I’ve never been one to make resolutions. The reason being that I find they put a lot of pressure on myself to make an abrupt change, and if those changes don’t work out, I typically end up feeling like a failure. However, that isn’t to say that I don’t have goals that I want to achieve and will work towards slowly but surely. This year I’ve found myself wanting to focus on self-care as a goal and while that can mean a lot of different things to different people, to me it simply means making small changes that positively impact my mental and physical health.
I’ve spoken in the past about my struggles with mental health. I often deal with feelings of anxiety and depression, and it has had a crippling effect on my ability to see clearly, think positively and get work completed. I know that some of these feelings can’t be 100% cured, but since 2018 began I have made a huge effort to fight and work towards diminishing them.
These 3 small changes I am about to share may sound obvious, and some may even sound silly, but they have truly made a huge impact on my mental state. I feel happier, more mindful and just all around good! SO, I promise you from first-hand experience that adding these 3 things into your daily/weekly routine are sure to make you and your mental state feel all around wonderful.
Here are the 3 things I’ve incorporated into my routine that have positively affected my mental health…
DRINKING LEMON WATER EVERY DAY
When we went through the unfortunate week without heat and hot water about a month and a half ago, we spent a fair amount of time at Jamie’s brother’s to shower and simply warm up. What does this have to do with drinking lemon water you ask? Well, when we were at Jamie’s brother’s, there were obviously times where I needed a glass of water. Luckily for me, Jamie’s brother and his fiancé slice fresh lemon into their water pitcher which is how this whole thing started. It’s not like I’d never had water with lemon before, but for some reason, I’d never thought to slice it up at home and allow it to infuse into my water. Now, I can’t live without my lemon water. I not only LOVE the taste of it but there are so many benefits to drinking it. First are foremost, because I love it so much I find myself drinking waaaay more water throughout the day which keeps me hydrated and focused. Water is so vital to our bodies and when I drink enough water, I feel awake, alert and just healthy overall. Secondly, drinking lemon water aids in digestion, detoxification and bonus, it helps with fighting fine line and wrinkles. Lemon water is also packed with vitamin C which is the ultimate natural mood and energy booster. Guys, I swear that boosting your mood is as simple as slicing up a lemon and adding it to a water pitcher daily!
USING A LETTER BOARD FOR POSITIVE AFFIRMATIONS
This may seem like an odd one, but bear with me here! For Christmas, I received a letter board from my aunt and it ended up being the gift that never knew I needed/wanted until I had it in my possession…and now I’m obsessed! As soon as we arrived back in Toronto after Christmas vacation in Halifax, I dug out my letter board and put it in a spot where I’d look at it multiple times a day (our TV unit). I had a bit of an internal fight about what to spell out on the board but after a while, I decided on a simple phrase…”it’s a good day to have a good day“. Every.Single.Time I look over at my letter board I read the phrase and I believe it has internally registered with me in a positive way. I find myself repeating the phrase in my mind regularly and now see that my choices, actions and reactions all affect how my day will go. I haven’t changed my positive affirmation as of yet but I love that I have the option to do so when I feel the need to.
PS: If you don’t have a letter board fear not because you can write a positive affirmation on anything from a chalkboard to a piece of paper. I even love the idea of positive affirmation passwords!
SWEATING IT OUT
It boggles my mind how long I put off exercising because it is literally the #1 way to boost your mood (hello endorphins!). It sounds like such an obvious and easy thing to do but it is shocking how many excuses I would give to myself to not work out (anyone else with me?). After dealing with excruciating lower back pain coupled with simply not feeling good about how I looked/felt for over a year, I finally decided enough is enough and have started working out regularly. I’ve do these HIIT workouts 3-4 times a week and oh my goodness do I ever feel good about my body (even if nothing has changed physically yet) and my mental state is buzzing with positivity. I know that not everyone can commit to working out but these workouts are 20-30 minutes and I truly believe that anyone can find that time in the day to just get up and start moving. Even if it’s getting out of the house/office and going for a walk on your lunch break, I promise you that you’ll feel a heck of a lot better mentally and physically.