Keeping it Simple: The 5 Keys to Health and Happiness

Listening to the radio, watching tv, browsing social media, there are product taglines permeating our lives claiming to provide solutions for health and happiness. Everything from snack bars, to gyms, to hair products target our basic desire, and deepest need to feel good. But the truth of the matter is that our health and happiness is more of our own responsibility than we give ourselves credit for. There are 5 very simple ways you can be responsible for yourself, 5 keys to your health and happiness that you probably already know about. There is no new product here, nothing you need to hop online and buy, just good old fashion ancient wisdom. The kind that maybe your granny doled out. Heed it, and be well.

keys to health

1. Get more rest

We all know sleep is important to our health. But getting enough zzz’s can be difficult in a world that is consumed by to-do lists, electronic toys, and even light bulbs. Sleep needs are also different depending on the stage of life we are in. The National Sleep Foundation has this handy guide to keep you informed on how much sleep everyone in your family needs. But what if I told you it’s not just sleep, but actual rest that is important? We’ve all had nights where we wake up the next morning feeling just as groggy and tired as we did the evening before. Maybe you logged in enough hours, but the quality of your sleep was not restful. So I’m here to suggest that it is rest we all need more of, not just sleep. So instead of moving your bedtime earlier, try taking the hour before you go to bed, to wind down. Put yourself to sleep the way you would a child. Take a hot bath, rub on some lavender lotion on your feet, and read a pleasurable book. Night, night!

2. Wake up early & move

Rise and Shine! Our ancestors did not use alarm clocks to wake them from their slumber, instead they depended on good old mother nature. Waking with the sun seems like a chore for most of us, but these early morning hours can jump start your day if you use them wisely. Once you get past the bleary eyed, drag yourself out of bed moment, take some time to drink a hot cup of water, and sit. When your body feels ready to move, MOVE! Stretch, dance, walk, hula hoop, do whatever your little heart desires. It will thank you.

3. Eat regular (green) meals

There no better advice from your mama than eating three square meals a day. Keeping regular eating habits helps to sustain and balance metabolism and blood sugar, fighting off the “hangry” (hungry-angry) cravings (as my husband calls them). Regular meals should include some form of protein, complex carbohydrates, and plant food (fruits and/or veggies). The USDA has given us this fancy graphic to demonstrate what our plates should look like. You’ll notice that an entire HALF of it is taken up by plants. How often does your plate look like that?

4. Drink more water

Rather than looking to beauty products or dietary supplements to provide that sought-after glow, consider tapping into the most basic of all fountains of youth: H2O. That’s right plain old water, fresh from the tap, or maybe the Brita, has the power to cure a multitude of ailments. Everything from dull skin, to headaches, constipation and inflammation can be eased by a tall glass, or 8. Here’s a handy hydration calculator  which can help you figure out exactly how much water is right for you on any given day. (Thank goodness the internet is here to help us out with this!)

5. Do something you love

This last one is important. Maybe the most important of all. There is no faster pass to ill health than stress and burn out. It’s important that the life we live is a life we choose. Or at least, that a good part of it is. We only get one body. We only get one life in it. Make it yours, and make it count. Take care of yourself. Even just these simple suggestions make a huge difference.

Now go on, get out there, and be your happiest, healthiest self.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: JOZIE EWART

jozieewartI am a believer in living life well. I am mama to a beautiful boy, and wife to a wonderful man. I am an Elementary Educator,  Yoga Instructor, Massage Therapist, and Doula in training. My passions are in teaching yoga for children, families, and schools, as well as Pre and Post Natal yoga and massage. I love also love to study and practice the science and art of Ayurveda. I infuse my writing with the teachings of all of these loves, as well as my love of being a mama. When I’m not in the yoga studio teaching, or at my computer writing, I love to be out in nature hiking with my boys, crafting and making art, or reading all that I can about the many subjects I love. Visit me at www.playfulheartmama.com.

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