Leap day gives us one more day this year to make a change for ourselves, family, community, and possibly the world. All we have to do is make the decision to make the changes. Starting is the hardest part, we always tend to put it off till tomorrow, thinking we’ll have less to do and more time “tomorrow.” That never happens, tomorrow already has it’s list of things to already do, so you have to put yourself at the top of the list and make the changes for yourself first and all the other things will eventually fall into place and get done. Here is 5 steps to a healthier you, why not use your extra day today to start the change…
1. Take care of yourself- You have to decide that you’re important enough first. If you don’t take care of yourself then how can you take care of everyone else that needs and relies on you? Mothers and women have the hardest with this I think, we’re being pulled every which way, a running this errand, making dinner, donating our “spare” time, homework, baths, the list goes on and on. Naturally we’re going to put ourselves last. Vow today to give yourself at least 15 minutes to read, close your eyes, stretch and do some breathing, go to bed earlier, or if you’re lucky enough treat yourself to a manicure or at the very least, to a cup of hot tea in complete silence.
2. Eat Well- Make the change today to eat better. Cut back on meat and dairy. Focus your diet around whole grains, such as Quinoa, Wheat berries, and Farro. Eat more green leafy vegetables. Try Collard greens, Swiss Chard, Bok Choy, and Spinach. Substitute some of your meat meals with beans and legumes. Chose dried fruits and nuts instead of chips and cookies I guarantee you’ll feel lighter and more energetic.
3. Drink more water- You’re body needs water to survive, you can go days without food but not water. Water is also the best dietary supplement, the more you drink the fuller you feel the less you’ll tend to snack through out the day. Shoot for 8-10 glasses a day. I know sounds like a lot especially if you’re not used to drinking that much. But think of it’s benefits… it flushes unwanted toxins from your body, keeps your hydrated for glowing skin and it keeps your brain sharp.
4. Get Outside and Move- This has been the mildest winter we’ve had in a long time. It’s the perfect time to get out and enjoy the 50-65 degree weather we continue to have. Get some fresh air, take in the sunshine, (we all need sunshine!) go for a walk or jog, sit out side on a porch and read, listen to music, or even just to eat lunch. There’s no excuse this winter to get out at least 15 minutes a couple days a week. Fresh air is always the best medicine.
5. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle- Do your part to conserve. We all consume way too much in today’s world. Save yourself time and money. Save your empty jars to store left overs or learn to can your own produce, recycle as much as you can-plastic, glass, paper, etc. Eat smaller meals and less food-focus on plants and less animals. Buy a water filtration system for your refrigerator instead of bottled water, start a compost for your garden to cut back on garbage. Save all your fruit and vegetable scraps, egg shells, tea bags, coffee grinds and make your own soil for your garden. Give back to Mother Nature,” she definitely deserves it.
Hope these 5 steps give you a little jump start to your extra day for 2012. It all begins with one step. So just decide to do one thing different today and try to keep it up through out the rest of the week. Maybe next week start a new goal. You’ll have a brand new, healthier and happier you in no time.