Back-to-school time is here and even though I am no longer a student, I always find myself nostalgically seeing September as the start of a new chapter. Its that magical transition period where I take a good, hard look at how I am spending my time and make tweaks to ensure that I am living the life I want to live. I look my best when I feel my best which is why I try to make self-love and self-care a priority. The Joyous Health community is all about living a full life from the inside-out. In fact, the Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines the word joy as a feeling of great happiness or the prospect of possessing what one desires. In a world that is becoming increasingly busyfrom full inboxes to beeping social media updates showing just how wonderful everyone elses life is at every minute of the dayit is so important to ensure that you have the right schedule in place so that you are in the proper frame of mind for a productive and empowered day. Below is a list of some of my favourite tips for ensuring that I have a fulfilling day:
1) Start the Day on the Right Note
Mornings are my favourite time of the day. I love waking up and getting the day started on the right note so I feel inspired for the day ahead. Hal Elrod, author of The Miracle Morning, believes that our morning routine can be tweaked to fit in some of the personal development practices that we all wish we could fit in our schedule but can never seem to find enough time for. Hal recommends waking up even a half hour earlier than you usually do so that you can have an empowered start to the day. Exercise, prayer, meditation, reading, journaling and, of course, having a healthy, filling breakfast are all great additions to a morning routine. Go to bed a half hour earlier so you can wake up a half hour earlier and youll love how youll feel extra productive the whole day long!
2) Be careful what you keep on your counter youll eat it!
When you come home from a long day of work and are feeling hunger pangs you are going to be looking to resolve your hunger quickly. Walking into the kitchen and seeing lots of yummy-looking simple carbs like croissants and chocolate chip cookies on the table will certainly be hard to pass by. Chocolate Protein Squares to her Almond Power Muffinsall made with whole ingredientsI always have a delicious and nutritious option to reach for when I am hungry. I know that I tend to reach for the food on my counter as soon as Im hungry, and so, I make it my goal to have healthy, tasty snack options set out so that when hunger strikes I end up grabbing something that is a healthy, yet still satisfies my craving. I like to spend a few hours every Sunday baking and making double batches of healthy eats that I can freeze and take out in smaller amounts so I have quick, go-to foods for the week.
3) Break a Sweat Every Day
Healthy and strong is the new skinny. Instead of striving for a goal weight or dress size we should strive for optimum health. A study conducted by the British Columbia Centre of Excellence for Womens Health in 2013 found that physical activity has a positive effect on mood, cognitive functioning, psychological well-being, and negative mood associated with pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS), and has been shown to decrease levels of anxiety, depression, and psychological stress. They also found that physical activity for women is particularly important in the development of a positive self-concept and contributes to general health and well-being. Exercising doesnt have to be a big three-hour ordeal. I think sometimes its easy to over-complicate fitness and then it turns peoples minds away from the idea. In a 2014 interview with SELF magazine, actress, Kate Hudson, shared that her workout mantra is: Break a sweat every day even if its just for 20 minutes. I think this mantra is a great one to hold because it takes the pressure off meeting a certain time deadline but rather focusing on simply breaking a sweat and having fun. Go for a run, take your dog out for a walk or even just put on your headphones and dance to some music. All movement is mind and body positive!
4) Love What You See
Girls and scales have long been at war. A survey of 300 women of all sizes by Glamour Magazine in 2011 found that on average, women have 13 negative body thoughts dailynearly one for every waking hour. Ninety seven percent of women experienced at least one I hate my body moment per day and some women even admitted to having 35, 50 or 100 negative body thoughts in a twenty-four hour period. It is always important to remember that your worth is not determined by any dress size or weight number. Your purpose and value goes far beyond any number on a scale or any blemish you see. Instead of obsessing over your flaws focus on the things that you love about yourself. For example, I have a scar on my lower back that I used to be really self-conscious about and would always try to cover up in my bathing suits. But then one day I decided to change my mindset; instead of seeing my scar as a flaw, I decided to see it as a beautiful reminder of my journey and how blessed I am to have lived through many high-risk surgeries. Our health truly is our best wealth and we need to remember that loving ourselves entirely is the key to living each day to the fullest.
5) Set Goals & Take Steps to Conquer Them
Our tomorrows are determined by what we do today. Were not just going to wake up one day and be living our dream lifewe have to work towards our dreams and follow our passions, each and every day. If you want to be a runner, you have to start running. If you want to be a public speaker, you have to start speaking. If you want to be an artist, you have to start painting. If you want to be a world-changer, you need to start world-changing! Set mini goals for yourself and start forming habits that align with your goals. Each time that you check something off your to-do list it will leave you feeling inspired and motivated knowing that you are taking measurable steps to achieving your long-term goals. I hope you find these five tips helpful additions for your daily routine! Its important to get into the right habits as our habits become the routines that form our life. Id be excited to hear what you think in the comment section below. Heres to living a joyous and empowered life!