I remember when I was still under age, living at my parents, I imagined my life as an accomplished woman being so desirable: looking awesome, doing a million things in the day, having only peaks of energy lasting all day, all year…. Well, being that woman I was seeing in magazines, you know.
And 10 years later, while I do achieve a lot in my days, have a great exciting life and I am quite active everyday, I know I am sometimes sabotaging my best efforts to thrive.
We are so high-achiever and awesome ambitious wonder women these days, yet often time we still don’t feel at the maximum of our energy, health and possibilities. We already do so much, so what is it that we can tweak to get the best out of our days and amazing bodies and brains?
Here are 10 things that we may have overlooked in our effort to be the best version of ourselves!
1. Getting our beauty sleep. What? Those puffy eyes after-party look isn’t sexy anymore? As long as we don’t say that it was actually a Netflix-binge night of sipping hot chocolate and not actually dancing with a sexy Cuban guy! But seriously, if we don’t make our sleep a priority, no one will do it for us. Try to get your 7-8 hours of restorative sleep by cutting an hour of useless screen time on week nights. Do it not only for the sake of your fresh sexy look, but also for your capacity to focus and feel energetic and happier all day long.
2. Drinking more. No, I don’t mean more mojitos. Put that rosé down, now! We all heard that our body is 70% water, yet we don’t think that it is our responsibility to fill it with the water that it needs! Actually water is quite magical: two large glasses of water every hour is WAY more effective than black coffee to keep us awake and alert. Skin dryness, dark circles, pimples, cellulite and digestion issues are all getting cured by increasing your water intake dramatically. The 64 ounces (2 liters) is a MINIMUM recommended, and I find that the days I am exceeding that goal I am clearing my skin, having more energy for a workout, better food choices and a flatter stomach.
3. Hydrating from the inside out. Another way to replenish your body, have clear thoughts and plumping skin, is to get in water from your food. This is a great trick that is also bringing tons of minerals we need in. No need of expensive creams and lotions, they are mainly addressing the surface symptoms, not the cause. Simply add in more juicy fruits, veggies and greens from your meals and snacks. Their composition is 70% to 95% water, isn’t that amazing!
4. Spice up your life! Spices are the forgotten secret of your western societies. Fortunately, awesome Indian restaurant are here to remind us of their infinite possibilities and yumminess. But more than taste (which is great to enhance veggie sautés for example), they have powerful effects to help us reach our health and energy goals. Ginger to wake you up like a ninja, cinnamon to curb your sugar cravings, curcuma to have a glowing skin, chili flakes to burn fat, cumin and coriander for digestion. Add them to anything, learn what you like and forget about salt little by little.
5. Getting social. I love alone time and connecting online to amazing people on the other side of the planet! But sharing or watching behind a screen isn’t filling our need for connection. Beware isolation and the feeling of loneliness when shutting computers and phones. Nothing is more rejuvenating and relaxing than a small chat, silly talks and laughs with a friend, co-worker or neighbor. Take an hour today, go for a walk or coffee with someone in your area, have a deep conversation or light gossiping. It doesn’t matter, as long as you are making a real connection that will ground you and even put a smile on your face for the next hour.
6. Asking for help. No, we don’t need to do I all alone. Oprah is not doing all alone, nor is Gwyneth or Tina Fey. Ok, so I don’t have enough money to hire a team of assistants yet, but I found that sharing about my current struggles with colleagues, relatives and random people often brings happy surprises such as great advice or free help and new solutions. Sometimes it is just the relief from not having to pretend that I have it all together, and people openly share their current struggles in return so I don’t feel so alone. And sometimes it is finding a win-win situation that takes a burden off my shoulders.
7. Having a great time, random fun! Fun is losing its fun when scheduled and compartmentalized from the rest of our day or week. Find spontaneous little moments for fun, like saying yes to a last-minute lunch invitation or popping the idea of a walk and coffee with a friend. It doesn’t have to be social, my favourite is putting hip-hop music and dancing like no one’s watching, feeling sexy and badass. This is brightening my day and helping me let go of the underlying stress that can accumulate sometimes. Flirting with the waiter at your local café, singing or accompanying a friend buying a new puppy can be some highlights of your week or days as well.
8. Luxury down times. No matter your money current situation or busy-busy life, we all deserve luxury. I deserve luxury time. You deserve luxury time. (Repeat out loud!) This is something that changed my life tremendously since I’ve been implementing it. I have been blocking time on my schedule for luxury time and treats at least 3 times a week: long lunch at a terrace, coffee break at this cute tea shop in the middle of the day and an hour of Norah Jones music while laying on my bed guilt-free are my favourites. But you can simply prioritise (be strong on that decision!) time for movies, dancing class, massage, sleeping in, shopping for pleasure. Think luxury, think pleasure! I promise the reward and the confidence built from allowing yourself to have that is powerful.
9.Variety of exercise. We have been very driven and on top of our workout routine lately, training 3 to 5 times a week. Yet, my body isn’t changing (aka toning) much anymore, what is going on? Does it mean that I must work out twice as much? I don’t have time, I am already doing so much! Calm down, there’s a reason and a simpler solution. The down side of being regular in our exercise routine is that our body is finally used to it and doesn’t evolve much anymore: burn less fat, build less muscles as they are already here. In other words, your usual type of exercise isn’t exercise for your body anymore. The quick solution is to change it up, at least for a little while, so that other muscles and kind of stamina are solicited. Yes, it has to be somewhat hard to be called exercise!
10. Stop being so hard on yourself. Yes we can have and be anything we want, but trying to have it all at every stage of our lives or every moment of our journey is a big fat lie. As my Swiss grand-mother used to say “there’s always going to be a part of failure in our life darling, and that’s ok”. Well, it doesn’t have to be failure, but there’s certainly always work in progress and that’s what is making us fight and grow. At the moment my social life and my body are in a balanced happy place but my relationship isn’t. And two months from now or next year, maybe that it will be the contrary. Look at nature: not all flowers are blooming at the same time, trees aren’t giving food all year round. Yet you know this time will come again. Be patient, work on different parts of your life and focus on the positive.