I get it — healthy behavior doesn’t always come naturally to everyone and it’s easy to beat yourself up about failing at certain diets or exercise regimens. I’ll be the first to admit, I’m not a naturally healthy person. I don’t not like fruits and veggies, I just like junk food more. Put french fries or Pop-Tarts in front of me and they are gone in a flash. And to this day, I still have trouble prioritizing my health and participating in self-care.
For me, health and wellness can be a bit of a struggle . . . It’s a lot of work and, if I’m going to be honest, I just get lazy about it! And if you’re anything like me, you’re constantly bookmarking health and wellness articles in the hopes of adapting better habits and routines. But you either never look at them again, or you try them once, maybe even twice, but they never stick.
In the spirit of wellness and self-care (and not making yourself feel terrible), here’s some simple everyday hacks I’ve adapted to make life a little bit healthier — and the lazy girl way (aka, my way) to do them!
Drink a glass of water as soon as you get up.
This one I’ve successfully mastered (gives herself a pat on the back). When you wake up in the morning, typically your body is dehydrated. Before, I’d skip the water and go straight for a chai tea latte which just made me more dehydrated and sluggish by 2:00 PM. But I’ve turned this habit into a game (yes, like a child)! I have a post-it note on my night stand and put a tally every time I drink my bottled water first thing. It may be silly, but it helps me keep track and after seven days, I reward myself with a chai tea latte!
Do a few stretches in the morning.
There’s something about stretching first thing in the morning that just feels sooo good. You’re just waking up your muscles in the most relaxed way possible. #lazygirlsguide Nothing too strenuous; sometimes I’ll just stretch in bed. But my morning stretches really help me feel less groggy and help wake up the rest of my body.
There’s something about stretching first thing in the morning that just feels sooo good. It’s like waking up your muscles in the most relaxed way possible. Take just a few minutes to stretch before you eat your breakfast or get ready for the day and your body will thank you!
Meditate (or at least fake meditate).
I know, the word meditate can feel a little intimidating. And for good reason — meditating ain’t that simple! So instead of meditating in the traditional since, try this: Sit in a comfortable position and light a candle or some incense. Close your eyes and start taking deep breaths. Do your best to focus on your breathing and put your thoughts aside. If a thought pops up, acknowledge the thought and center back to your breathing. You can do this anywhere between 2 minutes or 30 depending on what feels right for you. But even just a few minutes will help you feel more relaxed, centered and ready to take on the day! Then before I start getting ready for work or whatever, I set myself an intention for the day to help keep me motivated and focused.
Add supplements into your diet.
The best way to feel energized and happy is to load up on vitamins, fruits, protein and the like. So eating a healthy breakfast is a no-brainer. It’s just finding the time to actually eat a healthy breakfast that can be difficult. In a perfect world, I’d be whipping up a turmeric latte and some scrambled eggs on the reg with a smile on my face. But since that ‘perfect world’ doesn’t exist, I consulted with my doctor to see how I can get the same benefits without much effort. Now I take magnesium, turmeric and vitamin D vitamins and supplements with my breakfast. I usually take them with my water so I don’t forget. And if I’ve made it to the grocery store that weekend, I’ll make myself a breakfast smoothie packed with a ton of healthy ingredients!
Get up from your desk every now and then.
This one is easy to brush off, but can make a huge difference in my mood. I’m guessing a lot of you spend the majority of your day at a desk. I don’t know about you, but sitting in a window-less office for eight hours can get rather depressing. Sitting in the same spot for long periods of time is really not healthy. So these are my three hacks, if you will. On the days that I’m off, I’ll take my dog outside and walk her around the neighborhood and even sit outside with her for as long as she can stand it. I’ve also started to pretty much time block my entire day. So I set a timer for an hour and a half and when it goes off, I get up, go sit outside and read an article or two. Plus, the more water I drink, the more I have to refill my water bottle and use the restroom. Three birds with one stone.
Add some sort of fruit or veggie to each meal.
The easiest way for me to feel unhealthy is to eat unhealthy. I don’t push myself to eat kale for all three meals or try the latest health food craze. But trying to eat more healthy is important regardless of whether or not you’re tyring to lose weight or just live a healthier lifestyle. For me, I try to have a serving of fruit for breakfast (like in my smoothie or oatmeal) and a veggie snack after lunch. Granted, it’s hard to stay away from unhealthy food when I don’t really cook . . . but at least adding in some healthier options and becoming more aware of what I eat is better than nothing.
Side note: Because of my incredibly strong sweet tooth, I am constantly craving some sugary treats throughout the day. Although sweet treats are satisfying in the moment, they’re not for substantial or healthy. So if I’m craving some chocolate or cereal, I try to find ways I can incorporate them with a healthier option like with yogurt or oatmeal and some fruit.
Park further away in the parking lot.
Parking further away from your destination in the parking lot gives you that extra chance to get some steps in (and also sometimes means you are closer to the exit). This one’s pretty easy for me because, let’s just say, I’m not the most confident of drivers and have anxiety squeezing into tighter spots. When in doubt, I park further away, where there are less cars and fewer chances to ding another vehicle.
Again, nothing intense. Usually I’ll lift some five pound weights for a few minutes and some yoga or light exercises. After a few days, it becomes second nature and I actually feel really good afterwards. I indulge in several Netflix and television series so I just ‘workout’ when I watch the first episode of the day. Plus, I’m distracted enough not to focus on how much work I’m putting into the exercise.
Create a morning mantra for motivation.
I struggle with depression and anxiety, so creating a positive mantra to repeat to myself daily is hugely helpful. “Today’s going to be a good day,” “the glass is half full” and “tomorrow’s the first day of the rest of your life” have been helpful for me. If you have trouble remembering to repeat it to yourself, write it down and keep it next to your bedside table or desk. It totally changes my mindset when I remember these phrases.
Find what works for you.
Not everyone is into weight lifting or running on the treadmill for an hour. For me personally, I get bored five minutes into using the elliptical, so I had to find alternatives to just going to the gym. Most university gyms offer classes of some sort, and if they don’t find a YMCA or private studio near you. Maybe spin classes are really fun for you, or yoga and pilates are more your speed. Try a bunch of different classes and see what kind of exercise works for you.
+Do you have any helpful hacks to share? Where all my lazy girls at! Let me know in the comments.