is key, so try adding one new habit into your day at a time. Practice, repeat, refresh. When ready for more, add in the next daily habit. Then the next.
In no time, you’ll discover the joy that comes with caring for mind, body and spirit daily. Enjoy!
1. Practice gratitude daily.
In positive psychology research, gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships. People feel and express gratitude in multiple ways — do what feels most authentic to you.
DID YOU KNOW?
Your brain interprets gratitude as optimism. In turn, it helps lower the stress hormone cortisol, releases pleasure-inducing effects, and helps calm your body and mind. By practicing gratitude regularly, you train your brain to choose positive thoughts and new ways of thinking.
To incorporate gratitude in your daily ritual, start by writing down all the things you are grateful for. I do this first thing in the morning to help set my mindset for the entire day. Simply choose a journal or notebook that you are drawn to and go from there.
TIP: If the notebook is too much effort, begin by just thinking of a few things you are grateful for each morning. Work your way up to writing them down in further detail.
2. Meditate each day.
Meditation used to be seen as woo-woo. Now, people all over the world are recognizing the amazing healing benefits to becoming more mindful of (or in tune with) your body, your breath, your thoughts. It’s as simple as noticing.
To get started, try this meditation for beginners. Just 3-5 minutes a day can make a noticable difference. Work your way up once that becomes easy. The most important thing is to have a regular daily practice of meditation.
Here is a simple meditation for beginners:
Sit or lie comfortably. You may even want to invest in a meditation chair or cushion.
Close your eyes.
Make no effort to control the breath; simply breathe naturally.
Focus your attention on the breath and on how the body moves with each inhalation and exhalation.
Allow thoughts to come and go, like clouds passing by. Just be.
3. Eat more fruits and vegetables.
We all know that fruits and veggies ward off chronic conditions while helping us to feel healthier and more energized. But even for the most health-conscious eaters, getting more of these nutrients can be a challenge. Here are some tricks for adding more fruits and veggies to your daily diet:
Leave fruit in obvious sight
Eat crunchy vegetables instead of chips with your fav dip
Throw veggies in an omelet
Never go fruit or veggie-less
Double up your veggie servings.
Always include salad before or after dinner
Freeze your fruit
Add fruit or veggies to smoothies
Add a green juice to your meal
Keep cut up veggies in the fridge for a quick snack or pre-dinner nibble
4. Drink lots of water.
Eight (8) glasses of water a day is the recommended amount. However, if this seems too much to start with, then try adding more water to your daily intake with these tips.
The first thing I do in the morning is drink a glass or two of water
The easiest way I’ve found to up my water intake is finding the best water bottle for me
Juices and sports drinks are also hydrating — you can lower the sugar content by diluting them with water.
For you coffee fanatics! Coffee and tea also count in your tally. Many used to believe that they were dehydrating, but that myth has been debunked. The diuretic effect does not offset hydration.
5. Create morning and evening rituals.
Simplify your processes and patterns by creating daily rituals that makes you feel good.
MORNING RITUALS: Creating a morning routine for yourself is essential to a successful life. Waking up earlier than usual will give you ample time to focus on your goals and conquer the day with more energy, mindfulness and strength.
Looking for a simple morning routine? Simply start each morning by drinking a full glass of water, stretching your body, focusing on positive thoughts (gratitude journal), meditating for 3-5 minutes, and making time for a healthy breakfast. Do this consistently.
Having a morning routine helps start your day on the right foot, but it’s just as important to end your day doing the same. Make time for laughter, rest and self-care always.
EVENING RITUALS: Getting yourself ready for the next day is a great way to plan while still staying present. This is a great time for some self care. Examples of this can be your skincare routine, reading a book, putting your phone away an hour before bedtime, making yourself your favourite tea (who’s with me when I say there is something about loose leaf tea and waiting for it to steep that feels extra satisfying). Whatever it is that makes you feel prepared for the day ahead, make time for that in each day.
REMEMBER: Along with nutrition and exercise, good sleep is one of the pillars of health. You simply cannot achieve optimal health without taking care of your sleep. It’s when your body repairs and rejuvenates. Make sure your evening rituals allow enough time for you to decompress and get a good night’s rest.
BONUS: Do something for you!
A little solitude in an age when we’re so connected all the time is a breath of the freshest air for the soul. In fact, maybe take your me-time outside and get that revitalizing oxygen in your lungs.
But Katrina Kenison pointed out something interesting and totally valid for O, The Oprah Magazine. She wrote that many of us feel compelled to measure our success in terms of acquisition and accomplishment. We can feel uncomfortable for claiming time for ourselves without an agenda, because we constantly feel the need to be doing something. Not only that, but dedicating some time only for ourselves can be intimidating for some due to being afraid of what they might find when left alone with their thoughts.
Own it. Trust in yourself. Be your own biggest supporter. Make peace with your wild and wonderful self and remember…
It’s not all or nothing.
One of the most important things I’ve learned along my journey? It’s never an “all or nothing” approach. Don’t give up because you can’t do exactly what others do. I truly believe there is something in doing what you can, with what you have. If you miss a day, don’t beat yourself up about it. Get back up and do your best tomorrow.
Because you deserve a life that feels good.