In these overwrought times, taking care of ourselves is more important than ever. What we do each day really matters if we are to remain heathy & happy.
We've put together a snapshot of what healthy choices in the day might look like for you & your family, with ideas to suit nearly everyone.
If you have a dog, like I do, the first thing in every morning is taking him out for a walk, since he's been in all night. It gives me a chance to do some deep breathing, to appreciate the beauty of my natural surroundings, & to giggle at his antics. All great stuff for kicking off a good-mood day.
If you've got kids at home, you might want to try getting up 30-45 minutes before they do, to create your own grounded, appreciative time-perhaps doing a bit of yoga, or journaling, or taking a walk on your own. The idea is to begin the day with a better foundation, both physically & mentally, so you'll be a bit more centered, & able to tackle the challenges that will surely come your way.
Next, have something healthy & filling for breakfast. Eggs, oatmeal & smoothies are all great choices, especially if you've been fasting overnight for more than 12 hours. Check out our Kitchen for more recipes that might inspire your healthy choices.
While your breakfasting, you can begin making a mental list of the day's priorities. Be kind & to yourself & reasonable about your expectations. There's nothing worse that reviewing a list of projects you couldn't get to. It's self-defeating & depressing. Better to write down a few logical, do-able chores that you've prioritized as today's musts.
As you go about your day, it's always worthwhile to keep back-burner thoughts at bay, so you're not overwhelmed at any given point. Just concentrate on the here & now, & move forward with the small steps that take you from one activity to another. Check out our Lifestyle Checklist for easy ways to break down how you manage your day.
If you're working on transitioning to better choices & a healthier lifestyle, keep in mind that Rome wasn't built in a day, & remind yourself-even small changes create better results. Hopefully, you've discovered a trigger you can use to call you back.Our blog on the Power of Positivity will give you some terrific ideas to keep you on track & moving ahead.
We talk often about reminders, mini-alarms to help us remember the commitments we've made to better choices. It can be anything that makes you think & reset your responses. A piece of jewelry, a string around your wrist, playing a motivational song or reading something that inspires you.
Once you've gotten your chores mostly accomplished, take a moment to congratulate yourself. It's important to proverbially pat yourself on the back. It builds confidence & generates a calmer & more receptive demeanor.
Planning meals should factor into your day at this point, to ensure that you & your family spend quality time together & eat delicious meals that nourish & satisfy the senses. We are always on the look out for recipes that hit the right notes, whether it's a one-pan dish, or a more involved collection of small plates, or multiple courses. Eating well is vital to living well-really!
Regular activity is a must in everyone's day. Even if it's just 20 minutes, make it a non-negotiable,like eating, drinking & sleeping. We have some easy 20-minute workouts on our PJ Wellness Facebook page. Patrick & I have each done one. They won't turn you into the Ironman, but they will keep your metabolism humming, & make sure you're flexible & strong.
Make sure you've figured out where in the day you can carve out your requisite 20 minutes, & let your entourage know that this time is inviolate. Everyone will be all the healthier & happier.
Planning your work, meeting & other professional activities are necessary in everyone's day, just make sure not to overdue your scheduling. Again, be reasonable, so the day doesn't run away with you in a panic. Multi-tasking is a myth, & it's infinitely better to get a few things completed well, rather than start 20 things that can't possibly be accomplished.
After you've had dinner, wrap up the rest of the day's activities. It might be homework with the kids, or another walk with your pooch. Take a moment to encourage everyone in your household to straighten up whatever spaces they've been using. Trying to relax when your house is a disorganized mess is counter-productive, & it only takes a few minutes if everyone pitches in to de-clutter & put away whatever's been out that day. It'll make the next day easier to jumpstart as well.
Winding down after an active day is always easier said than done. Create a ritual for yourself that signals your brain that you are in shut-down mode. It might be Patrick's favorite-steeping tea & cozying up with a steaming cup. Or mine, taking a lavender scented bath to ease into sleepiness.
Finally, jotting down a few things in a notebook by the bed is not only helpful & practical, but it works as a signal to your brain that you are closing up shop for the day. If you don't have a notebook to scribble in, check this one out. Once that pen & pad are closed & put away, you're psychologically done & ready to drift off to dreamland!
Best, Patrick & Jo-Anna
TakeAway Tip-Take the time to experiment with different times for different activities. It will give you the ease to accomplish more in a calmer way. If you know you're too tired to exercise in the late afternoon, then tackle it before or after breakfast.Timing is everything & once you've learned about what works best for you, living a healthier life will be a breeze!