Today’s women are pulled in so many directions. We have families and homes, community responsibilities, important careers and more. In between switching hats, sometimes we forget to take care of ourselves! It’s critical to remember, however, that if we aren’t in top shape, we cannot give our best to the people, causes and other efforts that depend on us and that fulfill us. Here are five simple ways to feel good, look good, and get the most out of life.
You may have heard the old adage about drinking eight cups of water a day – and that’s a great rule of thumb. It’s better to spread out the hydration over the course of the day, as opposed to chugging a huge bottle in the morning and then drinking nothing the rest of the day. Other fluids such as juices and herbal teas can also count towards your eight cups, though certain drinks like coffee “set you back” and should be compensated for by extra cups of water in addition to the usual eight. Try carrying a stylish, reusable bottle with you to encourage sipping all day long.
It’s important to keep your blood sugar levels up and stable all day, as well. That means that in addition to balanced meals, carrying healthful snacks, high in fiber and protein and low in simple carbs, to avoid sugar highs and lows. You can pick up protein bars in grocery stores and convenience stores all over, grab a fruit or prepare some fresh cut vegetables and tahini dip if you have the time. Planning ahead will help stave off hunger and keep you powering through your day.
Keep moving. Even if you don’t have time for or don’t enjoy formal exercise at the gym, walk instead of taking the bus the last two stops, park farther away from your office than you need to, or take the stairs instead of the elevator. These little efforts add up and will make you look and feel better overall.
Drinking enough, eating right and staying active certainly help energy levels, but aren’t enough without proper rest! For the best sleep, turn off all screens including televisions, computers and phones at least an hour before bed. Try to get at least seven hours of consecutive sleep every night. Adjust the temperature, lighting, even your pajamas to get as comfortable as possible and wake up rested and ready to seize the day.
Make YOU time, practice mindfulness
Don’t forget to take time-outs to just be with yourself – whether it’s watching a TV show on your own, getting a pedicure, taking a nap, reading a book, or whatever else that feels like it’s just for you. Check in with yourself regularly, by writing in a journal, meditating, or simply asking yourself at least once a week, what’s working for you in your routine, what’s bothering you, what your options are for making changes. Get in touch with your needs and wants, without outside influence or expectations.
Taking care of yourself is incredibly important and doesn’t need to be a burden. Work in these small steps to your daily routine to feel better and be stronger, inside and out, right now.