1. Morning Hot Lemon Drink
Having hot lemon water first thing upon waking is such a good start to your day. This is a highly alkalising drink, as the ph level of the lemon once metabolised, helps to raise your body’s own ph. Drinking this first thing starts the digestion engine, prepping you for food consumption later on.
2. Breathing Exercises
Many people forget to breathe deeply; instead they are only shallow breathing throughout the day. One of the most relaxing things to do for both the mind and body is to purposefully take Ten Deep Breaths. Inhale a long luxuriating breath in, and exhale out like you are breathing out through a straw. If you do this ten times regularly (daily or even a couple of times a day when needed) this will help you to relax, and in times of stress this is a powerful technique to draw upon.
Mindfulness can be applied to many aspects of life and it has remarkable effects. In particular I direct you towards mindfulness during meals and eating in general. This has an incredible effect on digestion, and is often overlooked by most. There is and abundance of research to show that what your grandmother may have intuitively told you when you were a child was correct. When you eat, take your time. Digestion, in a large part, is greatly effected by how we eat our food and not just what we are eating. So enjoy your food, taking your time and not rushing. Not eating on the go while dashing from one place to the next, rather being present of mind whilst eating. Connecting to the practice. This will help you to not only understand when you are full because you can now identify the signals in the moment (leading to smaller portions), but it will aid to lower stress levels, and therefore decrease Cortisol levels, and in turn lower belly fat.
Keeping hydrated is essential to most of the human bodily functions, i.e. digestion and toxin removal. Drinking more water also has the lovely affect of helping to clear skin. I recommend having a pint to a litre of filtered water upon waking (the lemon water counts in this total sum), as while you sleep your body draws water to aid in the repair and maintenance of all major organs, and also the intervertebral disks of your spine, essentially hydrating them; filling them up so they can fulfill their role as natural pressure cushions for your vertebrae. So drinking water first thing is key. Then depending on activity levels and climate I it’s recommended to drink anywhere from 2 to 4 litres per day.
Regular exercise has so many benefits to our minds and our bodies. To mention them all here would take several pages, and many of them you have heard in the media over and over again. I would however like to cross some exercise territories that are much less discussed. Oh, and by regular I mean at least three times per week. There are many different forms of exercise, however the most important parts of the exercise equation not often discussed is only doing what is right for you and your body. This not only applies to the types of exercise performed, time of exercise and duration, but essentially the ‘why’ behind why you are doing exercise in the first place. Question your motives and if you think rather than a run a dance class with other like minded people might be something you enjoy more and actually have fun with then pick that. Boosting your enjoyment levels and creating long-term healthy habits.
Meditation is one of the key elements of wellness. It has a variety of mental and physiological benefits. I like to refer to it as the ‘daily holiday’. It gives deep relaxation, and helps you to quieten your Monkey Mind (the part of your mind that can be hard to shut off, often asking questions like what am I having for dinner while you are trying to concentrate at work). It helps you to feel more inner peace, which aids in not simply reacting to life’s situations but responding from a calmer more peaceful place. There are many different forms of meditation so if you have tried one and decided that it didn’t work for you, perhaps it was just not the one you jelled with the most.
Stretching the body is imperative to you feeling good. It prevents injuries, supports balance especially since many of us today are in the unnatural tri-flexed position of sitting, and for some hunched over a computer screen for large portions of each day. Stretching will loosen up many tight muscles that are being contracted for prolonged periods of time aiding you in feeling more free, comfortable and protecting against injury. My favourite way to do this is through Yoga but there are many forms of active stretching and some need only be for a few minutes a day.
8. Have Fun
Sometimes our lives get so busy we forget to have fun. Enjoying ourselves can take on various forms perhaps for you that’s a good meal and some laughs with your friends or family, perhaps it is a walk or a hike in nature, it could even be to paint or play an instrument, or to just watch a good movie with a loved one. Whatever this means to you its important to recharge your batteries and come back to our work, what ever that may be, recharged with the bolstered affects emotions like enjoyment, joy, appreciation, and happiness gives us.
9. Green Leafy Vegetables
Green leafy vegetables are some of the most important foods in life for us here Homo Sapiens. They are loaded with the building blocks of life and are very alkalising. Greens are the most alkalizing of all the foods types and contain the highest nutritional density. I have two very detailed blog posts on this topic so please feel free to look deeper.
10. Outline Life Goals
People who have goals and are striving towards them are said to be the happiest people. Passion drives us. We thrive on it and since my site is all about helping you to thrive not only survive, this could not be left out of this list. Do you have your own goals? If so have you written them down? Writing down your goals is the first true manifestation of them. The breaking down of your goals helps in segmenting them into manageable parts that can be accomplished, and once you have the segments in approachable steps you can take action steps towards achieving them.