I was just pinning my daily inspiration and stumbled on this (thanks, Pinterest!) print by Julia Hendrickson:

rules for healthy living
Julia Hendrickson | http://www.juliahendrickson.com | @brainexploding

OBSESSED!  I need this print in my house, office, car, maybe even tattooed!  How perfect are these simple rules?!

Don’t over think it – This reminds me of a line in one of my favorite songs, Many the Miles by Sara Bareilles: “I’ve been given this one world, I won’t worry it away.”  I have to admit that this one is easier said than done for me but I am working on it daily.  Over thinking robs you of the moment and the joy and ease of life.  A great tip for trying to break your over thinking ways is to Stop. Drop. and Breathe.  When you catch yourself worrying or over thinking, take a mental step back and breathe.  This allows you to reset your mind and let go.

Enjoy breathing – Breath is everything.  This would be my number one rule for you!  If you aren’t breathing, the rest of it won’t matter.  Holding your breath or shallowly breathing causes tension, headaches, and stress in your body.  This pain and tension becomes your shadow.  Take time each day to focus on your breath: sit in the car when you get to work for one minute and take slow, deep breaths, on your lunch break shut your office door, take a walk, or just go sit in your car for 5 minutes and breath, and when you get in bed at night to your hands on your stomach and breath in for five counts and out for five counts for several minutes (this is my favorite!!!).  Happiness and calm will follow.

Sleep is worth it – Sleep follows closely behind breath.  Sleep is your friend.  For me, sleep is my long-lost friend and every time we get together we promise that we won’t let so much time pass before seeing each other again.  But we talk all the time.  I try to sleep more but definitely struggle with it.  Lack of sleep impacts the way you look, think, feel, eat, and behave.  Sleepy Stephanie = Cranky Stephanie.  It’s easy to feel like you need to get everything done before you go to bed for the night.  The sink must be empty, laundry done, shows watched, friends called, lunch packed.  Those are important to-dos but sleep trumps them all.  Try going to bed 10 minutes earlier tonight and continue every night until you’re getting enough sleep.  What’s enough?  You’re asking the girl who gets 3-4 hours of sleep.  (NOT ENOUGH!)  You want to wake up and feel rested.  Your first thought shouldn’t be “How many hours until I can go to bed?” or “Coffee.  Must. Have. Coffee.”

Go outside – I’ll admit that I tend to be an indoor girl.  I choose yoga in my living room over a run outside.  (Or a run anywhere!)  But getting outside breeds happiness.  This week Andrew and I spent some time sitting outside before a movie and the fresh air and warmth on my face felt wonderful.  I start every day with a walk outside with Scout and it instantly wakes me up and clears my head.  Eat your lunch outside, meet up with friends and take a walk instead of meeting for drinks, get up early on Sunday morning, get your coffee or tea, and take a long walk, have dinner at a restaurant with outdoor seating.  Food tastes better outside.

Make something – Anything.  I’ve been making an effort to prepare more meals at home.   Aside from having a few more dollars in my pocket and feeling healthier, the process of making dinner is enjoyable.  It is relaxing after work to focus on doing something healthy for us.  Not a fan of the kitchen?  Make a piece of art with your child, write a blog post, take beautiful photographs, paint..anything.

Have a thoughtful conversation – Go deep.  Talking about the weather or work isn’t enough.  We crave connection – make an effort to talk, really talk to your family and friends.  Speak with passion and compassion.

Play with a dog – I challenge your most stressed self to play with a dog for 5 minutes and not feel better.  It’s impossible.  Dogs have the right attitude: get enough sleep, take walks outside, eat, play, and love.  Playing with Scout always makes me smile and laugh.  I get out of my own head and focus on play.  Plus  he’s so darn cute that I can’t help but smile!

Smell the roses – Be present.  Give yourself permission to slow down and enjoy.  Be an active participant in your life.  Don’t just admire the gorgeous roses from afar…walk over to them and breathe in their fragrance and look at them up close.

Laugh at yourself – I’ll admit, this is a hard one.  Laughing at yourself is really about confidence…having the confidence to try new things, be silly, and not worrying about what others are thinking.  There’s a quote from Amy Poehler that I strive to adopt in my own life:  “There’s power in looking silly and not caring that you do.”  It’s important to remember that life doesn’t need to be taken so seriously.  Let go.  Have some fun.  Laugh.  Be free.

Ask questions – Being interested is interesting.  Andrew reminds me of this everyday.  I so admire his inquisitive nature.  Asking questions allows you to explore and grow.  Instead of Facebooking tonight, spend 15 minutes reading something new.  Ask follow-up questions when talking to someone.  Release your inner child and ask “why” more often!

Be well!