For those in the northern hemisphere, the winter season brings shorter days with dark mornings, darker evenings, and for many, symptoms of winter blues. With less time for sunrays, we typically spend more time indoors, finding refuge in the comfort of Netflix and family.
Winter blues strike many of us, especially in the later months of the season, and can mark changes in mood and energy. While feelings of “blah” are often experienced during dismal winter months, you don’t have to succumb to the atmosphere. Low energy levels could stem from deficiencies in essential vitamins and minerals often depleted by the onslaught of a feeling of stress, poor nutritional choices, and the ever-waning hours of UV light.
Support Winter Health with Supplementation
A healthy lifestyle including a clean diet, consistent sleep habits, stress management, regular exercise, and self-care can go a long way to help manage your overall well-being. But if you can’t get healthy levels of essential vitamins and minerals naturally, especially during the dark months of winter, supplementation can be beneficial to bolster your health while you wait for the brighter, sun-loving months ahead.*
Minerals and Their Role in Winter Health
Minerals must be present in the body to achieve healthy cellular metabolism, the biochemical reactions that fuel the daily operations of a cell and maintain life. They build the structure of the body from the bones outward—you quite literally need them to live.*
Calcium, a commonly mentioned macromineral, is the most abundant mineral in the body. It’s found mainly in your teeth and bones. About 99 percent of calcium exists in your skeletal system. In the past, calcium has been widely portrayed as the key nutrient for bone health. And while it’s integral to build and maintain a healthy skeletal structure, this elemental mineral is only one player in a team of minerals that account for healthy bones and work to execute vital physiological processes throughout the body.*
Magnesium is another abundant mineral, a heavy hitter on the cellular level, that aids in many of our internal physiological functions. It’s an essential component that triggers over 300 enzyme reactions in the body. Despite this important role, most people don’t get enough of it.*
One of magnesium’s most important operations in the body, other than to help maintain bone density and healthy insulin function, is energy production. Converting the foods you eat into a usable form of cellular energy requires adequate levels of this important mineral. The body needs a large amount of this essential macronutrient to carry out these numerous functions throughout the body. Supplementation is a great option to promote optimal health.*
Vitamin D’s Role to Resist the Shorter Day Gloom
Vitamins, as we all know, are an essential part of our diet. They are vital to create important chemical reactions on a cellular level. Perhaps you’ve heard vitamin D referred to as “the sunshine vitamin”. This happy vitamin is as crucial to our health as it is our psyche.*
Occurring naturally when your skin is exposed to the sun, vitamin D signals a reaction to a “preform” of the vitamin that exists in the skin’s epidermis. So, when you’re exposed to the sun’s powerful UVB rays, the body goes to work producing vitamin D3. *
Vitamin D has many benefits, including bone health, immunity support, mood support, maintains blood pressure already in the normal range, and supports muscle strength. It’s true your body can create vitamin D naturally, but for those who live far from the equator, we often fall below adequate levels in the winter months.*
USANA® MagneCal D™ for a Brighter Season
Stress and poor dietary choices, hurdles we all face throughout the holidays, often hinder our pursuit for a healthy lifestyle. Optimal sleep, clean nutrition, and less sun heightens our risk to become deficient in vitamins and nutrients necessary to help us push through seasonal slumps. For example, without the proper levels of magnesium and calcium, the body begins to borrow from the skeletal system—a process called resorption. This natural process ensures you maintain the required level of these minerals to function. However, over time, mineral levels in the blood and in your bones can be negatively affected.*
USANA® MagneCal D™ combines an ideal ratio of 1:1 magnesium to calcium with the added boost of vitamin D. This smart combination provides the following benefits:
Ideally, we’d like to rely solely on our diet to provide appropriate levels of essential vitamins and minerals. But the truth is, most of us don’t regularly consume adequate levels because of the poor nutritional choices we make. Magnesium, calcium, and vitamin D, in combination, make up an important foundation for health. And MagneCal D is one small part of whole-body health. If you don’t have a scientist in the house, read more about the benefits of MagneCal D to help balance your mood, increase your energy levels, and support cardiovascular and bone health.*
*THESE STATEMENTS HAVE NOT BEEN EVALUATED BY THE FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION. THIS PRODUCT IS NOT INTENDED TO DIAGNOSE, TREAT, CURE, OR PREVENT ANY DISEASE.
Two-days’ worth of dirty dishes sitting in the sink. That stack of mail that’s been “on its way” to the post office for a month. And a nail-biting habit you thought you’d kicked is rearing its ugly head. Sound familiar?
You’re not the only one with a to-do list and no idea about where to find the motivation to start. But deep within you is the power to set goals and accomplish them. And you can unlock it with the science of self-motivation.
This intro course will provide you with the tools you need to get motivated to complete tasks and learn new things. Tapping into self-motivation is a talent in constant need of refining. So, get in the zone and learn how to get motivated—and stay that way.
