Here are ten tools I’ve been using to optimize my wellbeing. I’m not an MD, just a curious soul with a PhD in American Studies and a passion for vibrant health. Try and enjoy at your own risk.
1) Skip Dinner
No, I’m not talking diet or disorder. Skipping dinner gives your body more time to digest before sleep, which is the body’s repair time. If you’re still digesting while sleeping your body can’t repair itself properly. Cooperate with that god pod of yours; stop eating after 6p. Sure, I don’t always follow that idea. But when I practice what I preach I feel so much better.
2) Sleep (Your Way to the Top, as Arianna Would Say)
When you’re sleeping, your brain’s cleansing itself. Your cells are being repaired. Your system’s recalibrating. Why do you think you feel and look great when you had a good night’s sleep? Why do you think you feel and look lousy when you slept poorly? It’s related. Do yourself a favor and go to bed early (ideally 10p — yes, I can hear you going, “whaaaat?! So early?!). Getting up early has many perks too but the reason I recommend you hit dreamland before the coach turns into a pumpkin again is because between 10p and 2a is when most of the body’s repair magic is happening. Wanna stay juicy, perform at your highest, and look and feel amazing? Get a good night’s sleep.
3) Get Some Sunshine (and Vitamin D)
If you live above the Mason-Dixon Line, you can only make vitamin D from the sun between April and October. Supplement with vitamin D during the winter months to keep your immune system happy, bones strong, hormones humming, and mood up. If you can, getting your butt on a plane to a warmer climate is a nice move too. Again, balance is key. I’m not saying you should bake your sun-starved skin for hours in the hot noon light until it’s turned into leather. That’d be less than excellent. But 20 minutes of morning or late afternoon soon sun, depending on your complexion, will be satisfying. Here’s to living on the bright side!
4) Move It
It’s vital that you move every day. Whether you literally run errands, join a class at the gym, jog at the beach, do yoga, jump on a rebounder, lift weights, do body weight exercises, get up from your chair every 10 minutes, have dance breaks, simply stretch… move your body every day so that your chi, your energy, is circulating. It keeps your brain happy, your gut microbiota healthy, and your muscles sexy.
A juicy body hosts a bold brain. Reading actual books (electronic gadgets don’t count) nourishes your mind, enlivens your spirit, and soothes your body. Create new neuro-pathways, expand existing ones. There’s always more to learn, fresh connections to make, more vistas to see. Give yourself the gift of reading every night.
6) Be Light
Being light in the world is beautiful, and essential for wellbeing. Being light includes letting go of the past, expectations, and entitlements; shedding excess weight; doing good; inspiring yourself and others; lighting up the room when your enter; discarding clutter; honoring beauty; living love. And, funny enough, it’s all connected.
7) Eat Clean
If you’ve been following my work you know I’m passionate about awesome, organic food. It’s what I like to call Gratitude Food. It’s got to be both scrumptious and healthy. Ideally, you grow your own veggies and fruit and have your own beloved hens romping on grass in the spacious backyard. If you’re currently a city dweller like I am, do what you can. Join a CSA, buy organic, go to the farmers’ market, buy pasture-raised eggs as well as wild-caught fish or grass-fed and grass-finished meat if you choose to. Stay away from processed food. Know that sugar makes you fat, sick, and stupid. Read the ingredient labels of everything you consider buying. Honor your body with love and it’ll reciprocate with beauty. Beauty is health. Health is beauty.
8) Dream Big
Have a vision. Know what you’re wanting. Be bold. Be humble. Use your talents. Don’t hold back. What lights you up is what serves the world when expressed honestly. May you prosper as you’re blessing the world.
9) Practice Gratitude
Counting your blessings is a surefire way to ignite a cascade of joy in your brain. What are you grateful for today? Bathe your cells in that. When you focus on what’s great you naturally crowd out the junk. Gratitude stacks one amazing experience on top of another, on top of another, on top of another. You open your eyes and for the first time you realize you’ve had the ability to create heaven on earth all along.
Plug in. Tap in. Whether your medium of connection is meditation or prayer, at home or in nature or a community, find a way to plug into the cosmos. It doesn’t matter what you call it. When you get out of your own way and align with the flow of the universe, your life will get juicy. Promise.
How to Become & Stay Juicy What are you grateful for today? Bathe your cells in that. A juicy body hosts a bold brain.