Through consulting, public speaking and counseling, registered dietitian and integrative nutrition health coach Jessica Cording helps clients streamline their wellness routines for a more balanced relationship to eating and exercise. Her new book “The Little Book of Game Changers: 50 Healthy Habits for Managing Stress & Anxiety” (Viva Editions, January 2020) offers small, digestible steps toward a happier and healthier life.
We asked Cording for tips on nurturing wellness despite the day-to-day stress of work life (whether you’re at the office or at home). Here are her top take-aways:
Make yourself a “to do”—Cording suggests putting your own name on your calendar for a blocked-off chunk of time. In addition to ensuring that self-care essentials like working out and prepping healthy food happen, it “serves as a powerful reminder that your health and well-being matter just as much as the other priorities on your agenda,” Cording says.
Make healthy eating easy—Cording says to “stock your home, workplace and car with your favorite healthy foods.” She also suggests keeping a list of healthy takeout options so that you can make choices that support your goals even on days when you don’t have the time to cook a nourishing meal.
Embrace shortcuts—“Frozen and pre-cut produce can seriously streamline your food prep,” Cording says. She also recommends grocery delivery and meal kits for a quicker way to prepare healthy food you’ll enjoy.
Have routines—“Having little rituals to start and end your day can make a huge difference in feeling grounded when you’re really stressed, a time when you’re most likely to drop the ball on self-care,” Cording says. She adds that the routine need not be elaborate. In the morning, you could drink a glass of water while journaling on the day’s goals. At night, turn off the screens and jot down what went well that day or what you’re thankful for.
Pick workouts you enjoy—“The best workout is the one you’ll actually do,” Cording says. She suggests finding a form of movement that you truly enjoy and can easily work into your schedule. Doing so will help you be more consistent, both in the short and long term.