What is Motivation?
Simply put, motivation is desire that focuses your behavior on a goal. It has roots in needs and wants, so it compels you to provide for your family and drives you towards personal improvement. And there are two main forces of motivation—external and intrinsic.
External motivation arises from factors outside of yourself. Money is a prime example of an external motivator because it’s necessary to buy food and have a place to live. External motivators can be thought of as rewards, too. A trophy, medal, or ribbon for competing in an athletic event. A performance bonus at work. Praise from your family members after you prepare a delicious meal. Each of these rewards are considered external motivators.
No surprise, intrinsic motivation comes from within. Curiosity, an interest in a particular topic, and desire to improve a talent or skill are intrinsic motivations. These types of self-motivation help you learn and become more capable.
Examples of intrinsic motivators vary from person to person. They are fostered by individuals and manifest themselves in many ways. Mastery of a piece of music. Reading for pleasure. Playing a game because you think it’s fun. Intrinsic motivation provides you with the power to do things you enjoy, simply because you enjoy them. And accomplish tasks you don’t enjoy because it will ultimately be good for you.
Biological Factors for Motivation
Whether it’s external or intrinsic, motivation originates in the amygdala—a grape-sized portion of the brain located in each hemisphere. So, like most things, the science of self-motivation starts in your brain. The amygdala is part of the limbic system, which controls your emotions and directs memory storage.
Your amygdala works with a hormone called dopamine. This neurotransmitter (a brain chemical messenger) is usually associated with pleasure. But dopamine has recently been linked to motivation, too. It’s still not clear exactly what the connection is, but researchers are continually investigating its role in the brain.
Here’s what is known: Brain-mapping techniques show that highly motivated people have lots of dopamine available in the right parts of their brains. When compared to less motivated people, go-getters don’t necessarily produce more dopamine. Rather, the hormone is concentrated in different areas of the brain; specifically, the striatum and ventromedial prefrontal cortex (VPC) in the brains.
The striatum is located at the center of the brain. It performs essential functions related to decision making, planning, and motivation. The striatum works in conjunction with the VPC. Located toward the front of the brain, the VPC also plays important roles in decision making and self-control. Both are critical to successful goal-getting.
Dopamine can also concentrate in the anterior insula, a section of the brain associated with emotion and risk. For individuals who struggle with self-motivation, it may be the case that a concentration in the anterior insula exists.
There is also growing evidence that you may be able to train your brain to become more motivated. That means directing dopamine towards the key areas of the brain mentioned above. This branch of science is still young, so you won’t find any tips right now. But as the understanding of dopamine and motivation grows, more valid methods for directing dopamine could also pop up.
Opposing Forces in Self-Motivation: Willpower and Procrastination
Two kinds of behavior meet motivation head on—willpower and procrastination. The former provides you with mental strength and fortitude. The latter distracts from the important tasks at hand. Both are extremely effective and can lead to dramatically different results.
Willpower is the ability to resist short-term gratification while chasing long-term goals. Think of ignoring the urge to indulge in high-calorie foods when you’re trying to lose weight. Whatever the end-goal, willpower is a tool to help you get there.
Armed with willpower, you may enjoy several positive life outcomes in addition to meeting goals. People with lots of willpower are shown to have:
Motivation and willpower are teammates in the game of personal improvement. Willpower fuels the self-motivation you need to set goals and achieve them. By setting aside behaviors or habits that can derail your progress, willpower can make you a champion of personal betterment.
Procrastination is willpower’s nemesis. It’s the act of avoiding or delaying work that must get done. While willpower strengthens your drive to tackle your to-do list, procrastination is the ultimate challenger to that endeavor.
You may have a hard time recognizing procrastination. It has several forms. At the most basic level, procrastination is putting off a task to be completed until the last possible moment. You fail to start a work assignment until a day or two before it’s due. Or you ignore the low fuel indicator and wait until your tank is on empty to fill up on gas.
It’s possible that your brain uses procrastination to temporarily relieve emotional stress. There is some evidence to suggest that procrastinating important projects provides short-term mood improvement. But when the stress-reducing effects wear off, you’re left with a lot of work to do in a short period of time.
Procrastination in any form eats away at your motivation to meet your goals. So, do yourself a favor and shut it down early, before it snowballs out of control. Instead, ramp up your willpower next time you feel motivated to get something done.
How to Get Motivated with Temptation Bundling and Habit Stacking
There are lots of tips and tricks to improve your self-motivation and dedication to your goals. Two great ones are temptation bundling and habit stacking. Each method helps reinforce your motivation for a particular goal, habit, or behavior. Try each out and see what works best for you.
It’s hard not to procrastinate when your favorite activities distract you from crucial work. Whether it’s exercise or household chores, these needs take a backseat to fun temptations. But what if you can actually mix work and pleasure?
