When I first wrote that title I added: “aside from the obvious”. But then I realised, just because some things are obvious to me doesn’t mean they are obvious to everyone. And that’s the point isn’t it, on each of our wellness journeys some things that are considered so “obvious” that we forget to learn them, to explore them, or to make any real-time for them. So, here we go, 5 things you should be doing every day.
1. Talking to Yourself
Luckily, I already do this most of the day anyway, don’t be shy we all do it. Don’t we?
However, there is more of a method to this than a sign of madness. Your thoughts, your words and the way you treat your body and mind will have a profound effect on you, your day and your health and fitness goals/results. Spending some time each day to put positive thoughts in your head can do wonders.
Try a positive affirmation every morning, something to set yourself up for the day ahead, to keep you on track with a positive mindset throughout the day and the week. Say it to yourself a few times in the mirror before you get on with your usual morning routine, give yourself a smile while you do it and you’ll immediately notice a happier mindset and a can-do attitude, ready to attack the day!
Keeping your head full of quick, positive reminders that you can say to yourself as the day gets tough can save you from feeling like your day is becoming negative. As your workout gets hard, tell yourself why you started it in the first place, tell yourself that your body is amazing, strong, capable and the only one you’ll ever live in, is a beautiful reminder of how much this workout is truly a reward not a punishment. If you’re having a difficult time at work, tell yourself that you respect and love yourself, that you love your body and your brain. Whatever the phrases may be that get you through your week, keep a few of them on hand or on the tip of your tongue to inject some positivity into your daily life. I guarantee you’ll notice you have a totally different view of your day at the end of it.
2. Eating and Drinking (Yay)
Who doesn’t want to do that? Now, this is the part that I considered to be obvious at first but, is it really? And, is there more to it than just “eating and drinking”.
Yes, yes there is.
Nourishing your body and the systems that keep us moving and slaying goals all day long is the most vital thing for our physiology. The foods that you select and the time of day you choose to eat them can also change the way you perform, feel, recover, change and more.
With there being so many different diet trends, fads and styles out there that it can be difficult to know which one is right for you. My advice is usually to find the right nutritional routine for you and it’s likely to be different every day.
Food can be your medicine, the cure and the prevention for so much.
Need an energy boost? Don’t just reach for the caffeine - grab some energy lifting snack foods like a banana. If you’re doing lots of strength training or just starting to lift weights you might need more protein, try adding lean meats to your meals. Want glowing skin, try removing dairy from your nutritional intake some days. Whatever your goal this week, looking at the nourishment you are proving your body can give you a huge leg up towards reaching it.
I hear a lot of people tell me that they’re trying to lose weight so they’ve cut down their food intake, or they miss meals and they ignore hunger. This is not going to help you healthily lose weight. Even when trying to lose weight our bodies need the right nourishment to keep all of us going, to provide us with the energy to perform, the nutrients to recover and rebuild, fight colds and flu, boost our immune system, help our hormones, monitor our moods, everything is fuelled by our nutrition.
Drinking (I’m referring to water here). And it’s easy, drink more water. It’s a wonderful thing and we are so very lucky to have a seemingly endless supply of clean, healthy water when so many people don’t.
Water is vital for everything inside our bodies, staying hydrated can help keep us mentally alert, we’ll make better decisions, control our moods better and be more productive. It can help keep us energised physically, control our sweat levels, remove toxins from our bodies, keep our organs functioning at their peak and help our skin to stay healthy and glowing.
Being dehydrated on the other hand will have the opposite effect along with causing headaches, increased snacking, increased fat storage and more. So, whatever it may take to keep your water intake up, let’s get on and do it. Me, I have a cute, pink bottle that keeps my water cold and refreshing and it makes me want to drink more often. I keep it with me every all day, it’s on my desk at work and I carry it with me when I leave the office. This may not be the trick that works for you, maybe you have a glass before you eat anything, first thing in the morning, maybe you set water alarms on your phone, I’ve seen it all. Whatever works for you, just keep that water intake up.
3. Mobilise the Troops
This phrase “mobilise the troops” refers to your joints, your supporting frame for all movement. Honestly, I just added “the troops” part because it flowed off the tongue well, but what I actually mean is, mobilise your body. Wake up your joints and your muscles and get your blood and nutrients flowing into all the right places.
