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10 ways to cultivate joy and support your overall health on a weekly basis

When you feel good it has a ripple effect into every aspect of your life, including your physical health. Studies show that when we are happy, we have reduced stress levels, improved sleep, more energy and our immune system is better equipped to handle what comes our way. We can amp up our happiness by taking intentional steps towards joy every day. Below are 10 ideas for cultivating joy to feel strong on a mental and physical level. Plus check out a special discount code to one of my current favorite immunity boosting products below. 

1. Try a morning breathwork session on Instagram with @libberated!

If you’re looking for a way to enliven your morning and your spirit, highly encourage you to check out Rise + Radiate with @libberated! This IGTV based class is a mix of breathwork, Kundalini yoga, meditation and more. It’s an energizing hour and you will most definitely leave feeling different than when you started! It’s an incredible practice for shifting energy, releasing heavy emotions, and setting the foundation for a powerful day. I’ve definitely laughed and cried in the course of one class. I always feel SO rejuvenated at the end of the hour. 🌟 You can learn more about how I got hooked on Libby’s class and watch when I was a recent guest on her “Why I practice Wednesday” morning IGTV here.

2. Incorporate herbal teas into your day like a mood boosting Butterfly Pea Flower tea!

I got this blue brew from 3rd Eye Lounge in Austin, Texas. Recently I was enamored with my best friends array of colorful teas and she suggested I try this one out. Turns out it’s not just the bright blue shade that’s awesome but this tea is loaded with antioxidants too. It’s also thought to be an anti-aging tea that helps reduce stress and boost overall mood. It has a light refreshing taste and I love to enjoy it hot or iced. These days I typically put the leaves in a pitcher with water and leave it in the fridge over night so I wake up with a refreshing cold brew style tea for the day. They recommend one tablespoon of tea leaves for every 6-8 oz of water.

If you find you have trouble drinking adequate amounts of water throughout the day, try making this tea and drinking it iced. The process of steeping the tea and the vibrant blue color make it more fun to hydrate! The color is reminiscent of summer time sipping on Kool-aid :).

3.  Dance party, morning noon and night.

Sometimes just jumping around for a few minutes in the morning is the perfect kickstart to your day. Plus it’s an easy way to get your heart rate going early in the morning. Some sort of dance party is how I start and end most days. I love waking up early and putting on a tune that enlivens my spirits (I’m not sure my neighbors love it quite as much 🙂 ). I’m intentional about starting the day with gratitude for the gift of another 24 hours. If you’re looking to raise your joy quotient, pick a song below, turn up the volume and get groovin!

Here are some current songs on my morning playlist:

4. Spend time in nature to be reminded of the beauty of slowing down.

Admiring the sunflowers at Los Poblanos Farm in Albuquerque, New Mexico

Admire the flowers. Put your bare feet in grass. Sink your toes into sand. Tune into the trees.. see if they have anything to share with you. 

Have you ever noticed how nothing in nature is in a hurry?  When we slow down and tune into the natural world around us it can have an instant calming effect.

Taking time to literally stop and smell the roses can put things into perspective. Sure it’s a bit cliche sounding but there’s often a reason an idea becomes cliche, because its rooted in truth! When we become present enough in any given moment to notice the beauty and intricacy around us, we have brought our power back into the now. From that place we can be with ourselves, feel more centered, and be reminded that there is so much to be grateful for in this very instant.

5. Add supplements to smoothies like the One Farm Daily 8 Immunity Boost

I love to add some extra support to my drinks and lattes when possible by using supplements like the One Farm Daily 8 Mushroom Immunity Boost. The Organic Daily 8 Mushroom Immunity Boost is a blend of 8 immune-boosting mushrooms, and ginger that support and fortify your immune system while helping to balance your overall health & wellbeing. 

I’ve spent time talking with their team and I’m truly inspired by the amount of care that goes into taking care of the farmers they work with and the ingredients they use in their products.

Not only do I like this product but I’m a big fan of the One Farm company ethos in general. Their products are made without SLS, Phthalates, Mineral Oil, DEA, Phosphates, and Artificial colors or fragrances. They are also Vegan, Gluten-free, and never tested on animals. I’ve spent time getting to know their team and I’m truly inspired by the amount of care that goes into taking care of the farmers they work with and the ingredients they use in their products.

Use code TAYLOVE for 15% off your order at One Farm!

