Being a parent to young kids means my days are unpredictable. As much as I like to plan, I cannot control how my kids will sleep the night prior. I therefore cannot control how I’ll feel in the morning; energy, optimisim, patience… It’s a rollercoaster ride and there are a lot of ups and downs. So I give myself flexibility when it comes to planning, scheduling, and pursuing goals. If I don’t get a workout in, it’s cool. I’ll do it tomorrow. If I eat fast food one day I know I’ll make up for it the next day with clean eating. I don’t give myself a hard time about those kinds of things because overall, I live pretty healthy and that’s what’s important. Plus, I have two kids under the age of three. This is just how my life is right now.
But there are a few things I do every day that are absolutes. They make me feel good about myself, they improve my health, sleep, and awareness, and I firmly believe they improve my quality of life. They are my healthy living hacks that I do not stray from, no matter how little sleep I got the night before. And they are damn simple.
- I drink a full glass of water first thing in the morning. I’m talking 16 ounces, first thing out of bed. I usually drink it room temperature so I can gulp it down right away and move on with my morning, but sometimes ice cold sounds too refreshing to pass up. This glass of water is an instant detox flush to my system. It gets my body moving and processing and slowly waking up for another active day. It also jump starts my hydration. You know that feeling mid-morning where your mouth is dry and you realize you haven’t had anything but coffee to drink all morning? Not me. Not anymore.
- I add coconut oil to my coffee. I’ve talked about this in the past, and I continue to think coconut oil is the cat’s meow. Recently, I started added two tablespoons to my coffee with a dash of almond milk and blending it in my bullet. This makes a killer cappuccino! I seriously look forward to this morning treat every day. Plus, the coconut oil makes my skin glow, it helps my lower intestines move (if you know what I mean), and I’ve read so many benefits of coconut oil for my health. So, yeah… I love it!
- I read The Skimm every morning. Have you heard of the Skimm? It’s a daily email with briefs of the top international news in easy to digest, sometimes clever or bitingly told. These free emails empower me with what’s going on in the world. I feel connected to society and what’s going on (not an easy accomplishment on my days home alone with the kids), it’s great for conversations with peers and friends, and I learn something new every day. I am building brain power with this one, and it feels awesome.
- I always, always wash my face before bed. Okay, so the first three were things I do in the morning. But having some night routines are important for getting your head in the “sleep” zone, calming down, and preparing to rest. I never go to bed without washing my face. Even on days where I didn’t wear any makeup, washing my face with warm water let’s my body know it’s time to settle down. I use some face cleanser, gently rinse, and pat dry. I then use some face moisturizer, and if my skin is feeling extra dry, I’ll dab a little coconut oil all over too (I cant get enough of that stuff).
- I pray. Call it pray, call it meditate, call it reflect. I think of three things every night I’m grateful for and I give thanks. I pray to God, but you can pray to a higher power, or to no one. You can be grateful without having to thank someone or something. This does a few things. It reminds me of all the blessings in my life. It puts my mind at ease to focus on the good in life, and not dwell on the stress or frustrations that might still be lingering from earlier. And it sends a trigger telling my body that the day is now over and it’s time to rest.
I have good days and bad days like anyone else. And I have days where I feel like I can move mountains and days where getting out of bed sounds too overwhelming. There is very little consistency in anything I do, which is why I’m glad to have these five positive things that are consistent and easy. Try one or all of them… they might just change your life.