Last year I put out a survey to my readers asking them where they felt they were struggling the most with their wellness – fitness, nutrition or stress management. And the results were pretty staggering – stress management and the desire to “start feeling better” and to feel “happier” outweighed fitness and nutrition combined almost 2 to 1. It really got me thinking about what I should be doing and offering to help more of you find your way to a less stressed and happier life.
I’ve been sitting on this information for quite a while trying to figure out the best way to go about it and earlier this week the simplest solution occurred to me. With my weekly Wednesday video, I can break down couple simple, actionable steps that when done on a regular basis really can make a difference in your life. I’m fortunate enough to have been able to get so much education in different areas of fitness, nutrition and stress management that I have so much information in my brain that often ends up getting stuck there until someone happens to ask me the right question. And it’s time to set that information freeeeeeeeeee
Because I don’t want to overwhelm anyone, I’m starting out with three super-duper simple things you can start doing TODAY that will help you start to feel better by this weekend. And bonus – you don’t have to go anywhere, you don’t have to get sweaty, and 2 of the 3 can be done in the next 3 minutes.
I truly believe that making small, simple changes is the best way to make long-lasting changes which is why I’m going to be keeping these videos pretty short, but packing them with information to help you see why these changes can help you feel better.
If you are unable to watch the video right now, I urge you to bookmark this post so you can come back and watch it later, but as to not keep you in suspense here are the three tips:
Drink a glass of water
Whether you are a good water drinker or barely drink a glass a day, let’s start getting one extra glass of water in each day. One glass of water doesn’t take much time, you can commit to adding a glass to a specific meal, drink it in the morning, or just before bed – whenever will be the easiest for you to remember. Just get that glass of water in to help keep your body working.
Take two deep, rib-expanding breaths
We are shallow breathers. Most of us breathe only into our chest and what is interesting about that, is that it quickens our breath, begins to over oxygenate your blood and sends your body into your sympathetic nervous system or “fight or flight” to prepare for whatever stressor is occurring. But many times, there is no real stressors causing the shortened breaths, it’s just our tendency to breath shallowly.
The simple act of taking two deep, rib expanding breathes signals to your brain that you are ok – you’re not actually being chased by a bear (fun fact – your body doesn’t know the difference between the stress of being chased by a bear or the stress of your phone ringing off the hook all day). Those breaths tell us we are a-ok and we can start to move back into our parasympathetic nervous system (rest and digest) and CALM THE HECK DOWN.
Put your electronics away 20 minutes before bed
All of our devices – our phones, tablets, computers and TV’s emit white light, and that white light in your eyes really can mess up your circadian rhythm and make it harder to sleep at night. While there are glasses you can buy to block out that light, let’s keep it simple and just put our phones away before bed. Give your eyes a chance to relax and notice that it is dark out and it is probably time to start getting ready for bed.
If you insist on using your devices before bed, be sure to turn the “night shift” option on in your settings to make the screen much warmer/yellow in colour in the evening as to avoid that white light before bed.
Use this time to prepare for your morning, get ready for bed – drink your glass of water and do your deep breathing – talk to your family or read a book. Those last 20 minutes before you hit the pillow should be a relaxing calming routine to get you ready for sleep. If scrolling Twitter is part of that routine for you, just make sure you have “night shift” or other screen shifting program installed.
Start feeling better by this weekend!
You may not wake up Saturday morning feeling like you are ready to take on the world but I promise, if you start implementing these three things on a daily basis, come Saturday you will have started to make real, physical changes in your body that will make a big difference over time.
And before I go – why not take this time right now to take a couple deep breaths and get a glass of water. 😉