Lifestyle Changes To Improve Your Mental and Physical Health
Written by Elise Morgan
The world is reborn with every sunrise. Why can’t we experience the same thing every day? The truth is, if we want to get healthier, we can, without having to climb a mountain on Day One. There are little things we can do to change our life today that will add up to better overall health in the future.
Think small, incremental changes – done consistently – and they’ll turn into big ones over time. Here are some great places to start:
Get More Exercise
Don’t be intimidated by this if you don’t exercise or have never exercised. Beginners can start small and start now by moving more. Consider parking further away from an entrance when you drive to work, the grocery store, etc. to get in some extra walking. Take a flight of stairs, then two or three as you get stronger, instead of an elevator. You can even perform stretching or Kegel exercises at your desk.
The first step would be adding something easy on the joints like swimming, yoga, tai chi, and walking. Once you’re more adept, you could add weight training or something more strenuous. The key is to adding exercise to your day is to do it consistently.
Add Essential Oils
There are many essential oils you can use in a diffuser or apply topically that can improve your overall well-being. For example, lavender calms and helps to relieve headaches and anxiety. Roman chamomile may help you feel drowsy, as well as potentially relieving allergy symptoms. Frankincense helps to lower stress and anxiety.
Get informed from a qualified aromatherapist to pinpoint what could work for your specific needs.
Practice lymphatic self-massage
The lymphatic system is a highway of vessels that run through all of your tissues, isolating infection and carrying debris away through the lymph nodes. When bad stuff builds up, massages can help keep this vital liquid moving in your body and ease any swelling that can lead to illness and stress on the body.
Lymphatic massage, for the body and specifically for the breasts, is not synonymous with a deep massage. It’s gentle and focused on the areas where the body’s 500-700 lymph nodes reside. Use this technique to systematically and gently stretch the skin and massage certain areas to relieve backup and encourage lymph fluid to move through the body.
Lymphatic massages are a great preventative and proactive measure to reduce the risk of disease later down the road. No matter the age, activity level, or history, it is important for all women to be aware of their body and what’s going on in it. This technique has been shown to reduce breast pain, inflammation, lumps, and cysts, making it a great daily exercise practice to enhance both physical and mental health.
Get better sleep
One-third of all Americans don’t get enough sleep. If you’re an adult not getting at least seven hours of sleep per night, you’re robbing yourself of the time your body needs to repair itself. That is why sleep might be the closest thing we have to a cure-all pill. The National Institute for Health says sleep will improve physical health, mood, sex drive, ability to cope, attention span, and productivity.
Ease yourself to sleep naturally by exercising during the day to burn energy and anxiety or doing yoga right before bedtime. Drink warm herbal tea (no caffeine!) like chamomile, lavender, and peppermint, to calm yourself. A warm bath will also relax your muscles. But if you wake during the night or can’t fall asleep at all, talk to your physician about your problems, so he or she can check you for sleep apnea or insomnia.
Change now to benefit tomorrow. Mother Teresa once advised us to “be faithful in small things” because strength lives in those small things. Start now to find the little lifestyle changes that will improve your mental and physical health.
By Elise Morgan