I think it's true that happy, successful people have healthy routines in their days. Whatever happy and successful, personally means to you. Despite circumstances and situations, we can always benefit from healthy habits that support us to feel well. I don't ever compare myself to others these days. Happiness and success to me, is how I truly feel within myself, and ways I create and set intentions, to live my days in all the best ways I can. It's my own self responsibility to create happiness and success for myself, and to consciously and intentionally choose healthy ways of being, for my everyday. Having a healthy routine, helps with our whole wellbeing. If this is the only new year intention or goal you set yourself, then this is a great one to choose! Follow these 16 ways I've written below, and create some of your own that nurture and cultivate happiness and success, in ways that feel truly aligned for you. I promise there are only benefits from doing so.
Go to bed and get up at the same time, every day.
Our bodies need time for rest and renewal, and a healthy routine is to go to bed by 9.30pm and rise at 6.00am. I feel my best with at least 8 hours of sleep a night, I always have. I know some people don't feel they need this much, and it's always a personal choice. But I do believe going to bed by 9.30pm (or 10pm at the latest most days of the week when we can), is optimal for wellbeing. And even if I might have a night where I don't sleep as well, I know that giving my body this time to lie down, for deep rest, is so beneficial. Our bodies like routine. And if you're not an early riser, then just give it a try for few weeks, and see how your body natural settles into this new pattern, and you might feel surprised at the benefits you notice.
It's traditionally an ayurvedic practice, embraced by so many these days. Including more dentists! This practice first thing in the morning, helps to reduce bacteria, cleansing our tongues to eliminate bad breath, and also has benefits for our whole wellbeing - improving taste, digestion and our mood. Give it try, it's a wonderful healthy habit!
Drink warm water first thing.
Before you drink or eat anything, have a big glass of warm water. This gently detoxifies our digestive system, and is cleansing and soothing. I know many naturopaths suggest adding lemon, and I used to do this myself, until I realised the negative effects of too much acidity from lemons. For some people, lemons can erode the enamel of our teeth and lead to sensitivity. So, leave out the lemon, and just enjoy sipping and starting your day with a glass of hot water, and feel the benefits this brings.
Greet the day with an uplifting intention.
Despite however I'm feeling, whatever is happening, I love to greet the day with an uplifting intention. I have a practice where I open the curtains wide and welcome the day and receive all that it may bring, with an open heart. I created an uplifting meditation, with this intention, and you can listen through the Insight Timer app, or this web browser link, and I hope you enjoy - insighttimer.com/katiejane/guided-meditations/greet-the-day
I have been practicing meditation for so many years now, and it's become such a natural part of my morning routine. 20 minutes in the morning, and in the afternoon. I love this practice, especially when it feels as if the rest of the city is still asleep, and it's such a beautiful, calming, gentle and uplifting start to my day. I cannot encourage you enough, that if you don't have a meditation practice, to make this a priority for yourself and your wellbeing, now and into the new year. I am here to support you, and can teach you how to meditate and guide you through this healing practice that will deeply change your life in every way. It has for me.
Movement and exercise.
I used to be an early morning runner, many years ago now. I know many benefit from high impact exercise in the morning - a run, a swim, or a brisk walk. or perhaps that's your favourite time to go to the gym. These days, I prefer the term, movement over exercise, as I know the expectation and at times, the unhealthy addiction exercise can bring (I was one of those people, and that's a story for another day). So, I love to encourage you to do what feel best. And it might be gentle movement - gentle yoga, stretching, and a gentle walk in the fresh air. This is what I do with my beautiful dog every morning after my meditation - a slow and gentle wander to take in the day and breathe in the fresh air.
Stay hydrated and drinks lots of water during the day
If you know you're not drinking enough water, have a glass jug on the bench that you fill up each morning, and every time you walk past, it's a reminder to have a glass. Carry a bottle with you when you go out. Have a glass that you keep filled on your desk as you work.
Take regular breaks from your computer and desk.
We spend a lot of time sitting down, especially more so this year, with working from home, and our restrictions and lockdown too. I know that my body feels more stiff and tight from sitting longer at my desk. It's something to be so mindful of, moving forward. I like the 'pomodoro technique' which is more of a time management method, but I also love it for the reminder to get up regularly from my desk, to stretch, or to just move my body. You might also look at investing in a stand up desk. I have one in my study and I love alternating my work day with sitting and standing, it's made a big difference.
Eat more vegetables.
