By Dana Boler
How many times a day do you hear or say, “Have a great day”? Do you really take those words to heart? It most likely just rolls off your tongue since it is the friendly Midwest goodbye. My challenge for you this month is to set yourself up to have great days, be more positive, and enjoy every day!
Here are a list of some daily things that can help you have a “great day”. Make sure to add your daily “feel good items” to the list!
1.Get Some ZZZ’s: Do you really need 8 hours of sleep? Not necessarily, but most adults need 7-8 hours of sleep to feel rested. If you wake up tired, consider trying some of these sleep hygiene strategies. First of all, stick to a sleep schedule as best as possible, even on the weekends. This helps your body get into a rhythm. You should also establish a relaxing bed-time ritual that doesn’t stimulate your brain such as reading, enjoying calming tea, bath/shower, and turning off electronics at least an hour before bedtime. If you often find that you can’t shut your brain off while trying to fall asleep, try writing it down in a journal kept by your bedside or create a to-do list. It is important to create a calming sleep environment by minimizing distractions and keep an optimal room temperature. Lastly, if falling asleep is difficult, look at your caffeine intake. It may be helpful to cut out a cup of coffee and limit caffeine well before bedtime.
2.Establish a Morning Routine: No one likes to wake up to an alarm and then have to rush out the door. Start your day on a positive note and ease into your day by giving yourself plenty of time to wake up before needing to get somewhere. Don’t overschedule your day and simplify as much as possible to limit daily stress. What would be your favorite way to start the morning? Try waking up an hour earlier than usual and use those 60 minutes to do things you enjoy such as going for a walk, baking, reading a book, gratitude journaling (write down three things you are grateful for), or enjoy a cup of coffee while reading the newspaper. It also may be helpful to prepare for the mornings the night before, especially if you need to get others out the door (breakfast prepped, lunches made, clothes laid out, etc.).
3.Move More: The CDC recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate activity per week. The benefits of moving are incredible! When we move our bodies release chemicals called endorphins (the “feel-good” chemicals!). Getting in regular exercise has been proven to help people limit stress, boost self-esteem, become more positive, feel better about their bodies, improve sleep, and also leads to a ton of health benefits. Moving doesn’t need to be difficult, walking is a simple way to get in some exercise. Hiking, golfing (ditch the golf-cart), biking, dancing, playing sports, yoga, and yard work are all great ways to get in movement. You can also break up the time you spend moving into small increments throughout the day if you need.
4.Get Some Fresh Air: Fresh air is so important! Getting 10-30 minutes of sun exposure a day helps your body get Vitamin D. Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium, lowers blood pressure, and improves your immune system. Getting fresh air also helps boost energy levels, concentration, mental focus, and lowers stress. Consider taking a work call or meeting outside, eat lunch at a park, listen to an audiobook on a walk, check out local trails, meet up (or call) for a walk with a friend, or ditch your car and walk/bike to the local business.
5.Fuel Your Body: When you eat good, you feel good. Eating well looks different for everyone. Be mindful of what foods you are putting into your body and eat for energy-use food as fuel! Does eating a donut give you sustained energy all morning? Consider ditching processed foods and enjoy foods with less ingredients (eat “cleaner”). Set yourself up for success by filling your fridge, freezer, and pantry with healthy food and drink options. Check out local farmer’s markets or try growing some foods in your backyard. Also, don’t forget to drink enough water! Aim to drink half your body weight in ounces (160 pounds would be 80 ounces of water each day).
6.Connect & Be Kind to Others: Holding the door open for someone, smiling and saying hi, complimenting on a job well done, putting an extra dollar in the tip jar, buying someone a coffee, avoiding negativity on social media, and simply saying thank you are all wonderful ways we can be kind to others every day. Kindness spreads! Also, make time every day to connect with loved ones. Put down your phones, shut off the TV, and really connect with each other.
7.Don’t Take Life Too Seriously! Laugh, love, and enjoy every day. Be positive and spread that positivity to others. Do things that make you happy and smile every day. Enjoy every moment.
*I’d love to hear of any nutrition topics you’d like to learn more about to feature in future columns.
Dana Boler is a mom of two boys and a wife on a mission to help others become their best self. She is a Certified Health Coach with a Bachelor’s Degree in Dietetics. Her practice, B Your Best Wellness Coaching is personalized Health Coaching with mental health, physical activity, and nutrition in mind.
Follow her for more health related posts on Instagram and Facebook at B Your Best Wellness Coaching and to inquire about Health Coaching.