When I was younger and still living with my parents, I often imagined my future life as an accomplished woman. It seemed so so desirable; looking awesome, doing a million things in the day, being active, having only peaks of energy that last all day every day. My vision pretty much matched up to the women I was seeing in magazines, you know.
10 years later, while I do accomplish a lot in my days, have an exciting life, and am quite active every day, I know I sometimes sabotage my best efforts to thrive. There are so many high-achieving, ambitious wonder women these days, but we can still do it all without feeling like we’re operating at the peak of energy and health. We already do so much, but what is it that we can tweak to get the best out of our days, amazing bodies, and brains?
Here are 10 things to keep in mind for staying at the top of our health game.
1. Get Your Beauty Sleep
What? That puffy eyed after-party look isn’t sexy anymore? As long as we don’t say that it was actually a Netflix-binge night of sipping hot chocolate instead of dancing with a sexy Cuban guy. But seriously, if you don’t make sleep a priority, no one will do it for you. Try to get your 7-8 hours of restorative sleep by cutting an hour of useless screen time on weeknights. And don’t do it just for the sake of your fresh and sexy look. Do it for the capacity to focus and feel energetic and happy all day long.
2. Drink More
No, I don’t mean drink more mojitos. Put that rosé down, now. We’ve all heard that our body is mostly water, yet we don’t think that it is our responsibility to fill it with the water that it needs. Actually, water is quite magical. Drinking two large glasses of water every hour is way more effective than black coffee to stay awake and alert. Skin dryness, dark circles, pimples, cellulite and digestion issues are all getting helped by increasing your water intake dramatically. 64 ounces (2 liters) is a minimum recommendation, and I find that the days I am exceeding that goal I am clearing my skin, having more energy for a workout, making better food choices, and enjoying a flatter stomach.
3. Hydrate from the Inside Out
Another way to replenish your body, have clear thoughts and plumping skin, is to get water from your food. This is a great trick that is also bringing tons of nutrients we need in. No need for expensive creams and lotions which mainly address the surface symptoms, not the cause. Simply add in more juicy fruits, veggies, and greens to your meals and snacks. Their composition is 70% to 95% water.
4. Spice Up Your Life
Spices are the forgotten secret of western societies. Fortunately, awesome Indian restaurants are here to remind us of their infinite possibilities and yumminess. But more than taste (which is great to enhance veggie sautés for example), they have powerful effects to help us reach our health and energy goals. Ginger will wake you up like a ninja, cinnamon helps curb your sugar cravings, curcuma creates glowing skin, chili flakes burn fat, cumin and coriander help digestion. Add them to anything, learn what you like and forget about salt little by little.
5. Get Social
I love alone time and connecting online to amazing people on the other side of the planet. But sharing or watching behind a screen isn’t filling our need for connection. Beware of isolation and the feeling of loneliness when staring at computers and phones. Nothing is more rejuvenating and relaxing than a chat, silly talks, and laughs with a friend, co-worker or neighbor. Take an hour today, go for a walk or coffee with someone in your area, have a deep conversation or some light gossiping. It doesn’t matter, as long as you are making a real connection that will ground you and even put a smile on your face for the next hour.
6. Ask for Help
No, we don’t need to do I all alone. Oprah is not doing all alone, nor is Gwyneth or Tina Fey. Ok, so I don’t have enough money to hire a team of assistants yet, but I found that sharing my struggles with colleagues, relatives and random people often brings happy surprises like great advice or free help and new solutions. Sometimes it is just the relief from not having to pretend that I have it all together, and people openly share their current struggles in return so I don’t feel so alone.
7. Have Some Random Fun
Fun is losing its fun when it has to be scheduled and compartmentalized from the rest of our day or week. Find spontaneous little moments for fun, like saying yes to a last-minute lunch invitation or popping the idea of a walk and coffee with a friend. It doesn’t have to be social. My favorite is putting hip-hop music and dancing like no one’s watching, feeling sexy and badass. This is brightening my day and helping me let go of the underlying stress that can accumulate sometimes. Flirting with the waiter at your local café, singing, or accompanying a friend buying a new puppy can be some highlights of your week or day.
8. Enjoy Some Luxurious Downtime
No matter your money situation or busy-busy life, we all deserve luxury. I deserve luxury time. You deserve luxury time. Acknowledging this has changed my life tremendously. I have been blocking time on my schedule for luxury time and treats at least three times a week: long lunch at a terrace, coffee break at this cute tea shop in the middle of the day, and an hour of Norah Jones music while laying on my bed guilt-free are my favorites. But you can simply prioritize time for movies, a dance class, a massage, sleeping in, and shopping for pleasure. Think luxury, think pleasure. I promise the reward and the confidence built from allowing yourself to have that is powerful.
9. Get a Variety of Exercise
I have been very driven and on top of our workout routine lately, training 3 to 5 times a week. Yet, my body isn’t changing (aka toning) much. What is going on? Does it mean that I must work out twice as much? I don’t have time, I am already doing so much! Calm down, there’s a reason and a simple solution. The downside of being regular in our exercise routine is that our body gets used to it all and adapts. It burns less fat, builds less muscle. In other words, your usual exercise routine isn’t actually exercise for your body anymore – it’s routine. The quick solution is to change it up, at least for a little while, so that other muscles and stamina are solicited. Yes, it has to be somewhat hard to be called exercise.
One lie we’ve been told is that we can have it all and be it all every single day. , es we can have and be anything we want, but trying to have it all at every stage of our lives or every moment of our journey is a big fat lie. As my Swiss grandmother used to say “there’s always going to be a part of failure in our life darling, and that’s ok”. Well, it doesn’t have to be failure, but there’s certainly always work in progress and that’s what is making us fight and grow. At the moment my social life and my body are in a balanced happy place but my relationship isn’t. And two months from now or next year, maybe that it will be the contrary. Look at nature: not all flowers are blooming at the same time, trees aren’t giving food all year round. Yet you know this time will come again. Be patient, work on different parts of your life and focus on the positive.
Editor’s Note: You can find more from the author in her own blog here.