We can never eat too many vegetables. If you can grow your own, even better. But make this a 'top of the list' healthy habit now and into the new year. Focus primarily on a plant-based diet (I'm a vegetarian, so this is my 'jam' - I'll write another blog piece about this and why), and if you do eat meat, always make sure that vegetables are plentiful and your plate looks like the colour of the rainbow! Truly, it's easy to add more vegetables to ever meal we eat, we have so many delicious fruits and vegetables to choose from. And if you're not sure how to make vegetables taste good, then let me support and guide you with some simple, healthy ways and recipes to learn. Nutrition and healthy food has always been such a passion of mine and it's just one way I love to support my clients, with healthy food choices.
Take time to sit down to eat. Not eating lunch at your desk. Not eating on the go. Sitting down, slowing down, and taking time to mindfully enjoy your food, chewing slowly, and your digestive system will thank you, as well.
Limit screen time and/ or have times you consciously switch off technology.
Digital wellbeing is a huge passion of mine. I love to support clients, and teams, to really learn, choose and understand how we can thrive with technology, for our wellbeing. Through this year especially, it's been so true that more screen time, with working at home, has impacted our wellbeing. Many people have felt more fatigued, more headaches, less concentration, not sleeping as well - we've spent so much time in meetings over zoom, and being 'switched on' far more than ever. There is so much to digital wellbeing that I will love to share, as I think technology is a wonderful thing, and I see both the positives and negatives with how we communicate these days, and our use of social media, too. BUT there are some very real health impacts of too much screen time and not only an addiction to being online, but how it really affects how we feel and our whole wellbeing. So, a gentle way to start to improve things for yourself, is to spend less time on your phone, and having strict 'switch off times'. Certain times you have your computer on, and when you switch it off. Logging off from apps on your phone, and not using it before a certain time in the morning, and switching off at night before bed. Not having your phone in your bedroom. I always like to encourage, switching off all technology and screens at least an hour before bed, including TV. Try this and see the benefits. I'll be sharing more about conscious, mindful and intentional use of technology for wellbeing, in blog posts to come. As a passionate wellness advocate, I can't talk about wellbeing without including digital wellbeing as part of this, with our growing use of technology as our primary way to communicate these days.
No phones in the bedroom
I mentioned this above, but it deserves a place of it's own! Truly, this is one thing, that will greatly improve the quality of your sleep, and your whole wellbeing.
Find things to smile at and laugh, every day.
Despite the day, whatever is happening, and however you feel - smiling is a beautiful thing for ourselves and for others, and laughter is medicine, in every way. Try more of both of these things and feel the difference this makes.
Get lots of fresh air.
Walks around the block, or just standing outside. Whatever the temperature is outside, fresh air rejuvenates, refreshes and renews all the cells in our bodies and helps us to thrive.
Momentary pauses during the day. Taking breaths.
For your mental health, and to support your nervous system, I love to encourage 'momentary pauses'. Just stopping whatever you might be doing, wherever you might be, and with eyes open or closed, just take a few breaths, in and out, and allow each inhale and exhale to lessen any stress or overwhelm, or anxiety, and just breathe calm and ease into all parts of you. Just taking this time, throughout the day, can support us to feel so much more peaceful, and bring more gentle and self awareness to ourselves and everything we do.
Writing down at the end of each day, all the small or big things, you feel grateful for. It's a beautiful practice that truly does enhance our mood and wellbeing, in every way. I created a simple gratitude meditation that you might enjoy listening to -insighttimer.com/katiejane/guided-meditations/simple-gratitude-practice
I hope these few ways have helped you, inspired you, and perhaps you have your own to add to these now too! I can promise you that if you make these healthy habits a priority, and you have a healthy routine, it's a beautiful way to remind yourself of how you can support, nurture and nourish yourself, and others in your life, and your whole wellbeing will improve. Over time, with practice, these healthy habits and routine will bring your own happiness and success in abundance, in all the ways this feels and means for you. All the ways you can choose for yourself.
If you would like more support with any of this, for your whole wellbeing, in a truly holistic way, I am here for you, and taking new clients in January - send me an email to book in a time for us to connect.
With love x
If you enjoy these blog pieces, then you might like to receive regular 'Letters of Support' (my newsletter) - you can sign up through this link and you'll also receive a beautiful free eBook to download: A-Z Self Care Reminders (perfect for this time of year) - http://eepurl.com/gpmXun
Katie Jane is a Holistic Therapist, Life Coach, Health Coach, Nutritionist, Naturopath, Meditation teacher, writer and author. Katie has been working in the wellness industry for over 15 years, in private practice and online, and brings all of these qualifications and skills, along with her own lived experiences through challenges, changes and transitions. Her approach to life and wellbeing is truly holistic and unique for each individual. She supports and coaches clients to make powerful changes, to feel calm through uncertainty and change, to embrace self care as a way of being, and to thrive through life transitions.