Five Simple Ways To Have A Happy And Healthy Fourth of July

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Five Simple Ways To Have A Happy And Healthy Fourth of July

From time to time, I like to check out what other fitness and health professionals are posting on their blogs regarding specific holidays, so I did a search for health tips for the Fourth of July.  What I mostly found was fitness pros sharing a list of rules that had very little to do with fun and more to do with restricting behavior and dieting.  Ugh!

The whole point of celebrating a holiday is to have a good time and participate in the festivities. That usually includes eating foods that are traditionally served on that specific holiday.  It’s something we look forward to and it’s a wonderful way to bring people together.

It also includes a change in routine.  It’s possible that you may skip your normal exercise routine that day and that’s totally ok and normal.

What’s not ok is feeling guilty because you skipped your workout, drank a mimosa before noon, and ate three helpings of Aunt Sue’s famous potato salad or something similar.  I’m sure you are getting the picture.  We all like to celebrate differently. 🙂

I’m not suggesting complete gluttony and I think it’s a good idea to move throughout the day.  However, it’s important that you celebrate the way you, your family, and your friends choose to.

Take the pressure off of yourself and have fun.  It’s totally possible to do healthy “nonrestrictive” things for yourself while you celebrate.

Here are five simple ideas:

Buy quality ingredients.  No matter what recipes you decide to follow or food you choose to serve, buy whole foods and quality processed foods.

Move because it’s fun and feels good.  Sitting around all day can make your body stiff and make you feel sluggish.  Activities like hiking, flag football, bocce ball, horse shoes, swimming, and marching in a parade are all fun ways to stay active without it feeling like a chore.

Spend time being grateful.  Take a moment to be thankful that we live in one of the best places in the world.  This great nation allows us to pursue life, liberty, and happiness each and every day.  For that, I am truly grateful!

Laugh.  Laughter is good medicine and helps relieve stress.

Stay hydrated.  Drink plenty of water and eat hydrating fruits and veggies like celery and watermelon.  Staying hydrated helps your metabolism function at it’s best.

This Fourth of July, I encourage you to “declare your independence” from the restrictive side of the fitness and diet industry.  Eat foods that you enjoy and agree with your body, and choose exercise you like.

Have a happy, healthy, and safe holiday.

God bless you and America!

Shared with love,

Jennifer

Photo above is courtesy of:   Stephanie McCabe on Unsplash

 

Taking Care Of Yourself Isn’t Selfish, It’s Necessary

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Taking Care Of Yourself Isn't Selfish, It's Necessary

There was a time when I used to burn the candle at both ends and it was exhausting.  From the outside I looked like a go-getter, but on the inside I was falling apart.  I had hit the wall emotionally, mentally, and physically.   I had focused on taking care of everyone except myself.  Out of necessity, I decided to start taking better care of myself and that’s when I decided to focus on total health, wellness, and self care.

After spending some time researching the term “self care”, I’ve figured out that there are different opinions and theories as to what self care is and it’s going to be personal and different for everyone.  In general, self-care is any activity that you deliberately do to contribute to your mental, emotional, and physical health in a positive way.  While that may sound simple, self care is something that is often ignored because the only one you are accountable to is yourself, and it’s easy to break dates with ourselves.

When it comes to self care, or doing things for yourself, one of the top reasons people report putting themselves on the back burner is a feeling of guilt.  Focusing time and attention on yourself is too often considered selfish.  Unfortunately, while it might seem noble or even necessary to sacrifice taking care of your mind, body, and spirit, over time it’s a recipe for burnout.

Taking time to take care of your mind and body is good for you and it’s certainly not selfish.  In fact, research is showing us that the pursuit of health and happiness is far from selfish.   When we practice self care, we’re likely to see an improvement in many areas of our lives, including our physical health and wellness, our relationships, and even our income. Plus, by making the choice to take good care of ourselves, we open up our capacity to care for others which helps contribute positively to the world around us.  It’s much easier to give to others when you feel well taken care of.  Self care is not a luxury it’s a necessity.

here is a list of thirty eight self care ideas to help you get started

  1. Give yourself permission to say no.
  2. Do your best to step outside every day.
  3. Stop and stretch once an hour.
  4. Drink plenty of water.
  5. Get at least 7 ½ hours of sleep a night.
  6. Laugh daily.
  7. Say nice things about yourself.
  8. Listen to music.
  9. Dance.
  10. Exercise.
  11. Delegate and ask for help. 
  12. Get a manicure, pedicure, haircut, etc.
  13. Ditch the guilt and justification around doing something for yourself.
  14. Move your body in a way that feels good. 
  15. Buy a new outfit.
  16. Decorate or change up the looks of your surroundings. 
  17. Ask for what you need.
  18. Accept compliments. 
  19. Journal.
  20. Pray.
  21. Meditate.
  22. Allow yourself to have a hobby.
  23. Work on your car.
  24. Fix or build something.
  25. Buy something new for yourself.
  26. Have lunch with a friend who makes you feel good about yourself.
  27. Go on a date with your spouse or significant other.
  28. Read a book or magazine.
  29. Go to the beach.
  30. Play with your pets.
  31. Take a bath.
  32. Attend happy hour at your favorite restaurant or bar.
  33. Plan a vacation or day trip.
  34. Light a candle.
  35. Order takeout.
  36. Get a babysitter.
  37. Browse antique shops and thrift stores.
  38. Hang out at the book store.

Because self care is so personal, I encourage you to make a list of your own ideas that you can pull from weekly or even daily.  For example, some people might list “go to the gym” as self care while others would prefer a “stroll on a beach.”  Self care should not have stress attached to it.  The whole point of self care is that you look forward to whatever you choose, it recharges you, and it lowers stress.

Here’s to taking care of yourself and living a long and happy life!

Shared with love,

Jennifer