"What do you do to take care of yourself?" asks mom of two Brenda D. recently in one of Circle of Mom's communities.
Part of kick-starting a healthy lifestyle lies in recognizing how important this is, in both little ways and big. If you think about your life and realize you’re not doing much of anything that you enjoy, or that you do simply because it feels good (and is good for you), it’s time to make some changes. Here are some tips for getting started.
1. Laugh a lot!
Did you know that laughing burns calories? You’re doing some major stuff with your diet and your exercise routine right now, and it’s hard work. But this doesn’t mean you have to be so serious all the time. Have some fun. Hang out with the friends who make you laugh. You know who they are—invite them over for dinner (a healthy dinner, of course) and let the funny stories flow.
2. Make Sleep a Priority
Commit to getting seven to eight hours of sleep every night. Chances are if you’ve been living a less-than-healthy lifestyle, one of the areas where you’ve been short-changing yourself is sleep. And sleep is incredibly important if you want to be healthy and look and feel good. Don’t underestimate its value! Studies show getting too little sleep can contribute to weight gain and stress; getting enough sleep can contribute to weight loss, improve the appearance of your skin (take a look in the mirror next time you get a good eight hours of shut-eye), and make you more likely to exercise.
3. Get a Facial
Treat yourself to a facial (or give yourself one at home), and ask the aesthetician for an analysis of your skin and its needs. I know, facials aren’t cheap. But we’re in kick-start mode, and since your face is the first thing everyone sees and notices about you, it’s time to treat it right. A good facial leaves you with clear pores and soft, perfectly moisturized skin. Bonus: It can feel amazing and be totally relaxing.
4. Go to the Dentist
Does this seem like a weird suggestion? Well, going to the dentist might not be fun, but one of the most important parts of how you look is your smile. When was the last time you went to the dentist for a cleaning? Don’t you remember how great your teeth feel afterward?
5. Stand Up Straight
You’re doing all this hard work, so learn how to show off your new body. For one thing, stand up straight. (See, Mom, I was listening.) Have you thought about your posture lately? I bet if you straightened your spine right now you’d be at least an inch taller. How you stand and how you hold yourself physically can make a huge difference in how you look.
Working mom Alison Sweeney is an award-winning actress and host of NBC's The Biggest Loser. For more fitness tips from Alison, check out The Mommy Diet, a month-to-month plan for a healthy body and mind before, during and after pregnancy.
The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, POPSUGAR.