10 small steps towards a healthier you

New year, new you? We can all relate to the buzz that comes with a fresh new year, where we get an opportunity to reflect on where we are and get the chance to set big self-improvement goals. We also know how quickly these good intentions can fall by the wayside.  Rather than taking big leaps to accomplish your goals in as little time as possible, focus on slowly adjusting your everyday habits and behaviours. If you make slightly better decisions on a daily basis, you’ll be more able to create sustainable change. Even if you get 1 percent better each day for one year, you’ll end up 37 times better by the time the year is done.

Here are some simple ideas you could implement each day this year for a healthier version of you:

  1. Start the day with a glass of warm water and a squeeze of lemon. This will help rehydrate your body and kickstart your digestion for the day ahead. Note: drink through a straw to avoid potential damage to your teeth enamel.
  2. Spend the first ten minutes of your day doing yoga stretches and the last ten minutes of your day practicing meditation. There are plenty of free or low-cost apps and online tutorials to help you make this self-care measure a daily habit.
  3. Swap that second coffee for green tea or dandelion chai. Cutting down on caffeine can do wonders for your nervous system. Plus, green tea is a source of l-theanine, which has a calming effect on the brain and dandelion root has a similar bitter taste to coffee yet has benefits for the liver.
  4. Declutter your space. Regularly choose a room or cupboard to organise and clear out what you no longer need by selling or donating to friends or a charity. Removing clutter from your environment can have a profound effect on your stress levels, productivity and mental wellbeing.
  5. Make a “3pm slump” smoothie to cram some goodness into your day. There are hundreds of combinations you could try but one option is frozen banana, berries, spinach, milk of your choice, kefir and a teaspoon of hemp seeds.
  6. Take a high-quality multivitamin as part of your daily routine. Taking a multivitamin and mineral supplement can help fill nutritional gaps in your diet, support energy production, immunity and vitality.
  7. Set monthly fitness goals. This could mean holding a plank every day for 30 days throughout January, riding your bike to work instead of driving in February, trying out a new fitness class or hobby like rock climbing or surfing lessons for March and participating in park run every weekend in April. Whatever keeps things fun and interesting and aligns with your personal health journey. You might even enjoy some of these practices so much that you’ll want to continue them long after the month is over.
  8. Include 2-3 different coloured fruits or vegetables to every meal. This will increase your intake of different nutrients and benefit different areas of your health.
  9. Prioritise sleep. We are a society that loves to burn the candle at both ends, however, getting adequate sleep can do wonders for the health of your whole body from immunity to emotional wellbeing. Try and get to sleep by 10pm, create a dark, cool and quiet sleeping space and limit screen time before bed. If you struggle with getting to sleep or staying asleep, there are natural magnesium supplements available to help calm a racing mind and support healthy sleeping patterns.
  10. Prioritise you. There is plenty of truth in the saying “you can’t pour from an empty cup”. Afterall, to effectively take care of others, you must take care of yourself first. Check in with your “emotional cup level” at least weekly. If you’re feeling drained, overwhelmed or stressed, refill your cup by going for a walk, doing a yoga class, writing in a gratitude journal, learning a new hobby, watching a funny movie, going for coffee with a friend or having a bath. Self-care looks different for everyone. If you need extra help with stress relief, invest in a quality supplement. Look out for ingredients like magnesium, B vitamins and rhodiola to support energy levels and reduce the symptoms of stress.
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