My life is quite different now that I work a 9-5 job. I’m not on my feet for ten hours a day and I don’t have a midweek day off to relax and get things done. Plus, I work for a company (Aveda) with a huge focus on personal wellness, so I’ve been trying my hardest to improve my overall well-being without overhauling my entire lifestyle. And though it was an adjustment at first, it’s gotten a lot easier to do things that are good with me even when I’m hanging out in the office. Try it – you’ll like it! Here are 20 easy ways to start.
1. Drink a glass of room temperature water right away in the morning. It’ll boost your energy and help regulate your system.
2. Wake up half an hour earlier than usual at least once a week. It’s surprisingly easy to do, and then you’re not running around like a chicken with your head cut off to get ready for work.
3. Turn your devices to silent so you sleep without interruption.
4. Try to “eat the rainbow” every day. It’s easier than it sounds to add a fruit or vegetable of every color to your plate, especially if you are into salads or mixing up smoothies.
5. Start eating bananas! Bananas are portable and packed with good-for-you nutrients. The potassium in bananas might help lower your blood pressure, too.
6. Swap out one of your daily cups of coffee for tea. You won’t have the caffeine crash if you try an afternoon cup of tea instead of Starbucks.
7. Stretch. Take a break every hour or so if you work in an office just to stretch and walk around to give your brain a break and keep you from getting flat Office Mom butt.
8. Take a bath. Add some Vitamin E oil for softer skin and try lavender bubble bath to help relieve feelings of stress. Leave your phone in the next room.
9. Focus on your breath. When you feel stressed, anxious or overwhelmed, stop what you’re doing and focus on your breath for a minute. Inhale deeply and exhale for four to five counts.
10. Do at least 10-15 minutes of exercise in the morning. You know how sometimes a day at the office just kicks your butt and you can’t imagine doing anything but collapsing on the couch when you get home? If you do a little exercise in the morning, you’ll have more energy.
11. Sprinkle cinnamon on everything – toast, smoothies, fruit, oatmeal. It reduces insulin and might help lower cholesterol, too.
12. Hang out with a friend who makes you laugh. A good laughter session boosts your spirits.
13. Turn off all devices – TV included – an hour before bed. I know it’s tempting to read Thought Catalog in bed, but swap out the screen for a book.
14. Start making rituals for yourself. Perhaps it’s a “get ready for bed” ritual, or a “wake up and smell the coffee” morning ritual. Going through a series of motions continuously preps you for your next activity.
15. Can’t get your greens today? Add a powdered packet to your smoothie or water for a fast fix. I like this one from Amazing Greens.
16. Take the night off from drinking. I love a big glass of wine or a beer at the end of the day, but once I stopped keeping booze in the house, it was much easier to opt for water or tea instead. A glass of red wine a night is supposed to be good for you, but it can also make you gain weight.
17. Tally up your daily water intake. Eight 8 oz. servings is what the experts tell you to aim for, and it’s easier than it sounds to get your recommended dosage. Carry a reusable water bottle around with you and make sure it’s always full.
18. Or better yet – carry a full water bottle in your bag everywhere you go. You’ll want to drink it because it’s heavy!
19. Download a guided meditation app and try to zone out. It’s really hard to slow down and relax your brain in our tech-obsessed society. Find a little space to relax and leave all of your distractions in another room. My friend Rachel recommended Headspace to me, and while it’s a challenge to my Type-A brain, it works!
20. Start writing. Keep a list of things you’re grateful for, or sit and write out your feelings when you’re sad or angry. It’s calming and helps you process things in a healthy way.