My family and I moved recently, and as a military family, that's nothing new. That said, it's the 16th move we've made in 20 years, and frankly, I'm tired! This move has brought a lot of introspection and analysis of where things stand in my life, and I discovered that I want this time to be where I'm the best me I can be.
Related: Sometimes Self-Care Means Making Myself Unavailable
I started looking at little things I could do to make a big impact in my life, and love how easy it can be to be the best version of myself. Interested in joining me?
1. Get more sunshine.
This is my first and most important goal. I just moved from Florida, the sunshine state! Getting sunshine was easy as it was abundant! But here in Maryland, I'll need to make a purposed effort to soak it up. Sunshine triggers Vitamin D production in your body, and is imperative to overall health and well-being.
Vitamin D protects against inflammation, can lower high blood pressure, improve brain function and some say, even protect against cancer and other immune system disorders. So, do it. Take 15 minutes a day and find the sun. Soak it in and feel it warm you from the inside out. Your body will thank you!
2. Practice meditation/quiet time.
Research shows that meditation is good for the body. Taking a few minutes each day to quiet the brain actually quiets the entire parasympathetic nervous system, and is good for overall relaxation and recovery of immune cells. Some take time to focus mindfully on meditation, while others take 15 -20 minutes to contemplate things of their faith or value system or even to journal.
Whatever it is that you do, though, taking that 15-20 minutes for your brain to simply be focused on calming/reflective/positive feedback will give you more focus, clarity and relaxation in so many other areas.
3. Drink more water.
Yes, yes, we all say it, but honestly, it does make a difference! Drinking water is vital for your cells to carry nutrients and oxygen throughout the body, as well as flushing bacteria and aiding digestion. Drinking a healthy amount of water, individually based on what your doctor says is best for you, also stabilizes blood pressure, maintains your electrolyte balance, prevents constipation, and mostly, it makes you glow!
While the health benefits of staying hydrated with good old H20 are endless, I drink a ton of water because my skin looks the most full and plump when I do! Plus, I always seem to have energy when I am hydrated, so I'm making a point to keep that water bottle always nearby!
Related: Infusions to Actually Get You to Drink 8 Glasses of Water a Day
4. Connect more in real-life with people.
Technology today makes this so hard! Some of my very best friends and confidants are those I communicate with through social media and texting! But, there is no substitution for real-life connection, and research shows this. People with strong real-life social relationships are 50% less likely to die premature deaths than those who don't have those same social constructs, so it's important to really connect.
Spend all morning texting your bestie? Change it up and meet her at the local coffee bar so you can actually hear each other's voices and body language. The sensory input is irreplaceable, and some research shows that friends are even better than morphine!
5. Join a group of like-minded people.
With that in mind, find more ways to connect socially, but with a group of like-minded people. I'm not saying stay away from things that may be new and different; those opportunities are laden with experience and bound to be beneficial as well. But, for short-term bursts of bettering yourself, figure out what it is that you like, and what you like about others, and then find others who feel the same.
The camaraderie and connection will carry through times of stress and strife, and a sense of 'belonging' has been shown to increase overall health predictions in both men and women. Sounds basic, right? Find your tribe. Jump in. Be healthier and happier!
You won't regret it!