Suppose you want to get caught up on your favorite TV show. Binge-watching TV is one of the least productive ways to spend your time. It’s relaxing, but spending hours in front of a screen dwindles your time to complete other tasks (and is terrible for your weight).
But if you pair your nightly TV time with something productive—like exercise or folding the laundry—you’ll fulfill your desire to watch the show and get things done at the same time. This partnering of activities you want to do with those you need to do is called temptation bundling.
It works like this: temptations (television) are only indulged at the same time as behaviors or tasks that need to be done (exercising or folding laundry). Associating necessary activities with a more pleasurable one helps essentials like household chores and physical fitness become more enticing.
This package deal is called a temptation bundle. And it can help you stop procrastination in its tracks.
This idea (also called habit chaining) relies on using old habits to support new ones. Daily actions that don’t require much effort (like established habits) can trigger the motivation to form new habits.
This concept relies on a phenomenon in the brain called synaptic pruning. Here’s how it works. Messages in your brain are carried across neurons via synapses. There are synaptic pathways all throughout your brain, but they are not all put to use. Some pathways are “pruned” or cut back, while others are used over and over.
Habits and routines are believed to mark the pathways you use frequently. That’s why it’s difficult to break old habits and create new synaptic pathways all at once. But this principle also allows new habits to “piggyback” on older, well-established ones.
Making small adjustments and adding new activities to your existing habit chain helps you take advantage of the previously developed synaptic pathways. Small incremental shifts in your daily routine allow for more manageable additions to stack on your brain’s well-established paths.
Soon, the struggle to begin a new routine is a thing of the past. Your brain is using its trusted synaptic pathways to support your growth and development.
Now imagine what habit stacking might look like in your daily life. Take drinking more water, for example.
Let’s say you have the habit of taking a 10-minute break each hour from your desk at work. You stand up, stretch, and use the restroom. If you want to work on staying hydrated, consider drinking a glass of water each time you head back to your desk. Adding a drink of water to your routine completes a new link to your chain of habits.
Pretty soon, drinking water regularly becomes second nature, just like your hourly leg stretch and walk around the office. Stacking new goals on top of existing habits supports their development and makes them easier to remember.
Here are some other examples of habit chaining:
Making a lunch for tomorrow as you put away leftovers from dinner tonight.
Adding flossing to your bedtime ritual after you brush your teeth and before you wash your face.
Hanging up your coat as soon as you walk in the house, then taking your shoes off and placing them in the closet, too.
Habit chains can be as long or as short as you need. After several weeks of practice, you may find your original chain has shaped a new routine of productivity. Put this motivational method to the test to achieve your goals.
Reinforce Your Motivation and GET. THINGS. DONE.
If there are goals you’re trying to meet or new habits you want to practice, know you have the tools to make it happen. You just need to put the science of self-motivation to work for you. Pull energy from whatever force motivates you (internal or external) and focus it on your goal. Draw on your willpower and put procrastination back in its place.
And if you need a little extra boost to see your motivation through to the end, implement temptation bundling or habit stacking. Make use of your powerful brain and the resources within you. They will support you and your dedication to achieving your goals.
It’s time to lighten your load—literally. Carrying around extra weight isn’t good for your body. You know that. But staying at a healthy weight is easier said than done. This weight management checklist helps you focus your energy on impactful activities. Start checking off items and building momentum to achieve weight management goals.
Maintaining a healthy weight is all about the balance of calories in and calories out. Use more than you take in and you lose weight. Do the opposite, and you gain. If they’re balanced, that’s how you maintain.
This means a focus on diet and exercise together. But this weight management checklist goes deeper and provides simple tips to get you started.
It’s time to start checking off some boxes.
Item 1: Set a Goal for a Healthy Weight
Determining your target weight isn’t a guessing game. There are many factors that can help you determine the right number for you.
The most common way to figure out a healthy weight is using the Body Mass Index (BMI). This is a ratio of your height to weight. This is going to involve some math, but you can do it (or use a BMI calculator). You can find your BMI with this equation:
Weight in Kilograms(kg)/(Height in meters)2
Here’s an example: Dave is 84 kg (or about 185 pounds) and 1.8288 meters (six feet tall). His BMI would be 25.1, which is just barely in the overweight range. (Here’s the math: 1.8288 squared is 3.345, and 84 divided by 3.345 is 25.1.)
Most of what you see about calories is based on an average diet of 2,000 calories per day for women and 2,500 a day for men. That’s a good starting place. But there are many factors to consider when assessing your daily calorie needs.
Weight and activity are probably the biggest considerations. A larger person needs more calories. That’s because you need more energy to move around more weight. And if you’re on the go a lot or you’re an athlete, you need more fuel to support that extra activity.
