“The body is a temple.” How many times in our lives have we heard this metaphor? A better question may be, “How many of us actually heed this advice and treat our bodies like the temples they are?” With our busy lives, many of us fail to take care of our most important asset: our physical health. Not only does ignoring our physical health make us less productive, more sluggish, and less engaged in life, but it also robs us of the joy that comes from feeling like our best selves.
Luckily, practicing healthy self-care doesn’t require a lot of time. Better yet, it doesn’t have to cost a dime! Here we are sharing with you five fabulous ways to treat your body like the beautiful work of art it is.
1. Begin and End Each Day with a Celebration
Did you know your first thoughts upon waking in the morning go a long way towards determining how your day will be? It’s true!
With many of us, though, our first thoughts upon hearing that alarm are grumpy ones: “It’s too early,” “I’m too tired,” “I don’t want to get up.” This attitude sets up the rest of the day to follow in a similar, sour mood.
Think about a time when you woke up as a child and couldn’t wait to jump out of bed. Maybe it was the day before a big vacation or a holiday celebration. Remember how it felt to wake up breathlessly excited for the day ahead?
To make all your days better, try to generate this sense of enthusiasm each morning when you wake up. Take two to five minutes to focus on all the things you are grateful for — all the things that make life worth getting out of bed each day.
Similarly, at the end of each day, take a few minutes to focus on what went right that day. Even on our worst days, something good happens. Try to think of one positive thing about your day before you fall asleep. If you’d like, incorporate some gentle bedtime yoga and meditation into your routine, in order to release any tension in your body. By relaxing and focusing on the good before closing your eyes, you’ll sleep more soundly, and wake up in a happier frame of mind.
2. Use the “One Less” Technique
Breaking a bad habit, such as an addiction to nicotine, sugary treats or alcohol, can be a task akin to scaling Mt. Everest. Often, we are loath to give up our unhealthy habits, as they help us cope in some way, and we can’t imagine life without the naughty vices we crave. Sometimes, by attempting to quit cold turkey, we frustrate our efforts by setting ourselves up to fail.
So, instead of going cold turkey, try breaking your bad habits with the “one less” technique. With this approach, you don’t promise yourself you’ll never enjoy another beer or “junk food” snack. Instead, focus on having just one less of whatever your vice is on a daily basis. You can keep decreasing how much you indulge in this habit, and soon, the motivation you’ll feel from cutting down may help you quit for good.
3. Soak in Some Natural Vitamin D
Numerous studies have found that spending time outdoors helps us de-stress, relax, and focus in our priorities. Spending time outdoors can even encourage deeper, more restful sleep! Set a goal to spend at least 20 to 30 minutes outdoors each day.
You can take a walk and get an exercise bonus at the same time, or head to the park to sit on a bench and listen to the birds chirping and children playing. Your body will absorb healthy, natural Vitamin D from the sun — a nutrient many are deficient in — and feel ready to focus anew.
4. Pack a Lunch
Those who dine out regularly consume far more calories than those who dine in. However, as our lives grow busier and busier, we often find ourselves gulping down whatever is quickest for lunch. While the occasional treat of fast food is OK in moderation, relying on convenience leads to too much fast food consumption and obesity.
Instead, make your lunch both healthier and more convenient by bringing it with you! When you do your Sunday afternoon meal planning, include a plan to pack lunch or eat at home at least three to four days out of the week. The foods you choose to eat when you have time to prepare them tend to be higher in nutrients and lower in calories than those you grab on the fly.
5. Take a Nap
Once you’ve moved on from kindergarten, napping gets a bad rap in American society, but it shouldn’t! Naps refresh us mentally and restore our productivity. In other nations, it isn’t uncommon for employers to provide “nap pods” for their employees to catch some afternoon shut-eye.
If your workplace isn’t as nap-friendly, try grabbing some quick ZZZs in your car, if possible, or lie down for 15 to 20 minutes after getting home. You’ll awaken refreshed and ready to finish out your day.
Taking care of your body doesn’t take much time, and it doesn’t require any money at all. There is only one you, so take care of yourself by celebrating the body you inhabit each day.
Featured image via Pexels