by SUSAN BOYOUNG BAILEY SCHABACKER
Feeling bloated after a few too many sips and bites at holiday gatherings? You may be feeling a bit done in by all the dessert-ing, but this is an ideal time to focus on getting healthier. No need to give up everything you crave that’s unhealthy. Instead, creatively substitute with healthier options. Here are some hacks after the holidays to get healthier and happier.
- ALIGN AND AFFIRM THE BEST VERSION OF YOU. You are precious and full of potential, but you yourself have to believe that, too. Your perception of yourself can have a profound impact on the way you live your life which also has a ripple effect on others. Remind yourself that there’s no one else quite like you in the world and celebrate what makes you uniquely you. Write down some of your best qualities and positive feedback from others.
- STAY HYDRATED. Since our bodies are composed of at least 60% water, it’s vital to stay hydrated. Start your day with simple hot water and lemon or green tea and lemon, Move over cocktails. Instead, sip and savor mocktails without the added alcohol. Alcoholic drinks like cocktails can be alluring and also addictive, but non-alcoholic virgin drinks can be just as amazing.Substitute alcohol and sodas with water, organic teas, and fruit and veggie juices.
- MORE MINDFUL EVERYTHING. Mindfully improve your digestion, respiration, and overall health and make better choices to be healthier and live better. Focusing on deep, diaphragmatic breathing as part of your life force can have a direct physical response on your blood pressure and cortisol. Living in the now, staying attuned and aware in the present allows you to make wiser, healthier decisions. Chewing food more slowly can aid your digestion. It’s easy to be on autopilot and take these invisible aspects of life for granted, but the more you can implement them into daily living, the better off you’ll be. So, make a habit of thinking, feeling, and living mindfully.
- PROBIOTICS AND PREBIOTICS. Boost beneficial bacteria in the gut microbiome to ward off invading illnesses and support the immune system. Find prebiotics in fiber-rich foods, including vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. Find probiotics in fermented foods and beverages, like sauerkraut, kimchi, tempeh, kefir and kombucha.
- THE 3 S’s: SUPERFOODS, SMOOTHIES, AND SPICES. Whether a meal or snack, the 3 S’s contain bountiful benefits. Nutrient dense superfoods include fish, nuts, cruciferous veggies, dark leafy greens, pomegranates, berries, and lots else. There’s a surprising amount you can pack into a single smoothie, from greens to frozen fruits to powders and spices like matcha, moringa, spirulina, turmeric, and cinnamon.
- MASSAGE WITH AROMATHERAPY. Whether it’s a DIY massage on yourself, with a partner, or by a professional masseuse, benefit your body and mind in many ways. Relax your muscles, increase circulation, de-stress from daily cares, and soothe your senses with aromatherapy. Simply mix a plant-based carrier oil such as coconut, olive, argan, jojoba, or avocado oil with essential oils. For an energizing massage, try essential oils like eucalyptus, rosemary, or peppermint. In contrast, for a relaxing massage, opt for oils like lavender, chamomile, ylang ylang, and jasmine.
- REFLECT ON YOUR INNERMOST THOUGHTS AND FEELINGS. Find time to document and record (and don’t forget to date) what’s on your mind and heart. Keeping track of what you go through and what you are thinking and feeling can help you piece together the puzzle of life, shedding light on where you’ve been, where you are now, and where you want to go with your dreams, goals, and objectives.
- USE POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT to reach your health goals. Rewarding yourself with healthy treats and positive encouragement provides fuel and fire for your engine and helps overcome obstacles like avoidance and procrastination. Be your own cheerleader and boss, recognizing and rewarding yourself along the way.
The new year is the ideal time to break through to a healthier and better version of you.