Eat, sleep, work, w(h)ine, repeat ...
You know the drill, between work, catching up with friends and the odd Netflix and chill sesh, life has a tendency to get away on you.
You find yourself wondering a couple of things:
- Where has the day/month/year gone?!?!
- How do people find the time to eat healthy, exercise and just take care of themselves in general?
While I can't really give you an answer to the first question - seriously, I swear all you have to do is blink and the year is gone - I can share some useful tips and tricks to help you take care of yourself no matter what life throws at you.
First of all, we don't give early mornings enough credit. Don't get me wrong, I love that snooze button as much as the next person, but there's something special about the morning. It's peaceful and quiet and the air feels fresh and clean - except when Australia accidentally opens the portals to hell and it nearly hits 50 degrees!
Anyway, the trick to make the most of your mornings, and early mornings at that, is to take a moment to really wake up and start your day off on a good note.
By 'taking a moment', I don't mean hit snooze or scroll through Facebook until you've literally got 10 minutes to get out the door and be at work in time for that 9am nap, I mean meeting. Instead, after your alarm goes off, spend a minute or two stretching your body. After you've done this, get out of bed and stretch for another minute or so. Stretching right after you've woken up helps to increase blood flow to your muscles, including your brain. This, in turn, heightens your energy levels and helps your concentration levels which means you'll be able to hit the ground running (metaphorically speaking of course - I wear heels at work and am so not running in them!).
With your energy and concentration levels up and running, it's time for that classic morning drink: lemon water.
I know, you were expecting me to say coffee, because coffee is life in the morning. But a glass of warm lemon water in the mornings provides a more beneficial start to your day, plus you can have your coffee right after anyway! A glass of lemon water first thing in the morning has a range of health benefits, including aiding digestion. It also contains Vitamin C which boosts your immune system and helps keep your skin smooth by playing a role in producing collagen.
Mornings aren't the only part of the day you can take care of yourself with little tips and tricks, evenings are also where it's at. After a long and busy day it's so easy and tempting to sit on the couch all night watching Netflix, eating junk food, drinking wine and scrolling through social media on your phone. I get it, Netflix, junk food, wine and social media are there to help you relax and wind down. But it's also important for your brain to switch off from all the lights and action before bed so you can get a good night's sleep.
We all know that one of the best things you can do for yourself is to get that solid 7-9 hours sleep a night. Getting a good night's sleep helps with decreasing risk for health conditions, manages your hunger levels, maintains your immune system and retains your memory. But often people struggle to switch off and fall asleep at night, which impacts on the amount and quality of sleep they get. One of the easiest things to do is to literally switch off all your electronic devices at least an hour before bed, including you TV, cell phone, iPad et cetera.
Try going from autopilot with electronic chaos to flight mode, sitting back and relaxing.
Studies have shown that keeping your electronic devices on, and using them, up until bed time keeps your brain switched on, making it harder to wind down and and fall asleep.
In the hour before bed when you don't have any electronic devices switched on you can help your body relax and prepare for sleep by having a hot bath or shower to soothe and your body and by writing out the worries from the day to get any stressful thoughts out of your mind. Finally, to really get the most out of your sleep, sprinkle some lavender oil on your pillow to increase your chances of having 'slow-wave sleep', where your heartbeat slows down, your muscles relax and your body falls into a deep sleep.
So there you have it, a few simple tricks to help you to take care of yourself even though life is crazy busy. Of course it may not always be possible to stretch and drink some lemon water in the mornings - we all know how tempting the snooze button is, or to be able to fully wind down in the evenings. God knows the only marathon I've ever run is all 7 seasons of Gilmore Girls on Netflix, who's with me? But that's ok, life throws a lot at us and sometimes you've gotta be a little wild and impromptu and just go with the flow.