If only there were a set recipe for ultimate health and wellness I could offer you, that would sure make things a lot easier, right? Easier but far more boring, if you ask me. Instead, I have suggestions. We are all very different, which is what comprises the beauty of individuality, but there are certain practices that can fortify nearly anyone’s wellness practice. Here are just a few.
I literally cannot emphasize enough the importance of sleep. Sleep is when we repair, rebuild and replenish. Our cells, our organs, our beautiful bodies literally regenerating during those 8 hours. Naturally there are doing to be times when something comes up; you can’t fall asleep, you decide to stay up later than usual for some occasion, whatever. It’s important in these instances to not stress over the lack of sleep, that will only hinder your feeling well the next day even further. Just accept it and let it be. Trust your body to carry you through the next day on a little less sleep and commit to being diligent about 8 hours the majority of the time. You will see and feel a difference.
Epsom salt baths, chocolate (yes, I said chocolate!), dark leafy greens, nuts and seeds. Here’s the catch with the chocolate (you knew there had to be a catch) – go for dark chocolate. Ideally raw, organic cacao. I buy the powder and the nibs and use both in many divine recipes like my Chocolate Banana Porridge. You can also buy high quality chocolate bars too, but opt for 80% cacao and higher. The issue with many chocolate bars is the added sugar. Sugar is, in essence, poison. Not when consumed in moderation, of course, but sugar is added to nearly everything in the Standard American Diet (even pasta sauces and breads, for goodness sake!). So aim for raw cacao or super dark chocolate to reap the antioxidant and magnesium benefits. Magnesium is the relaxation mineral and is abundant in healthy foods. Up your intake to feel calmer, sleep better and boost your physical wellbeing immensely.
- Move your body
Aim for 30 minutes per day, every day. It’s really not as challenging as it sounds. Movement is movement. It might be a yoga flow class, it might be a brisk walk; perhaps it’s an aerobics class or it could be mowing the lawn. Yes, even scrubbing the kitchen and doing a few loads of laundry can count. Time spent moving. Find some, every day.
- Leafy greens
Again with the magnesium (but seriously), and additionally leafy greens are an excellent source of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. With cleansing and detoxifying properties in abundance, noshing on fresh dark leafies every day will give your liver a loving nudge and keep toxins moving through the body post haste. Leafy greens also alkalize the body. What does a detoxed, alkaline body mean? Health, energy, vibrancy, a strong immune system and, usually, a lovely little glow. Health from the inside out.
Speaking of a lovely glow, keeping the body oxygenated is a phenomenal way to nourish every single cell. Deep “belly breaths,” as my dad calls them, are a great way to not only oxygenate the blood, boost circulation and increase lung capacity, but it also stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system (translation: it triggers your relaxation response!). Diaphragmatic breathing is another excellent technique that can seriously reduce stress. Remember stress is super high on the list of cancer-causing, aging, detrimental “offenders,” so fending stress off in any way possible is a key component of health. Fighting stress can be as simple as breathing, who knew? A good reason to take a deep sigh of relief.
I categorize stretching all by itself, rather than grouping it with “moving the body.” I do this because I find stretching to be so incredibly important, even away from one’s workout or exercise regime. Stretching is a great way to increase blood flow, boost circulation, gain flexibility and calm the mind. A gentle evening stretching routine before bed can sincerely support healthy digestion, restful sleep and a general sense of “unwinding” at the end of the day. It can also help muscles recover after a workout, prevent soreness and assist the body in being better prepared for the next day’s workout or activities. Try pairing the stretching with the deep breathing for an added health and wellness bonus 😉
- Spontaneous Gratitude
I recommend practicing spontaneous gratitude at least once per day. What I lovingly refer to as my “spontaneous gratitude practice” is merely coming up with an impulsive list of whatever strikes me in that moment as wonderful. Expressing gratitude for the things we have, bodies and health included, the people in our lives and blessings seen and unseen keeps us connected to our existence spiritually. Joy and gratitude are contagious. They emit a frequency, changing the energetic rhythm of the world that surrounds us, and this practice keeps us anchored in life’s essence: being present and appreciative of every gift, in every moment. Gratitude and acknowledgement of one’s blessings is the foundation of a healthy, happy self. Think of this last practice as spiritual fitness.
Well there you have it, my loves. There are certainly many wellness suggestions I could make, but these seven top my list today. You can easily be on your way to feeling healthier, happier and fitter by implementing some of these simple, accessible tips into your daily routine. Remember, lasting change happens over a span of time, not overnight. So be patient, be kind and loving to yourself, and know that you are capable of anything you put your mind to. Now go have a good stretch, some deep breaths and a full night’s sleep 😉
x x be well, lovebursts.