10 Ways to Improve Your Health Right Now
It’s easy to get that stuck-in-a-rut feeling, especially if you’re working in a public school. During my earlier years of teaching, there would be days that I didn’t feel like myself and generally felt unwell. It might seem difficult to rid yourself of this feeling, but it’s not impossible. The first place to start is with your health. I’m not talking about eating carrots and green smoothies all day health. When it comes to overall health, we need to consider the physical, mental, and social aspects of our lives.
I’ve gathered some super simple hacks to creating a better, healthier life. Ready to get out of that funk and start feeling good again? Then keep reading.
1. Drink more water.
If your mom is like mine, then you’ve heard this a hundred times. I hate to sound like a broken record, but (time and time again) mom’s right! It’s so so important to stay hydrated. Being dehydrated causes sleepiness, headaches, and just makes us overall sluggy. Drinking water has so many benefits including making us feel refreshed and actually improving our state of mind. If you’re like me and have a miserable, difficult time drinking water throughout the day, try infusing your water with lemon or cucumber. If your bathroom break time is limited (whose isn’t?), I suggest drinking as much water you can during your lunch break and again at the end of the school day. Doing this will give you a boost when your body needs it most.
2. Eat breakfast.
Haven’t you heard? Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. I know you’re saying “yeah I know that, but I’m out the door by 6:45am and definitely do not want to wake up any earlier to eat breakfast.” Ok maybe you’re not saying that, but I know I am. For me, sleeping in another 15 minutes totally comes before making time for breakfast. That’s why I started eating breakfast at school. Try a few of these simple overnight oats recipes. If you have a refrigerator at your school you can even make them ahead of time and grab one when you get there.
3. Go to bed earlier.
Watch one less episode on Netflix and skip that last scroll through Facebook to create a nighttime ritual for yourself that focuses on self-care practices like meditation, taking a bath, or a calming skin-care routine. Most people need 8 hours of sleep to function at their best.
4. Make a meal plan.
We all know that when we eat better, we feel better. Making a meal plan will help you stick your your healthy goals and will save you from unnecessary spending and making poor food choices (Yes, I’m talking about that quick drive through McDonalds just for some fries). Making a meal plan is one of the most important things you can do to consistently eat clean. If meal planning is new to you, take baby steps by focusing on one meal for the week such as lunch. Trust me, your body (and mind) will be thanking you when it comes time for lunch and you already have something made.
5. Eat more greens.
This one is simple. Literally eat anything green. Broccoli, spinach, arugula, kale, cucumber, celery- all of it. Your skin will thank you. One of my favorite go-to lunches is this Summer Mixed Green Salad. It’s usually the salad I prep for lunch over and over, but with this dressing. Not a fan of lettuce or salads? Blend everything in a smoothie, add a green apple to sweeten, and drink up!
6. Eat more healthy fats.
This one is kind of exciting. Did you know eating healthy fats such as avocado, olive oil, coconut oil, eggs, and nut butters can help fight depression, improve your cognitive function, strengthen your bones and decrease your risk of disease (just to name a few)? Go ahead and eat those healthy fats, girl.
7. Eat without distractions.
Turn off the TV, put your phone on silent, and enjoy the moment (because, well, food is just worth savoring). Not only that, but eating without mindlessly tapping at our phones or talking over the TV in the background has been shown to reduce overeating, promote weight loss, and reduce anxiety.
8. Get outside.
Being outside has so many benefits on mental health so skip the lunch racing around making copies and take 20 minutes to sit outside and enjoy the day. On the weekends, take a trip to the beach, a local park, or a trail. Have a picnic, do some yoga, or take a hike. Your body and mind will find exercise and relaxation, all while enjoying the fresh air.
9. Get together with a friend.
Sometimes we all get so busy and stuck in the same routine that we isolate ourselves. Plan a few nights a month to catch up with a friend. Talking is a great way to reduce stress, share things that excite us, and increase our sense of belonging. Meet up for yoga, coffee, or a girls night in with pizza and wine.
10. Practice Gratitude.
Guys, did you know that being grateful is scientifically proven to increase physical health, mental health, self-esteem, and even sleep? Recognizing what you’re thankful for- even in the most difficult of times- will foster resilience. Starting a gratitude journal is an easy way to collect your daily gratitudes and will keep your mind on the lookout for new things you are thankful for. Make it a game to find something new you are grateful for each day.
I’d love to hear what you do to improve your health! Leave a comment below!