Super-simple wellness habits!
Real wellness doesn’t have to be complicated. And sometimes, I think we can become overwhelmed at all the things being sold to us or all the things being talked about on social media that we think there’s no chance we can do it all. If we don’t know where to start, then we don’t start. But you don’t have to do it all. You just have to have some healthy simple habits and stick to them consistently.
I know from my recent blog-reader survey that a lot of you are busy full-time working ladies (many are mommas too), who really don’t have much time to yourself. You want to feel healthy, but you are constantly in a rush. I get it. And this post will feature very simple things to add to your routine, that won’t slow you down in the morning or throughout the day.
I’m sharing three simple wellness habits in this one, including one that has totally helped me recently.
Three super-simple wellness habits to get a better start to your day (and WHY)
Let’s get to the wellness habits …
1. Optimal hydration with a twist: Start your day with a big glass of water, and add some sea salt to it. Drink this before anything else, shortly after you wake up.
I’m not going to include “drink more water” in this post. Because you always hear that. What I’m going to share with you is a little health tip I started about three months ago, and I’ve felt a huge difference in my overall hydration throughout the entire day just from this.
I add a sprinkle of pink Himalayan sea salt to my water every morning. I had heard about this salt trick a long time ago, but finally implemented it after reading about it again in Shawn Stevenson’s latest book, “Eat Smarter” (which I would definitely recommend as a great resource).
I don’t add the sea salt all day, just that first big glass. Doing this gives your water only a slight salt taste, but nothing bad or displeasing. And those little salt crystals serve as electrolytes, helping your body to get extra hydrated. The salt gives your water structure, and there is potassium and other trace minerals in there to nourish your cells.
And if you take nothing else from this post, I encourage you to try to add in some sea salt to your water in the morning. Then drink the whole thing, right after you wake up, and definitely before you have any coffee/tea/juice/breakfast. This is your rehydration process, and the sea salt gives it a super power. If you’ve ever drank a ton of regular water and felt like you were still dehydrated, that’s because sometimes your water needs structure with more electrolytes, and that’s where the sea salt comes in.
Now, I’m not talking about the white-clear table salt you find at restaurants. I’m talking about sea salt, so make sure that’s what you’re using. There are all sorts of different quality levels, and I usually get my sea salt from Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods.
Back to my experience: I have felt more hydrated all day, based on this initial 32-ounces of sea salt-infused water I drink every morning. And I also feel a little boost of energy from it. Now, this is an essential part of my daily routine, and it takes no time at all. I literally can’t start my day without it. I crave it. Maybe you want to see if it’s something you enjoy too?
2. Planned movement: Before you wake up in the morning, you should already have a plan for if/when you will work out the next day and exactly what you will be doing and when.
There’s nothing worse than knowing you should work out, but not having any idea of what to do. In fact, this is probably the reason a lot of workouts are skipped.
While I don’t think you have to follow a planned program, I do think you need to operate with a loose plan in mind for your movement each week, and that means having the next day planned before you go to bed at night. This will help you stay consistent, and this will take away all that decision fatigue, which doesn’t need to be wasted on your workouts. (Because we know we each have a million decisions to make each day on the spot. And getting these workout decisions done ahead of time means you don’t have to worry about them.) Especially if you are an early birdie exerciser, you need to know exactly what you are going to be doing, so you don’t waste time making the decision once you get up and get your workout clothes on.
You can do this planning weekly. For instance: If you know you are going to work out three times a week, then plan those days as Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and plan on what time you will fit it in. Then, you need to choose the exact workout, i.e. a 20-minute outdoor run in your neighborhood, a 15-minute Peloton yoga session or a 45-minute class at your favorite studio. You want to make sure you include cardio, strength and maybe flexibility in your week too.
Write these workouts in your calendar during the times you have available, and wake up each morning knowing exactly when and how you will exercise. You won’t complete them every day, but you can sure try. And yes, you will schedule in rest days. And if it’s a rest day, you don’t have to keep thinking “should I work out today”? Because you won’t need to.
