15 Self-Improvement Tips for a Successful September

15 Self-Improvement Tips for a Successful September

September is all about new beginnings. It’s a new season and many people begin new routines that will carry them through the rest of the year. Plus, September has been officially designated as Self-Improvement Month. We can’t think of a better time to start anew and better yourself! It’s time to think of every day as an opportunity to take simple steps that will help you look, feel and live better. To get you started, we”;ve gathered this list of hints that you can use to build a happier and healthier you this September.

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Here are 15 self-improvement tips for a successful September:
1. Reset your habits.

September

We make lots of choices every day. However, we also do many things without thinking, simply because they”;ve become habits. The good news is that not all habits are harmful. There are many healthy habits that can turn your September into a successful start to a new season. Even better, research shows that it can take as little as 66 days to build a new habit that”;s good for you, says University College London. This can include drinking more water, starting a new exercise routine, getting more sleep or even cutting down on screen time.

Not sure where to start? Check out these 10 workday habits of healthy people! >

2. Practice positivity.

September

You have more control of your inner dialogue than you realize. By making a concentrated effort to think positive thoughts, you can improve your mood and your health. “;People with a family history of heart disease who also had a positive outlook were one-third less likely to have a heart attack or other cardiovascular event within five to 25 years than those with a more negative outlook,”; says Johns Hopkins Medicine. They also explain that smiling reduces heart rate and blood pressure during stressful situations, even if it’s a fake smile. You really can fake it ’til you make it!

3. Give yourself goals.

September

Every achievement, big or small, starts with a goal. The goals you are most likely to reach are specific and attainable. Simply saying you want to lose weight or stay in touch with old friends, for example, makes it easy to keep putting those things off. Instead, define your goals as “;fitting into my favorite dress for a wedding”; or “;calling one friend every week.”; Click the link below for tips on writing your own goals!

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4. Accept setbacks.

September

No matter how motivated and focused we are, sometimes forces beyond our control prevent us from reaching our goals. Too often, that makes us feel like giving up, as if we”;ll never succeed. However, progress rarely goes in a straight line. Sometimes we need to remind ourselves that even when we go two steps forward and one step back, we have moved closer to our goal.

5. Try mentoring.

September

People with experience in careers, parenting and life skills have invaluable knowledge to share with those just starting out. Mentoring can be rewarding for both sides–;mature people get to pass along their well-earned wisdom and younger folks get help in overcoming obstacles. Plus, when one teaches, two learn! Check out The National Mentoring Partnership: They have a “;connector”; database that matches mentors with people who want to be mentored.

6. Widen your circle.

September

If you have a few close friends, you are fortunate. However, regular contact with a broader range of people is also good for your mental health as you get older. According to research, published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, “;The midlife wellbeing of both men and women seems to depend on having a wide circle of friends whom they see regularly,”; says ScienceDaily.

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7. Make time to read.

reading

We all spend more time than ever looking at the screens of electronics. It’s time to put down your smart phone and pick up a good old book! Taking time to read books helps both our bodies and our minds: Research shows that reading can reduce stress levels by up to 68 percent, says the University of Minnesota. Whether you enjoy inspirational self-help, biographies or fantasy fiction, there’s a book out there for everyone. Audio books are also a great option when you”;re on the go! Listen to them on your commute, your daily jog or while you’re cooking up a healthy meal.

8. Try new apps.

new apps

Our phones and tablets bring the world to our fingertips and can make our lives easier. You can try apps that help you work on your memory skills, learn new vocabulary, pursue creative ideas, manage your finances, try new workouts and so much more. Want to lose weight this September? Check out the FREE NuMi app from Nutrisystem, available for both Apple and Android devices! It’s the ultimate app for weight loss because it makes it easy for you to track your progress and provides daily information and inspiration. Learn more here! >

9. Learn a second language.

September

Being able to speak two languages not only allows us to communicate with a wider variety of people but it”;s also good for our brains. According to Annual Review of Linguistics, “research in recent decades has demonstrated that experience with two (or more) languages confers a bilingual advantage in executive functions and may delay the incidence of Alzheimer’s disease.” You can learn a new language using one of the many online courses or apps. Solidify your skills by practicing with native speakers whenever possible.

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10. Fix your posture.

September

Sitting all day and staring at a screen can cause poor posture. This can damage your spine, cause neck and back pain, decrease flexibility and impact breathing, says MedlinePlus. You can avoid these problems by bearing in mind the basics of good posture throughout the day: Harvard Health Publishing recommends keeping your chin parallel to the floor and your shoulders even. You should have a “neutral spine” with your arms at your sides. Be sure to keep your hips level, knees and feet pointing forward and your body weight distributed evenly. Run down that list when you”;re sitting and standing to re-balance yourself and prevent the slumping that pushes us out of alignment.

