January always seem to be the month of new beginnings, making goals, and looking ahead to creating better and healthier habits. The changes start internally, but hopefully have a lasting effect on our well beings and that of our family, friends, and world around us. Not surprisingly, by February many of us have moved back into our normal routines and our goals have gone by the wayside. Or perhaps we were so overwhelmed from the holidays, we never had a chance to focus on ourselves, but were simply in recovery mode. So I was surprised to find that February is known as the “Plant the Seeds of Greatness Month” and I’m excited I am given another chance to look at the future and perhaps plant my seeds this month.
“Awake, arise, and assert yourself, you dreamers of the world. Your star is now in ascendancy.”
At New Jammies our motto is Eat Right, Play Right, Sleep Tight. These are three areas of our lives that are essential to good health and overall well being. I’d like to take a look at a few steps we could take to improve these areas and help plant your seeds of greatness.
- Shop the perimeter of the grocery store. Our basket should be filled with less packaged/processed goods and more whole grains, fresh fruits, vegetables, dairy, meats, and fish.
- Add a new organic or local product to your list. It can be hard to buy all organic and/or all local due to numerous factors including availability and budget. Pick one of your regularly purchased items and commit to making sure it is organic, GMO free, or locally produced in a sustainable manner.
- Eat your veggies. Try a new vegetarian or vegan recipe to add to your rotation of regular meals. There are so many resources now for inspiring vegetarian meals, the world is your oyster. (mushroom, that is..)
- Keep it fresh. Get out and try a new activity you’ve never done before. It seems like there are never ending new options for exercise these days. Maybe if your a road runner, hit the trail. You’re a downhill skier: skin uphill. You’re a yogi, try pilates. You’re a mountain biker: try road biking. You love the gym: try a new class, an outdoor group sport (frisbee), golf, or a hike in the woods. You’ll work your mind and your muscles in a different way and probably feel like a kid again.
- Get outside. The days are getting longer. Take your routine outside, even if it means bundling up.
- Just do it. Period! As parents we often put our children, partners, work, and just sustaining our day to day life before taking time for ourselves. Commit to one, two, or more days a week to just do an activity for yourselves. This might mean getting up earlier or asking a spouse, friend, or relative for help, but a healthy body is a healthy mind for us to be the best we can be.
- Value Sleep. This is the time our body and mind needs to heal and be re-energized for a new day. ” Research shows that poor sleep has immediate negative effects on your hormones, exercise performance and brain function.” (Healthline-17 Tips to Better Sleep) Don’t take it for granted and set yourself up for the best sleep possible with a few tips highlighted here.
A. Reduce screen time before bed.
B. Don’t drink caffeine late in the day
C. Think before you drink that relaxing glass of vino or beer.
D. Don’t eat right before bedtime.
I’m sure a lot of these ideas are not completely new to you, but repetition creates good or bad habits. Sometimes we need a reminder of the good to stay on the right track. As a parent I constantly think, “Am I doing the right thing for my children” but sometimes we have to step back and do the right thing for ourselves. If we plant the seeds of greatness for our future, I am certain our children, family, and community will feel the long term effects of our flourishing garden.