Taking care of our emotional, physical and mental health is key to leading a productive and fulfilling life. For the last few months I've made small but significant changes to my daily routine which have helped me feel motivated, focused and grounded.
I've honestly never felt better about myself even though I still experience the same struggles and worries as I did before. You can't always change your environment, but you can always shift your perspective.
I know that most of us are already overwhelmingly busy during the day, so I hate to add more on your plate, but I promise that these elements will help you decrease the stress you feel around your to-do lists and give you a sense of freedom and ease as you move through life.
Here are four things I do every day that help me get grounded.
1. Be Thankful and Get Clear
Every morning I list three things I am grateful for and set an affirmation for the day. At night I list three amazing things that happened to me that day and go to bed feeling happy and positive.
I've been using the Five Minute Journal to do this and it's been a game changer, but you don't need to own one to start doing this daily practice. Just a pen and a piece of paper next to your bedside will do the trick. Make sure you do it first thing in the morning and right before bed to really make the most of this exercise!
It shouldn't take more than a few minutes, otherwise it will feel cumbersome and you will avoid doing it.
2. Healthy Meal Prep
There's nothing worse than spending your hard-earned money on food that makes you feel like crap. I refuse to do it, and I can't believe it's taken me so long to make the switch!
I used to buy an overpriced, barely healthy lunch every single day. Now, I make myself a green smoothie every morning for breakfast and pack a nutritious plant-based lunch that I know won't leave me feeling bloated, cramped or depleted of energy by 2pm. Some people prep meals for the entire week on Sundays, I prefer making super simple lunches in the morning.
If you enjoy leftovers, just make a larger portion of food for dinner than you normally would. It doesn't matter if you've spent your morning listening to inspiring TED talks or writing in your gratitude journal, if you're not fueling yourself with nutritious food you will never be able to feel good.
Get your body moving every single day for at least half an hour. I know it's been said over and over but how many of us actually do it?
Whether it's yoga, pilates, walking, boxing, you name it — just get out and do it! Even better if you can exercise outdoors. There's nothing like fresh air to clear your mind and get focused.
On days where my energy levels are lower I turn to yin or restorative yoga. It's not going to elevate the heart rate or release endorphins as much as thirty minutes of cardio would, but it's an amazing stress buster and a great way to get grounded and calm. The bottom line is, do what works for you and be consistent with it.
4. Phone-Free Activities
I've recently noticed just how addicted I am to my phone and it's been a big wake up call.
Although I'm not telling you that you have to cut out all social media and lock your phone in a drawer, I believe some activities should be phone-free. Cooking is one of them! It's incredibly soothing and therapeutic to prepare food without any distractions.
I think we like to believe we're better at multitasking than we really are, and end up feeling drained and frazzled.
Try doing one thing at a time and devoting all of your attention to it. The same goes for your interactions with people and pets. Stop looking at Instagram pictures while petting your dog! A conversation with a partner while scrolling through your Facebook feed is not a conversation. Don't leave your phone on out on the table when you have dinner with friends.
Resist the urge to compare your every day life with everyone's highlight reel. Put the phone down, you will feel better, I promise.
I am nowhere near perfect and like everyone else, sometimes I slip. I try my best to be consistent, but sometimes life gets in the way. We are human. If it happens to you, acknowledge it and move on.
There's so much more that I'd like to do every day to increase my sense of well-being but for now, this is my foundation.
I'd love to know what your personal rituals and habits are, please leave a comment below and share your experiences with others. We can all learn so much from each other!