I don’t really do new year’s resolutions, but I love daily resolutions (helps with my short attention span). I love small and easy tasks that can improve our quality of life. I’d like to share these with you as a reminder, because you can do these 5 things right now at this moment to instantly improve your day. Feel free to add these in your to-do list, add a reminder in your phone or ask a close friend or s/o to remind you of these if you need to incorporate these small yet important steps in your everyday life.
- Sit up straight
If you’re like me, your body wants to slouch every given chance. Sitting on a couch means half lying down and even sitting on a chair is not much better when your leg is folded under you blocking all circulation. If this is true for you too, you’re probably very familiar with back aches and bad postures. These symptoms are only a start of a long list of problems that can come your way. So go ahead and sit straight up right now. In my case, I have to remind myself to do this every few seconds, but I’m hoping this will get better with more practice.
Tip: To get a good posture, pretend your hand is at the back of your neck straightening and stretching your spine vertically, upwards. It also helps to push your shoulders back and suck your stomach in lightly.
- Breathe deep
A couple of days ago, during a silly debate with my husband, he stopped talking and started taking deep breaths. That made me laugh, which resulted in both of us laughing and forgetting about what we were arguing about just moments before. Now that’s not the only reason you should practice breathing deeply, because it has many benefits for your lungs, mind, mood and more. That is why deep breathing is practiced in meditations like yoga and sleep inducing exercises.
Tip: Inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth (optional: holding your breath after inhaling and before exhaling). You will instantly feel more relaxed, but don’t slouch!
- Drink water
It’s “food” for your mind, body and soul, but most people don’t drink enough water. I’ve noticed mood, skin and energy changes (for worse) when I’m dehydrated. I’m sure most people already know the benefits of water, however, some people don’t drink it because they just don’t like its taste. If that’s the case with you, you can mix it up and also hydrate yourself with fruit infused water, green tea and lots of fruit, fresh juices and smoothies.
Tip: Keep a water bottle with you whether you’re home or outside, travel with fruits (that won’t go bad quickly) and switch to green tea (I love Lipton’s naturally fruit flavored green and white tea).
Breathing deep is even more helpful if you combine stretches with it. I’m very guilty of not doing this as often as I can, so I am making a commitment to this with my post. My husband has to remind me to get up and stretch because I can sit focusing on one task (or on my computer) for hours at end. That may be a reason for my neck, back and hand cramps. When I do remember to do my stretches, I make sure to start from the top of the head and work my way down to the feet. When I’m drinking a lot of water, I also have to get up and refill my water bottle often and I take that opportunity to stretch. Just between you and I, I may also run in the house instead of walk when I’m home alone – a little weird, I know, but hey no witnesses!
Tip: Stretch or move every part of your body to the point that you feel the stretch, but not until it hurts.
- Smile, not frown.
If RBF is a real thing, so is a straight up frowning face. If I’m not constantly nodding and smiling while talking to people, I’m probably sitting here with a furrowed brow. During my childhood (and ahem, a good part of adulthood) my mom would take a finger and smooth out the frown on my brows (which I always had, unbeknownst to me, while watching TV, reading a book or doing just about anything). My mom playfully fixing my frown would make me smile and I’m sure that it also prevented me from getting forehead wrinkles before I turned 20. Even though she’s not here with me all the time to do that anymore, I have habitually started doing that to myself and my unsuspecting husband.
Tip: When you do your stretches, stretch your mouth and jaw as well, and make sure to rest your face with your forehead and eyebrows slightly taught (without any added lines).
Bonus tip: We also know that making yourself smile can improve your mood and of others around you because it’s contagious. I won’t ask you to smile all day long so you don’t hurt your jaw, but smiling mysteriously can confuse people, especially when they least expect it! 😉
Good luck and if you have any other suggestions, write them in the comments below!