These are simple steps to improve your health and quality of life.

What is your daily routine? What takes up most of your time? What keeps you active and productive?

Maintaining your productivity during the pandemic is tricky. With the lockdown and stay-at-home policies in place, almost everyone is having to learn to deal with increased time on their hands. If you are like me, you are probably honing new skills or learning a new language or even making DIY recipes in the comforts of your own home. 

Although it is fulfilling to be productive, and work on some passion projects, while the world is taking a slow turn, the pandemic should not pressure you to do so. You can still be productive by doing activities that feed your mind (e.g., reading or writing a book or binge-watching your favourite series) or have a quick check on your own health and daily wellness.

You have probably heard about the importance of a healthy lifestyle and how it can lead you to a happier life. But you do not have to pressure yourself or turn the world upside down to achieve this.

Do not feel bad if you know unhealthy habits and vices have crept your routine. The important thing is that you recognize them and you are willing to work to make a change.

Having a daily wellness routine not only makes you more active, but it also reduces the need to waste time deciding what to do next.

Below is a list of things you can do to have a holistic lifestyle and eradicate the guilt of being less productive.

1. Exercise – You do not have to work out like it is your profession. Just 30 minutes every day can make a difference! Working out daily, in the morning, increases your energy levels, improves blood circulation, and helps boost mental health. Mix up (every other day) cardio and weights, throughout the week, for all-over toning and wellness.

If you are currently already doing this much or more, you are on the right track!

2. Meditate – Breathe. Be aware of the universe, the material essence, and the core of you. Meditation is one of the ways to take care of your mind, body, and soul. In this time where pandemic anxiety is on a trend, studies have shown that meditation can have a positive effect on coping up with depression and anxiety.

A research review from 2014 by John Hopkins Medicine shows that 30 minutes of meditation is a healthy addition to your daily wellness and promotes self-awareness. If thirty minutes sound like a lifetime to you, you can start with 5 to 10 minutes to adapt to the activity. Then, once you are comfortable, continue increasing until you get to 30 minutes, or whatever feels best for you.

3. Sleep! – Yes, it sounds obvious, but if you want to feel your best, then you must get enough sleep. Most experts recommend that getting between 7 to 10 hours of sleep per night helps keep the immune system humming and reduces the likelihood of illnesses. 

Try your best to get to bed before midnight. That way, your body will go through a full REM sleep cycle and will wake feeling rested and renewed.

4. Listen to Podcasts – While working on your side projects, why not listen to podcasts to allow yourself to learn new things while getting entertained? Often packed with information and light-hearted banter, podcasts are incredibly engaging and awe-inspiring platforms that are worthy of your attention, in these trying times and amidst the boredom. Podcasts can help you feel empowered and they also teach you to become a better listener. It is also a platform for new insights and powerful discussions for a better perspective. 

While you are at it, tune in to GriPSSI Podcast series and listen to inspiring stories that help educate and empower women to be the best versions of themselves!

5. Drink Water – The first thing you should do before you start your day is drink a tall glass of water. In the nighttime, your metabolism decreases as your body sleeps — thus, it needs some time to get going in the morning. If you kick off your day immediately with breakfast, your metabolism is going to be slow at breaking the food down. A glass of water serves as an alarm clock to let your body know that it is time to start working.

6. Eat a Healthy Diet – It is not rocket science that having a healthy diet is imperative for daily wellness. A healthy diet includes a variety of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, good fats, and lean proteins to fuel your body with the right vitamins and energy. Eating healthy also means avoiding foods with high amounts of salt and sugar. I know most of you are stuck in your homes, but do not let this plunge you into overeating and neglecting your diet routine.

Also, avoid caffeine in the late afternoon and evening, as it will usually prevent you from sleeping soundly at night.

It is not necessary to accomplish everything on the above list, all at once. Start by picking out three or five action items and work on incorporating them into your daily wellness routine. In time, you can start doing the whole list at once and before long, you will be seeing great changes in your lifestyle.

As you start making changes, remember that wellness is a journey. Strive for progress — I am rooting for you.

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