#82 Go To Therapy
Mental health is a priority. And needing or wanting to talk with a professional isn’t something to be ashamed of. Whether you’re confused, angry, sad, overwhelmed, anxious, or depressed, if you feel like it’s a chronic pattern or you simply want some tools and mechanisms to improve your mental health, consider consulting a therapist. And if you don’t click with the first one you meet with, try a different one.
#83 Get Out In Nature
Nature has a way of grounding you and bringing you to the present moment. It reduces your heart rate and can lower blood pressure. And getting out in nature often means moving your body. Go for a walk, garden, hike on a local trail, or head to the park. If you’re fortunate enough to live near water, even better! Go fishing, swimming, boating, or stand up paddle boarding. Nature is good for you mentally, emotionally, and physically and it’s right outside your door.
#84 Write A Letter To Your Future Self
It’s easy to have dreams and to keep dreaming them. It’s difficult to take action. Writing a letter to your future self, you can make promises and plan how you’re going to achieve your dreams.
What do you want to feel like? What health goals do you need to achieve to live a long and active life? Writing a letter to your future self can help you get clear on your priorities and start taking action.
#85 Create A Vision (Board Or Otherwise) About Where You Want To Be In One Year.
Create a visual representation of the goals you want to achieve and the life you want to live. Unlike a letter to your future self, #84, vision boards are more short term. Once created, you can keep it out where you can see it so you stay motivated, or you can put it away, start taking action on your goals, and pull the board out in a year to see how much you’ve accomplished. Vision boards and letters to your future self are methods of clarifying priorities and values and they provide motivation to take action on your goals.
#86 Do Shoulder Exercises Every Morning
Shoulders are a complex joint and they’re used constantly. As you get older, they can get creaky. Your cells don’t regenerate as quickly as you age and you can experience a breakdown of the cartilage and connective tissues that support proper movement.
You can help maintain the functionality (without pain) of your shoulders by doing basic shoulder exercises every morning. Arm circles forward and back get blood flowing to the shoulder tissues. A downward dog pose while you push through your arms into your shoulders, and then perhaps a few push-ups to help them stay strong and mobile.
#87 Improve Your Posture
Improving your posture means you spend time not only paying attention to how you stand and sit, it also means you work on the structures that support good posture. You strengthen your midline and do exercises that support a strong core. One of the simplest core/midline exercises is a hollow rock/superman.
- Lie on your back on the floor or a mat
- Low back remains pushed down into the floor engaging the core
- Lift shoulders off the ground
- Lift legs to approximately 45 degrees
- Hold for 10-30 seconds
- Lay face down on a mat or the floor with arms outstretched
- Keep your hands and arms straight
- Squeeze your glutes and tighten your core
- Raise your arms and legs 4-5 inches off the ground.
- Hold for 10-30 seconds
#88 Practice Breathing Awareness
Breathing awareness is a simple practice that helps you learn to both relax and to control your breathing. Too often, when we’re stressed or we’re exercising, we take frequent shallow breaths. Becoming aware of this, and learning how to slow it down and take deeper breaths, will help you perform better when you exercise and it will reduce the effects of stress. You can actually lower your heart rate by several points simply by taking a handful of slow, deliberate, deep breaths.
#89 Monitor Your HRV, Heart Rate Variability
HRV or Heart Rate Variability is an indicator of health. It’s a measurement of the time between heartbeats. So while your heart may be beating 60 beats/minute, the time between each of those beats can vary. You have a low HRV if the time between your heart beats is consistent, and high if the time between your heartbeats varies. So the greater your HRV, the better.
HRV is affected by a number of factors including age, hormones, health, and lifestyle. And women typically have a higher HRV than men. So don’t compare your HRV to others. Instead, compare your HRV over time and based on circumstance.
So, for example if you see that your HRV has dropped, it can indicate that you’re working out or in a period of stress. As your HRV increases, it demonstrates recovery. HRV lowers if you’re stressed, dehydrated, fighting an illness, and when you’re exercising. It increases when you’re healthy, getting good sleep, eating nutritiously and are well hydrated.
#90 Don’t Go On A Diet
Diets are short term solutions to long term problems and they don’t work. The vast majority of people who do “succeed” on a diet and actually attain their weight loss goal gain the weight back. Why? Because rather than focusing on lifestyle changes, they make unsustainable short term changes.
I know it’s not glamorous or trending, but making small and doable changes to your current nutrition habits will get you to the place you want to be. You’ll be able to lose the weight you need to lose and you’ll be able to keep it off because you’ve improved your habits.
Where to start?
Start by tracking your food intake for a week. Track what you eat, when you eat it, and how much you eat. Do this for a week. Then you can take a look at the information and make the right choices for your lifestyle, personality, and goals. And if you want help with this process, schedule a free consultation with me.