Age and sex are two other factors. Calorie needs decrease with age. And men need about 500 more calories per day (on average) than women. That’s mostly due to their overall larger size and the fact that they have a higher basal metabolic rate or BMR.
BMR is what your body burns at rest. About two-thirds of your calories are used this way—just to keep your body running smoothly. Those are like freebies. The rest of your calories are burned because of activities you do during the day.
There are calculators that will tell you your BMR and how many calories you need to maintain your weight. But for simplicity’s sake, if you’re a man, it should be around 2,500 calories. If you’re a woman, that number is around 2,000.
Use those as the starting point for maintaining a healthy weight. You can adjust your needs if you’re more active, larger, or have other health considerations.
Item 3: Design a Diet to Achieve Your Weight Management Goals
You know how much fuel (calories) your body needs. But counting calories is just a part of planning your perfect weight-management diet.
Protein (especially in the morning) and fiber are especially important. You only absorb half the available calories in fiber. And it helps you feel full for longer. Also, don’t forget to drink plenty of water.
The best exercise plan is one you can follow. That’s a popular saying, but it’s true (the same is true for your diet, too). You don’t want to make these common mistakes:
Starting at a higher level than necessary
Forcing yourself into activities you hate
Expecting results right away
Being honest with yourself about your fitness level will help you avoid jumping into something too hard. You really shouldn’t run before you walk. So, assess where you are and work—in steps, since health won’t happen all at once—to get where you want to go.
Taking an inventory of healthy activities you enjoy is essential to developing an effective exercise routine. You shouldn’t focus on running if you find it boring. Maybe playing a sport works better for you. Figuring out what you like to do will help you look forward to exercise instead of dreading it.
Also, properly set expectations. One trip to the gym isn’t going to reshape your body or improve your fitness. It’s a process. You have to burn 3,500 calories to eliminate a pound of fat. A good goal is using 500 more calories than you take in each day. That can lead to losing a pound a week.
And remember, exercise is only part of the equation. You can’t exercise your way out of bad eating habits. So, you need both as part of your weight-management plan.
Item 5: Plan Your Exercise Routine
You know what you like. You have properly set expectations. Now it’s time to plan.
Take the activities you like and figure out how many calories you’ll burn. Then figure out how many minutes are required to hit your goal for the day. You can find these estimates online or in a fitness tracker app.
Then carve out time in your daily schedule. Make sure to vary the activities so you don’t get bored or fatigue one part of your body too much. Ideally, you should get at least 150 minutes of exercise a week. The easiest way is to split that up into five, 30-minute sessions.
Item 6: Get Going
This is the simplest one on paper, but the hardest in practice. It’s also the most important part of any weight-management plan.
Understanding your calorie needs is great. Planning the perfect diet and exercise routine is important. Crossing off items on the weight management checklist builds momentum. But you’ll need action and perseverance to achieve your weight management goals.
So, put your plans into motion. Get out and move. And remember progress and consistency—not perfection—is what you want. You’ll have successes and snags, but focus on continuing to move forward, in the direction of your weight-management goals.
A simple way to put it is to be good—eat right and incorporate exercise—the majority of the days of the week.
Here at East Coast Life Solutions we know how easy it is to get off track after a busy socializing season and have many solutions to help you curb your appetite. Hop on over to our Special Offering page to see how to start the year off right with special product pricing.
It’s a chance to start over, make positive changes, and become a better you. And if you’re looking for some inspiration to lose weight and look your best in 2019, here are some helpful tips to get you moving.
Most new year’s weight-loss resolutions are forgotten before January ends. Too often we bite off more than we can chew. We make crazy diet and workout goals that are far too aggressive, get frustrated, and quit. The key to your resolution success is to be consistent. Make small changes you can maintain. Things like portion control, drinking more water, tracking your exercise, and working out with friends can have big results providing you stick with it.
Action-Oriented Goals, Not Open-Ended Ones
Sure, you want to look better in 2019, but open-ended goals usually fall short. Instead of saying to yourself, “I want to lose weight,” try to think in terms of action-oriented, definable goals. For example, plan to walk 30 minutes three times a week. Instead of going strict vegan or jumping into a Paleo diet, try adding a green vegetable to every meal. Realistic goals equal real results.
Go Take a Walk
Speaking of walking 30 minutes a day, did you know a half-hour walk can burn up to 300 calories? That might not sound like much, but over the course of a year, it can make a big difference. Walking is a low-impact exercise, meaning it’s easier on your joints. The benefits of physical activity depend on three elements: intensity, duration, and frequency. Because walking is less intensive than running, you’ll have to walk for longer periods to get the same results.
Anytime you get your heart rate up, you’re doing your body a favor. Exercise makes the heart beat faster, and over time, strengthens the heart. Cardiovascular exercise improves blood circulation and can help with your mood. Find a good podcast or audiobook or invite a friend to take a walk around the block after work.
