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There is no question that all of us are busy; that we try to see how much we can squeeze into a day. For me, it's balancing a full time job as a nurse running a dermatology practice, maintaining our home, taking care of my husband and our dogs, renovating our house, balancing friends and family, exercising, blogging, and still trying to find time for me.
This past six months I have really tried to focus on my personal health and wellness. Each day there will always be something more on the to-do list, another room to clean, and definitely more laundry to do. Always more laundry :) So I've really tried to make it a priority to put my well being at the top of my list.
I really believe in everything in moderation. Extremes don't work or last for me, whether that be diet, exercise, or what have you. I also believe in being the best version of yourself. Self esteem issues are something I really struggled with for a while growing up. Not that those thoughts don't sometimes creep in, but it's nice to not play the comparison game so much any more. Instead, trying to focus on being the best version of myself, has become my goal.
So here are some simple, basic ways to a healthier you in 2017. They are easy, straightforward ways to improving YOU while keeping up with your busy lifestyle.
You should be drinking about eight 8 oz. glasses of water a day, which is about a half a gallon for you visual people. There are an abundant amount of studies showing that not drinking enough water can affect our energy levels and brain function. It can help to boost your metabolism and help to keep you fuller longer. So drink up!
2. GET ENOUGH SLEEP
I am so guilty of struggling with this one. I am such a night owl, but my job requires me to be up early in the morning. But I can tell such a difference when I have gotten a full 8 hours compared to a few fleeting hours. Getting enough sleep at night can protect your mental and physical health, quality of life, and your safety. I've been working on trying to go to bed at the same time each night to help establish more of a routine.
3. TAKE CARE OF YOUR SKIN
Working in a dermatology practice for over five years, you get to see all of the positives and negatives that can occur with how you take care of your skin. I cannot drive home enough the importance of using products with simple ingredients and sun protection to take care of your skin. Cetaphil® Moisturizing Cream provides intense and lasting moisture to replenish sensitive, dry skin. It's rich and non-greasy, as well as fragrance free, mild, and non-irritating for sensitive skin. Especially in those winter months, it's my go to. I like to pair it with Cetaphil® Daily Facial Moisturizer because it has sunscreen! The biggest thing you can do for anti-aging measures is to protect your skin from the sun! Plus it's available at the ever wonderful Target. Not that I need to explain to any of you why Target is the best, but the fact that it is a one stop shop for everything you need and that happy feeling you get as you wander the aisles, holding your Starbucks, and looking at all the pretty things, pretty much seals the deal.
I use a makeup line that contains premium grade ingredients. Their product line has antioxidant power, sun protection(!), anti-inflammatories, and is cruelty free. Plus the packaging is pretty :) Rather than caking on layers of make up and clogging my pores, I opt for something that helps my skin, while making me feel pretty.
4, EAT BETTER BUT DON'T DENY YOURSELF
As I said, moderation is key in everything. I don't really believe in diets, because they're not something I can stick to. Instead I try to be careful about quantity, make sure what I'm eating is fresh, and that I don't splurge all the time. I have genetically high cholesterol, so finding an eating pattern that works for me has been important for my health. Cut back on alcohol and high calorie drinks. Maybe for you that means only drinking on the weekends, and maybe not as much. Substitute for water as much as possible. My biggest tips are to make sure you are getting all of your fruits and vegetables in, snack throughout the day rather than just eating big meals, and to focus on protein rather than carbs. Try a delivery service, meal planning, or going to the grocery store together. Whatever gets you consciously thinking about your choices, and makes it where you have healthy options readily available.
5. SET GOALS
Set trackable goals with slow, attainable results. Don't set the bar too high or start out too strong too fast. The idea is to make a lifestyle change that you can maintain and enjoy, rather than to go through phases of being really on target and phases of not caring at all.
6. GET MOVING
Figure out an activity that you look forward to. Or several to shake things up. For me accountability is my biggest help. So buddy up. I've been doing Orange Theory for about 8 months with a friend and just having someone to talk with about progress and set a schedule with has been such a help. I like to combine that with running with my dogs in our neighborhood, and when I'm feeling confident, I'll try my hand at yoga.
7. PUT YOURSELF TOGETHER
When you look great, you feel great. You don't need to look like you have it together everyday (because let's be real, sometimes it’s a messy bun and leggings type of day), but a couple times a week take the time to put yourself together. Take care of yourself. Do your hair. Wear an actual outfit when you are running around. Feeling like you're rocking it, goes a long way in boosting your confidence.
Find what resets you mentally. For me, it's working on my house. It really is therapeutic for me, as crazy as that sounds. Something to do with doing things with my hands, I think. For others it's getting a massage or reading a book. Whatever it is that takes away your stress, make time for it. You'd be amazed at how much better you feel and how the other things will fall into place, when you make time for taking care of you.
I can't stress this enough. There's nothing like experiencing new places, new cultures, and meeting new people. It's a wonderful way to reset, whether you’re staying in a B&B in your own city, or traveling to another country. There is so much to learn and seeing it in person can help you to realize how much history has happened before you and help to remind you how the day to day troubles are more insignificant than you realize. It's also a wonderful way to foster new relationships.
10. FIND YOUR TRIBE
Cheesy, 100%. True? Also 100%. There's a quote by Will Rogers that says, "Too many people spend money they haven't earned, to buy things they don't want, to impress people they don't like." Surround yourself with people that genuinely care and will do life alongside you. The drama, comparison, and games are mentally taxing and should be left in middle school. If you can rid yourself, and as many parts of your life, from jealousy and pettiness, and instead, have people who want the best for you and help you to succeed, you will find contentment far sooner. We get one short and precious life. Surround yourself with people that genuinely care and will do life alongside you.