By Janice Russell
High-achieving women are pros when it comes to reaching their goals. We’re well-versed in the planning process, great at follow-through, and are always ready for the next challenge. However, it’s easy to overlook one major factor along the path to success: ourselves.
Self-care and healthy choices sometimes feel like extras we can add to our routines later when we have the time. Keep your health on the backburner, however, and it will catch up with you eventually. By taking the opportunity to implement self-care as a regular practice, you’ll be amazed how much more you can achieve when you’re not constantly running on empty. Because I’m Fabulous shares five healthy choices you can fit into any schedule that are bound to get results.
1. Take a Multivitamin
We all like to think we’re eating a healthy diet, but everyone slips up sometimes. If you’re not getting the nutrients your body needs to thrive, you’re not going to feel your best. Even minor vitamin deficiencies can leave you feeling tired, moody, and generally unwell.
Although you should definitely focus on getting more nutrients through your diet (more on this later), the simplest way to know you’re getting everything you need is to take a daily multivitamin. By adding a supplement to your morning routine, you can be confident you’re giving your body what it needs to thrive.
2. Treat Sources of Discomfort
Ask yourself if this scenario sounds familiar: You wake up, and you have some pain and stiffness in your lower back. But you’re busy, so you get dressed and get out the door, pushing the pain into the back of your mind. As the day goes on, however, the pain keeps coming back to the forefront. It’s not that bad, you tell yourself, just ignore it. Despite your best efforts to power through, you spend the whole day periodically distracted.
Many of us have made a habit out of trying to ignore discomfort, whether it’s muscular pain, menstrual cramps, headaches, what have you. However, it’s in our best interest to pay attention to discomfort and treat it. One way to tackle mild muscular pain and other ailments is to start a yoga practice. Yoga has many benefits, including relieving stress in your body and alleviating chronic pain. As a result, you feel better, and you’re more focused on what you need to do.
3. Eat More Plants
Famously, food journalist Michael Pollan began his book “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” with some extremely simple nutrition advice: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” We live in a diet-obsessed world where, unfortunately, the “not too much” section of that mantra is the only part most of us hear. In reality, however, increasing our plant consumption is one of the simplest ways we can keep our diets on track.
Plants are good for us in myriad ways. They give us those vitamins and nutrients we talked about earlier. They’re a great source of both soluble and insoluble fiber, which keeps our digestive systems running at their best. They’re low-calorie, wholesome, and last but certainly not least, they taste great.
If you’re totally plant averse, start small. Blend some leafy greens into a smoothie or opt for a bowl of strawberries for dessert. You don’t have to go vegetarian or vegan to prioritize plants in your diet – just focus on having some fruits or veggies with every meal, and you’ll get what you need.
4. Stay Hydrated
Do you drink enough water every day? Statistically speaking, the answer is probably no. Doctors suspect that most adults are mildly dehydrated all the time. It’s easy to see why – we’re busy people, and drinking water can easily slip out of your mind. There’s also a vicious cycle element to the equation. It’s counterintuitive, but when you’re chronically dehydrated, your body gets worse at recognizing thirst. This means you’re even less likely to think about drinking when you need to the most.
The easiest way to solve this problem is to get a nice, big water bottle and keep it with you (and full!) at all times. The bottle serves as both a visual reminder to drink and a convenient source of H2O.
5. Meditate Daily
Mindfulness is an amazing habit that everyone can benefit from building. Not only does it help to reduce stress, but it also makes you happier and healthier in the long run. We spend too much of our time going over past decisions or running through upcoming to-do lists in our head. This distracts us from the moment and prevents us from feeling joyful about our lives.
The best way to build mindfulness is through a daily meditation practice. It doesn’t have to be a big thing – start small, with just a few minutes a day. Dedicate those few minutes to noticing what’s happening around you. If you find your mind wandering, gently bring it back to the present moment. With time, it will become easier and, eventually, it will be second nature. You’ll find yourself less stressed out and more capable of paying full attention to what you’re doing.
It may help to set aside some space inside your home to meditate. However, make sure the space is clutter-free and tidy, as disorganization can cause an increase in stress and anxiety. What’s more, it can often cause your surroundings to trap bad energy, which can have a negative impact on your entire household.
When you have a lot on your plate, it’s easy to let health fall to the wayside. However, you don’t want your own wellbeing to hold you back. Stay on top of a healthy diet, get plenty of water, and keep your mental health on track. Your body deserves to feel its best; you deserve to see what you can achieve once it does.
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