Self-care, prevention, restoration and wellness are not usually associated with quick fixes. However, here is a time hack worth your efforts! By doing the following 5 self-care tips repeatedly, throughout the new year, in short 5 minute intervals, you will actually create long term wellness solutions! The tips target your brain, gut, mood, muscle and energy.
Meditate to improve Brain Health
Self-Care Tip Meditate for 5 Minutes. Set your phone timer for 5 minutes. Close your eyes. Take a few deep breaths and release any tension that your body is holding onto. Bring your awareness to your breath. The rise and fall of your chest, how the air feels flowing through your nostrils. If you begin to wander off into other thoughts do not judge yourself, simply bring your self back to the awareness of your breath.
Proof Positive Meditation undoes the damaging effects of stress on our cells. Science has shown that it increases good grey matter in the brain and calms the tense amygdala, that part of the brain responsible for the fight or flight response.
Ginger to improve Gut Health
Self-Care Tip Pour hot water over a couple of slices of ginger, wait 5 minutes and enjoy. Essentially you are making your own infused water, or tea. You can make a big pot of this to sip throughout the day warm or cool it down to use in your water bottle.
Proof Positive Ginger reduces gas, and tummy upset. Your grandmother probably gave you ginger ale for nausea. Well she was right. Science has now found ginger helps with all sorts of gastrointestinal (GI) disturbances.
Bright Light to Improve your Mood
Self-Care Tip Get outside and stand in bright day light for 5 minutes. Just close your eyes, tilt your head up and take a moment to enjoy the great outdoors, even if you are in a city (you will still get the benefits). Does not matter where you live or what season it is. Make sure your face, eyes and forehead are exposed.
Proof Positive Light therapy increases serotonin levels, the feel-good chemical needed for mood regulation. Studies have shown it decreases depression and anxiety. Also, the bright light therapy you give yourself during the day helps you sleep at night.
Plank to Tone your Muscles
Self-Care Tip Hold plank for 5 minutes. Set you phone timer for 5 minutes. Come down to the floor onto your forearms, tuck your toes under, tuck your chin in, be a plank, from the crown of your head to your feet, one straight line, get those hips down if they start to creep up. Option to lower your knees if you need a little break then come right back into plank. Play your favorite song while you’re there, inspire yourself and have fun!
Proof Positive When you hold plank, you are holding your own body weight, and this is a very effective way to strengthen the core. Not only that, but you are also working the arms and legs, this exercise does it all. Gone are the days of crunching the core into itself, crunches lengthen your back and shorten your front, we are all over hunching already, stay away from that. Plank will improve your posture, go for length and strength.
Energy Boosting Snacks
Self-Care Tip Eat a healthy snack. Your body requires fuel. These snacks literary are made and eaten within 5 minutes. They are easy to prepare. Have them on hand at work or home when you feel a slump coming on. Bananas with peanut butter, veggies with hummus, a handful of almonds, granola, a hard-boiled egg, kale chips, a cheese stick, Greek yogurt with blueberries. What would your favorites be? Keep them on hand and keep your energy up!
Proof Positive The foods listed here have been shown to fight fatigue. They contain proteins, healthy fats, and carbohydrates that your body requires for healthy balanced functioning. You feel the worst when your blood sugar plummets. Stay away from sugary snacks that will create a spike and crash. Staying ahead of that fall is the name of the game.