To get more specific: I would recommend making specific days for specific activities, and sticking with them (while allowing flexibility for work and life as needed). You could make Mondays and Wednesdays your weight-training days and Tuesdays and Thursdays your cardio days. I’ve written a few posts on how to schedule your workouts, and you can refer back to this one for some extra guidance:
But what matters most is that you wake up, start your day and mentally know if you are working out or not, and you know exactly what you’ll be doing. The more specific your plans, the better, and the more likely you are to complete that planned workout.
For me, it’s easy, because I know that most days, my workout will take place when I teach my classes or practice for my classes mid-morning at the gym. But when I was primarily working out at home, I kept some days as days I knew I’d do weights and other days I knew I’d do cardio.
During the year when I worked out exclusively at home due to COVID, if I didn’t have an exact workout picked out, and I was staring at the screen of Les Mills+ (formerly Les Mills On Demand) or Peloton wondering what to do, I would waste so much time internally deciding what I was in the mood for — this ultimately meant I did a shorter workout from that wasted time too. And by the way, if you use either of these streaming programs (Les Mills or Peloton) for your workouts, you can screenshot or bookmark the ones you want to do. Or, even better, you can follow one of their planned programs, because both Les Mills+ and Peloton offer programs with workout calendars you can follow. I highly recommend that.
And here’s a post detailing a bit more on these programs:
A note on the timing of your workouts: If you have kiddos, early morning workouts before they get up are usually ideal. But if that doesn’t work for you, invest in a gym or studio with kid-care, or try to sneak the workout in during your kiddos’ naps or while they are at school.
And one more reminder: Your workouts don’t need to be long. A great 20-minute session can be totally sufficient. Even if it’s short, have a plan for it, so you can get your day started on the right note. And yes, the chugging of the sea salt water happens before the workout.
3. Purposeful wake-ups: Instead of immediately reaching for your phone when you wake up, leave it be, and open your windows for some natural light on your eyes instead.
You will have a better start to your day if you don’t start your day with your nose in your phone. And I know you’ve heard this a million times, and I hope you’ve at least tried it out.
This tip is so very, very simple, but it could really provide a good boost. There’s not only the mental distraction and derailing of checking your email or checking social media, but there’s also the physical aspect. Our bodies like natural light first thing in the morning, so you should totally seek it out. And I know a lot of you wake up when it’s still dark, so that’s fine — just don’t go right to your phone, and as soon as the sun comes up, head outside for a moment of sunlight on your face, or head to the nearest window. This literally takes no time at all and can be very beneficial, and I had to include it on our list of simple wellness habits.
Of course, there are a lot of things you can do to improve your sleep (which ultimately improves your day), and we’ve covered a lot of them before, like going to bed and waking up at consistent times, avoiding evening caffeine, powering down technology at least an hour before bed, cooling your room and more. But another way to improve your sleep is to expose yourself to sunlight first thing in the morning to support your natural circadian rhythm (this works best when you actually step outside, by the way). And that’s another reason to start your day this way.
Here’s another post with some sleep-hygiene tips:
It took me a long time to actually control the “phone in the bed” habit, but once I did, I realized I wasn’t missing anything without using it in the bed. Now, I don’t look at my phone until right before I start my quick morning meditation (and at that time, I don’t check anything, just go straight to the Headspace app). And before that, I’ve already hopped out of bed to open the windows. This process energizes me, gets me moving and tells my body it’s time to start the day and rev up.
Yes, I absolutely check my phone and email and notifications in the morning, but I wait to do all of that until I’ve had my sunlight, had my sea salt water, gotten myself organized and am ready for what’s next. This works for me. It’s a very small habit that goes a long way.
And those are my tips on super-simple wellness habits!
Thanks for making it through this post on wellness habits, and I hope you found at least some of it helpful. Please let me know in the comments if you already do some of these things or plan to try them out! 🙂 xoxo
Other posts you may like …
- How I make my morning collagen tea latte
- Four things to focus on this fall
- Smart and realistic ways to take care of yourself as a busy lady
- Les Mills On Demand vs. Peloton app: Everything you need to know
- How to schedule your week of workouts
Questions of the day …
What’s one part of your morning routine that you know you do well?
What’s one part of your morning routine that you need to improve?