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I’ll be honest: I can go through some very habitually unhealthy periods of time. Usually, these are in conjunction with wine fueled winter hibernation, seasonal depression, or feelings of disarray. The disarray was an issue while my husband and I were sharing our teeny city apartment and I felt like I was being crushed by “stuff.” This has definitely gone away since we bought our house, thank goodness. Because winter is a major trigger of these spells, I have consciously taken action to create easy habits of health for the start of the new year. One month in, and it’s going well!
Habit of Health #1: Winter Forest Bathing
Have you heard of forest bathing? It’s a Japanese practice of shirin-yoku, which postulates that spending time in nature leads to overall better health and happiness. It’s not necessary exercise, but more putting down your phone and escaping from the hustle and bustle of the world. I’ve committed to both more forest bathing and forest walking by getting a membership to my local arboretum. The great part about this membership is that it also offers reciprocal membership to over 200 arboreta across the country.
Habit of Health #2 Oral Health
Have you heard that oral health can be an indicator of overall health? Growing up, my dad was a total gadget man and kept our family up to date with the latest electric toothbrushes. Living with my husband in small city apartments, however, I never had the space. Now that I’m not sharing a bathroom, I have committed to my oral health with regular flossing and the affordable cariPRO Ultrasonic toothbrush.
I brought my charged cariPRO Ultrasonic Smile Brilliant toothbrush with me on a recent trip to Naples, Florida. It keeps a charge for up to six weeks so you can travel with it easily. I also love the quadrant timers that ensure you brush your teeth for a two full minutes.
I have incredibly sensitive teeth so I use the sensitive setting of the toothbrush, but there are five different settings that you can try to see what suits you. Considering that my mother-in-law is a dental hygienist, the acquisition of an electric toothbrush is long overdue.
Habits of Health #3: Calorie Counting
I know sometimes this is a real pain in the butt, but as it turns out, there is an app for that. I’ve recently discovered Yazio, a free app that was sent to me in a targeted ad. Most of the food items I eat are already in the system, and I can scan the barcode from the product to search for it. It’s helped me realize I snack more than I thought, and I’ve already been feeling better since I started using it.
Habits of Health #4: A Forever Student
My husband and I have very different ideas of what a day off looks like. He likes listening to economic podcasts while getting all of his errands done, and then hopping from one physical activity to the next. Me on the other hand, my weekends used to include much more couch and television time. I know when it gets too habitual that I am suffering from some burnout and need to take a little break from the side hustle.
I’ve been increasingly distracting myself with great non-fiction books. Some are audiobooks I listen to when I am on a walk, and others are Kindle classics. I have tried to read fiction, and only enjoy one of every ten I read. I just enjoy the learning aspect of non-fiction so much more than the distraction of a novel.
Here’s a snapshot of what I’ve read recently and absolutely loved:
Habits of Health #5: The Art of the Sip and Spit
If you’ve been on my page, you know I go to quite a few wine events. Sometimes I host blind wine tastings at home, and sometimes I attend middle of the week events held by groups like the Austrian Wine Board. I’ve found it’s best for my sleep, productivity, and waistline to commit to the “sip and spit” technique for these tastings. This can be very commonplace at tasting events, but can also be unique. For example, a fairly expensive 2008 Vintage Thienot Champagne was poured at a recent Binny’s event, and I was the only person spitting it out.
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