I am a firm believer that we can raise our consciousness, improve our quality of life, and evolve as human beings by feeding our mind, body and spirit every single day. We live in a nation where mortality and morbidity rates continue to rise because of lifestyle-related diseases and life dissatisfaction. We tend to look outside for comfort, peace, contentment, and life satisfaction; rather than, searching within. Oftentimes, we think nurturing ourselves means buying things, going out to eat, sinking into the couch and watching TV for hours, spending money on the credit card (not knowing how we’ll pay it back), polishing off a pint of ice cream, or having a few drinks. Yes, there is certainly a time and place for all things. However, what are you really seeking? Immediate gratification? Which, is oftentimes is accompanied by a come down, buyers regret, shame, guilt, and sliding further down the drain. Or, are you looking for long-lasting nourishment, contentment, and inner peace?
Below is a list of 21 activities that are data driven; and, that can translate into a life full of more meaning, a stronger mind/body/spirit, and improved relationships with yourself and others. Most of these activities are free, or low cost; and, they take a minimal amount of time. I practice all of these activities on the list…some daily, some less frequent. Each of these tools will be your friend through dark times, will cultivate less inner resistance, and provide personal growth.
HOW COULD YOU NOT...
- RELAX IN AN EPSOM SALT BATH? Epsom salt baths can reduce muscle soreness, decrease stress, promote better sleep and leave you feeling grounded.
- SPEND SOME TIME IN THE SUNSHINE? Sunshine is one of Mother Nature's antidepressants.
- PRACTICE INVERSIONS? They give you perspective, balance, energy, and build strength.
- REDUCE DECISION FATIGUE? As our energy gets depleted, we lose sight of our vision and self-control.
- WRITE LETTERS OF GRATITUDE Writing gratitude letters increases happiness and life satisfaction.
- MEAL PREP? Meal prep is not only an investment in your health; it saves you money and is a key to great health. I meal prep as a gift to my health, budget, and free time. Here's a recipe I'm loving right now.
- FORGIVE? If we don't forgive, we stay in stress mode which can lead to depression, diabetes, and heart disease.
- Forgiveness: Your Health Depends on It
- Try this journal exercise for forgiveness: I forgive _________for ___________. List as many people as you like, for as much as you like. Don't forget to forgive yourself.
- BE A TOURIST IN YOUR OWN TOWN? There are so many things in our own back yards that can get us out of a rut, boost our creativity, and broaden our horizons. I like to take myself on dates to the Speed Art Museum to connect with myself, beautiful things, and the divine creative power.
- PLAY A MUSICAL INSTRUMENT? It improves your concentration, sharpens comprehension skills, and is a full-body workout for your brain.
- MAKE TIME FOR EXERCISE AND NUTRITION? Here are seven ways to take "I don't have time," out of your stale stories you tell yourself. Also, I’m addicted to sheet pan meals these days…one pan, 20 minutes, DONE! That’s one way I’m making time for healthy nutrition.
- TAP INTO YOUR INTUITION? Using your intuition helps you easily make decisions based on your core values, connects with your creativity, and allows for mind, body, heart connection.
- SING? Singing can boost your mood, immune function, and social connection. Try this 5-minute singing exercise for fun!
- SPEND TIME WITH PETS? Pets are the antidote to loneliness, diminish anxiety, lower blood pressure, and much much more.
- COLOR? Coloring helps with focus, mindfulness, decreased anxiety, and creative flow.
- STRENGTH TRAIN? Strength training is about much more than looking good naked and being strong - although, who can argue with these benefits? Strength training can control blood sugar levels, boost mental health, and help us live independently throughout our lifespan. A gifted strength training coach crossed my path about 10 years ago. He gave me my first taste of viewing my body as a vessel of capability. I learned to celebrate my body for what it CAN do; rather than, what it looks like or what it can't do. I turn to exercise and strength training as a part of my spirituality. I feel like we were given these bodies to move, train, and cherish.
- CUSS? (Sorry Mom, Dad and all of my HR people) Swear words can be pain killers, memory sharpeners, and cathartic! Go ahead … give a flying F&%K!
- MAKE SUFFICIENT SLEEP A PRIORITY? Sleep improves concentration, lowers stress, helps you be a better driver, and leads to a better mood. As someone who struggles with insomnia, sleep hygiene is a MUST for me. Practicing sleep hygiene makes me a nicer woman...you’re welcome!
- CREATE YOUR PERSONAL COMMUNITY? We are a dying of loneliness, and feeling more disconnected than ever. Building community brings a sense of happiness and increases your longevity. Years ago, my antiquated story was that I didn’t need anyone, and I can do it all myself. WRONG! I’m grateful for the supportive, loving community that surrounds me...sharing my creative, mental, spiritual, and physical life journey.
- SPEND TIME IN NATURE? Spending time in nature can help you sleep, improve your mood, and boost your brain power. Get your a$$ outside! I visit some of my favorite nature spots to clear negativity out of my head, to make decisions, to listen to my intuition, and to appreciate the many miracles of nature.
- MEDITATE? This is a public service announcement to MEDITATE! Here are 76 reasons why. Did I mention that meditation will get you mentally, physically, and spiritually woke?
- TAKE A SOCIAL MEDIA CLEANSE? It will help make you happier, decrease comparison, help you stay present, and much more.
Just Breathe, Namaste, and Much Love,
Jessica Sharpenstein, M.S., C.W.C.