5 simple routines to improve your quality of life…

Every changing season brings some sadness with it. Not because we don’t look forward to a new season, but mostly because it is sometimes difficult for us to transition psychologically and physically into a new routine.  Changing seasons bring new routines into play; whether it is because it gets colder, or warmer, or whether it’s because school ends or begins…changes are unavoidable, and we have to learn to adapt.

What has helped me over time is maintaining certain habits in my daily routine as stable as I can manage. It can be as simple as waking up to a glass of water, or reading before bedtime…. the essential thing is to sustain a certain quality of life, if not aim to improve it.

These are 5 routines I make sure to keep as often as possible…

1. Drink more tea and stay hydrated

If you’ve been following the Wonders in Wellness blog, you know how much I enjoy my tea, and you are also aware of its many health benefits. This has really made a difference in how I stay hydrated throughout the day.

shutterstock_377704231I prepare my pot of either an energizing herbal blend, or a good mix of a green and oolong tea  I drink my first cup at breakfast….and then pour the rest in a bottle and sip away throughout the day.  I find tea to be more satisfying than water, and if I use other teas, I like sipping something naturally “flavoured” rather than just bland water. I am not picky, I drink it hot or cold, and I find flavours can sometimes be mor intense as the tea gets colder.

Here are a fe benefits of adding a premium quality green or oolong tea to your daily routine:

2. Meditate

I am still in the process of perfecting my meditation practice. It’s not as easy as it sounds, because it’s not just about sitting still and closing your eyes. The challenge happens when you realize you are trying to maintain a certain stillness and rhythm in your breath and all of a sudden you remember you have to buy milk!ss_yoga-on-grass

Even most experienced meditation masters will say it took them years to master this art. I am getting better at it though.  I actually do my best to get to my yoga class early and meditate for about 15 minutes before my class begins.

All you need is 15 minutes a day, and this you can do anywhere, as long as it is not particularly noise and there are no interruptions.

Some benefits of meditation

  • it helps improve concentration
  • it improves self awareness
  • it increases happiness
  • it benefits cardiovascular and immune health through relaxation

3.  Limit the intake of processed foods

Placeholder ImageHow do you feel after you’ve eaten a big meal? Or after eating fried food or “dirty” food? I know it probably tastes great, but how do you feel afterwards?

Now think of how you feel after you have eaten a salad, or fresh vegetables or fruit? Surely there is no guilt AND your body will not punish you for it!

When you eat clean your body benefits from it immediately,

when you eat dirty you can feel it for days.

This does not mean you should not indulge from time to time, but you can make better health choices on a day-to-day basis. We are truly what we eat. We have to eat properly to function properly.
When and how we eat is just as important as what we eat. Don’t stress yourself out about it , just listen to your body. eating every 2 or 3 hours will be more beneficial than eating 3 larger meals a day. Eating often, and the right foods will help you maintain healthy sugar levels in the blood, and help boost metabolism.

I eat my breakfast before 8 am every morning…and do my best to avoid eating after 7 pm.  This helps kickstart my metabolism…as well as support my digestive process before going to bed. It also allows for my system to digest all of the food I ate for dinner, before I have breakfast again the next morning.   I love the feeling of waking up hungry! It tells me I am doing it right and not overeating.

Eat this not that:   Yogurt

  • almond butter instead of peanut butter
  • tea or water instead of a juice or soda
  • balsamic vinegar and olive oil instead of a supermarket salad dressing
  • fish instead of red meat
  • air popped popcorn instead of chips
  • yogurt with fresh fruit instead of ice cream

4. Use natural remedies

I am an avid student of aromatherapy, and am currently studying for a certification. I am fascinated by the powers and virtues of essential oils. Don’t get me wrong, I do believe in modern medicine…but I also believe essential oils can be a powerful means to supporting our health on a daily basis. These 2 things can co-exist.

2B99BFCC-C597-431A-86F6-079AE6ABC399I use essential oils for almost everything now.

  • I add essential oils to my favourite face cream or facial oil.
  • I add diffuse them to purify and scent my home naturally.
  • I clean with them.
  • I use them to help prevent colds and illnesses in our house.

I recently wrote a blog post about my favourite essential oils, so I won’t go too much into writing about their individual uses. You can find that post here.

Try this DIY Antiaging Facial Oil Blend:  

  • 30 ml of jojoba oil
  • 5 drops of geranium
  • 3 drops of lavender
  • 3 drops of frankincense,
  • 2 drops of tea tree

Add the ingredients in a glass jar starting with the essential oils, and then proceed with the jojoba oil. Use 3- 4 drops day and night, either added to an un-scented moisturizing cream, or on its own.

5. Have a restful sleep routine

woman-sleeping-pillowOur bodies are like engines, if they are out of tune, they just wont function properly. Just as our bodies and our minds need the right kind of fuel to run properly, they both, also need rest.

A restful sleep can be difficult to achieve when we have so much going on. It’s not that we don’t find the time to sleep, it’s that we don’t have quality sleep time.

When we don’t sleep well, or don’t sleep enough…terrible things can happen. Over dramatic you say? I don’t think so.

What happens to our bodies if we do not get enough rest? Studies have shown that individuals who do not rest well at night are at increased risk of the following:

  •  heart attack, kidney disease, high blood pressure and stroke, fluctuating blood sugar levels and diabetes
  • Additionally, we are unable to function mentally, and can lose our patience more quickly  and/or become aggressive.

What you can do:

  • Establishing a bed time routine like we would do for a child is the first step.
  • Get to bed early enough so you are not overly tired, and still have time to do some reading, or meditate for a few minutes and clear your thoughts.
  • Turn of all your electronics.
  • Drink a good quality herbal blend to help you relax.
  • Use essential oils such as lavender or roman chamomile to help stimulate sleep and relaxation

Here is a post from THESKINUREIN blog with some great suggestions.

Last thoughts

As you have read, these 5 habits are not difficult to apply to your daily routine, and it does not mean you have to begin integrating the five simultaneously.  As I have said time and time again, it starts with one step, then a second, and so on. Do one thing…start with a tea tomorrow morning…and take it from there.

Barbara C.

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