Daily health habits are more important than ever. I post this just a week-deep into the Corona Virus Pandemic we’re in. Yet, I suspect they are not unique from yours potentially, I do want to share them. My life for 36 years has been about health, wellness, fitness, and the psychology of behavior change – or mindset as we refer to it now.
I sometimes take for granted that these daily health habits are known and either chosen and practiced or avoided intentionally. Then a casual comment hits me hard and I realize it’s not always a conscious choice after all. You may not know. So read this, realizing I don’t write with pretentious attitude that these all serve you or that you’ll choose them.
I do write about my daily health habits to share and open conversation. This may be the first you’ve heard something. It takes us anywhere from one to dozens of times to get a message to adopt new habits ourselves. Maybe for you this is the one time you’ll remember it and choose it. And if you only make a decision about it one way or the other, that too is progress.
Right now is not the time to throw in the towel. It’s not the time to think you don’t have control or you’re too far behind. You can start today and make a difference in your tomorrow. Invest in your health with habits, time, and yes, your money.
The things I’m doing right now are for the most part, things I do most days in ordinary times. There are things I’ve dropped and those I’ve dialed up. Routine and daily health habits that boost your immune system and support your mood and mindset are a must right now. I hear you seeking simplicity and clarity. So you don’t need them all. Choose one or two. Look at your own daily health habits, your schedule, and your energy and intention.
Here’s a sneak peek into my day and what I’m using and why. Above all as you read this, I encourage you to open your calendar and create your own daily health habits. Include ones you have now, ones you want to adopt in the future.
My Daily Health Habits: Wake Time
I am an admitted early bird. Yet, as my own hormonal changes in this past year accelerated and a sudden move, a loss of support, mold exposure happened I’ve tried to avoid rising quite so early. Compared to you? I may still be an early riser. But 5:30am as opposed to 4am for me feels “late.”
I’m letting myself get the rest if I can and I let my body decide. I keep the room dark (an eye mask helps), cool, and quiet. Oddly, the pool right outside my master bedroom “gurgles.” It’s not the ocean but hey, I did dream about a beach vacation last night so that kind of white noise may work for me.
The biggest point here is keep your wake time. I have a hard stop wake up, meaning I might get up earlier if I’m awake before, or otherwise I know my wake up will be by 5:30 because (more on that later) I go to bed to get the hours of sleep I need.
My Daily Habits: Coffee Time
I literally covet this time. This is a deal-breaker in terms of relationships. Anyone or any job or any dog that gets in the way of this quiet time for working on creative projects and ideation, is not going to make the final cut. Morning is my absolute favorite time of the day.
I like to wake up early, get a head start, and then get started with others slowly. It’s part of my self care.
I know I’m most creative and productive between 5am (or earlier) and 8am compared to any other time all day. And I use it. I’ve written half a dozen books and most of those words came out between 4am and 9am.
Coffee has been a habit since my brother and sister-in-law introduced me to it in 1983. Not so ironically, less than two weeks ago I was able to share one of my favorite coffees with them. Here’s 3 ways I’m making this habit more of a daily health habit than just a caffeine fix.
Matcha instead of coffee and since I’ve found Pique teas I haven’t used anything else. The realization that too many Matcha products contain heavy metals was scary. I drink it daily and add or it to my smoothies. Anything I do regularly, I make sure is safe since it’s those habits that will determine optimal health.
Foursigmatic mushroom coffee I’ll have to admit was a new “thing” for me long after some of my friends had adopted it. But when they reached out and sent me a bundle of yum to try, I fell in love with it and the ritual. I finally “got” the golden latte thing and love that too later in the day. Right now, hot liquids and a soothing “treat” are on my radar.
Did you know? Hot liquids that raise core temperature can be support optimal health by boosting immunity. (Exercise, sauna, hot baths can help too.) And the Golden Latte with turmeric offers anti-inflammatory properties too.
Bulletproof coffee when I have regular coffee these days it’s Bulletproof. I’m not adding the fat or octane to it right now, though I did when I first converted. But the reason I love it is it’s clean. You know it’s safe. Coffee is one of those items that’s easily got mold in it and most coffee has not been tested.
Plus, I shared the stage with Dave Asprey, Bulletproof founder last August and I love what he’s doing for the world. He’s made it his mission to fix things that are broken and increase our awareness, then provide options that are better.
Eat Something Small (maybe)
I’ve been up for hours so before I exercise, I make sure I’ve got something to take away and distracting feelings of hunger. Many times recently it’s been nuts or seeds. Even if I’m doing interval training. That’s not something you can do unless you’ve trained your body to switch to fat burning instead of sugar/carb burning.
The body has a preference for carbs with higher intensity exercise. That means a small snack pre-interval training might be a “hearty” rice cake with a smear of nut butter, or my favorite, a small bowl of roasted sweet potatoes (often in my refrigerator) with a little cinnamon and some sun butter.
