Routine is not something which features strongly in my life, but there are several things which I definitely do every day/try to do every day/do as often as possible. Things which take minimal time and effort, but which have a beneficial effect on my overall wellbeing in mind, body and spirit, as well as helping me feel grounded when life is all over the shop! Some of them have proven health benefits; some of them the jury’s still out but they fall into the ‘can’t hurt, might help’ category, and I’m all for that! You don’t always have to undertake massive lifestyle changes to improve your lot – sometimes simplicity is the trick. Try dropping a few of these into your day and see if you notice a subtle difference – and tell me what ‘can’t hurt, might help’ tricks work for you!
Well obviously this is vital to life, so I like to get off on a good foot by putting a big glass of water next to the bed at night, and drinking it all, absolutely first thing, when I wake up.
Yes, I’m a big fan of meditation, no surprise there – but even a mini meditation break can be a great boost. Try just sitting still and closing your eyes whilst the kettle boils or an update installs on the laptop, instead of reaching for your phone!
Quiet morning moment
Most of us have a morning brew of some description – make the most of it by just enjoying it and staring into space whilst you have at least the first few sips.
If you’re using face cream/oil in the morning and at night (and if you’re not, hop to it!), it feels great to really firmly massage it in. It makes your skin look all nice and plumped up. It’s alleged to increase collagen production, which is great if it’s true, but even if it’s not, it feels lush, and that’s good enough for me.
Buy some with the highest UVA rating you can find (I like Boots Soltan). UVA is the age-y one. Yup, even in soggy old Blighty, if it’s daylight, it’s coming to get you. Put it on your face. Easy.
I get these babies into my food and drinks whenever I can:
Turmeric (fresh root is great in juices, you can get it online)
Dark leafy greens
And in moderation:
Really dark chocolate
Walk/Yoga asana practice
I’ve never gone for a walk, or done my yoga practice, and thought, ‘I wish I hadn’t done that’. Makes me feel better, every time.
I’m lucky enough to have a juicer, and I like to challenge myself to make the most vegetable-heavy juice I can handle, one each day when I’m home. You don’t have to be quite that masochistic, just use no more than one piece of fruit per juice to keep the sugar down. I’ll save you a bit of pain here though – learn from my mistakes and draw the line at cabbage. Great sauteed – bad bad bad juiced. Shudder.
I do 1 minute each of 3 facial exercises each day. If that’s too much, one of them is hands-free and can be done whilst you’re getting dressed, and I’m assuming you’ll be doing that anyway. I figure that your face hangs on the muscles underneath, so if you keep those toned… less sagging, no?
1 – Cheek-lifts. Wrap your top lip under your top teeth. Smile, and put your index fingers on the top bits of your cheeks, just below the eyes. Now smile and un-smile in rapid movements, pressing lightly into the index fingers to increase the load. Purse the lips and blow the breath out through them to release.
2 – Eyebrow push-ups. Take the index fingers along the top of the eyebrows, pointing in. Rest the thumbs just under the outer edges of the cheekbones. Press lightly down with the index fingers and rapidly raise and lower the eyebrows. Start with 20 and build up to 100+.
3 – Ice-cream scoop (the getting dressed one). Wrap the lower lip round the bottom teeth. Now imagine there’s a bowl of ice-cream right in front of you and you have to try and scoop it up by extending the jaw forward, up and in, forward, up and in. Start with 20 and build up to 100+, then hold for as long as you can – the muscles under the chin and jaw should all be tight as you hold. Again, blow through pursed lips to release.
Yes you do look like a nutter whilst you do these, and no, I’m not doing a video to show you!
Get plenty! We all differ in how much we need, but make sure you’re getting enough, and get to bed nice and early. Life is just a better place to be when you’re well-rested. Sweet dreams!