Overall health (physical, mental and spiritual) is of great importance to me year round.¬†But since it’s a new year, I decided to gt a bit more formal in my efforts to feel my best. So, I’ve compiled a little list of 5 things I’m prioritizing daily that have helped me feel calmer and more balanced.

1) Eat a rainbow every day. I try to eat as many brightly coloured fruits and vegetables as I can every day. Whether its a salad, some fruit, a blended smoothie or some steamed veggies with dinner I try to get at least 5 servings a day. This has made a huge difference for me in terms of energy levels and overall health. If you’re concerned about budget there are plenty of tools floating around the internet that can tell you what fruits and vegetables are in season and will be the cheapest to purchase ūüėČ

2) Get enough sleep. I used to think that 5 or 6 hours was plenty of rest. Not true! I suffer from chronic anxiety and OCD. I can function on 6 hours of sleep, but I’m always more anxious, less patient and less effective. If getting 8+ hours of sleep is just not going to happen, try¬†dedicating an hour before sleeping to doing something calming. Reading before bed is my favourite way to wind down.

3) Drink¬†water.¬†Pop, juice, coffee and regular tea don’t count (UNFORTUNATELY- love me some coffee)! Plain older water is great, but decaffeinated herbal teas are excellent too and can actually be a great way to get more vitamins and nutrients. I’m a big fan of chamomile before bed and also enjoy red raspberry leaf any time of day.

4) Meditate every day. This is something new I’m working on as a way to decrease general anxiety and just overall feel more present and calm. I don’t have the time or really the patience or dedication for anything fancy. So I’m starting small. It can be as easy and taking 5 minutes on your lunch break to concentrate on deep breathing with your eyes closed. I’ve been really loving watching ASMR videos at night. Sometimes I listen to them to help me relax before I fall asleep. They might seem a bit weird, but they’re magical. Go onto Youtube and search ASMR. My favourite accounts are WhispersRed, TonyBamboni and SoftlyGaloshes.

5) Be grateful.  A couple of years ago when my kids were 1 and 3, both my husband and I were laid off a total of 3 times within about 6 months. Focusing on what I still had to be grateful for was the only thing that got me through that time. The best thing is, once you start focusing on your blessings, they seem to multiply! This is a great practice to do either right before bed or as soon as you get up.

 

I don’t always prioritize my health, I am known for putting too much on my plate often. But, I have learned the hard way that I am more effective, patient, content and balanced person when I dedicate¬†time for these simple practices regularly. Happy 2016, I hope this is your best year yet!

 

Shauna