I’ve been thinking about today for awhile now. My focus about my birthday had been on turning the “big 4-0.” But a couple of nights ago I had a different thought. I remembered that it was soon approaching my last day of my 30s, and I wasn’t ready for that.
The thing is, I know that one day older is really nothing. But there is something symbolic about this number. I remember celebrating my parents’ “over the hill” 40th birthday parties, and I remember that as being significant. So, no matter how much people tell me that 40 is the new 30, it still feels like more than just a day.
But age really is more than a number. It is possible to be chronologically 40, but biologically closer to 30 or 50, depending on lifestyle choices. Instead of trying the impossible–slowing down time–today I decided to be grateful about my health and think about what choices I make that keep me doing the things I love. So, here are my top healthy habit suggestions:
1. Eat a healthy, balanced breakfast. TCM would suggest a warm breakfast to stoke the digestive fire. But as the weather turns warmer, perhaps a hot meal seems less enticing. I make up 6 jars (3 for me, 3 for my husband to last 3 days) of oatmeal breakfast, varying the ingredients slightly, as I like.
2. Yoga! I love yoga! But, if yoga isn’t for you, choose any regular movement routine that you enjoy, and that doesn’t injure your body. Exercise releases endorphins, feel-good hormones that are also released with acupuncture.
- 1/2 cup rolled oats (gluten-free optional)
- 1 scoop protein powder (optional, but I find this helps me feel full longer)
- small handful of goji berries, golden berries, or raisins
- 1 tsp chia seeds
- 1/2 tsp raw cacao powder
- 3 heaping Tbsp yogurt (dairy-based or coconut or almond yogurt)
- 1/3 cup alternative milk (I like coconut milk or almond milk; flavoured, if you like)
- Stir all together in a jar.
- Keep in fridge.
- It is ready to enjoy after at least 1 night.
- You can switch up your ingredients as you like. Try cut fruit, nuts, seeds, other dried fruits, etc.
4. Practice mindfulness. Find ways to cut back your mind clutter. Meditation, deep breathing, mindfulness practice, or other similar routines help reduce the negative effects of an overactive mind, thus helping to better manage stress. Practicing mindfulness doesn’t even have to take up more time. If you pay attention to your food as you eat, you will even digest your food better and enjoy it more!
5. More veggies. Talk to 5 different dieticians or nutritionists and you might find 5 different recommendations for what you should eat. But, all of them would say “more veggies.” The tricky part is sometimes how to add more vegetables into your diet. Soups, stews, slow cooked meals, steamed veggies, roasted veggies, pre-cut vegetables in your fridge…these are all good things to increase. But, one of the easiest tricks is to make shakes. My fave shakes now include kale, fruit, leftover tea, and flax seeds.
6. Practice gratitude. Someone I know shares her daily gratitudes on her Facebook page. I love reading those! Perhaps you can borrow this idea. Or write it in a journal. Or use an app like Gratitude Journal.
7. Practice kindness. Don’t you feel great when you do something nice for someone? It doesn’t need to be something big, but practicing kindness brings huge feelings of reward. And, bonus…sometimes people do nice things back for you!
8. Find your dharma. This was the topic in my yoga class this a.m. Dharma is your purpose. Your raison d’être. Your meaning for being here. What is your purpose? What makes you tick; makes your heart sing; gets you revved up for your day? If you are lucky, like me, you have a job that you love and you live your dharma. If you don’t love your work, find another way that you can get some dharma into your life.
9. Get help. Talk to a qualified health provider to address your health issues and help you stay healthy!
10. Rest. Ok, so this is one that I could work on. I haven’t got it all figured out yet–maybe by my 50th birthday. But, I cannot deny that rest is key to recovery, rejuvenation, and restoration.
If you have any tips on how you stay feeling healthy and vibrant, please share!