August is National Wellness Month. Summer is coming to a close and the busy school year is about to start. It might seem like the worst time to start building new habits but it’s actually a great time. Anytime our routine shifts, ie. school starting, is an ideal time to work in some new habits little by little.
Here are some simple ways to build wellness into your everyday routine:
Establish a sleep routine.
I really like to put sleep at the top of my wellness list. When we are well rested, it’s easier to handle what life throws at us. Getting into the habit of going to bed and waking up around the same time each day will also help you keep your kiddos on track with adequate sleep as well.
Block off some “me time.”
I know that might sound impossible as a mother but it is also so necessary for your well-being. We all need time to do what we want to do. It could simply be alone time to do simple things like shop alone, read in quiet, meditate, chat with a friend, exercise, do nothing, etc.
For a lot of women, the need to people please is REAL. Saying yes to every request from family/friends, volunteering for everything at school, and doing too much for your kids will fast-track you to burnout, especially if you are also working a full-time job. Be realistic with your time commitments so you also have time leftover for yourself.
Plan nourishing meals.
This doesn’t mean you have to commit to hours of meal planning. Even as a dietitian I’m all for planning imperfect meals. Planning just ensures you have a game plan in place so you can have access to food when you need it and don’t end up always pushing off meals until you’re overly hungry. Each week I like to plan at least 1-2 dinners that are ultra-easy like an oven pizza with a Caesar salad kit, build-your-own baked potatoes, or most any pasta dish.
Find movement that feels good.
You don’t have to spend an hour at the gym doing exercises you don’t enjoy in order to benefit from movement. A mid-day stretch, 10-minute walk, yoga class, gardening, or throwing a frisbee with your kids are all great ways to move your body that aren’t a traditional workout.
Hydration can impact everything from our skin to our digestion, energy levels, and more. Carrying a water bottle around is a great start. If you really struggle with being able to drink water try to add some flavor by infusing it with fruit, cucumber, and/or mint. You can also try sparkling water. The more you get used to drinking water the more your body will actually start to crave and like it.
Did you know that numerous studies link the strength of one’s social connections with their overall health and longevity? I’ve heard many people say that making friends in Miami as an adult is tough. While I don’t disagree I also know that what we focus on grows. Putting effort into establishing and maintaining friendships is definitely worth it in the end.
Which of these things will you work on for National Wellness Month?