You Can’t Outrun Your Fork
There are approximately 3,500 calories in a pound. That means to lose or gain a pound, you have to burn or consume an additional 3,500 calories. Over the holidays, most of us probably overindulged a bit. Don’t worry. Slips don’t become falls in your overall health journey when you choose to get back on track.
Something I did last year that had a big impact, but felt very manageable, was to eliminate one bad eating habit each month throughout the year. For January, I gave up all soda. In February, I stopped eating donuts and bagels. In March, I made sure to eat at least two servings of vegetables for lunch and dinner. Pretty soon, I started to see results, and because it was a gradual replacement of bad foods with good ones, I found I had more energy and felt better.
Keep a food journal as you make your new year changes. Write down all of your meals and snacks. Be honest. When you examine your diet, you’ll see areas where you can improve and be able to celebrate the smart decisions you’ve made.
Love Your Workout
There’s nothing worse than signing up for a gym membership at the beginning of the year only to quit going after a couple of weeks. Not only is it a waste of money, it can be pretty disheartening. Also, sometimes those big box gyms can be pretty intimidating when you’re starting a new workout program. Instead of committing to a long-term gym membership, think about the activities you are interested in and find out if they have introductory classes. Lots of times, the first class is free.
Sign up for a boxing lesson or try out a yoga class. Maybe you’ve always wanted to try Zumba or join a cycling group. It doesn’t matter what you do to get moving, just make sure it’s an exercise program that’s interesting and something you like. It’s already hard to get motivated to work out; don’t make it worse by doing something you hate.
It seems simple enough, but getting enough water is important to a successful workout program. Not only do you need water to stay hydrated, but drinking water can also help lubricate your joints, help with digestion, regulate body temperature, and aid in other essential body functions. Best of all, water has zero calories.
Make sure to drink enough water before and after your workouts. Your body needs water to help energize muscles and support your kidneys. Fluids also help your body flush and remove waste.
Drink water during each meal. Keep a bottle of water with you in your car, at your desk, or in your bag. And add to your hydration by eating more water-filled fruits and vegetables. About 20 percent of our fluid intake comes from food.
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So, what are you waiting for? Get started today and kick-start your new healthy lifestyle. Let us know in the comment section how your RESET challenge goes. And share some of your success stories as you strive to achieve your New Year resolutions.
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Take a deep breath and get ready to turn the page. It doesn’t matter whether it’s the start of a new year or just time for a change. Whatever the last period of your life represented, now is the time to plan ahead and shift your energy in a new, better direction. Forget what’s bogging you down and focus on simplifying so you get down to the important things in life. That starts with decluttering. Rid yourself of unnecessary worries mentally, while also decluttering your physical spaces.
Decluttering can go deeper than just cleaning or organizing, too. It’s a chance to focus on choosing what’s really needed and what’s not. Making these decisions is paramount. That’s because it’s never a bad time to hit the reset button. You just have to be willing to take the required steps to do so. Whether that’s throwing away clothes that have sat in your closet for too many years, or even taking a break from continuously scrolling social media. Everybody needs a little push when searching for ways to declutter physically and mentally.
If you’re overwhelmed with everyday life, or have a hard time taking a break for yourself, you’ve come to the right place. With a little help from the list below, you can find what’s most important and methodically trim everything else. And whittling your life down to the essentials can help you focus and feel less overwhelmed.
Follow this rundown to identify issues, digesting what’s wrong, and find different decluttering methods and set yourself up for future success.
Item 1. Identifying the Clutter in Your Life
Clutter is everywhere. In your house. In your head. On your phone.
It’s nearly impossible to escape from your busy life these days. And the more you take on, the more clutter creeps in. Disorder takes you away from everything else on your to-do list. It preoccupies you with routine tasks rather than focusing on truly experiencing your life and planning for a better future.
To tackle the clutter, first you need to identify what truly has sentimental value, what you cannot live without. So, you have to be honest with yourself. Sometimes brutally so. Look closely at that old gift on your desk. Forget about what it might’ve cost a friend five years ago and ask what it means to you now. Think about the decorations you’ve been keeping in the closet just in case. Will you ever use them?
List what’s really important in your life and make those your categories to label items. Identify what fits in each category. And as for everything else? If it doesn’t fit in a category, serves no proper function, or has no emotional importance, chuck it. If you have too many of the same sort of item, get rid of the extras. Decluttering your life can help you take control.
Item 2: Focus on Decluttering One Spot at a Time
It’s easier to target a certain spot in your house when starting a serious clutter detox. Otherwise, the task can feel too big to tackle. Remember, little bites will still get the task done. So, make a game plan—breaking the task into parts will help you—and follow it as closely as possible.
