When you hear the words “glow- up challenge,” you might think of a trend that focuses solely on your physical appearance, with subtle messages that tell you how and why you need to “be a 10”. The steps noted in such challenges can be far too extreme or unrealistic to manage; this can influence your self-worth and lead you to believe that you need to adhere to a specific image to be liked, loved, or respected.
Our take on the glow-up challenge is a taaaad bit different.
For us, “glow up” means to nourish our bodies and minds – filling them with positive vibes and healthy habits. It’s about feeling your best for YOU and nobody else. Because at the end of the day, when we feel damn good about ourselves, both mentally and physically – boosting our level of confidence and self-esteem – that is the true definition of glowing up.
The following steps outlined are not unique new concepts but daily reminders we turn to to keep thriving.
Let’s get into it.
Everyone keeps touting the importance of hydrating your body with water – and for a good reason. Daily intake of water is vital to many functions in the body. According to the CDC, drinking water helps regulate your body temperature, protects your spinal cord, and cushions your joints.
So, how much should you consume? For most people, 6-8 glasses of water are sufficient. However, there is no clear-cut answer for everyone, as each person’s needs vary. If you live in a hot climate or practice vigorous exercise, your daily water intake may be higher than usual. Moral of the story: make water your first pick when it comes to hydration.
2. Cut the Sugar
It may surprise you to learn that much of what we eat contains sugar. This sweet goodness may be hidden somewhere in the ingredients list, or we don’t even process that the savory snack we’re eating could actually be filled with sugar.
For us, this is by far the most challenging step listed. It’s not that it is undoable. It’s the fact that removing it from your diet makes you crave it all the more – hello, moodiness and irritability. This is because sugar is highly addictive, so we’re always looking to maintain dopamine (the feel-good hormone) levels. But the problem is that as our sugar intake increases, so do our inflammation and heart disease risks.
To avoid getting hit with significant withdrawal symptoms, start small. Take one thing and substitute it for a healthier option. We like to switch out sugary drinks for carbonated flavored water or fruity tea. Do this consistently, and you’ll slowly but surely start noticing the benefits, like a clearer mind and more energy.
3. Start Moving
We don’t mean sign up for a marathon (I mean, you could if you wanted to), but nothing feels better than that post-workout sensation. Not only does exercise support your physical body, but it also plays a significant role in your mental health. In fact, studies indicate that regular workout regimens can help reduce anxiety and depression. Even if it’s for 10 minutes a day, start making it a priority, and it will lead to a routine, and ultimately a lifestyle.
If you’re not super keen on workouts, that’s okay. Just try to find moments to move throughout the day. Walk or bike instead of taking transport, climb the stairs, spend time outdoors. It doesn’t have to feel like a chore – make it enjoyable, and your whole body will thank you.
The benefits of meditation continue to be praised as more and more people discover how this simple yet challenging exercise can positively influence their lives. It can help reduce stress for starters, which in turn helps to improve sleep patterns and eliminate cluttered thoughts.
Meditation can also play a key role in your emotional well-being – encouraging you to have a more positive outlook on your self-image.
So, how do you get started? Skip the DIY version and opt for guided meditation (at least, that’s our recommendation). We love meditation apps like Calm and Headspace as they provide more structure– it’s almost as if you have a personal instructor right then and there, helping you stick with the practice.
5. Create A Daily Skin Care Regimen
Taking care of your skin is critical to maintaining proper physical health. Think about it: your skin is the body’s primary defense against environmental damage and other external factors – so keeping the barrier healthy is paramount.
Plus, creating such a routine where you take time for yourself is indeed a form of self-love. Start with the basics: cleanse, tone, exfoliate, and moisturize. Apply a hydrating mask once a week. Then repeat.
6. Create A Gratitude Journal
Forming a gratitude journal is one of the best ways to help shift your mindset, giving a fresh perspective, and reminding you of what matters most in life. It’s also a useful tool for keeping negative thoughts at bay.
It’s simple: write down 3-5 things you’re grateful for today. They could be anything, big or small – like, something you’re thankful for when you look outside the window or something that has made you smile recently.
7. Include Superfoods into Your Diet
Okay, so technically, there is no such thing as a “superfood” – you can thank marketing for coining that term- but there are foods that are jam-packed with dense nutrients. Think dark leafy greens, berries, and avocado – to name a few. Start including these foods into your diet for ample health benefits.
Tip: Smoothies are a perfect opportunity to increase your veggie count. Try adding in some spinach or kale the next time you take out your blender. This one from Minimalist Baker is a dream – you can hardly notice the spinach’s flavor, yet it’s oh-so-creamy and delicious.