11. Meditate daily.

September

Taking a little time each day to clear your mind of your daily cares and concerns can help you enjoy a stress-free September. According to Mayo Clinic, meditation has been shown to decrease the symptoms of high-blood pressure, chronic pain, anxiety, headaches, sleep problems and more. You can find many apps and online videos to help you get started. However, the basics are simple: sit in a comfortable position in a location that”;s free from distractions. Focus on the rhythm of your breathing and let any thoughts or worries that enter your mind drift away. All you need is 10 minutes to get the benefits of this little break from the rush of daily life.

12. Cook often.

healthy cooking

When you prepare your own food, you pay attention to the ingredients and can avoid unhealthy additives like salt and sweeteners. If you don”;t have much experience cooking, start off simple and practice your skills before you take on more elaborate dishes. Don”;t know where to begin? Check out The Leaf Weight Loss Blog for thousands of easy and delicious recipes that fit into your healthy diet! You can also pick up a copy of the book How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman. It covers all the basics and shares the little tips and secrets that great home cooks learn after years in the kitchen.

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13. Sleep more.

sleep

You might not think of sleeping as a way to improve your life. However, so many of us are chronically tired that it actually harms our mental and physical health. Lack of sleep even increases our chances of overeating and makes it harder for us to lose excess weight, says Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care. Try your best to stick to a regular bedtime and wake-up schedule. If you find yourself tired in the middle of the day, taking a 20-minute nap can refresh you without disrupting your night-time sleep.

Learn more about the importance of getting good sleep! >

14. Lose weight.

weight loss

According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, being overweight or obese can lead to a wide range of health concerns, such as diabetes and heart disease. Losing the excess weight can reduce your risk of these problems, as well as promote positive feelings, a sense of accomplishment and better self-image. To help you reach a healthy weight, consider trying a convenient meal delivery service that fits into your new September schedule. The all-new Nutrisystem program provides you with a personalized weight loss experience and perfectly portioned meals delivered to your door. You take a quiz and we provide you with a plan that’s tailored to you. Click here to learn more! >

15. Be grateful, be happy.

September

Simply being thankful for the most basic things that we have in our lives–;food and shelter, health and safety, family and friends–;improves our sense of well-being. Practicing gratitude is associated with “greater life satisfaction,” according to research, published in the medical journal Psychiatry. What better way to improve ourselves this September than to be happier about all the good things we have? Try starting a gratitude journal and reflect on what you’re thankful for throughout the month. It’s a great way to start your day with a positive mind.

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The post 15 Self-Improvement Tips for a Successful September appeared first on The Leaf.

Read more: leaf.nutrisystem.com

10 Ideas for a Happy and Healthy Mother’s Day

10 Ideas for a Happy and Healthy Mother’s Day

While giving a thoughtful present is a great way to show your love, there’s nothing quite like the gift of creating memories. Spend this Mother’s Day having fun, getting healthy and bonding with the important women in your life. Whether it’s your mom, grandmother or mother-in-law, there are many ways to celebrate this important day.

Our health and wellness experts at The Leaf have put together a list of 10 unique activities that promote well-being, happiness and just having a plain old a good time. We know you don’t want to show up to mom’s house empty handed, so we’ve also included thoughtful gift ideas and some delicious and healthy holiday recipes to go with each creative adventure. Your mother will love the fact that you’re spending valuable time with her and she will surely appreciate your loving efforts!

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Celebrate Mother’s Day the healthy way with these 10 activities and gift ideas:
1. Life is a Picnic

picnic

Bring to life some healthy picnic ideas at the park! Put together a meal that’s complete with the works. Fill up a basket with some yummy and healthy picnic foods, snacks, sandwiches and beverages and grab a comfy quilt to sit on. Don’t forget to pack plates, napkins, utensils and bug spray! Find a nice spot under the shade and enjoy the springtime breeze combined with great conversation and quality time.

The Leaf Gift Idea: Surprise mom with these healthy, homemade snacks and desserts that are portable, picnic-ready and delicious. Check out the recipe ideas below for some tasty wellness inspiration!

3-Step Cinnamon Pecan Cookies >
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Cannoli Stuffed Strawberries >
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Zucchini Fritters with Soy Dipping Sauce >
Smoked Salmon Cucumber Cups >

2. Move with Mom

Healthy Mother

If your mom is into fitness, schedule a fun total body workout class that you can take together. Group workouts are a fun way to strengthen your bodies and relationships. Break a sweat and have fun at a power yoga class, spin class, Zumba or aerobics. Dancing is another great low impact activity that many mothers enjoy. You could head to a community line dancing class and learn something new while you create memories.

The Leaf Gift Idea: Gift your fitness-loving mom a new colorful yoga mat, reusable water bottle or a new set of dumbbells. Get inspired by our list of Must-Have Fitness Gear! >

3. Spoil Her Shopping

Healthy Mother

Take a trip to the mall and shop ’til you drop! In addition to spoiling your mom with some new stuff, you’ll both get exercise as mall walkers, trekking from store to store. Make the day all about mom and let her choose where she wants to shop. If you’re not the best at picking out gifts, this will allow her to choose exactly what she wants.

