Research shows that feeling well, having energy, and being at the top of our game hinge on a good night’s sleep. Without it, our stress hormones wreak havoc with our body, creating inflammation and suppressing the immune system. We tend to overeat when we are tired. Patience eludes us, irritability overtakes our sensibilities, and the least little thing sets us off. The joy of the season quickly evaporates. Make this non-negotiable. Carve out the seven hours first, then fill in everything else around it. If you only do one of these things, this should be it.
2. Drink water!
An easy way to remember to do this is to drink a glass of water first thing when wake up in the morning. After that, drink one glass with every meal, with at least 2 snacks a day, and after exercise. This would bring you up to 7 glasses a day. The recommendation is to drink six to eight, 8 oz. glasses of water a day. This plan would get you there. Another way to look at it would be to drink 1/2 your body weight in ounces, (150 lb divided by 2 = 75 oz.). The benefits include maximum hydration, flushes the body of toxins, increases energy, no worries about irregularity, decreases cravings, you won’t confuse thirst with hunger so you diminish the chances of over eating. The list continues but you get the idea.
3.Plan movement into every day.
You don’t have to train for a marathon. Does trying to do 10,000 steps every day seem overwhelming? Try squeezing in a 10 minute walk (if you can do this outside during daylight hours so much the better). Get up from the computer every hour and do some simple stretches. Then there are the old favorites you have heard a million times but are worth mentioning again: take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator, and park the car farther away from the building’s entrance.
4. Strategic Eating.
A little planning here goes a long way. At least 2 meals a day eat green veggies. A serving size of vegetables is only 1/2 cup cooked or 1 cup raw. Think about it, 1 cup of leafy greens usually only has 1-2 leaves in it. Have salad with one meal with 3 cups of veggies and you will be rocking. Think about the the other colors in the fruits and veggies and add them in. “Strive for 5” is a great slogan when it comes to eating fruits and veggies every day. One final tip: always go to a holiday party on a full stomach. Chances of overeating are greatly diminished. If you choose to drink alcohol, plan to have just one drink and drink a glass of water first.
The act of mindful breathing gets you out of your head, brings you into the present moment, and signals your body to relax. Take one slow in breath followed by a slower out breath. Repeat as often as needed. Do it when frustration and irritability creep into your day. Do it when you are experiencing a happy, joyful, or pleasant moment. Those positive feelings will last longer. It will then be placed into the memory of body and mind to be available to you again and again. This is all yours from the simple act of breathing.
Here is a little guide to copy, clip, and post someplace where you will see it to be
your gentle reminder.