Don’t have much time? Not sure how to incorporate healthier ways of being into your life? Here are a few tips that are relatively small and easy to try, even if it’s one per day:
Reduce sugar and caffeine. Notice I said reduce, not eliminate (at least to start). People are attached to their Tim’s or Starbucks, and to satisfying their sweet tooths, but beginning to reduce consumption of these substances can improve your health, energy and quality of sleep. Caffeine is a stimulant, and aggravates symptoms of anxiety; sugar causes dips and spikes in your own blood sugar levels, affecting insulin (a hormone), which also impacts mood, energy and sleep. Try tea, or herbal tea, something with chicory is a good substitute for the flavour of coffee. Chamomile is a relaxing herbal tea as well – find one that tastes good to you. Go unsweetened, or use a small amount of honey, no artificial sweeteners (that’s a whole other blog!)
Reduce screen time. Computers, TVs, smart phones and such not only keep us sedentary, but they also emit light into our eyes keeping our brains awake long after the sun sets when we’re supposed to be unwinding. Try reducing the amount of time you look at screens and go outside for fresh air and natural light. Even a few minutes of walking outdoors can make a difference. The snow is finally gone so what’s stopping you? 🙂
Reframe your negative thoughts. How many times per day do you catch yourself beating yourself up inside your head, through your own self talk? Next time this happens, ask yourself “where is the evidence for ‘such and such’?” Or, try thinking to yourself the way you would talk to a loved one about a similar scenario – with compassion. Self-compassion is cool. Try it!
Relax. Simple right? Ok, so not everyone has time to meditate for 30 minutes, or go to a yoga class….but I bet everyone can find 3 minutes and 31 seconds. I frequently use this link below with clients in session, and it works every time.
Start with small, manageable changes like these four Rs. You don’t have to do it all at once; and have fun trying 🙂