Let's face it. We all want to wake up every tomorrow feeling better. (If this does not apply to you, you may not be on the right website?...)
But life gets gosh darn tricky, doesn't it? And we pick up all of these little habits that annoyingly prevent our tomorrows from getting brighter, healthier, and generally better.
Neuroscientist Elliot Berkman says, "it's much easier to start doing something new than to stop doing something habitual without a replacement behaviour". And, friend, your Christmas has arrived early (like, really early): I gift to you 6 healthy, brilliant habits to start today to feel better tomorrow. Thank me later, no worries.
1. O I L P U L L
Oil pulling - aka kavala or gundusha - is an Ayurvedic form of dental detoxification. Basically, it involves swishing oil (olive, sesame, or - our fave - coconut) around your mouth and between your teeth for about 20 minutes before spitting it all back out.
Pulling allows us to enjoy more energy, clearer skin, better oral health, and hormonal balance by way of gentle detoxification. Oil pulling also helps to whiten teeth and relieve headaches.
Pop a spoonful of your oil of choice into your mouth in the morning, and swish. I oil pull in the shower and while I'm getting ready to start my day for a real sense of clarity and for easy breathing.
2. M E D I T A T E
People have been meditating for thousands of years; and for good reason. Meditation is the act of turning the mind and attention inwards to focus purely on the breath, on a single thought or feeling, one an object or image, or an affirmation or mantra. It's "resting in the stillness underneath the thinking mind".
Meditation has now been scientifically linked to a bevy of beautiful benefits, including reduced stress, increased self-awareness, peace of mind, improved focus and concentration, better relationships, better sleep, and more.
If you're a beginner, a guided meditation could be just the starting point for you. I'd recommend giving The Meditation Podcast a whirl!
3. B A T H E
You can't argue: a long, warm bath after a long, hard day feels magical. And that's because, basically, it is. Bathing helps to relax muscular tension, relieve aches and pains, calm the mind, promote restful sleep and soften the skin, but also boosts the digestive, immune and detoxification systems in the body.
Add some salt (Epsom or Himalayan), herbs, essential oils, apple cider vinegar, or the whole darn lot, to enhance the detoxification and healing processes a bath can kick into gear.
Our Relax Soak contains three out of four of the above bath benefit boosters (which hey, isn't bad). With Epsom and Himalayan salts, a blend of beautifully relaxing essential oils, and Calendula petals, this bath soak is sure to tick your bathing boxes.
4. B E G R A T E F U L
According to Forbes.com, practicing gratitude not only improves mental and physical health, but also works wonders for our self-esteem, sleep patterns, and relationships with others. Being grateful also allows us to better understand, support and accept others without it negatively impacting ourselves.
Write a list of things you're grateful for, in this very moment. Sing it. Read it aloud, to yourself or a friend. Whatever you decide to do, just take some time and energy to express that 'tude.
And don't forget that you can always express your gratitude to a special someone by way of a simple 'thank you'. Spoken aloud, sent in a cute message, or written in a thank you note. It doesn’t take much to make the both of you feel great(ful).
5. A . C . V . + H 2 O
Apple Cider Vinegar is somewhat of a digestive miracle. By helping to increase stomach acid, A.C.V. improves the digestion of the foods we're eating so that we're more easily able to assimilate their wonderful nutrients.
I add one teaspoon of A.C.V. to a glass of warm water every morning before breakfast, and occasionally throughout the day before other meals too.
When it comes to choosing an A.C.V., don't discount the value of opting for organic, raw, and 'with the mother' - if we're wanting to aid digestion, there's nothing better than the best. Bragg is my favourite brand.
6. M O V E
Find a form of exercise that you love, lock it in with a friend, pop it in your diary. Not only can regular exercise help to speed up metabolism and refine muscle; movement is magic for improving energy levels and keeping stress at bay.
In fact, just 150 minutes per week of health-boosting exercise can increase your lifespan by 3.4 years. Exercise can also improve mood, reduce our levels of stress, and increase our self-confidence, as well as preventing age-related cognitive decline and the risk of developing dementia.
And exercising regularly can help us to achieve better sleep. Our circadian rhythm is strengthened by exercising, allowing us to more easily feel awake and alert during the day, and to sleep tight at night. Any form of low-intensity exercise, even just a regular old walk, can reduce fatigue and boost energy by 20%.
References: ABC Health, The Good Bath Guide' by Pat Hagan, Forbes.com, Body Unburdened.