It’s Monday morning 5 am and your alarm starts blaring. First you shake with a little bit of a scare, then a feeling of disbelief that the night is over and the new day is about to begin and then a feeling mild depression as you try and convince yourself that you need to get out of bed and tackle the day.
3 Snoozes later and you jump out of bed in a panic, knowing that the extra 5 minutes was actually an hour and you are now going to be stuck in traffic, get late to work and your day, now starting with a panic, is going to be a rush with no time to stop for even a second. Another manic Monday … but hopefully tomorrow will be better … then tomorrow comes and it is exactly the same routine …
I am inspired to talk about health today and my inspiration comes from having a morning chat to a work colleague that has just informed me that he might have cancer and will probably have to take some time off in his journey to try and heal or at least get healthier.
We get stuck in our daily routines, “hoping” that tomorrow will be better and before we know it we are 70 years old and do not know what has happened to our lives. I’m here to tell you IT DOES NOT HAVE TO BE THAT WAY!!
A lot of research has been done on ways to ensure you stay healthy and live a meaningful life. Below I will be sharing 13 tricks I have read over time (and practice most of them) and all you need to do is implement. You don’t have to do it all at once (actually .. be sure you don’t), but go through the list, see what resonates with you and implement it one at a time.
1) Set specific times in your day that you DO NOT work
We all have work to do day every day and use it as an excuse to be busy in stead looking after our health. I am lucky enough to love what I do, but even I need to take time out every day to stop and spend time on myself.
2) Start your day with meditation
Meditation changed the way I experience daily life and I start every day with quiet time. It can be as easy as sitting upright, eyes closed and concentrating on your breathing for 10 minutes every morning .. that’s it. Just know that it works. Like brushing your teeth every morning, you should be meditating EVERY morning.
3) Daily Exercise
I have always been a bit of a fitness freak and know that daily exercise is a prerequisite for a healthy life. Again it does not have to be hours of exercise (I currently do 30 – 40 minutes a day), the point is that you need to move and get that heart rate up for at least 20 minutes a day EVERY day.
4) Are you sleeping enough?
Some people can get through life with less sleep than others. I am able to be productive all day long with a max of around 5 hours sleep a day, but the trick is to find balance. When you sleep make sure it is quality sleep (8 hours of interrupted sleep is a lot worse that 5 hours of quality sleep) and be aware that sleep is the way your body recharges, gets rid of daily stresses and allows you to be fresh for your next day.
I have some great hacks for sleep and will discuss that at a later stage.
5) Write a poem
This is an interesting one. I must admit the last time I wrote a poem was when my father died (19 years ago) and I was still in my early 20’s, I will definitely try to do this again. As with journaling that is great for being creative.
6) While I am mentioning it … Keep a journal
Not many people do this, but is has been proven that keeping a journal makes (and keeps) people happy. I keep a Gratitude Journal and simply jot down 5 things every day that I was grateful for. Try it for 30 days and see what impact it will have on your life.
7) Talk to your Friend and Family
When times get tough we sometimes crawl up into a bundle and think we can sort life out by ourselves. You might be able to do it sometimes, but think about it .. If you know of a friend or family member in need, would you want to help them? OFF COURSE YOU WOULD!
That is exactly the way they feel. If you need help, ask.
8) Take time to wake up
Don’t wake up in the morning and jump straight to the emails you received during the night. Allow yourself to wake up slowly, have some quite time and then start the day with a bang. You will notice you have a better attitude during the day and you will be a whole lot more productive.
9) Spend some time daydreaming
Read some fiction, dream about you next holiday or spend time writing down MASSIVE dreams you want to achieve in your life. Doing this shuts you off from your daily routine and reality and you have time to zone out and work on YOU.
10) Do Yoga
This is one of my goals for the year. Yoga is not just exercise for the body, it exercises the body and mind at the same time and is almost like a reset button or do-over for the day.
11) Listen to books or podcasts
I love traffic! It gives me time to catch up on my “reading” or training that I might have fallen behind with. Technology is fantastic, so make sure you join Audible (the Amazon download service for Audio books) and download some books you can listen to in the car. The morning news is boring and probably negative so don’t start your day listening to rubbish .. rather listen to a great book or inspirational podcast.
12) Use a schedule
I love living on a routine for the simple reason that I am more productive during the day. You don’t need to micro manage every minute of your day, but it is important to schedule certain tasks. Daily meditation, exercise, reading etc
13) Don’t forget to PLAY
We often spend so much time spinning our wheels that we forget to spend time to play … DON’T forget! Playing with your children, being silly with friends or just having fun with some family members. All this plays an important role in being happy and I don’t have to tell you how important happiness is to your health 🙂