If you’ve read my words before then you’ll know I'm a big believer in stretching and mobility sessions already, but it definitely deserves a spot in the top few things I do every day.
I make sure I set aside at least 20 minutes a day for this, whether you’re lucky enough to be able to do this at work or you add it into your gym sessions, do it in front of the tv, while dinner is cooking, before you leave for work in the morning, whenever, find the time. Work yourself through a few light, flowing movements especially for the back, hips and shoulders and then a few longer held static stretches each day. You’ll feel energised instantly, you’ll start to improve your posture, your joint health, your range of motion, your flexibility, help recover from your workouts, help reduce the impact of slouching or driving and you’ll quickly find it a really beneficial routine. Especially if you are doing this before your workouts, you’ll improve the efficiency and effectiveness of your sessions, help prevent injury or pain and keep your body in great condition for all the moving you ever want to do. Remember, you may feel invincible now but you’re going to have the same joints in 50 years time, look after the, now and they’ll look after you then.
It’s time to call in the positives, to start exploring what you want to happen or want to work for. And you should be dreaming big. Picturing that future; what it looks like, what it feels like and how it’s going to be. Like a mental vision board (or make a physical one if you like that sort of thing) start really focusing on the details of your future and future self. Start calling in all the good juju and really getting specific with what you want.
By envisioning, dreaming or thinking in this way you can begin to see what steps you need to take to make that future you appear and it can boost your confidence about succeeding and seeing your dream future. One of my favourite affirmations that stays with me is “speak like her, act like her, make decisions like her and she will show up”. Speaking of my future self. I try to spend a good chunk of time each day really picturing the details of my highest, happiest self and then write down the next steps that I need to take to make her appear. Some of this chunk of my day used to be taken up with just watching tv or I add it into my time with number 3 to be time efficient.
Everyone can make some time for a confidence boosting activity right? This one also comes hand in hand with letting go of the negatives. If you want to have the space in your mind for all these new positive thoughts you may have to focus on letting go of some of the negatives from your days too. Let go of that difficult customer, that hard meeting, that stressful task, that traffic jam, that terrible driver, whatever it was that affected your day (maybe you used some of your positive injecting phrases at this moment) you have to let it go before your day ends, replace it with some positive thoughts about your future self instead.
This can also mean letting go of bad habits, if you’re creating time to spend on not only dreaming up your future self but creating them too, then there may be some small activities in your day that no longer need to be there. For example, how long do you spend on your social media, do you always check pages that belong to photoshopped models, or an ex. Do you watch too much tv, have a look at your small daily activities and see what space you can create for the positive side of life.
Notice I’ve written moving and and not exercise. I’m referring to any form of nourishing movement that your body needs. Now, this may be a smashing cardio session or a big weights day but it may also be a walk in the park or a yoga session. Whatever type your body needs that day, make sure it gets some movement.
We all know that in order to be healthy inside and out out bodies need exercise regularly. To keep our heart, lungs and all organs working well, prevent conditions such as diabetes, high cholesterol, to help monitor our body fat and so much more. Exercise can do incredible things for our bodies and minds but, if you find it a slog, boring or a mission to wake up for, then maybe you’re just doing the wrong type. Exercise can be a huge number of things from the gym to dance class, sports to walking along the beach. Find the type that suits you, that excites you, makes you feel good and do it often. If you worked hard yesterday then maybe today is a slower movement day and vice versa, listen to your body for the intensity level you may need but just make sure every day, you move your body.
That’s just 5 things, who doesn’t have time to do just 5 things each day? Especially when these 5 small things can have such a massive impact on our health, our bodies and our minds.
It’s easy in our busy lives these days to see the above as time luxuries, or things we treat ourselves to but, looking after ourselves cannot be a sporadic event, we need to put the time and energy into ourselves every single day and we shouldn’t feel guilty about it. It’s so vital to put yourself first, if you’re exhausted, unwell, injured, burnt out, stressed or more, then how well do you think you’re going to perform your important daily tasks?
Take the time to do these 5 things every day and see what a difference putting yourself first can make. Your days can become more productive, you can find more satisfaction in each day and take those all-important steps to really being the person you want to be.
Moving, eating nourishing food, staying hydrated, letting go of negatives and filling your head with positive thoughts and words, are the simple 5 things that we should all make time for in each of our days.