For longer endurance exercise? I’m leaving that out here because really, none of us needs whatever we might personally call “endurance” length exercise. Sure, exercise, but shorter and more intense and then done is better right now. Shorter low to moderate activity frequently is immune boosting. Boost, not bust right now.
I’m jumping on with our membership right now (open for Covid 19 support enrollment if you need online resources) to do either interval training or live strength training at 9am. So the routine, the accountability, and the scheduled spot offers stability for us all.
I also cut the workouts down to make sense of daily health habits for NOW. Less is more and that’s always a mantra at Flipping 50. It’s even truer of duration of exercise now.
Right now more than ever it’s important to have a regular schedule. No one is imposing one. You may not have to show up at work for clients or customers. I know some of you listening still are- as am I. In fact, I’m busier with new clients who want virtual training sessions and support from teleconferencing.
But no matter what right now, “get ready” as if.
Eat My First Meal
For me this is a smoothie. People talk about meal-replacements. For me that’s never going to be a commercial drink alone. I add greens, protein, fiber, healthy fat, minimal fruit or other carbs, and there’s no question it’s a meal that keeps me full for hours.
I make flavors I love and add toppings to smoothie bowls so I don’t miss texture – I’m getting it. And I’m not mindlessly sipping it while doing something else. I sit down. I use a spoon. I enjoy it.
Then I don’t think about food again for hours.
Connect with Others
When I first pick up my phone, I’m looking at, in this order:
- Phone calls from family and friends
- Text from family and friends
- My personal groups of friends and colleagues app connections
- Clients and customers
- News on COVID 19
Take care of you first. Who serves you, what do you need to feel supported, connected before you can be there for anyone else?
I will often walk the dog and be on the phone with my son or my siblings. Last night I was in the sauna talking to a dear friend. Every day make a point of connection with someone in your world important to you. You may be their only connection that day. Even those with other two-leggeds in the house, can feel isolated. You will help you both by reaching out to someone.
I limit my news stream to find the daily update. Then I get out and off. This could be an all-day affair. Will it serve you? Change the situation? Then stay informed and then stay in control of your thoughts and your time.
Late Day Movement
Whether it’s yoga with you at 4pm PT or it’s a walk or a hike, I move again as a transition into evening. I’ve had a habit since my son was 3 of putting dinner in the oven and either walking the dog around the block or of doing yoga. It was such a “thing” that my son would tell me he was hungry any time of day I would do yoga. Like Pavlov’s dog I guess.
Regularly Scheduled Meals
Right now your body and mind are seeking consistency among the chaos. So while you may be working at home, and have latitude for meals and you’re next to the kitchen, don’t be tempted to relax your routine.
Don’t skip meals (without a plan) and don’t snack unless you’ve got adrenal fatigue and it’s a best fit. If I do feel like I need something, I will have a cup of bone broth (I’ll link to Kettle & Fire for a Flipping 50 discount)
I’m trying to eat early in the evening, shortly after our community yoga sessions in fact. Two reasons this is a good idea:
- Mindfulness will make you eat less food. You do stop sooner.
- I’m intermittent fasting but I’m up early. So I want at a minimum 12 hours between dinner and the first time I eat or have anything that effects blood sugar in the morning.
I also want at least 2-3 hours after my last meal before bed. I don’t eat after that. Period. Since I started that probably a decade ago I’ve slept even better than I had before. Again, for my clients and students with adrenal fatigue this is not what I advise.
Magnesium and Vitamin C
I have another dose of Vitamin C after dinner when I take my magnesium. You can do glycinate or citrate, depending on whether you need support with regularity (citrate) or not. By dosing Vitamin C throughout the day you can absorb it better without running into issues with lose stools by taking too much at once. Ramp up slowly. I’m taking 3-4000mg of C daily right now. Make sure it’s easily absorbable.
Late Day Heat
I will do a 30-minute infrared sauna session. Getting heated from the inside out supports your immune system and natural detox. So I’m back in it regularly again now. I had been for months after mold exposure too.
If I don’t do the sauna for some reason I will take a hot bath in Epsom salts and add a little lavender. What goes up must come down. So in addition to the immune boost, this also supports sleep. As your temperature falls again after a hot bath it’s a signal for your body to sleep. About 90 minutes before bed or lights out is the best time. A shower will work but a bath is optimal for relaxation and a way to get sleep-enhancing magnesium in you too.
About 90 minutes before lights out I’ll also take melatonin. I didn’t used to think I needed it – even when levels were low – because I sleep well! But there’s a tie to low melatonin and breast cancer and also to low immunity. So I’m on it.
My bedtime is by 9pm. Of course I’m not perfect, last night in fact I waited a little longer. But I sleep so much better on a schedule than off one. No matter what, wake up is the same. Super important to hormone balance.
There you have it, my daily health habits. Now.
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