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Daily Wellness Checklist

Happy New Year! We all start with great intentions and the desire for a clean slate. Most of the time, our resolutions are not realistic, and our motivations diminish as our actions wane. Added to this is the challenge of the winters months. It is that time of the year in which darkness and cold fill our days. January is considered the most depressing month of the year. An overwhelming feeling of stress and despair can come rushing at us, some worse than others, with feelings of loneliness, insomnia, and brain fog, to mention a few. I have never been dedicated to a new year resolution. Instead, I think daily good habits that are attainable and actionable work better for overall health and wellbeing. I also feel it is essential to be realistic as we are all going to have those hard days where we want to binge and hide under a blanket on our couch. We are all human, and sometimes it is hard to shake off these blues. I have curated a list over the years of 10 techniques that have credible data and studies from experts in health and wellness to create a checklist. This helps us develop better daily habits that will ripple across all facets of our lives, from physical, mental and emotional health. This checklist begins when we wake up and ends with us at night.

  1. When we open our eyes first thing in the morning, it is crucial to resist the temptation to grab our phone first and start scrolling or checking messages. Take a few moments to linger, do some gentle stretches while in bed and consider taking an intention for the day ahead. Setting a daily goal with intentions can help us plan for the day and develop a sense of awareness for what is important to us at the moment.

  2. After washing your face, drink a glass of water before your caffeine. This is so important to rehydrate your body after a long fast from the night of sleep.

  3. Within the first hour of waking up, it is vital to acquire some daylight on your face. Data indicates getting light exposure first thing in the morning. This plays a significant role in regulating the secretion of melatonin (the sleep hormone that our body naturally produces and releases at night). Feeling the sun, even on those cloudy grey days, on our faces will give you a sense of alertness and has a cascade effect on your mood. The sunshine vitamin D is one of the most critical vitamins, especially for these winter months. So consider going for a walk first thing in the morning and bundle up:)

  4. Practice daily Meditation and Breathing techniques. Making time to pause, sit quietly and focus on your breathing changes your overall perspective. Being present or mindful allows us to regulate our emotions and decrease anxiety and stress. For more benefits, check out my blog “Silence is Golden”.

  5. Fuel yourself with healthy colourful foods all day. Consuming an assortment of fruits and vegetables in your diet has enormous healing benefits giving critical vitamins, antioxidants and minerals.

  6. Move around. Do whatever form of exercise makes you happy. That might be dancing, playing with your kids, walking the dog or doing a video. This can be done in small spurts through the day, breaking it up because it all adds up, so don’t feel you need to dedicate an hour of the day.

  7. Set a time management Timer. Setting yourself a timer for whatever tasks you have to complete helps us focus purely on them without distraction. Studies show this is very effective in being more productive. It keeps us be committed to a single task, not multitasking, ensuring you are not on your phone, checking emails or social media. At the end of your day, you will feel a sense of accomplishment, instead of ruminating on what was not completed.

  8. Do your best to refrain from eating close to your bedtime. Eating close to bedtime and refers to a heavy meal disturbs the sleep architecture and makes us wake during the night. It is not healthy for our digestive system, which needs a break at night.

  9. Start a bedtime routine, beginning by turning your phone off early, starting to dim the lights to release melatonin, and keeping a cool temperature in the bedroom. Sleep is crucial for our health, immune system, and bodily functions, including healing and repairing our heart and blood vessels.

  10. By the end of the day, reflect on the good highlights and victories. Look at simple positive aspects of your day. Studies found that people with high levels of gratitude and positive thoughts before bed slept longer and reported a more restful quality of sleep. In turn, feeling gratitude bestowed an overall positive outlook on life.

The next time you wake up on the wrong side of the bed or are having one of those days, consider adding one or more of these techniques to your day. Start small and begin to foster positive habits for your health and wellbeing. Remember, we are not perfect as humans. Even the people we think have it all right have bad days. Check out some of the other blogs for more motivational and reflective topics.

Rachel xo

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