1) Sleep eight hours each night.
Sleep is crucial for memory, for cognitive function, for energy, for cellular repair, for keeping cortisol levels low, for maintaining hormonal balance, for keeping appetite in check, for growth, for immune function, for weight maintenance, for performance, and for longevity.
2) Take practical steps to reduce stress.
Stress might not ever be eliminated. But studies show that mindfulness practices, meditation and the like significantly improve both physiological and subjective measures of well-being. Reducing stress improves immune function, sleep, inflammation, longevity, and hormone function.
Play reduces stress. It’s natural. It’s amazing.
4) Bask in the sunlight.
Vitamin D plays a significant role in bone accretion and health, immune function, hormone signalling, fighting cancer, and circadian rhythms. Sunburns are not healthy, but gradually increased and regular sun exposure is.
5) Love your body in its natural form.
No matter what society you live in, you live in a set of norms that tell you what your body is supposed to look like. It is almost certain that that image is wrong for you. Instead of pushing against your body’s natural limits and trying to make your body conform to unrealistic standards, eat, exercise, sleep, and work according to your natural needs. That is the most empowered, and the most beautiful.
6) Nourish yourself with whole foods.
Food is for nourishment. Natural foods do that best.
7) Do not restrict yourself: not in food, not in life.
Having a mentality of restriction leads to problematic anxieties in addition to problematic physiological responses. Restriction makes you feel deprived, and deprivation ultimately leads to profound needs to over-consume. This can capitulate bingeing and restricting cycles. Additionally, it drives cortisol, which has negative effects on the body, and it can significantly hinder metabolic processes if extreme or chronic.
8 ) Do not obsess.
Being healthy is about feeling good, not about being perfect. Erring from a certain path is not the end of the world. Moreover, having the “perfect” diet is completely impossible since no one knows precisely what that is. Instead, relax into the world and trust your body.
9) Do not judge yourself against others.
In body, in work, in life. Holding up other women as bases for comparison gives us negative self-esteem if we somehow conceive of them as ‘better’ than us; and, alternatively, holding ourselves above others stigmatizes our relationships with them, and it makes it impossible for us to be human and to forgive ourselves our own faults. Instead, if we appreciate both ourselves and the people in our lives for our own unique beauty, then we can all move forward together in more fulfilling health.