Here’s something that the wellness industry might not tell you: healthy living does not have to be expensive or complicated. Modern-day wellness hasn’t always been the most accessible, but it can be. I love a pricey face mask, splurging for a massage, and picking up an adaptogenic latte post-Christmas shopping as much as the next person. But when it really comes down to it, getting back to the basics of health and whole living should be simple.
Of course, an hour-long yoga class or spa day can do wonders for our overall health, but it’s not always easy to find the time (or cash) to fit them in, especially during the holidays.
The daily practices below take minimal effort and are gentle ways to support your health—mind, body, and spirit. Whether your goal is increased energy, detoxification, or an emotional boost, these little free medicine practices are easy to incorporate and don’t cost a thing.
Scroll on for 16 totally free, restorative wellness practices you can do to kickstart your morning or sprinkle in throughout your day for an anytime pick-me-up.
1. Set boundaries.
It’s okay to say no!! This wellness practice is especially valuable around the holiday season when our enthusiasm for the season can take over and we’re tempted to say yes to too much. On top of that, family time often brings up great opportunities for boundary setting. Check out this article for practical tips on boundary setting this holiday season.
2. Practice gratitude.
If there was one practice to boost your joy and mental state, gratitude has to be it. I love this quote by Melody Beattie: “Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.”
3. Get moving.
Try incorporating some light exercise, walking, or stretching into your every day. It doesn’t have to be intense or long! From there, you can always sprinkle in heavier-duty workouts if you’d like, but the daily habit of doing something simple tends to stick more long-term.
2020 has been a lot. Navigating the holidays in 2020 is a lot too. As we close out the year, spend some time with yourself and a pen. This wellness practice really deserves a place in your routine—try one of these journaling prompts if you’re not sure where to start.
5. Hot + cold showers.
This is such a simple thing but it has amazing benefits. Experts say when practiced on a regular basis, cold water therapy can provide long-lasting changes to your body’s immune, lymphatic, circulatory, and digestive systems that enhance the overall quality of your life. The benefits of this wellness practice range from major (potentially helping to reverse disease) to small (increasing collagen in our skin) and they seem to go on and on.
6. Good quality sleep.
One of the pillars to good health is quality sleep—we all could use a brush up on our sleep hygiene. It’s easy to stay up late knocking off final to-do’s off your list, but a great rule of thumb is to rest and go to bed when you’re tired. After all, inadequate sleep has been linked to mood and mental health issues, disrupted concentration, blood pressure changes, weakened immune system, and an increased risk of diseases like diabetes, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease.
7. Spend time between the sheets.
8. Spend some time in nature.
Sunlight, fresh air, and a little bit of grounding are something we need every day. It’s so easy to let the day get away from you, but we should be prioritizing time outside every day, preferably barefoot. Read up on all the amazing benefits of grounding here.
9. Supportive friendships + time with loved ones.
There’s ample evidence that human connection and friendships don’t just boost our physical and mental health, but they actually make our lives better. Whether that looks different for you this year or not, be sure to connect with those you love—even if it’s via a Zoom date.
10. Move your lymphatic system.
Pull out the dry brush or try a self lymphatic massage. They’re both an amazing way to move toxins through your body by stimulating your lymphatic system, thus easing your body’s efforts to reduce inflammation. Check out this video for easy lymphatic massage and dry brushing—it really only takes a couple of minutes.
11. Clock some screen-free time.
Anyone else watching their daily screen time keeps going up? Try scheduling a set time every day to go phone free. I like to set a timer and power off my phone so that I don’t slip into checking my phone for one thing and find myself scrolling Instagram 30 minutes later. Better yet, power off your phone for the weekend.
12. Limit EMF exposure.
On that note, work to reduce EMF exposure in your day-to-day. Some easy ways are to turn that wifi off at night, don’t carry your phone on your body, use airplane mode when not using your phone, and limit “smart” devices throughout your home, too.
13. Sweat it out.
There’s nothing like a good sweat to aid your body in detoxifying. Not only that, it can help you burn calories, improve circulation, boost your mood, improve muscle relaxation, and more. I like to work up a sweat with yard work or a quick jog around the block. If you live in a colder climate, one of our favorite ways to sweat is with an infrared sauna sesh.
14. Start your day with a solid morning routine.
Drink a glass of warm water, meditate, get dressed, turn on a fun playlist, there are so many ways to set your intention for your day ahead and get your day off to a great start. Check out how a few of our favorite ladies start their day.
15. An organized home.
While a perfectly put together house can feel unattainable, the constant mess does have an effect on our mental wellbeing (this article on the subject is fascinating). Check out these tips for little ways to clean up and organize your home.
16. Breathe deeply.
Managing stress is essential to lowering inflammation, promoting balance, and preventing the buildup of unwanted toxins in the body. Believe it or not, simply doing some breathing exercises or meditation can be extremely effective in supporting your body’s ability to detox, and will leave you feeling calm and relaxed. Breathing deeply (into your belly) regulates blood pressure and your heartbeat.