2020 is going to be the year you feel your best. Of course, we can start a new way of living any time of the year but New Year's Day is the perfect time to set intentions for living the pain-free, healthy life you truly want. There's a collective sense of motivation and inspiration in the new year with many people changing their lives and making resolutions.
Set intentions. This is the inception point for turning resolutions into action: getting clear about what your intentions are. Do you want to feel better? Do you want to spend more time playing with your kids? Do you want to have clean energy to feel creative? Do you want to cure your back pain? Get intentional about your goals and write down 3 things that you really want in 2020. Take it one step further by listing out 3 actionable things you can do to accomplish your intentions.
Schedule it! If we want something we have to MAKE TIME for it. Get a 2020 planner and schedule in time for exercise, spending time with loved ones, and doing things you love.
We've become so geared to making our todo lists for work and chores but not including our own self-care. If we really want to accomplish our goals for health and feeling great we would be wise to schedule them. Our schedule should reflect our priorities. Plus then you have the added reward of getting to check them off your list each day once accomplished!
Practice meditation. Is 2020 the year you'll begin a regular meditation practice? Meditation is known to increase endorphins and reduce cortisol levels in the body. Both of these things add up to feeling calmer, happier, and overall better about one's life. Meditation apps like insight timer or headspace can be helpful for beginners.
Begin with just five minutes of meditation a day focusing on your breath or watching how your mind moves. Let consistency be more important than duration. You can slowly build up to longer periods of meditating. Pay attention to how this practice is impacting your life. Hopefully, you will notice you are more mindful and more grateful than before.
Invest in a good night's sleep. Have you heard? Over-tired is out and well-rested is in. Let 2020 be the year you focus on healthy sleep for the sake of your physical and mental health. If you are sleeping on an old, lumpy mattress you inherited from your parents to take to college, go ahead and upgrade to a nice, firm mattress that actually supports your back.
Sleep hygiene is the practice of healthy sleeping. Basic sleep hygiene includes having a bedtime routine, cutting off screens or devices at least 30 minutes before bed, and only using the bed for 2 things: sleeping and sex. Healthy sleep hygiene cues your body that the bed means sleep.
Our bodies do the bulk of their detoxification and repair work while we slumber. This is a great time to apply Aromalief Lavender Calming Cream to help you calm the mind and relax the body. Make your bedtime routine a priority.
Enlist herbal support. Herbal supplements and teas can do wonders for inflammation in the body. Inflammation is a common cause of pain. Herbs like curcumin and turmeric are safe to take for most individuals and easy to find at your healthcare store. Herbs are great because they can be taken as capsules like a regular vitamin, a tincture for a potent dose, as tea, or infused into a salve. A simple turmeric latte each day could be a calming ritual with added benefits of reducing inflammation in your body. Studies have compared to turmeric's healing power to that of acetaminophen.
Some herbs or supplements may upset your stomach, so be careful if you take them regularly. Another option is to apply herb oils topically to areas where you are experiencing pain.
Try rubbing Aromalief into pressure points in your body for deeper topical relief. Massage your feet or low back with it. Other herbs known to reduce inflammation include rosemary, ginger, and white willow bark. If you have fibromyalgia read here on how to apply.
Receive regular bodywork like massage, chiropractic care, reiki, or craniosacral therapy. It has become apparent that bodywork is not just a luxury but a basic way to receive healthcare. Regular massage or chiropractic care increases our circulation, the flow of endorphins, reduces inflammation and helps heal injuries. Massage and chiropractic work are both known to reduce the incidence of migraines. Even subtle practices like reiki or craniosacral therapy go a long way towards pain management. All of these practices encourage mindfulness and awareness. Bodywork can help us hold better posture and find more joy and ease in our movement.
Practice affirmations & gratitude for your body. There is a lot of power in mind over matter. Our inner world creates our outer reality. Think of different parts of your body that you are grateful for and speak or write lovingly to yourself about that part of you. For example, "I am thankful for my legs because they carry me on long walks" or "I am thankful for my arms because they hug my children".
Affirmations are a positive phrase you repeat to yourself. These are especially helpful for those who struggle with anxiety, depression, or self-doubt. Some affirmations are "I move with grace and with ease", "I am strong and flexible", or "I release any feeling that doesn't serve me". Find the affirmation that feels right to you. By changing our mindset we set the stage for pure wellness.
Try yoga. If you haven't already, let 2020 be the year you try yoga. Instead of jumping into the advanced class, start with a beginner or basic class to get the foundational alignment of each pose. Not only does this prevent injury from overstretching it also boosts your confidence in being successful when you are ready to try more advanced poses. Many yoga studios offer monthly subscriptions so go ahead and commit to a weekly class this year.
Drink more water! Water is truly the elixir of life. Many of our ailments are actually caused by dehydration. Headaches, muscle cramps, dry eyes, constipation, brain fog and more can all be relieved by drinking more water. Water revitalizes our cells. It keeps everything flowing in our bodies, meaning it helps us get rid of the toxins and increase the good nutrients and oxygen circulating in our bloodstream. It helps our tissues repair after injury or exercise.
If you're a coffee or soda drinker, consider replacing one cup of coffee or soda with a glass of lemon water. Not only is this mix hydrating but lemon also aids in detoxification. Detox waters taste great and can be a nice switch if you aren't used to drinking plain water. One combination we love is a 2-inch piece of finely sliced ginger and half an orange sliced added to 1 quart of water. Let steep for as long as you are able and drink throughout the day.
Commit to regular exercise. Exercising regularly really is one of the best things you can do for your body and your pain management. And regularity is more important than the intensity of your workout. Can you commit to 20 minutes a day? Swimming 1x a week? What is realistic for you? How will you stay with it? Really ask yourself these questions and then make the commitment that you can stick with. Employ a tip from above and schedule your exercise time. Another idea: find a buddy! We are more likely to stay committed when working together.
What resolutions are you making to make 2020 pain-free and joyful?
This blog post is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure illnesses. Please consult a medical professional.
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