Start with an easy spot. Getting that first decluttering win will give you momentum. The desk in your home might be the easiest spot to target. That’s where work and life clutter seems to collide most often. But it’s also small, contained, and can count as impacting two aspects of life. First, find defined areas for work and home. One side of your desk could be business-specific: notes, files, projects, etc. The other can be where you store day-to-day items like headphones, checkbooks, and more. (Don’t forget to weigh what’s important and what’s just clutter.)
Next, open the fridge and toss out anything that looks bad or smells worse. If you haven’t used something but need to, plan a meal around the foods or condiments in your fridge that are nearing their end. You’ll feel better than just dunking it in the trash. Same goes with the freezer. If you get a little angry with yourself every time you open it up, commit to making the best possible meal with what’s packing the freezer.
Now you have momentum and can start tackling the bigger areas of your house. Work your way up to what is likely the most arduous task—tackling your sleeping quarters head-on.
Luckily, there’s a four-container method you can use. Make four piles: trash, give away/sell, storage, and put away. By containing the clutter in specific categories, you’re better able to distance yourself from what is an absolute must and what no longer qualifies. Anything you don’t need or want, toss it in the trash or give-away pile. If something is broken and doesn’t need fixing, toss it. For necessary, important items, place them in storage or just put them in their proper place.
And the four-container method isn’t just for the bedroom. It can be applied to any room in your house.
One more tip: If you’re having a hard time parting with some things, think of the decluttering like this: you’re making room for the things that matter.
Item 3. Decluttering Your Digital Spaces
If you can’t find that photo of an old vacation you want to share on social media, consider this: Compartmentalizing and decluttering your life digitally might be just as important as in real life.
Now that everyone is glued to screens nearly every day, your digital life should be as comfortable and clutter-free as your physical one. Start with your phone.
Better organize your apps. Putting them in folders or creating some kind of order helps a lot. That way, the next time you really need your travel app you can scroll right to it.
If you’re on your desktop or laptop, trash files that aren’t useful anymore. And organize those that remain. Accessing your own vital information should be easy—instead of a chore. Just like you can do on your phone, organize everything into folders on your desktop to avoid searching for documents with names you can’t exactly remember.
And if you’re really looking to trim down the digital clutter, consider the amount of devices you have. Do you really need a laptop, smartphone, and a tablet? You can also put respective time blocks on each, making sure that when your allotted time on each is reached, you put it down.
Item 4. Be Screen Savvy for Some Mental Decluttering
There is more clutter in life than too many clothes or cramped desk space. One of the most important of all detoxes could be one from the world you live through your smartphone. All the stimuli from social media and other screen-based time drains.
New operating systems now update you weekly about how much screen time you’re averaging a day. If you need another reminder that your life is dominated by screens, take a look. The reports might help shape your behaviors. Depending on what you see, you might want to declutter your mental state by cutting out some screen time.
Studies show social media detoxes might be worth it because they can help improve your overall mood. It might also help you feel less competitive with strangers that always seem to be living their best life. You can also conquer your FOMO (fear of missing out). This type of detox (even if it’s brief) can slow the digital stimuli to help you live more in the present and realize that life before social media was just as rewarding.
Cutting yourself off from social media altogether might not work for you. There are plenty of good things about social media (like the Ask the Scientists Facebook page!). But placing limits can help you declutter your mind and your life. And the free time and mental energy you obtain can be put to good use in different ways that you might’ve forgotten about since the apps have taken over.
Item No. 5 Decluttering Your Schedule
Finding room for yourself in the midst of your to-do list is another key decluttering task. The good thing is, you have some control to prioritize your schedule the way you want.
But sometimes that means skipping events—especially those you know will be disappointing or underwhelming. Saying no isn’t bad. So, rid yourself of that stigma.
And remember, it’s OK to put yourself first, too. There’s nothing wrong with rolling with an urge to see a movie, take a walk, or sit in a coffee shop reading a book. You don’t always have to be making others happy. Declutter your schedule so you have time to enjoy yourself.
Mental clutter so often generates stress, which has ties to several negative effects on your mind and body. But physical clutter can also be stressful.
Researchers discovered a direct correlation between clutter and stress. They explored the relationship between 32 families and objects in their homes. Turns out, clutter has a serious effect on mood and overall self-esteem. So, more stuff, more dishes, and more clutter equals rising anxiety.
Physical clutter has damaging potential, too. It can be a serious fire and tripping hazard in your home. Physical clutter might also be a resting place for dust, mold, and animal dander. All of these can be harmful to those who suffer from allergies and asthma.
There’s No Better Time Than Now to Declutter
You have so many different ways to declutter. Embrace the diverse options for ridding yourself of things you don’t need or harmful habits. There is nothing like a fresh start. So, instead of putting things off, instead of ignoring it all over again, get to work.
