Start with the Basics

Sometimes, starting is the hardest part. But these daily habits are about simplifying the process to improve your health.

Whether it’s the beginning of a new year or simply the right time to get started, we complicate the process of getting healthy. But a strong foundation begins with the basics. It’s not about perfection or doing everything at once. Instead, it’s a focus on small, incremental improvements – daily enhancements that build upon one another to have a big impact overall.

Julie Stevens, founder, and owner of The Healing Path knows it’s about what you do consistently that makes the most significant difference. Julie regularly shares these simple things with her clients to improve their health. These practices are approachable, accessible, and have a positive effect if done consistently.

  1. Drink high-quality water. This sounds simple, but only some people drink enough water each day. Julie noted you need at least half your body weight in ounces. If you consume caffeine or alcohol, you need more. And this is the easiest place to start because anyone can do it. Quality matters too; reverse osmosis and Berkey are two options Julie suggests.

  2. Breathwork to reduce stress. Breathing, you do it every day. But intentional breathwork is different. Box breathing is a great option and can be done anywhere. You start by breathing in through the nose for 4 seconds. You then hold for 4 seconds. Next, you exhale through your mouth for a count of 4 seconds. Doing this several times a day can significantly reduce daily stress. The key is consistency and building it into your existing routine. You can do this exercise during your daily commute, immediately following lunch, or in the shower.

  3. Prioritize sleep. The key to sleep is a solid routine because you are setting yourself up for success. Ideally, you should go to bed and wake at the same time at least 6 days a week, aiming for 8 hours a night. You should remove electronics from your room, stop watching screens at least an hour before bed and create a dark, calming environment. Sleep is a time of healing. 

These practices may seem simple, but it’s often the simplest activities that make the biggest difference. Julie started as a massage therapist 24 years ago, but her view of health and wellness has evolved over time. Now, after earning her doctorate in naturopathy, she is focused even more on a functional approach to medicine. It’s important to listen to the body, learn how it works, and treat the root cause of a problem, instead of just treating the symptoms.

Julie’s Daily Actions for Overall Well-Being

  1. What and when you eat matters. Food is a big hurdle for many because it comes with a lot of emotions. But the steps to eating better are simple. Eat something raw at every meal, prioritizing vegetables, fruits, legumes, and whole grains. Consume processed foods sparingly. Make breakfast and lunch the biggest meals of the day, because it is when digestion is strongest. 

  2. Move your body daily. Life has become very sedentary, so movement matters more than ever. Get outside, preferably in the sunlight. Walk, stretch, or skip for 20-30 minutes. This supports your lymphatic system and helps detox your body. 

  3. The power of positive thinking. As the saying goes, whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re right. Your words and thoughts have power. Choose your thoughts wisely, speak kindly and positively to yourself. 

  4. Detox your life. Toxic people and toxic experiences can impact your mental and emotional well-being. They bring negativity and make everything feel harder. The first step to less stress is removing toxicity from your life.

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