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Do and Feel Better in 2021

H2O my friend

Most of us really underestimate the power of drinking water. It’s such a simple thing to add to our daily routine, but yet we forget or rather choose a different type of beverage be it coffee, soda, juice or maybe even alcohol. My experience is that drinking a glass of water enhances your ability to feel better quickly. Sometimes we confuse hunger for thirst or exhaustion, due to lack of caffeine or even sluggishness due to inadequate sleep. Although those alternatives can play a role, by drinking water you will surely gain more benefits and you might even skip the alternative options because it turns out getting some H20 was more than adequate for your needs.

Set those goals

Having goals and dreams combined with having a plan of action can reduce symptoms of anxiety, hopelessness and even a lack of energy. Not everyone is a fan of setting New Year’s resolutions but that is just a name for creating goals at the beginning of the year. Ignore the traditional label and rather think of it as ‘enhancing my life ideas’. When you have a goal or a dream you want to work for, your purpose for getting up in the morning can be a lot easier. I’ve found that sometimes approaching your goal ideas differently can also help you achieve them. For instance, instead of saying you want to eat healthier and/or lose weight, you can rather say” I’m going to eat less take out or I want to spend less time lying on the coach so that I can exercise more.” Changing the angle of approaching your goals can make a huge difference. My dad used to tell me “If you want more of something, you’ve got to have less of something else”. So, choose what you want more of and decide to do less of the things that are keeping you from doing what you actually want to do.

Sleep sleep sleep

Oh sleep, what a precious thing you are! In this day and age, we are so distracted by social media, television, gaming or just plain wasting time, which results in us actually feeling exhausted all the time. Why do we do this to ourselves? Why do we stay up late because we still need to finish house chores or finish up work or school projects just because we didn’t use our time wisely earlier in the day? Our priorities have gone out the window because we crave entertainment. We want to escape reality for a while, while it can be costing our productivity, achievements and even happiness the next day. There is a saying ‘Do what you have to do first before you can do what you want to do’. These are words to live by if you really want to get more sleep. Sleep not only releases serotonin and dopamine which are the feel-good hormones, it also keeps your skin looking good, reduces crankiness and helps with your health. Your body will then be able to recover from the day-to-day stress, bad diet, lack of exercise and issues you have to deal with on a daily basis which can lead to feeling emotional, frustrated, depressed and even anxious. The brain needs time to put all the things you’ve experienced throughout the day back into the ‘boxes’ in your brain in order to recover for the requirements of the next day. Having a lack of sleep usually not only affects the following day but even the day after that too, and you definitely don’t want to feel like a zombie most of the time. So, plan your days well, do what needs to be done at home and get into bed. Trust me, you won’t regret a second of it.

Good nutrition

Food is fuel to our bodies and our minds. When we lack good nutrition due to an unbalanced diet, we aren’t taking care of ourselves. Since our lifestyles are so fast paced, we usually just grab the first best thing we can find like a sandwich or an energy bar, soft drinks or countless cups of coffee. Many of us even skip meals during the day only to feel depleted at the end of the day and wonder why we feel cranky or exhausted. I have found that the best way to eat well is to set up a plan. Look up a few recipes for easy and healthy meals and snacks. Take one day or even just half a day in a week and do some food prep by pre-packaging your snacks, prepare the vegetables and fruit in advance or even cook a few meals and freeze them. By having some preparations in place, you are actually ensuring that you can maintain a healthy and nutritional diet without feeling rushed or unprepared and losing out on all the benefits of living a healthy lifestyle.

Up your vitamin intake

The Coronavirus turned the world upside down during 2020 and we are still fighting it at the beginning of 2021. Now more than ever our immune system has to be taken care of as that is the main thing that can possibly protect you from getting sick. By ensuring you take your vitamins you will not only boost your energy levels, get more nutrients and minerals in because our diet isn’t always sufficient and most importantly help to support your immune system. We here at IPS believe that prevention is better than cure, so invest in your health and you will be investing in your future.

Smell really, really good

Someone who smells really good always stands out in a crowd for me. To me it says they are confident, well taken care of and proud of who they are. Although we won’t like every one’s choice of perfume or cologne, having a wonderful scent that follows you throughout the day can make you feel good. Try and invest in a good bottle of perfume or cologne. Mine is La Vie Est Belle by Lancôme or Chance by Chanel. Yes, they are pricey, but it lasts long, and it certainly gives me confidence which makes me feel fantastic!

Move that body

I am a bit tired of hearing that exercise is good for you. I know it is, but it is just so much effort which I don’t have energy for most days. When I think back to when I was training for the Om die Dam Half Marathon in 2016, I was not only in such good shape, but I was also able to handle the work stress I had at the time. By exercising your body releases serotonin (the feel-good hormone), you teach yourself to have discipline and you also learn that you can conquer more than you think. Your brain is so powerful and getting in any form of exercise in a day will really enhance your coping mechanisms, improve your sleep quality, and also supply you with energy to get through your day. And then we are not even talking about looking better or toning up a bit. Try it this year and see how it changes your life. Feeling good for the win and enjoying life to the fullest is something I’m sure we all crave.

Take care of your emotional well-being

During this Covid-19 pandemic, we have all been faced with the reality that life is short, and our loved ones are our loved ones for a reason. Too often we allow small disagreements or misunderstandings to become big weights between us. Weights so big that it drives us so far apart it becomes almost insurmountable later on. My encouragement for 2021 is to forgive and move on. Talk things out, learn from your mistakes and let love be the bigger emotion in every situation. When someone is gone, they can never come back, but you can live with a void or guilt for the rest of your life and that is a burden no one wants to carry.

The way we feel impacts every aspect of our lives whether we want to admit it or not. Aren’t you also tired of just getting through the day and not enjoying life as much as you could? Even though we don’t have an influence on what life throws at us, we can work on how we handle it. So, focus on what you can do, and I’ll bet you will be able to handle the things you can’t do anything about a lot better. Happy New Year and make this an enjoyable feel-good year!