Do your best to simplify and rid yourself of the trinkets you don’t use. Give away the clothes you don’t wear. Cut down your digital stimuli by limiting screen time.
The clutter doesn’t have to stress you out. So, take a breather. Get to work and see just how much you can accomplish when you take a step back and realize how freeing decluttering your life can be.
Had to share this article it has many great tips and tricks to help you with beginning the years off lighter and clutter-free. It’s very liberating, like lifting a weight off. We would love your feedback of what you thought and the steps you are talking to de-clutter.
Thriving health and spirit during New Year celebrations makes your time with loved ones even more enjoyable. This Chinese New Year, we’ve bundled our favourite products to make your gift giving more thoughtful. Carry on the spirit of good fortune when they unwrap our Prosperity Pack and Wellness Packs.
Plus, you’ll receive a FREE Chinese New Year pouch with each Prosperity and Wellness Pack purchase.
Prosperity Pack: CoQuinone™ 100 and Proflavanol® C100 + FREE Chinese New Year Pouch
Wellness Pack: USANA® Probiotic, USANA® Digestive Enzyme, and Hepa Plus® + FREE Chinese New Year pouch
The USANA Prosperity Pack will help bring vitality through added antioxidant support and cardiovascular health. The Wellness Pack combination is packed with supplements for friends and family to enjoy.
These celebratory New Year packs are available from January 4 to February 15, 2019. Purchase your packs soon to take advantage of this limited-time offer. While you’re there, check out our exciting skincare offer to help you glow in the new year.
This winter, share the radiance of the season with the USANA Celavive Winter Glow Trio, a collection of our top skincare products. For a limited time, when you purchase the Hydrating Eye Essence and Vitalizing Serum, you’ll receive a FREE Perfecting Toner. Download this image to share on social and include a personalized message about how you use—and love—Celavive!
There’s a new trending practice across Insta-feeds, Pinterest boards, and coffee shop chatter: how to be mindful. Practicing mindfulness is about focusing yourself on the present and being intentional throughout your day. So, if you find yourself distracted while you read this, or if your mind feels too cluttered, learning to practice mindfulness can help you feel lighter and refocus your day.
Mindfulness has several definitions:
The mental state achieved by focusing on awareness of the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting feelings, thoughts, or bodily sensations.
The self-regulation of attention with an attitude of curiosity, openness, and acceptance.
The ability to be fully present, aware of where you are and what you’re doing, while not getting overwhelmed by what’s happening around you.
Mindfulness is a personal practice, so it’s fine to craft your own definition.
There are three foundational principles of mindfulness:
The goal of mindfulness is to set an intention with a purpose. Your intention can flow into a relationship, an objective at work, better mental health, or improving your self-esteem. Your intention for the day can even be as simple as taking time to breathe.
This step is your starting point to become a more mindful person. It’s all about experiencing life and recognizing if you are or are not present in the moment. Awareness isn’t about staying on track 24/7 or daydreaming your day away. By taking time to realize if you are present in the moment, you’re gently nudging your brain back to focus on the here and now. Awareness is as simple as acknowledging you feel “this way,” or are thinking about “that.” It’s the first step to recognizing your present reality.
Acceptance is perhaps the most freeing aspect of mindfulness. If you ever feel frustrated with yourself, practising mindfulness can help. It’s normal to get distracted, daydream, or get caught up in emotion. Yes, it’s even okay to do so (gasp!). Accepting your thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations will allow you to notice their value or effect to then move on. Dwelling on things you cannot change can send you down a spiral of agitation, discontent, and leave you at a standstill.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, panicked, or anxiety-ridden, intentionally redirect your attention. Don’t beat yourself up for feeling what you do. Adjust your focus to the sound of a coworker’s keyboard, the stitching on the steering wheel, the weight of your body on the bed, the expanse of your breath.
Several techniques and resources are available to easily cultivate mindfulness as a daily practice.
1. Getting in the Right Headspace™
This app is a treasure trove of thought-provoking and calming messages to help you practice mindfulness throughout the day. Most of the 15–30-minute sessions are led by a mindfulness expert. Each gets you calm, present in the moment, and leaves you with tips you can recall any time you need them.
Both meditation sessions and mindfulness sessions cover an array of focuses, sleep sessions, sleep sounds, and more. The Headspace app is free to download at the App Store or Google Play and has a plethora of free sessions. There’s also a paid plan option for any serious mindfulness gurus.
2. Meditation Class Is in Session
Let’s try a few moments of meditation. Find someone to read this to you in a calm voice, pausing a few minutes after each step.
Gently let your eyes close.
Settle in and feel your feet on the floor, your spine stacked, your hands in your lap.
Take a moment to focus on your breath.
Feel the weight of your diaphragm change as you take a deep in-breath…and now a long out-breath.
If your mind has drifted off, acknowledge that thought. Accept it, without judging it.
