Groan. It’s the start of another week, and the stressors are already piling up. As you lie in bed before the rigors of the day begin, you run through your mental checklist: there are errands to run, children to wrangle, meals to cook, finances to budget, deadlines to meet, meetings to attend, and the list stretches on into infinity. Somewhere in there you’re also supposed to be minding your health and fitness, like squeezing in a pilates class and eating a balanced diet. Who has the time anymore?
Fortunately, there are five super easy things you can begin implementing immediately that will refocus your brain, boost your energy, stabilize your metabolism, improve your mental health, and make you feel like the best version of yourself ever. Oh, and no crazy diet tricks or workout plans are included!
We’re willing to bet that the “drink more water” mantra has been thoroughly hammered into your head by now, but what you may not know are the tremendous benefits of starting your day with an ice-cold glass of H2O. Michael Aziz, MD, author of The Perfect 10 Diet, argues that “cooling can burn calories” by activating your metabolism. This is an important step toward boosting your energy in the morning, but an ice-cold glass of water will also rehydrate your body after sleep stasis, flush out toxins, and boost brain productivity. Before you do anything else in the morning, drink a 500ml glass of cold water – you’ll notice your energy levels increase instantly.
Do a Digital Detox
Saying no to the tempting, familiar glow of your smartphone is harder than it sounds. We are now so dependent on technology that a digital detox is very difficult, but it’s also incredibly beneficial for your mental well-being. By following a few parameters, you can ensure a healthier relationship with your phone and a better night’s sleep! While access to your phone – which includes important apps, your calendar and schedule, e-mail, and social media – is a necessary part of your workday, there is no reason to be mindlessly scrolling through it far into the evening. Set aside personal time for yourself every day during which your phone is not within reach. Enjoy the serenity that comes with being disconnected for a brief moment and the side benefit of giving your brain time to relax, which leads to more fulfilling sleep. Experts recommend that you stop looking at your phone completely at least two hours before you go to bed in order to reap more restful benefits.
Another surprising perk of spending less time with your phone is that you will have better posture and stave off frown lines. That’s right; hunching over and unconscious frowning, squinting, and tensing up are some of the other negative consequences of spending too much time staring at your phone screen.
Practice Mindfulness and Meditation
If you’re feeling exhausted, stressed out, and unhappy, it’s time to make yourself your own highest priority. So often women are called upon to shoulder the emotional weight of relationships, manage the household, care for children, and juggle a full-time job. Our strength and our abilities are tested on the daily, but if you aren’t finding time to nourish yourself you will feel stretched thin. Instead of putting on a false front and grinning and bearing it all, you should – no matter what other factors are in play – make time for yourself for at least 20 minutes every day.
An easy way to relieve the mental anguish is to meditate, and you don’t need a yoga mat and a cute workout outfit to achieve this. All you need is solitude, which can be found even in public by listening to relaxing meditation chants on your headphones. Meditation cuts through the chatter and mental cobwebs and helps refocus your brain. It is also an important step in self-care, because it teaches you to listen to yourself and your innermost thoughts. There are plenty of other health benefits to meditation, which you can brush up on by clicking here.
Make Magnesium a Diet Cornerstone
We’ve all been reminded to take our vitamins, but less focus tends to be given to one super essential component of your diet: minerals. Minerals are building blocks for all sorts of bodily functions; they not only help our cells grow and heal, but they also help our hair and nails grow, our teeth stay healthy, and our body metabolize food. Dr. Christiane Northrup argues that one of the most neglected nutrients on earth is magnesium, which is involved in the functioning of more than 300 enzymes in the body. Here are just a few things magnesium can treat: anxiety and panic attacks, asthma, constipation, infertility, migraines, hypertension, and the list goes on. You can absorb magnesium through Epsom Salt baths, eat foods high in magnesium like kale, spinach, fish, and avocado, or take a daily supplement of magnesium oxide, magnesium chloride, or chelated magnesium. Once your daily dose of magnesium has built up in your system, which takes three to seven days, you will notice a drastic improvement in your overall health.
Power Up Your Diet
Tim Ferriss, author of the popular books The 4-Hour Workweek and The 4-Hour Body, not only conducts a tremendous amount of research to support his health and fitness theories, but he’s also his own guinea pig. In his book The 4-Hour Body, Ferris dispenses some incredible advice about how to start your morning. While he advocates drinking an ice-cold glass of water when you first wake up, he also recommends eating a 30g portion of protein within the first 30 minutes of being awake. He argues that eating a large portion of protein first thing in the morning not only reduces carbohydrate cravings throughout the day, but it also helps you lose fat and gives you a crazy energy boost that lasts until lunch time. Depending on your dietary preferences, there are plenty of ways to achieve a high-protein breakfast; you can mix up a protein shake, eat a plate of bacon and eggs, or prepare a power protein bowl with nutritious ingredients like quinoa and kale. Just be sure to nail down your protein breakfast within those crucial first 30 minutes of waking.