From how we manage our to-do list to where we charge our phones at night, these strategies will help you find the peace and serenity we’re all craving this season.
As we head into the holidays, it’s more important than ever to prioritize wellness, nurturing ourselves with the self-care that we need.
We know that a well-established routine can boost our mood and lower our stress levels. Rituals and habits can be especially healing during the holiday season, helping us to recharge, stay focused and balance our energy for the coming weeks.
This post started out as “3 morning rituals to boost our wellbeing” – but a positive morning routine starts with having a solid plan in place for our evening routine.
Learn more about the Science of Sleep in Molly’s FUELED Wellness + Nutrition podcast.
So here are 3 evening rituals, followed by 3 morning habits all shown to manage stress and enhance our overall wellbeing.
THREE EVENING RITUALS TO START TONIGHT
1. Refresh your to-do list. Review your to-do list from the day, crossing out everything that you accomplished and prioritizing the top 3 or 5 things that you really need – or want – to accomplish tomorrow. Letting go of the issues from the day allows our mind to rest, rather than obsess or dream about what needs to be done tomorrow.
This time can also be used for a short journaling session, taking 15 minutes to capture our brain flow. Write about three things we’re grateful for, then whatever may have struck us about the day: a funny incident, something hilarious overheard, or something we may be struggling with. Getting our thoughts out of our heads starts the process of unwinding and decompressing for the evening.
2. Charge your phone in a different room. Our entire lives are on these devices, so if we’re using our phone as an alarm clock (which so many of us do), it’s tempting to look at alerts, texts, emails or social media anytime we pick up our phone to check the time. If the idea of charging your phone in a nearby-but-separate space is paralyzing, at least give it a trial run. Commit to even just three nights. I promise it’s doable, and I’m also pretty certain you’ll feel the difference immediately.
3. Would you wake up early to do what you’re staying up late to do? Answering this question honestly can be a game-changer. Would you wake up 90 minutes earlier to scroll through social – or mindlessly channel surf, or go down the rabbit hole of online shopping? If we can’t give a
THREE MORNING RITUALS TO START TODAY
1. Create before we consume. Take the time to establish our mindset for the day – how we’re really feeling, what’s happening in our own minds, what’s important to us – before we are influenced by the barrage of messaging via social or news media. Use this time for creative projects, mindful reading or listening to inspiring podcasts.
2. MOVEMENT. This can be a full-on workout or can be as short as a 90-second movement burst. From walking to jogging to interval training, yoga or even just stretching, incorporating some level of movement helps us to tune into our mind and our body, starting our day with a built-in dose of mindfulness.
3. GET OUTDOORS. Nature’s healing effect on our mind, body and spirit is unparalleled. If at all possible, get a dose of outside time, daily. Ideally, we’re able to spend a bit of time in some type of natural, green space each day (e.g. neighborhood walks or lunch outdoors), but if getting outside just isn’t possible, find a way to incorporate at least some way to bring the sight, sound or feel of nature into our world – every single day. Think countertop herb garden, fresh flowers, even simply the sounds of nature – bringing nature into our home and our workspace can help to reduce stress and enhance our feelings of calmness and clarity.
THE BOTTOM LINE
All six of these rituals can be started immediately. But layering even just one or two of these behaviors into our daily routine can have a tremendous benefit, helping to bring us a sense of peace and clarity that will extend well beyond the holidays.
Molly Kimball, RD, CSSD is a registered dietitian + nutrition journalist in New Orleans, and founder of Ochsner Eat Fit nonprofit restaurant initiative. Tune in to her podcast, FUELED | Wellness + Nutrition and follow her on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter at @MollyKimballRD. See more of Molly’s articles + TV segments at www.mollykimball.com.