Claudia Graziano is the fashion and lifestyle blogger behind Human Hanger. Based in Los Angeles, she’s always on the lookout for the next wellness treatments and habits to try, and her style epitomizes California cool. Today, she’s teaching us how to take care of ourselves despite a hectic lifestyle. Scroll through to learn more!
Hi, guys! Hope you’re all having a great week. The past few days (weeks? months?) have been a whirlwind, and I just woke up from a night’s sleep that can best be described as hibernation. I’ve been feeling a bit under the weather, as I’m sure many of you are with the season change, and decided yesterday I was going to take a little “me” time to reset and recharge. Me time usually includes grabbing a coffee, doing some reading, and lying in the sun (with sunscreen!). Here’s the thing: All of my favorite relaxation activities last about five minutes because all roads led to sleep!
On the one hand, I was irritated about sleeping through all the things I enjoy doing, but on the other hand, my body clearly needed the rest. (If you’ve ever paid for an expensive yoga class then slept through it, you know what I’m talking about.) Like most people, I’m guilty of running my body at max capacity for as long as possible and then crashing and trying to catch up all at once. I don’t need to tell you this is an unhealthy way to live—you already know.
Now that I have risen from my hibernation and feel recovered, I’ve decided to try to start living a healthier day-to-day life so I can cut out the downtime and generally feel mentally and physically better. I made a list of a few of the things I think are the most important factors in maintaining my best self to share with you.
Let’s start with my favorite—get more sleep. Sadly, we don’t live in a country that embraces the siesta, so that means we have to really make the most of our nightly hours. Personally, I find that 1) I’m the most productive at night, and 2) I suddenly remember all the things I should do/should’ve done during the day. I’ve been trying to leave my planner by my bed at night so when those moments occur I can just write them down rather than jump up and do it. Another big one for me is to keep my phone and laptop as far away from my bed as possible at night. It is so easy to get lost in an internet vortex before bed, but it is a time-suck, not to mention that the light from your computer actually keeps you awake longer. The blue light from your electronics actually prevents the release of melatonin, which is what lets your body know it’s time for sleep.
Drink more water
I could write a whole post on this alone. Drinking enough water is something I have always struggled with, and I’ve noticed most of the things I whine about can be tied back to it. Headache? Drink water. Want better skin? Drink water. Dark circles under your eyes? Drink water. The average human body is over 50% water, so it makes sense.
Pay attention to what you're eating
Now, don’t get it twisted—I’m certainly not suggesting dieting. (You can’t spell diet without die, after all.) If you follow me on social media, you know I’m out here binging on gas station snacks and sugary coffee drinks. But I’m trying to pay a little bit more attention to what I’m putting in my body. Getting all totalitarian on your food intake just sets you up for failure.
You should feel good about setting goals, not trying to hold yourself to an unrealistic standard then failing and being bummed out. Personally, I’m trying to just rein in the junk food, like instead of Corn Nuts and Sour Punch Straws and Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, maybe just pick one. Gotta start somewhere, right? Once I get a few healthy (and easy) meals and snacks built into my routine, I’ll share them. Give me a few weeks.
I don’t even want to say the E word, but fine, I’ll do it. Exercise. No one hates working out more than I do, but it actually does give you the boost you need to get through the week. You’ll sleep better, think better, and generally feel better about yourself. Also, for me personally, it makes me much more aware of what I’m eating (i.e., if I had the mental strength to get myself to the gym, I definitely have the mental strength to say no to that dessert).
Last, but definitely not least, disconnect. We all have to deal with inescapable work emails, but from time to time, it’s really nice to leave your phone at home. (Or, in my case, the car because I have no sense of direction and need the navigation.) Constantly checking your phone while you’re with someone gives the impression that there’s somewhere you’d rather be than right there with them.
Maybe you would rather be somewhere else, but hey, at least live in the moment for a second. It’s almost a foreign concept to enjoy a dinner with someone without checking your phone at least once. Growing up, my parents had a strict no-phones-at-the-table rule, and while I totally hated it then, I’m really down with it now. Live in the moment and be your healthiest, happiest self. Like anything else, the key to success is balance, and hopefully, I can find some by taking my own advice.
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