With 2016 around the corner, many people are making resolutions or looking to get healthy in some way or another. We often make resolutions that are hard to keep and a bit ambitious, but it can be super simple to adopt a few healthy habits. Small changes lead to big changes and a healthier year.
Here are 8 healthy habits to start for 2016:
- Begin the morning with a glass of warm lemon water. The body uses the sleep cycle to rest and detox. Upon rising, starting the day with a big glass of warm lemon water helps to flush out toxins, jumpstart the metabolism, and provides a big immune boost. It also helps to balance the pH of the body and aids digestion of the breakfast that comes after. Drinking it warm keeps things gentle on the body as very cold water can be a bit of a shock.
- Add healthy foods into your diet. Instead of focusing on things to remove, which can psychologically make things seem limited or make us feel deprived, focus on what can be added in. Add sunflower seeds to salads, add a banana as a snack, add kale to a soup, etc. The more healthy things that are added, the less room there will be for the junk.
- Practice mini-meditations. When things get overwhelming, it can be helpful to take a moment to center and ground. And while meditating for longer periods is great, it can be daunting and we often don’t have the time to do so when we need it most. If you are able to, find a quiet place or use headphones to drown out the outside world. Close your eyes, and take deep breaths. Imagine that you are breathing out negative, dark energy and breathing in positive, light energy. Continue for as long as you have or need. If I am busy watching the toddler, I like to do quicker versions of this with my eyes open.
- Read labels. I found that if I am diligent about reading labels, I am much more picky about what I buy. Those cookies sure look good, but once you see all the chemical ingredients, they don’t seem as appetizing. Being aware of what is in your food helps you to make better and informed decisions.
- Boost gut health. Research is revealing a long list of positive health outcomes from having good intestinal bacteria, so adding a probiotic to your daily routine may be beneficial. I feel better when I remember to take it. Also, adding fermented foods to your diet is a great way to boost gut health and get more good bacteria into your body.
- Dance. Many people like to start exercising when the new year starts, but going to the gym just seems so tedious and it’s not something that most people keep up with. Of course, if you love to exercise or have the time to do yoga, then by all means continue those. But a great way to get exercise and boost mood is to dance. I like to put music on and dance while I cook or clean or just as an activity to do with the toddler. It’s quick, easy, and I am able to get things done while doing it.
- Show yourself some love. Make a point to do little things for yourself. Buy yourself flowers and chocolate, wear those fancy pajamas, eat your favorite meal. Most importantly, be kind to yourself. Showing yourself some love can boost your mood and it just feels good. This also includes surrounding yourself with positive, like-minded people.
- Get outside. Breathing fresh air and physically seeing nature works wonders on the mood and even physical health. Going for a walk or hike adds exercise to the mix, but just spending some time sitting in the sunshine will do the trick.