Times are tough right now and sometimes we need some small reminders of ways to support our mental and physical wellbeing. In today’s post I’m covering some very small healthy habits for body and mind.
Sometimes unexpected things happen in life and it can really throw us off balance or into a spiral of anxiety and uncertainty. You’re not alone if you’ve been feeling all kinds of emotions these past few weeks. Confused, curious, frustrated, or afraid.
In light of the uncertainty that’s gobbling us all up, I wanted to share some small, simple habits — things all of us can do — for our body and mind. To help us calm down, feel good, and put things into perspective.
Focus on the Present Moment
It’s easy for us to spend our time focusing on the past or future, but sometimes all we need to do it pause and look at what’s around you, the things that are in the here and now. This present moment awareness helps to dismantle the fears we have about the past or future. Try it right now, wherever you are: what objects or sights are around you?
Get Into Nature
Get outside if you can. If you can’t, even just opening some windows and having that outdoor world near you is powerful. All the elements of nature — birds chirping (my favourite, especially first thing in the morning!), the noise of leaves rustling, the breeze, sound of water — are incredibly calming.
Nature is a powerful teacher that things are shifting and ever evolving and, and is a true testament to resilience. Storms come, trees may fall, but new sprouts always start up again. Much like the spring time after a lifeless winter.
Read Encouraging Words
I love reassuring quotes or phrases, or positive affirmations. Whether it’s scripture for you or an inspirational book, these things can really lift us up and shift our mindset. Here are a few of my favourite quotes:
- this too shall pass
- everything happens for a reason
- each moment is exactly as it should be
For all kinds of inspiring quotes and phrases, head on over to the comment section of my YouTube video on this topic. You’ll find lots of gems there!
I’ve talked about gratitude many times, but it’s worth mentioning again here. Gratitude shifts our perspective from a place of scarcity to a place of abundance. From what we don’t have, to all the things we do have.
Take a moment to write down 3 specific things you’re grateful for and why. If you’re not in the habit of doing this regularly, create a master list and read it when you’re in need of a mood lift.
Slow your Breath
Slowing the breath is one of the simplest, most effective ways to calm our nervous systems. It activates our parasympathetic nervous system (‘rest and digest’ mode), which slows our heart rate and calms us down. You can do this anywhere, anytime. Simply take a few slow, deep inhales and exhales. You’ll feel a difference!
Relax Muscle Tension
One of my favourite habits is to consciously relax my muscles. Wherever you are, at any time, become aware of your muscles and consciously let them relax. We’re often hunching our shoulders or clenching our jaw without realizing it, but all it takes is simple awareness and an adjustment of those muscles to really help us feel a greater sense of relaxation and ease in our body.
Start Your Day with Nourishment
One of the best healthy habits out there is to nourish out bodies. It feels good when we do, and it’s an act of self-care which is much needed during times of stress. Plus, it sets us up for better choices through the day. If you’re new to eating healthier regularly, even just choosing one meal of the day to make more nourishing is a great place to start and can make a big difference in how you feel.
Some of my favourite breakfasts include avocado toast, eggs with leftover sweet potato, an omelette, a smoothie with added greens, or oatmeal.
I am a huge tea lover. Not only for the ritual associated with it which can be relaxing in and of itself, but there are many different herbs for different purposes.
I love peppermint, ginger, and fennel for digestion, green tea or matcha for energy, (and a boost of antioxidants), chamomile for stress, and astragalus, reishi, and chaga mushroom elixirs for immune support. What are some of your favourites?
Have an Outlet
Having a creative outlet where you can express yourself feels good. Whether it’s writing, journaling, music, dance, poetry, baking, art, or doing something with your hands. These things require focus, present moment awareness, and are a great way to get out of your mind and into your body.
We always have things to do, and sometimes we forget that it’s okay to stop and doing nothing. The kind of nothing where you’re lying on your bed and you don’t have the TV or a podcast on, your phone near you, or music playing. You’re spending time with your thoughts — if only a few minutes — and letting yourself be bored. Believe it or not, boredom is good for our brain sometimes, instead of always getting caught up in the need for stimulation. Sometimes boredom is where great ideas are born!
Giving a little bit of ourselves to others is good for the soul. I’m talking the small things here: kind words, a compliment, a gesture, even just a smile in passing. Making others people’s day can make our day. I know I always feel good when I do or when I experience these things from others.
I hope these small healthy habits are helpful for you. Give one or two of them a try, I’m confident they’ll make a big difference in your wellbeing.