With the state of our current world literally changing in front of our eyes, there are a lot of reasons to be anxious right now. It can seem overwhelming at times. But I have found that doing at least three things routinely each day can not only provide good structure in your life, but they can also yield numerous benefits – physiologically, mentally, and emotionally!
Here are three things that I have started to do each day in order to keep my sanity and to live a more holistic lifestyle:
Routine Item #1: Body Movement During The Day for 30 Minutes
This can be any movement- get creative!
- Hop on your bicycle, put on your favorite Spotify playlist, and set your timer for 30 minutes and just ride.
- Find a yoga video on YouTube and go for 30 minutes without stopping.
- Walk to the grocery store instead of driving there.
- Put on those running shoes and jog for 30 minutes – make sure to set that timer!
*Why 30 minutes?
Research shows that the first 20 minutes of body movement or cardio focuses on solely waking up your muscles and vital organs. Once you get to 30 minutes, that is where the magic happens! Typically, you will then break a sweat, feel your heart rate increase, and the endorphins will start flowing!
Routine Item #2: Enjoy An Afternoon Smoothie time
By the way, this smoothie does not have to be expensive, time-consuming, or even fancy. You can make a smoothie on your own!
- Open your fridge and see how many veggies and fruits you can find.
- Open your freezer and see what fruits or veggies might be hiding in there to boost the flavor.
- See if you have any plant-based milks like, almond, soy, oat, coconut milk to add.
- Finally, throw it all in the blender. If you’re looking to spice up your smoothie, then you might want to slice and dice some fresh ginger or lemon.
- Sprinkle turmeric or cinnamon and bon appétit!
*Why a smoothie?
During the quarantine and this particular time, it can get easy to lose your typical routine. Having an afternoon smoothie is a great way to make sure you get your daily serving of veggies and fruits for the day before the sun goes down!
You’ll also find that these smoothies do more than just fill up time in your day to do something. In fact, the benefits of having antioxidants, and minerals from produce in your bloodstream help to boost your immune system, revitalize metabolic function, and enhance your mood! Amazing, right?!
Routine Item #3: Evening Quiet Time for 10 minutes
Just to note, this is not necessarily “meditation time”. Often you might see the words “quiet time” and think that it’s meditation time. Sorry but ugh, that’s the last thing I like to do!
As an alternative, I’m suggesting having an “evening quiet time” before bed.
Since we have all gone remote, we have become even more glued to our screens. This is harmful for our brain especially right before we go to sleep. Research has revealed looking at our screens before going to bed can contribute to insomnia, late-night Internet surfing, snacking, and anxiety.
Instead, put those screens away for 10 minutes right before you’re ready to get your Zzzs in and try implementing these actions to relax your mind:
- Turn off all the bright lights in your room, keep on a dim light if available
- Shut off all your electronics, i.e. your computer, and put your phone on do not disturb mode
- Grab a yoga mat or towel (if a mat is not available) and create your special space
- Look around your house and see if you have any crystals, succulent plants, or items that bring you peace of mind, perhaps even a favorite drawing
- Create a special space for yourself, arrange these items at the top of your mat or towel as a focal point
- Set your timer for 10 minutes and then put your phone face down :)
- If you have a candle, I recommend turning off all lights in the room and just letting the amber light from the candle be the only light source during your special time
- If you have any sage, incents, or Palo Santo wood for burning let that be a part of your candlelit quiet time as well
- Instantly, you feel can serenity and peace. Trust me!
Even if you only do these routines just three times a week or even once a week - that’s wonderful!
The main thing is to set a goal or an intention for a certain number of days per week and stick with it. By doing so, your brain and body will not only start to get used to these routines, but they will also actually start to crave them!
About Yeelen Edwards:
I am a published co-author in a Behavioral Assessment Journal from research done at Stanford University Psychology Laboratory Behavioral Health and Social Scientist from Brown University’s School of Public Health Master’s Program. I love meditation, exercise, home cooking, music, social justice, and writing enthusiast!! I was raised in Northern California, born in Brooklyn, NYC!