An inner glow up – an opportunity to better your entire being (body, mind and soul) from the inside out, that will radiate outward like sunbeams into your life and the lives of others. If this doesn’t excite you and send chills through your body, then take a few deep breaths, read that sentence again, and envision the version of yourself you would be after such a transformation.
Most of us have a version of ourselves in our minds that we are striving to embody. We want more for our health and our lives. We want to feel and show up as our best selves. We are wishing, dreaming, and longing for a different reality than what we are existing in right now.
So where do we start and how do we get there? We start here and now, making the best of what we currently have and take baby steps to move forward. First, identify what you want to work towards, and then you can identify the intentional and informed action you need to take to get you there. And because we are multi-faceted and complex beings, we should be addressing all parts of ourselves for the best results.
Below are 15 ways to achieve an inner glow up by the end of 2020 – a year we could all use some extra love and support for our mental, physical and emotional bodies. Start with the one that speaks to you most, and add on from there.
1. Start your morning with warm lemon water
A habit that is inexpensive and couldn’t be easier. Drinking lemon water in the morning is a great way to kick-start your digestion, and aids in detoxification of the body. It also packs a punch of vitamin C, helping your body to produce its natural collagen and keeping your skin glowing and smoothing out fine lines and wrinkles. Plus it reduces hunger, boosts your energy and mood, and strengthens your immunity. The ultimate inner and outer glow up!
2. Limit processed foods and focus on real, whole foods
Processed foods are full of additives and preservatives, high levels of sodium, unnecessary added sugars, and unnatural chemicals. Have your focus be on consuming real and whole foods, and this will naturally nudge out the processed foods. Your body will thank you, and you will have a more consciously connected relationship to the food you are choosing to nourish your body with, as well as with nature.
3. Consume leafy greens on a daily basis
Lettuce, arugula, spinach, kale, chard, collard greens, beet greens, microgreens – you won’t run out of options to choose from! Leafy greens are low in calories, but packed full of vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, and fiber your body needs to function at its peak. Some of the many benefits offered by consuming these vegetables include supporting brain and gut health, reduced inflammation in the body, balancing blood sugar, and promoting detoxification. Toss them in your smoothie, saute them with other veggies, eat them in a salad, or create a bed of greens to line your bowl for whatever savory meal you’re eating.
4. Eat a wide variety and rainbow of produce
Consuming a wide variety of produce not only keeps things interesting in the kitchen and on your plate, but also keeps your gut microbiome diverse and happy as well (happy gut, happy life!). And the many phytonutrients found in colorful plant foods are superheroes for your health, benefiting your immune system, vision, skin, skeletal structure, heart, blood vessels, inflammatory response, protecting against cancer, and more. Switch up what fruits and veggies you buy at the store each week and make sure you have some sort of color with every meal.
Yes, I know you’ve been told a million times to drink water and hydrate, but staying hydrated is vital to maintaining every system in our bodies! Want to have energy, supple and youthful skin, and avoid constipation? Hydrate. Some tips: Carry a reusable water bottle everywhere you go (yes even in the house), set regular reminders on your phone, or track your daily hydration progress on a habit tracking app or in your planner.
6. Move your body on the daily
Whether it’s heavy or light cardio, strength training, yoga, or simply a nice long stretch session, make sure you are moving your body in some way on a daily basis. Intentional movement not only benefits our physical bodies in countless ways, but supports our cognitive and emotional health too. Try approaching movement and exercise as an act of self-love for your entire being. Next time you are feeling down or in a funk, move your body for a bit and see how it changes your mindset and helps you process through your emotions.
7. Prioritize what brings you joy
Joy is experienced on the internal level, from experiences that connect to your core values, and what makes you, you. It is what brings you LIFE and uplifts your entire being. Make sure you are making time for the things that bring you joy and fill your heart.
8. Get outside and connect to nature
Whether it is a daily walk, a weekend hike, or simply sitting outside in the breeze, take your body outdoors. Take that time to be present and feel the sun or cool air on your skin, and wonder at the complex simplicity of nature. Nature therapy is real, but don’t fool yourself into thinking you have to be in the middle of the woods to experience it.
9. Have regular, open and honest conversations
Have you ever felt a certain way about something and felt you deeply needed to speak your truth, but you held it in instead? And that feeling intensified in your physical, emotional and mental body? Having consistent and honest conversations are so important to processing through our emotions and standing in our truth of who we are. If you don’t feel you are able to speak things aloud, at least get them onto paper so they are not trapped in your body.
10. Say no when you actually want to
Honor yourself and what you are needing in any particular moment by being honest – if you need to say no for the sake of your health and happiness, then please say no. It is a radical act of self-love and self-empowerment to act on your truth and what you are needing. By being selective with your energy, you can be that much more intentional about when and where you do use it.
11. Create and set boundaries for yourself
Just like saying no when you need and want to, setting boundaries is a radical act of self-love and empowerment. Identify what you are needing and act on it so that you can have the time and energy you need to take care of yourself. Remember, you can’t pour from an empty cup.
12. Change your self-talk and inner dialogue
Your body believes what you tell it. What information, beliefs, and thoughts are you feeding yourself? Instead of thinking you can’t do something, can you get curious and open up to the potential that lies within the opportunity? Instead of criticizing yourself every time you look in the mirror, can you slowly develop some self-compassion and begin to point out something you love about yourself (it doesn’t have to be physical)? Soften your relationship with yourself, acknowledge that you are an ever-evolving being, and start to be a source of support rather than hold yourself back.
13. Address your emotions when they arise
Acknowledge, identify, process through it, and send it on its way. When we push our emotions down, ignoring and trapping them within, they don’t go away as we hope they might. They hide, grow and wait for an opportune moment to bubble up again. So treat your emotions as messages flowing by in the wind, get curious about what they are here to tell you, where they originated from, and what you need to do to send them on its way.
14. Develop a daily gratitude practice
Just like hydrating, gratitude can seem a bit trite, but it’s mentioned so much because it works and it is necessary for our overall health. Pausing to identify and recognize a few things you are grateful for directs your energy into this positive mindset, having beneficial effects on your physical body as well. Develop a regular gratitude practice in the morning, midday, or afternoon – whatever works and feels best to you!
15. Prioritize time for frequent reflection
It’s easy to be so motivated and driven as we continue to move on from task to task or event to event, that we forget to pause and celebrate our accomplishments. Setting aside a regular time for this helps us to slow down, stay present, and acknowledge the positive things in our lives. You could do a daily reflection at the end of the day about what went well/what you accomplished, or a weekly summary! No win is too small.
So there you have it – 15 ways to have an inner glow up by the end of the year, focused on your physical, mental, and emotional health. Cheers to embodying your very best self!