You’ve probably read–or at least glimpsed the catchy titles of–hundreds of articles claiming that they’ll change your life through seemingly simple steps.
These articles are written with good intentions, but they tend to over exaggerate the ease with which you can follow their steps and reap amazing benefits. This article is a little different.
In this article you’ll find three pieces of advice–suggestions, really–of things you might try to take a little better care of yourself both mentally and physically. These things are indeed simple, but it’s up to you to give them a try and decide whether they’re right for you specifically.
If nothing else, hopefully, these suggestions will inspire you to try something new. After all, it never hurts to break out of a monotonous routine.
1. Start your day with good intentions.
Yes, you’re a good-natured person, and you never intentionally go into your day with bad intentions. But there’s a difference between just being a good person and putting effort into being an even better one.
Intentionally putting effort into positive thinking is proven to improve your health, strengthen your skills and add more meaning to your life.
Here’s how to do it:
Take just a few minutes each morning to think about your life and how you feel about it as it is. Then think about what you want to do with your day. What do you want to accomplish? Are there friends you want to catch up with? Is there a small, kind gesture that would brighten your and someone else’s day? Finally, how are you going to make those things happen today?
The thoughts running through your head may not be exactly the same as anyone else’s. Maybe you’re the kind of person who likes to make a daily to-do list to sort them out. Maybe you prefer the more meditative route of pondering life as you do some early morning stretching or yoga.
No matter what conclusions you draw or goals you make, however, taking this step means that you’re making an effort to become more consciously aware of who you are and what you still want to become. The effects go beyond just starting your day philosophically–this exercise actually deepens your understanding of yourself and adds perspective to your daily life.
Not sure how to begin your day with good intentions? Try one of these seven morning rituals to put you in the right mindset.
2. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.
Okay, maybe this one is a given. Any health nut knows that hydrating with lots of water is essential to a healthy lifestyle. But not many think to drink a glass as soon as they wake up.
Both health guides and individual trials have shown that drinking a glass of water right after waking up starts your day right by
- Hydrating your body
- Jump starting your metabolism
- Reducing your urge to gorge excessively on food
- Flushing out harmful toxins
- Preventing dry mouth and other common ailments
- Helping your brain to function at its best
So, as you’re meditating over today’s good intentions, fill up a glass of water. Hydrate that body and kick off that early morning brainpower. Here’s a simple guide for drinking water in the healthiest way possible.
3. Exercise in different ways.
You know that working out is good for you. It’s good for your body. It’s good for your mind. It prolongs your life, makes you stronger and skyrockets your self-esteem.
Still, exercising regularly is easier said than done. And whether you’re a couch potato or a daily gym-goer, you’ve probably gotten into a fairly standard routine. To change things up and enjoy all the benefits that exercise offers, try switching up that routine.
Maybe today, instead of going to lift weights like you always do, you go for a walk outside. Maybe tomorrow, you try Pilates instead of kickboxing. And maybe this Saturday, rather than watching Netflix for eight hours straight, you get some friends together and challenge them to a game of kickball–if they ask, the answer is “No, we’re never too old for kickball.”
There’s nothing wrong with taking your fitness seriously, but why not add some fun to the mix? Add “adventurous exercise” to your self-care routine. It will prevent you from getting bored with the “same old same old” while also targeting new muscle groups, keeping you from overstimulating the same parts of your body, and making exercise feel fun.
Remember: Small Steps Make a Big Difference
As you try out different self-care tips to find the ones that work for you, don’t lose perspective. There are a lot of theories out there on how to improve yourself, both mentally and physically, and it’s easy to get discouraged or overwhelmed when a certain piece of advice doesn’t quite hit home.
But that’s okay. Just as the best of athletes have to train for marathons, even the healthiest of people have to take certain steps toward self-improvement. In times of doubt, remind yourself of the ultimate goal: to make your life happier and healthier. Keep the things that bring that goal closer. Lose the things that don’t.
What are your tried-and-true self-care practices?
Also by Cori: Why Millenials Desperately Need Mindfulness More Than Any Other Generation
Related: How to Set An Intention for Your Yoga Practice
Six Simple Ways to Do a Mental Detox
Get more like this–sign up for our newsletter for exclusive inspirational content!
Photo: The 5th via Unsplash