The Leaf Gift Idea: Let mom explore the mall and pick out a new purse, piece of jewelry or outfit. You could also treat her to a gift card to her favorite store.

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4. Munch on Brunch
Healthy Mother

Is it even Mother’s Day if brunch isn’t involved? Hit the road and head to mom’s favorite restaurant to grab a bite to eat. Just make sure to check out our Breakfast Dining Out Guide before you order! If your mom’s feeling lazy (she’s allowed, it’s her day!), treat her to a healthy breakfast in bed. The Leaf Weight Loss Blog is filled with healthy breakfast ideas that are worthy of a fancy brunch. She will love our recipes for Loaded Omelet Muffins, Cauliflower Breakfast Hash and Churro French Toast Rollups. You can even make her a warm stack of flapjacks with Nutrisystem High Protein Pancake Mix!

The Leaf Gift Idea: While she’s digging into her breakfast in bed, give mom the gift of comfort with a new weighted blanket. According to Healthline, weighted blankets may help to relieve stress, pain and insomnia.

5. Get to Work
Healthy Mother

Now is the perfect time to complete all of those projects your mother has been asking about! Do her spring cleaning by scrubbing the bathroom, washing the windows and organizing the pantry. Paint that old bathroom she’s been wanting to redo and fill the house with fresh flowers. Speaking of flowers, plant some new ones in her garden and get the yard ready for spring. You can also help mom plant some healthy vegetables and herbs in the backyard or indoors in pots.

Learn more about the surprising benefits of gardening and exercise your green thumb with mom this Mother”;s Day. You can also try other outdoor activities for a fun and productive home workout: Mow the lawn, rake the leaves and finish any other tasks she needs done. You’ll get a good total body workout and mom will be happy with her freshly cleaned home!

The Leaf Gift Idea: If she’s got a green thumb, treat mom to some new stylish gardening equipment for tending flowers and vegetables.

6. Tea Time

tea time

Catch up with mom over a cup of hot tea. Head to a local teahouse and sip on some chai with biscuits or grab grandma’s favorite antique teapot and brew your own at home. In addition to enjoying a tasty beverage, tea provides many health benefits. According to Medical News Today, green tea has been shown to decrease the risk of cancer, heart disease and diabetes. Learn more about why you and mom should drink green tea this Mother”;s Day! >

The Leaf Gift Idea: A new tea set with a beautiful design is the perfect gift for a tea-loving mom. She’ll be brewing up her own healthy tea at home and inviting you over for weekly tea time.

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7. Farmer’s Market Fun

farmer's market

Pick up mom and head to the local farmer’s market! Treat her to some of her favorite items and get some exercise as you walk around shopping. Let her pick out some new fresh flowers for the garden or porch. Fill up a basket of fresh, local produce for her weekly meal planning. Keep your eye out for other unique, locally made goodies and crafts like candles, wreaths and other seasonal décor. Find out how to know what produce is in season this spring! >

The Leaf Gift Idea: Before you get to shopping, gift mom a new shopping tote bag to fill with her farmer’s market finds! While you’re there, buy her favorite flowers, fruit and anything else she shows interest in.

8. Self-Care Sunday

self-care sunday

Don’t underestimate the importance of self-care. Drop mom off at the spa for a Mother’s Day filled with massages, facials and relaxation. Take her to the salon to get her hair done, followed by a mani-pedi. She will love getting pampered and spending time with you.

The Leaf Gift Idea: Create a self-care gift basket filled with face masks, soaps, essential oils, candles, a new book and a plush bath robe with matching slippers.

9. Explore the Great Outdoors

Healthy Mother

Take advantage of the springtime weather with a fun hiking workout, walk at the park or bike ride. You could even head to a local botanical garden or arboretum to gaze at the beautiful flowers and trees. Get active and create memories with an outdoor adventure that you both enjoy.

The Leaf Gift Idea: Help mom stay active with a new activity tracker! This will allow her to track her steps and activity with an easy-to-use tool that promotes health.

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10. Dinner Date

Healthy Mother

Cook a healthy meal together and enjoy some quality time this Mother’s Day. Try some of these easy, healthy and delicious dinner recipes with mom! > If you both aren’t in the mood to cook, head out on the town and dine out at your mom’s favorite restaurant. Check out our Dining Out Guide to ensure you make a healthy choice and don’t forget to pick up the check at the end of the night!

The Leaf Gift Idea: If your mother loves to cook, treat her to that new cooking appliance that she has been eyeing. Maybe she wants to try out an air fryer or whip up quick and easy meals in an Instant Pot. She will love the gesture and new addition to her healthy kitchen.

Looking for more wellness and lifestyle tips this Mother”;s Day? Look no further! Our lifestyle and weight loss experts at The Leaf are here to help you and mom achieve your weight loss goals and overall health and happiness this spring!

The post 10 Ideas for a Happy and Healthy Mother’s Day appeared first on The Leaf.

Read more: leaf.nutrisystem.com