More than ever, it can be hard to find a sense of balance in life. It often feels that everyone expects you to be “on” all the time, from work to friends, family and relationships. It is easy to feel overwhelmed, especially with the added stress of the world coming at you through your smartphone. When so much is expected, it is a challenge to stay alert, energized and productive as well as get enough sleep, exercise every day, stay healthy and achieve all your goals.
Traditional Chinese Medicine focuses on balance; Yin Qi and Yang Qi. Qi is believed to be life energy, the flow of the body based on its environment. Yin and Yang are opposites, the former represents coolness, darkness and the latter light, dry and warming. Just like in the teachings of Traditional Chinese Medicine, we should all strive to find a better balance in life, so we put together a list of ways to help you balance work and life, self-care and wellness.
Here are some of our favorite ways to power up to start your day, power through and sustain energy throughout, and then wind down so you get enough rest to start again tomorrow.
Start your morning by practicing gratitude. Most people roll over, grab their phone, and check email or begin scrolling through social media from the night before. You can get into a negative mindset for the day if your first instinct is to read the news or work messages.
Before you get out of bed, take a moment to be grateful and sit with your thoughts. Start by making a mental list of just two or three things you are looking forward to in the day ahead, such as seeing your pet, going for a walk or even prepping a favorite meal. Consider starting a gratitude journal to write down and track progress. Taking time to appreciate what you have will help with attitude and happiness. Being happy is proven to help combat stress and even boost the immune system.
Stretching is another good way to start the day. Your muscles are tight after a night’s sleep, so it is important to release tension and physically prepare for the day. Stretching can help reduce stress, improve flexibility and even prevent physical injury. Begin your stretching ritual with deep breathing. To relax and calm down, make your exhale twice as long as your inhale. To energize, make your inhale twice as long as your exhale. If you need help with a breathing exercise, check out our guided post.
If you spend eight hours (or more) sitting at a desk staring at a screen (and that dreaded blue light), a morning workout might be the key to get you through. Exercising early in the day can help boost energy by kick-starting your metabolism. Lastly, be sure to eat a healthy breakfast with protein, carbohydrates and healthy fats to stay energized throughout the day.
You may be someone who likes to drink coffee all day long to help sustain your morning energy. While caffeine gives you an initial boost, it also leads to a crash later in the day. At NuTraditions®, we believe you can get more out of your coffee ritual by combining it with organic red ginseng. Try replacing your pot of coffee with just one of our Good Morning SunshineTM Coffee Pods. The organic red ginseng extract helps sustain the effects of caffeine so you will not have to brew more than one cup for the kick of energy you need to keep the day moving*.
It is also important to take breaks throughout the day, especially if you are working from home. Work can be consuming, but you are going to get lots more done if you take good care of yourself. Make time to go for a jog, walk your dog, step outside and call a friend, or even work on a passion project.
“Brain breaks” can also help boost productivity at work or studying. Work on a puzzle, read a book for leisure, or brush up on a new skill such as learning a language or creative writing.
It is important to completely disconnect from work at the end of the day. Experts say working overtime ruins productivity. So be sure to set boundaries and actually sign off when your workday officially ends – we also like to close the door to our office or pack up our remote “office” at the end of the day, so our home does not still feel like an office. This is a great way to signal its quitting time and take some time for yourself to focus on your personal life.
You need to spend time away from your screen. Power off the laptop, turn off your notifications, step away from and come back to reality. You get caught up in an assignment and it can drain your energy and leave you feeling tired and stressed. Consider meditation; just breathe and completely clear your mind.
Indulging in light physical activity, such as a walk around the neighborhood, can help you destress and prepare for the evening. Or, instead of moving from screen to screen, replace your television habit with a favorite hobby. Cook a healthy dinner with members of your household and use it as time to catch up and bond. Change into nighttime clothes, such as comfy sweats or pajamas, to help mentally step away from your day.
If you have trouble sleeping, NuTraditions Hello Dreams™ sleep strips can help*. The sleep strips incorporate melatonin and Calm Down™ herbs, our unique blend of jujube seed, poria, licorice root, Szechuan lovage rhizome, anemarrhena rhizome and luohanguo. While melatonin can help promote sleep, it does not necessarily improve sleep quality. The Calm Down™ blend is designed to aid melatonin, so you fall asleep, stay asleep and get a better night of rest*.
Keeping your energy levels up takes discipline, as does all self-care. Incorporating wellness into your routine with simple tactics such as taking time for gratitude, exercise, and adding supplements that aid energy and sleep are easy and impactful ways to a better you.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.