With Thanksgiving behind us and the holiday season fast approaching, now is the perfect time to tweak your lifestyle a bit. Sure, we all love eating Christmas cookies and opting for an extra glass of vino at night but that doesn’t mean we can’t balance those indulgences out with a little self-love. From taking a morning vitamin designed to lift your mood to practicing a daily breathing technique for increased airflow, there’s always someway we can up our health game.
Here are 5 healthy habits that boost your mood
Take your vitamins
Yes, I’m echoing your mother on this. Take your vitamins (but not just any vitamin)! I’ll be the first to admit that this hasn’t been a regular habit of mine until recently but it’s never too late to start living a healthier life. I’ve tried a few different brands, including Innate Response mentioned later in this post, and recently discovered my favorite of the moment: Ritual. It was actually my hubby who first told me about the company; an article in Vogue was second.
I’ve been using Ritual for a month and have really noticed a difference in my overall mood, which as someone who suffers from PMDD, is huge. Each clear, non-GMO capsule (take 2 per day) is packed with nine core nutrients for women, including several we rarely get enough of: vitamin B12, vitamin D3, vitamin K2 MK-7, vitamin E, folate, omega-3 fatty acids, boron, iron, and magnesium. Their 60-pill bottles are shipped monthly to your door. For an improved mood, I’m more than fine paying the $30.
Drink hot water in the morning
Yes, hot! I’m sure you’ve heard about drinking warm water in the morning and that’s perfectly fine BUT consider turning the handle a little more to the left next. Last year when I lived in San Francisco, I saw a really great doctor who practiced both Western and Eastern medicine; side note, she was the first one who opened my eyes about the importance of taking daily vitamins. For the record, she recommends Innate Response and I still take their Adrenal Response tablets.
Like so many people in this world, I suffer from anxiety so I was looking for ways to decrease possible triggers. While warm water with lemon is great to detox the body, a cup of hot water in the morning has the same calming effect as a cup of tea but it also serves as a daily detoxer. After my doctor’s advice, I stopped drinking coffee about 6 months ago so instead of pouring myself a hot cup of coffee, I reach for a tall glass and fill it with hot water. Sip slowly!
Go hands free
If you’re attached to your smartphone a little too much, this is a good tip to incorporate into your nightly bedtime routine. As a writer, I’m in front of my computer all day long and when I take breaks, I end up switching to my smartphone. I had even got into the habit of checking my emails before bed, a big no-no if you live in Hong Kong and your clients are in the US (all your email land in your inbox about 8pm HK time). After several nights tossing and turning, I made a change.
Normally I have no trouble falling asleep but a wonky time zone coupled with mind-racing anxiety, I decided to try audiobooks. Personally, I use Audible and take full advantage of the app’s built-in sleep timer. Maybe it’s the sound of someone talking or the much needed break from looking at my phone, but this has become my go-to sleep remedy. I know, I know! This is not what audiobooks are for; still, it works for me. Alternatively, there are apps that play relaxing music and chants.
If there’s one thing we all can’t live without, it’s breath. This comes easy to some people but I’m not one of them. I’ve had horrendous allergies since I was a tween and unfortunately, the inside of my nose is extremely inflamed. That, plus having a deviated septum that needs fixing, makes regular breathing more difficult than it should be. Oh, and did I mention I have exercise-induced asthma, too? Yup, I’ve even got an EpiPen. Even so, my breathing has improved with meditation.
When I say meditation, I’m not talking about any meditation, although please do what works for you. About three years ago, I signed up for the Art of Living‘s Happiness Program and it’s basically changed my life. Besides teaching you how to live in the moment and channel your emotions, you learn a very special breathing technique called “Kriya” that essentially helps with mood, energy, anxiety, stress and more. The foundation has centers all around fthe world, so it’s easy to get involved.
Sleep in your birthday suit
Sure, winter is coming but you can warm up under the comfort of your covers. Truth be told, this is a new one for me but after a little research, I learned that sleeping in the nude is really great for your body. You also avoid waking up with weird lines on your face (from laying on your shirt or something) and elastic marks on your legs if your leggings are a bit too tight. Remember when we talked about breath above? Remember that your body needs to breathe, too.
Ok, now onto the hard facts. Sleeping in your birthday suit can make you feel happier and more free. We wear clothes all day long and your body simply needs a break. It can also lead to better sleep because, as mentioned above, you don’t have to deal with clothes getting bunched up in your sheets. On a deeper level (literally) sleeping nude helps regulate your cortisol levels, balances your melatonin and growth hormone. The list goes on…so give it a try!
What healthy lifestyle tip have you added to your daily routine? Tell me in the comments below!
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