If you’re interested in trying out some of their natural remedies, you can head to One Farm and use code TAYLOVE for 15% off your order! While you’re there, explore the site and if you’re a nerd like me you can geek out on all the photos and descriptions of benefits from Lions Mane, Cordyceps, Ginger and more! See how they harness the power of organic agriculture and science to help you lead a happier, healthier life.

6. Meditate

Meditation has been a transformative practice in my own life but don’t take my word for it. According to TIME Magazine in their special edition on The Science of Happiness, studies show that “meditation can lower cortisol levels and blood pressure and improve immune response and maybe even gene expression.”

What’s important to remember about meditation is that it doesn’t have to be this huge undertaking. Mindfulness practices can lose their effectiveness when we make them feel like a daunting task as opposed to something to look forward to.

Mini- Medi right at your desk

Start small. Just 5 – 10 minutes a day of mindful breathing can make a world of difference. And you don’t have to be on a meditation mat, you can pause right at your desk. If you’re able, breathe with me right now. Ready?

Breathe in through your nose for 4 counts: 1 – 2 – 3 – 4,

imagine you’re breathing peace into every cell in your body.

Now exhale through your mouth, breathing out love,

filling the space around you with love.

Great job!!

7. Make “Health Broth” with leftover vegetables in your fridge

Before you toss out those unused vegetables in the fridge, consider making a soup! Each week I slice and dice the veggies in my fridge that are nearing their expiration date and make a delicious vegetable soup. I like to call it my “Health Broth.” The best part about it is there are really no rules, lol. It’s a great way to make use of those unused vegetables and to support your health with a flavorful, nutritious broth.

Simple steps for creating a vegetable soup

First, fill a pan with water and bring it to a boil. For the vegetables, I start by slicing up carrots and adding them to the water first thing because they usually take the longest to cook. Next, slice up whatever is still in the fridge. For me, the ingredients vary based on what I have but in general, it’s a mix of carrots, celery, mushrooms, red and yellow tomatoes, onion, garlic, and jalapeño. I use jalapeño when I’m feeling like a little spice or when I’m trying to provide some support for a stuffy nose.

Vegetable broth or creamy soup

Add all of the ingredients to the hot water, add salt and pepper to taste, plus a dash of Thyme or Oregano. Then, let it sit on the stovetop for about 20 minutes at a medium to low temp. Once the veggies are soft and you’ve seasoned to your liking, it’s ready to enjoy. You can eat it immediately or store in the fridge for a great flavorful soup the next day. Sometimes I put the soup in a blender the following day and turn it into a creamy vegetable soup.

Creating this “Health Broth” is a mindfulness practice in and of itself. I love chopping the vegetables and being present in the moment as I add each ingredient, giving thanks for the ability to cook, eat fresh foods, and spend time taking care of myself. Friendly reminder: mindfulness takes many forms :).

8. Read

What are you filling your brain with? What a gift to be able to learn something new or dive into a fantasy world without leaving your house. Books take us to another place without needing a travel budget. Personally, I am a big fan of nonfiction and self-help books but fiction and fantasy can be equally therapeutic if the content is aligned. Remember that whatever you focus on expands. So if you are looking to create more peace in your mind, I recommend books where the content feels uplifting and expansive, not dark and fear inducing. 

9. Energizing Walks

I love taking walks but you can walk, skip, jump, row, stretch, lift weights, whatever movement looks like to you. It’s most important that you find something you’ll actually do! And do without delay :). Could you start today? See if you can get up and take a walk around the block, stretch your limbs in new ways, or lift weights. Tomorrow try to walk two blocks or stretch for ten more minutes. Add some more distance and a little speed and see what happens. Some days when I’m feeling extra motivated, I turn my walk into a jog. I guarantee if I can jog then you likely can as well. Think of Phoebe from the sitcom “Friends” running through the park.. that’s me! 🙂

10. Rest

There’s no substitute for sleep. I’ve never been someone who needed a lot of sleep to feel rested but I have always prioritized downtime. By downtime I mean time in stillness and quiet without thinking about to-do lists or the next agenda item. A time when I truly give my brain a much deserved break. You know your patterns best, so listen to your body. If it’s asking you to slow down, see if you can honor its needs instead of pushing things to the limit. If you feel hesitant to slow down or you have trouble letting yourself rest without feeling like you “should” be doing something else. Read my recent post about the beauty in the rest.

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