Music sends calming signals into the body. Whether it's a yoga break, a stretch break or just a listen to music break. It can be one song or multiple songs. Listening to music de-stresses your body and allows your body to relax. We often hold in our stresses into our muscles and by listening to music we release that energy allowing for a more productive day. As for the type of music, it can be anything that jives with your mood.
Instead of rushing out of bed the moment you wake up there are a few things you can do to set the tone of your day.
- Write in a Gratitude Journal. Write 3 things you are grateful for and why. Make this a daily ritual. By turning this into a practice, you are letting the Universe know that you are grateful for what you currently have. This sends out positive signs and in return you reap the positive vibes. This is a great way to set the tone of your day.
- Journaling-Before your morning coffee-Writing down what you are thinking and feeling the moment you wake up into a journal helps you sort out worries, issues and problems throughout the day without having to do too much work. This is an exercise I got from a lecture with Julia Cameron, which has had some serious positive effects. I am not suggesting to write down your to do list. But it's ok to write anything from I'm so tired, to writing how you feel about a particular problem or worry you may have. Whatever comes to mind, in 3 single pages on a daily basis is another amazing healthy ritual that can actually turn negative feelings to positive feelings all the while your brain is working on these issues, whether resolving or calculating. By the end of the day, most if not all is sorted.
- Water drinking-Upon awakening for your long night of slumber drink a cold glass of water. This wakes up your body and puts out the fire immediately. It's really powerful, and it helps set the tone for your day. Not to mention you will be fully hydrated before you forget. It's easy to wake up and make coffee and dash out the door. Since our bodies are made up of over 60% water it is important to start hydrated.
- Meditation and breathing-Even if it's just ten minutes of sitting in silence or sitting to calming music. The benefits of deep breathing immediately calm and relax your body setting the tone for your day. Sit on the edge of your bed with your feet on the floor (In meditation when your feet are touching the floor you are connecting to the Universe), have your back straight and rest your hands on your legs palms up (picture a Buddha statue). Breathe in for a count of 4, pause for 2 and then release your breath for the count of 6. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. Deep breaths. This automatically sends air where the body needs it, and reminds the body to relax. You will notice your shoulders drop and relax. Start with 3 rounds and continue to do as many as you can with the time you have in the morning. This is also a great tip to do before bed.
3. Pack your own lunch-Save your calories, and know where your food is coming from. When the food you make comes from loving hands it will taste better (ever notice when you cook while in a bad mood? Usually the meal gets burned or something goes wrong-cooking with love make the food so much more enjoyable). Paying attention to terms like Organic, Grass Fed, Cage Free, No Pesticides, No Antibiotics are all really important with your food. The more you make, the more often you can control what goes into your body, the healthier you will be.
4. Bring Healthy SNACKS-This will save a few trips to the vending machine buying processed snacks that have tons of sugar, artificial ingredients and even sometimes hidden gluten. Did you know the more sugar you eat, the more you crave? The trick to a snack is to make sure there are actually nutrients in them, so when you eat them your body can actually assimilate and distribute the snacks' benefits into your body. Empty snacks like popcorn and chips will only leave you hungry two seconds later while at the same time packing on the calories. And let's just say you MUST have that sinful snack? Snack first on something healthy and then go for the sinful. This will result in eating less of the sinful food because your body will already be full. Want some snack ideas?
- Carrots and celery with hummus
- Apples or celery with Peanut butter, almond butter, cashew butter, sunflower seed butter, tahini, pumpkin butter
- Green Juice
- Green Smoothie
- Seeds and nuts
- Tigernuts (not a nut, but tastes like one)
- Rice Cakes with avocado or nut and seed butters
- Piece of fruit like blackberries, peaches, raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, green apple, kiwi fruit, grapefruit (these are low fructose fruits, so no raise in the blood sugar)
- Piece of protein
- Roasted chickpeas
- A salad
- A piece of raw dark organic chocolate 70% or higher
- Tuna with gluten-free crackers
4. Drink Green Juices-Green juices aren't just for the uber healthy folk. Green juices can be made with fruit and feed you a power punch of nutrients stat! When you drink a green juice, your body does not need to go through the digestion process and therefore you get those nutrients immediately providing you a caffeine fix without the caffeine. Besides that, you are getting almost triple the amount of nutrients in a very short time. Cooked veggies loose their nutrient value in comparison to raw veggies which are in their natural state. My personal favorite green juice combo is Dandelion leaves with Grapefruit.
5. Hydrate often-Our bodies are comprised of over 60% water, which means dehydration slows us down. It also stresses out our bodies and can cause mood swings, acne and wrinkles. Water is one of the best ways to hydrate, but there are other natural ways to hydrate:
- Coconut Water - The organic kind
- Cucumbers, Cucumber juice or Cucumbers in your smoothies
- Watermelon Juice - Although this fruit is considered high in sugar, it's water content is so great that on the occasion can be deliciously hydrating.
6. Chew more
Eating too fast results in chunks of food that are harder for your body to break down and can slow down the digestive process causing you to feel bloated, tired and foggy. By eating slower and chewing your food (aim for 10-15 true chews and experiment with 25 chews per bite (by 25 chews it's liquid, I tried 25 once)), you won't have as many digestive issues and you will feel more satisfied without overeating.
7. Get outside
A few minutes of natural sunlight can help clear your head and even boost brain function and immunity.
8. Move your body-this is a big one. How many of us sit in one place for way too long? Our bodies are meant to move. By moving you are adding flow to your body, releasing energy, stress and avoiding muscle pain. A few ways to move your body:
- Dance around and wiggle your body
- Take a yoga break
- Take a walk outside
9. Spend quality time with children or pets (if you have them). Spending time with pets and babies can be a very therapeutic experience. For a few moments all that matters is the wellbeing of your pet and child, causing your brain to take a break from you and potentially relax. Hugging a pet has actual proven statistics to lower stress levels.
10. Get a massage. This one can be pricey, but extremely effective. The art of this activity gives your body a chance to relax, and can actually shut your mind off for a little while.
11. Read a book before bedtime. And make sure it's Fiction! Reading anything non-fiction or health related will wake you up. But reading fiction allows your mind to wander into a life that is not yours. This stops the worry thinking in your head, and allows room for fantasy. Doing this will make you tired faster and ensure better sleep.