Part I: Physical
“Good morning! How’re you feeling today?” But really…How ARE you feeling?
Physical wellness is at the forefront of our attention because it is the first thing that we notice when we start the day. Sometimes, the events throughout the day are influenced by the first physical feeling that we experience. For example, if you wake up in the morning and notice that you feel tired, hungry, nauseous, sick, or in pain, you might have a preconceived idea of how the experience of your day will be. There are 3 steps to maintaining physical wellness; sleep, hygiene and exercise.
Step 1: Maintaining a healthy sleep schedule
Waking up on the “right side of the bed” is essential to having a productive day. Therefore, we must be sure to get a decent amount of sleep. The National Sleep Foundation suggests that adults ages 18 to 64 get between seven and nine hours of sleep per night and that adults over 65 get seven to eight hours per night. You can help yourself get a better night’s sleep by turning off your devices 30 minutes before bedtime, using blackout curtains and white-noise machines to block light and sound as you try to fall asleep. There are also applications designed for smartphones and smartwatches to help you monitor your sleeping patterns. (e.g. Sleep Cycle, Pillow, Calm, Sleep Watch). Consistency is key!
Challenge: Set a bedtime for yourself! It may feel childish, but you might notice that you had more energy when you were a kid.
Step 2: Physical wellness
Brushing your teeth, doing your hair, showering, and making sure you smell decent before starting your day are fundamental processes that become routines. However, it is easy to skip steps on days that you feel unmotivated or late to work. Taking care of your teeth, smelling good, dressing appropriately, and tightening up your appearance are the fundamental tools for building confidence and broadcasting the image of a ready-to-go and well-put-together person. Your relationship partner, employer, co-workers, parents, and friends, tend to notice if you neglect these basic yet critical self-care steps.
Challenge: Write your morning schedule on a post-it note and attach it to your bathroom mirror. Commit to your routine and try your best not to skip steps.
And don’t forget to floss!
Tip: Find a signature fragrance!
In Italian culture, everyone chooses a signature scent. This gives an individual a sense of identity and confidence. People will recognize you by your scent, and it can leave a positive impression on another person. Several scientific studies show that memory is strongly connected to our sense of smell. Harvard studies state that smells are interpreted by the olfactory bulb, the structure in the front of the brain that sends information to the other areas of the body’s central command for further processing. Odors take a direct route to the limbic system, including the amygdala and the hippocampus, the regions related to emotion and memory. Therefore, people will remember you for your smell! It does NOT have to be an expensive fragrance. Set aside time to shop for a scent that fits you.
Step 3: Exercise
The National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) suggests that you should exercise 30 minutes per day, five days per week at a minimum. By setting aside this time, you will notice that you feel more motivated and energized throughout the day. When you exercise, several neurotransmitters are released, including endorphins, endocannabinoids, and dopamine. Exercise also promotes neuroplasticity and increases oxygen supply to your brain. By working out consistently, you protect yourself from heart disease, diabetes, back pain, and muscular degeneration.
You do NOT have to lift heavy weights, run a marathon, or sacrifice socialization to manage to make time for your workouts.
As a personal trainer, I would suggest researching different exercise styles and pursuing what is appealing to you. Ask a friend, sibling, or partner to be your workout partner and commit to spending time with your partner. Download a fitness app on your phone/smartwatch to monitor your progress. (MyFitnessPal, Fitbit, Thenx are my top recommendations)
Physical wellness is essential not to overlook, and it is the most noticeable part of our day-to-day lives. When you start to build on the physical aspects of your well-being, you notice significant positive changes to your outlook and the sequence of your day. Motivation is contagious; if you see anyone in your life who might be struggling in this area of wellness, be sure to recommend these tips and relay what you have learned.
Next week, be sure to check back for part 2 of our wellness series!