New year, new goals. You’ll probably have embarking on a healthy lifestyle written somewhere as part of your new year’s resolution. Fast forward to more than half a year later. Did you actually abide by your resolution?
There’s a difference between existing and living. If you wish to make the most out of your life on Earth, one of the most important things is to be healthy. That way, you can enjoy the good times and have the energy to fight through the bad. As they all say, health is wealth.
However, being healthy does not only mean eating right and constant exercise. Here are 10 ways in which you can keep yourself healthy:
1. Eat Healthily
If you’re tired of reading about fad diets and celebrities losing weight with miracle recipes or slimming products, you’re not the only one.
The truth is when most people hear the phrase “eat healthily”, they think about eating correctly for a limited amount of time, so they can look a certain way. Even if you’re turning healthy food into a lifestyle, you still dream of cheat days.
And that’s not ok.
Eat healthily to feel great, to eliminate mental fog and to be more content.
Healthy eating helps you be more present at home and better at your job.
Pro tip: Various diets claim to be the best – Paleo, Keto, Mediterranean or Vegan are just a few. Choose the one you resonate with, but avoid saturated fats, an excess of sugar, salty and fried foods.
2. Sleep Right
Different people have different definitions of getting enough sleep. Some of us thrive when we go to bed early, while others are night owls. Some can make do with 6 hours of rest, while others need 9 hours per night.
Research has shown that that sleeping right means going through at least four or five sleep cycles each night, from shallow to deep sleep to REM.
If you wish to avoid insomnia or sleep interruptions, limit your screen time two hours before bed. Arrange your bedroom for sleep, with no distractions, no screens, not even books. Do a relaxing, mellow activity before bed. This can include light stretching or simple yoga.
Pro tip: If you have trouble sleeping, don’t go to bed determined to fall asleep. Rather, focus on getting some well-deserved rest and banish all your worries about falling asleep or not.
3. Get Moving
Staying active has plenty of health benefits: it keeps you at a normal weight, decreases bad cholesterol, activates your heart and lungs and fortifies your bones and keeps you happier.
Choose whichever activity you like, whether it’s jogging, weight training or walking. If you’re limited by your schedule, consider using your work break, riding to work on a bike, or doing some Pilates while watching TV at home.
You can even consider a standing desk if you have back pains.
Instead of spending your entire weekends lazing at home, you can plan an outing with your friends. These can include hiking, rock climbing or even Zumba classes.
4. Don’t Focus On The Negatives
Focus on feeling grateful for what you have.
It’s good to want to perfect your life, but you’ll have to accept that some things are out of our reach. Instead of scowling at the rain, grab a raincoat and fill your lungs with fresh air.
Don’t dwell on conflicts that make you bitter. Look for solutions and lessons to learn, not mistakes and culprits.
5. Focus On The Now
Many people suffer from depression or anxiety because they’re stressed and focus too much either on the past or on the future.
Focusing on the now means living mindfully. This helps you avoid conflicts or rash decisions made because of fear. It also helps you set reasonable expectations regarding people around you or your work objectives.
It’s normal to feel that your life hasn’t turned out the way you envisioned it when you were young. But instead of searching for life’s meaning, make every moment meaningful.
6. Love Your Job (Or At Least Tolerate It)
It’s true that people who love their jobs are less stressed. Going every day to a job you hate takes its toll, from anxiety to headaches and sleep disorders.
It’s also true that not everyone can find their dream job. “Do something you love and you’ll never have to work a day in your life” is a cliché that fits 1% of people.
If your job is actively influencing your health, find something else to do. But if it’s not, learn to tolerate it. After all, a job is work you have to do to get the money you need for the things you actually like.
Meditation helps you stay present. It helps you understand your body and your mind. It also helps you stay connected with your true self.
Meditation helps you understand the physical sensations you feel in your body and associate them with your emotions. That way, you can make better, more rational decisions.
Besides, meditation is shown to decrease stress – one of today’s silent killers.
8. Spend Time Outdoors
Studies have shown that two hours spent outdoors each week have a huge impact on your health. That’s not a lot of time if you think about it.
You just need to be out in a park, garden or beach, somewhere with lush foliage. You can ride your bike or play with your kids, but just sitting on a bench has the same effect.
These effects are probably thanks to breathing cleaner air and being exposed to natural light. Some physical activity might also increase your endorphins while spending time with your loved ones outside activates your reward centers and increases your dopamine levels.
9. Find A Hobby
A hobby makes you feel accomplished and helps you connect with others. Whether you’re learning a new skill or improving yourself, you will feel rewarded, which makes your brain secrete dopamine. Conversely, low dopamine levels are associated with mental issues like depression.
A hobby can be something you like doing by yourself, or with others. If you have problems making friends, your hobby can help you. Chances are there’s an online group for everything you like to do, and you can easily get in touch with other people.
10. Spend Time With Your Loved Ones
Don’t neglect the people you love. Aristotle said it best: man is by nature a social animal. Your family and friends surround you with the love and support you need to enjoy the good days and get through the bad.
Your loved ones also give you the opportunity to return their support. Being an active member of a tight-knit group of people makes you feel that you matter. Helping and sharing with other people gives you a sense of purpose and increases your endorphins.