Does finding a direction for yourself during a trying time feel like finding a needle in a haystack? With all the changes that we experienced 7 weeks ago, to the daily updates and changes that are still affecting us now, it makes you wonder how to process it all, as every one of us are affected. Even though some might find the slower pace good for them, and are enjoying time at home, others are feeling restless, and need outlets to use their energy and keep their mind and body busy. Their stress levels might be higher, thinking about bills, missed deadlines, and not knowing where to start to fill their day. It doesn’t matter which side of this you find yourself, the one sure thing is that whether you want to stay in your pajamas all day, do puzzles and bake, or are pacing around your house by 6am, your health and wellbeing needs to be a high priority.

One thing to recognize is that where you brain goes your body follows. What does this mean? If you wake up in the morning (or afternoon if you have been enjoying your bed) and have no purpose or focus for the day, it is very easy to end up in a low emotional state. It doesn’t matter if you love the quiet or are pacing around your home, where your mind goes your body soon will follow. 

To help you maintain a good routine that is focused and healthy, here is my list of 5-Alive Daily Goals that I recommend. 

  1. Create a wake-up and bedtime routine by maintaining a schedule that is similar to your normal one. Get up before 9am so you can start functioning in your day around the same time you normally did. Include making your bed, as once it’s done you have completed your first task of the day. It’s simple, and once done, has provided yourself with a level of organization. Avoid binge watching tv until 2am. Just because you can do it doesn’t mean you should. It affects your internal clock and sleep patterns, setting you up for potential failure of waking up rested in the morning.
  1. Drink water! Start each day with 10-12 gulps (about 2 cups), as most of us are thirsty and dehydrated by morning. Strive to consume approximately half your weight in pounds in ounces of water. How much you drink will vary based on personal body temperature and activity level, so if you sweat more you need to drink more. Your digestion and elimination functions also benefit from staying hydrated. The key signs you are hydrated are your urine is a pale yellow in colour, and odourless.
  1. Be food mindful, shooting for 80% of your food choices to be really healthy, and 20% a bit more relaxed. It doesn’t have to be boring or expensive. Take the time to experiment with spices, different vegetables or grains. Choose whole foods, not processed or packaged ones. Take one bag of chips, not 2 or more. Buy whole grain bread, not white. Pick up a bag of lentils to make a delicious soup. Make a smoothie using Greek yogurt and fruit. The key is to keep it simple. When consuming quality foods your body functions better, as it gets the nutrients it needs! Food is blessing, eat that blessing every day!
  1. Move your body! Whether aggressively cleaning your house, doing a workout, or going for a walk or bike ride, our bodies were made to move! Aim for 30 minutes minimum every day, even if that is done by splitting it into 10 minutes segments. For example, raking your yard, doing squats and pushups, and going for a walk, all done throughout your day. 
  1. Practice gratitude. No matter what, there is always something to be thankful for! Write down 1-5 things you are grateful for every single day. Spread this over your day so you can record them as you experience them. Maybe write 1 before you eat your first meal. Add another 1-2 as you experience your day. And end your day with however many are left in order to fulfill the number of blessings you want to account for. When you have a heart of gratitude you feel better, think better, talk kinder, are better. 

And being better is a good thing. We all have areas we can work on to be better, and they all, in time, contribute to better health.

Liv Fitness: Shirley Suk Van Egmond

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