Gently bring your attention back to the body, acknowledging any sensations, tension, or pain.
Let those sensations exist. Give them room in your body to be.
Turning your attention back to the breath, feel the weight of your diaphragm change as you take a deep in-breath…and now a long out-breath.
When you’re ready, open your eyes.
Do you feel refreshed, lighter, more mindful?
3. The Game of Life
Living is complex, chaotic, exciting, enthralling, and a swirling mass of all those things together. Pick an area of your life you’d like to improve, be more attentive to, or gain more from. Practising mindfulness around a main area of your life can reap amazing benefits.
Let’s see which of these best fit your situation:
• Mindful Eating
Nutrition is a large part of your daily routine. It can be either fuel or frustration, depending on your eating habits and relationship with food. Intuitive eating mixes nutrition with mindful practices to help strengthen your body and your mind. There’s even a Mindful Eating Guide on Health Line’s website that’s a fantastic starting point to stay present in and out of the kitchen.
• Mindful Parenting
Piles of laundry and toys + raging teenage hormones + homework on the new math system x crying terrible twos + navigating a first-time crush = one majorly exhausted parent. Mindful parenting techniques can turn the crazy times with your kids into manageable moments of love and growth. Taking time to slow down and be present not only makes things easier for you, it does the same for your child. A brave paediatrician tells her story for practising mindful parenting—it starts with ending perfectionism.
• Mindfulness at Work
The grind. The nine-to-five. Payin’ dem bills. A big majority of our life is spent at work, behind the desk, punching the time clock. It’s easy to just go through the motions, without being present and intentional about the work we’re doing or the interactions we have. There are realistic ways to be more mindful in the workplace, though. Make it a priority to take breaks to clear your mind and refocus on your next task. Remember to actively listen to conversations you have by making solid eye contact. You could even try email meditation. Check out this great article for more mindful workplace tips.
• Mindful Students
Teachers recognize the flood of information that comes at students is a lot to process. Even the quick switch from subject to subject can leave children on autopilot. That’s why some teachers are starting their lesson plans with a daily mindful moment for themselves and their students.
Now you better understand what being mindful means, take the next five minutes to be in the moment, accept yourself, and direct your attention with intention. Remember, your mind is becoming a non-judgmental zone—soft lighting, river sounds, and all. Take a deep in-breath…and exhale.
It’s said, “It’s not what you do between Thanksgiving and New Year’s that matters most for your diet, it’s what you do in between New Years and Thanksgiving that counts.”
Makes sense. Throughout the year, we try to make healthy choices, maintain a good diet, and get plenty of exercise. But during the holiday season, we celebrate together, and more often than not, indulge in food and drinks outside of our normal habits.
Eat Mindfully, Not Mindlessly
With all these temptations, you’ll want a plan in place so you won’t pack on the pounds while you enjoy the festivities. Add Nutrimeal™ as a meal replacement, and you’ll savor the holidays while maintaining a healthy diet.
Try This, Not That
Nutrimeal is a low-glycemic shake, rich in dietary fiber and protein. Available in chocolate and vanilla flavors, Nutrimeal is the perfect, satisfying meal when you’re on the go. Best of all, it’s a great base to build your personalized shake. Blend it with fruits or vegetables to give it an extra flavorful boost. Or get into the season with these holiday-themed recipes. No matter how you enjoy Nutrimeal, you’ll get the following benefits:
15 grams of protein and 8 grams of fiber
Complete non-GMO protein
Low-glycemic index to help reduce carbohydrate cravings and provide sustained energy, to help keep you feeling fuller, longer
As you get ready for your next family gathering, try these simple tricks to sample all your yummy favorites without the overeating misery:
Portion control. Don’t deprive yourself, just eat smaller portions and less often.
Eat when you’re hungry. Don’t eat just because food is available.
Slow down. Enjoy each bite and put your fork down as you chew.
Pay attention. Mindlessly snacking can lead to overeating. Make each meal count.
Sneak in a workout. It won’t offset all the calories you might eat, but it’ll help.
Know when and where you’ll be eating. You’re less likely to overdo it if you know you’ll be joining family for a larger dinner.
And when you’re making your holiday plans, add Nutrimeal into your routine. With these convenient, travel-sized pouches, you’ll be able to shake up some goodness as you rush from the office party to your next family function.
There’s so much to love about the holidays. Changing weather, outdoor activities, time with family and friends, and delicious baked treats. Indulging in your favourite goodies doesn’t mean you have to put your healthy eating goals aside. With some inventive ingredient substitutions, you can enjoy a sweet, guilt-free holiday.
Flour, sugar, and butter are staple ingredients for baking. There are many healthy baking substitutions available, so take some time to discover those right for you. But here are a few of the more common, healthier substitutes you can try the next time you bake.