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3 [non-food] steps towards healthier lifestyle

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I don’t know about you but I feel like my instagram feed right now is FULL of new diets everyone is trying right now – keto diet, faster way to fat loss, intermittent fasting, etc. I’m not knocking any of these diets – I’ve never tried any of them and haven’t done hardly any research. But, I think at the start of a new year…food gets way too much attention when it comes to kickstarting a healthy lifestyle, and I think there are SO many changes we can make in our lives that will lead to a WAY healthier lifestyle, that have nothing to do with food! Yes, eating healthy is so important. But for today’s wellness wednesday post, I want to share 3 simple, but really important, things you can do to live and feel healthier and more balanced! These all probably sound so basic, but I think sometimes we need to get back to the basics and be reminded of these simple truths!

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Tip #1: Sleep

Most of you probably know I have major sleep problems – I have for years. Like most new moms, I experienced major sleep deprivation during the first 10ish weeks of Shiloh’s life. We’re talking a max of a 2hr stretch of sleep in 10 weeks (and even that only happened like twice haha). This is when I fully realized the amazingly huge impact sleep has on our lives. You can drink 100 green smoothies a day and workout 6 days a week. But if you aren’t getting a healthy amount of sleep, your body is still lacking – physically and emotionally. Most studies show the human body needs to sleep around 8hrs a night to get a full, healthy night’s rest. I personally think every body is different and only YOU know what amount of sleep is right for you. Michael is one of those people that I fully believe needs 9-10hrs every night to be at his best. I think my magic number is 7-8.

Make a goal for yourself to get this healthy amount of sleep every night and I promise, you will notice drastic changes in your mental and physical health. If getting 8hrs of sleep sounds impossible to you right now…maybe start small. Try going to bed just 30 minutes earlier than you usually do, without a phone, without tv. You will obviously notice increased energy during the day, but you’ll also notice a better ability to focus, less mood swings, better workouts, etc.

Actually, since Shiloh started sleeping through the night around 10 weeks…my sleep has never been better. Since she goes to bed so early, it’s made me go to bed earlier too [bc she wakes up early too]. This early bedtime for me has really helped me sleep through the night and it’s made a huge difference in so many areas of my life. SO right now – decide what your new “bed time sans phone” is. Set an alarm on your phone for 15mins before that to give yourself time to get ready for bed. You can do this! Let’s do it together. Your body will thank you [and so will the people who are around you everyday haha].

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Tip #2: Water

This is actually another area Shiloh has really helped me in! Breastfeeding makes me SO thirsty…so I typically drink at least 3 of my hydroflasks [32oz] everyday. We’ve all heard it a million times: drink more water. But there really are SO many benefits to this. Your skin looks so much healthier, glowy, and hydrated when you’re drinking plenty of water. Drinking lots of water also helps fight bloat, and keeps you feeling fuller, longer. Being hydrated gives you more energy, helps fight headaches, plus so many other things. SO, if you don’t have a go-to water bottle, I think this is the first place to start. I am obsessed with hydroflask. Get a big one – I like the 32oz size – keep it at your desk, bring it in your car, bring it in the mall with you, bring it everywhere! The more you drink, the more you will want to drink. So, starting this habit can be challenging, but it’ll get easier, just like any habit! I think you will notice a huge difference in your skin, your hunger, and bloat!

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Tip #3: Decrease stress

If sleep is one of the best things you can do for your body, stress is possibly the worst. I read an article this week from Mind Body Green that said “Stress has direct effects on the adrenals, causing them to put out more cortisol. Elevated cortisol, in turn, has a wide range of effects on your body including slowing or stopping digestion and absorption, altering your calorie needs and usage, altering how you store your food (think: increased belly fat) and altering your liver function, which in turn affects your ability to detoxify.”

So, now that we’re all aware of how bad stress is for the mind and body…what can we do about it? This looks different for everyone. When I notice my stress getting out of control…I make sure I am spending time in the Word and in prayer every morning – even if it’s just 15 minutes. This really helps me get my mind right and pour all of my anxieties out before the Lord! Another way I decrease stress in my life is exercise. I love running and I love being outside. A few other ways to decrease stress: take a bath at night, have a dedicated “no screen time” part of your day, read a book for 30mins before bed. Some people de-stress by cooking or baking or hiking. We’re all different! Find what it is that de-stresses you – calms your mind down, helps you feel at peace…and make time for that thing regularly! Sometimes throughout the day I just remind myself to take 3 deep breaths, say a prayer, and calm down.

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Outfit Details: Crew Neck SweaterCrop Skinny Jeans | Chandelier Earrings | Ring Stack | Bracelet | Leather Mules | Round Sunnies | Chloe Bag Here and Here

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On another note, some of you may have noticed a slight shift in some of my recent outfits on here and on instagram! I have been loving / investing in really great basics that I know I can wear and love year after year. Along with those choices in fashion, I’ve been doing the same with my jewelry collection! I’ve been loving the spring Kendra Scott collection, which I’m sure you’ve already seen on my instagram! I love this collection because the pieces make a statement with any spring outfit, but they are also amazing quality, and jewelry you will wear for years to come! For example, these chandelier earrings I’m wearing in these photos definitely spice up a basic white sweater, but they are still feminine and classy at the same time! Here are a few more Kendra Scott pieces I’m loving right now that will be perfect for your spring wardrobe!

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Okay, who’s ready to start taking simple steps towards a healthier lifestyle?! If you start implementing any of these tips, definitely tag me on IG stories and let me know! These are all small things that really can make a huge difference in your life!

xo Lauren

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