You probably more or less know the basics on how to live a healthy lifestyle. Some obvious first steps include eating a balanced diet and cutting back on sugars and alcohol. Sleeping, exercising, and keeping stress levels low are other key ingredients in health & wellbeing. But while it’s easy to read & write all these things down, how many of us can say that we’re actually doing these things on a regular basis? It can feel overwhelming at times or like a chore, but it doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, it’s possible to take a simple, realistic approach towards living a healthy lifestyle that actually feels achievable each day and not like a chore. Once you start, don’t stop, keeping going, the benefits will pay off in no time.
Your diet should consist of vegetables, fruit, lean meats like chicken and ground turkey (unless you’re vegan or vegetarian, then eat your substitute version), and grains. Make sure to give yourself a break, though, whether that’s a little bit of dessert one night, a splurge brunch with your friends on the weekend, or indulging in your favourite take-out every couple of weeks. Balance is key. THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH EATING CHOCOLATE, DONUTS OR WHATEVER IS CLASSED AS ‘BAD’ FOOD. It’s all about balance and moderation.
STAND RATHER THAN SIT.
This tip is similar to that of the exercise title further below. If something’s within walking distance, make the effort to walk instead of using the car (helps reduce carbon emissions too). When you have time to spare, park further away than you normally would to increase your step count. Every little helps!
REDUCE OR STOP DRINKING ALCOHOL.
My opinion on alcohol is that it should be banned, I put it in the same category as smoking, it’s vile. However, everyone’s opinion is different. That aside, limit drinking to once or twice a week, and try to keep it to a glass or two of your favourite alcohol. It’s not only better for your liver, but it’s better for your wallet, too. Some people don’t realise how much fat they can lose by cutting out alcohol, or how much better their skin looks etc. Also, who doesn’t want to save money to spend on something of use.
Don’t buy food from the café, make your lunch. Prepare a salad, sandwich, or even last night’s leftovers. Not only is it healthier, but you’ll also save money and once you continually do it, it’ll become a habit. They say it takes 21 days of continually doing something for it become a habit, so try it! Spend Sunday’s meal prepping your food for the following week, it helps in the long run, trust me!
TAKE TIME TO REST.
Rest is key! Without rest, our bodies wouldn’t function, they would go into overdrive and shut down. Taking time away from work can have both physical and psychological health benefits, including reducing the risk of heart attacks, depression, and stress. Take a nap in the afternoon, make sure you have a good sleeping pattern and stick to it. Furthermore, a little break from your job can actually increase your productivity when you return. But it’s not all about work, it will benefit your social life, family life and health.
BE POSITIVE, AVOID NEGATIVITY.
You can start to become what you allow into your life. Stay positive and optimistic (even when it’s the hardest to), and you may see things turn around for the better. I am probably one of the most positive/chilled person and it’s because I turn negativity into motivation to be a positive. Everyone has some form of negativity in their life, but it’s down to you to turn it into a positive. We wouldn’t be where we are in life if it weren’t for negativity, it makes us strong and powerful! EVERYTHING GETS BETTER!
DISASSOCIATE WITH TOXIC RELATIONSHIPS.
That’s not to say you should just cut everyone out of your life, but if you have a partner or friend who’s toxic to you or caused you pain and you’re unable to work through the situation, it might be time to consider walking away. If you’re unaware of toxic traits or signs, speak to a close friend or family member because they see things you don’t. Being open and honest with them, or even some form of therapy might be a good first step before you take more drastic measures.
REDUCE SCREEN TIME.
We do almost everything on our phones, computers, TVs, and tablets, even more so now than ever before. You will be sat reading this blog on your phone or laptop which is ironic. So a digital break might seem impossible, but taking time away from it every day is a good thing. It can improve sleep, increase productivity, and strengthen relationships with friends and family. It doesn’t have to be a long break, either—consider trying to media detox for 30 minutes each day, progressively increasing overtime. You can encourage this by keeping your phone out of your bedroom at night, going on a long walk, phone free or with an emergency phone, taking a bath or have a nap, or making it a habit to keep tech away from the dinner table. This links in with trying new things, instead of sitting on your phone, laptop or watching TV. Now is the right time to try something new.
Exercise can improve stress, so make it a goal to move every day. You don’t have to hit the gym, if that’s not your thing. Take a hike, do the cleaning around the house, go for a swim, hop on a bike, do a home workout, or stream an online workout. Anything that can stimulate the muscles, get the blood flowing, and get the lungs and heart working, will massively help!
START A BLOG/JOURNAL.
Keep a journal or blog about your days, and share with others. You wouldn’t believe how many people can relate to you. If you want to write about something else that requires reading and research then it helps you because it stimulates the brain and enhances brain function. Reading and writing, which exercises your brain, can help keep decrease mental decline, which is so necessary during a pandemic.
TRY NEW THINGS.
Having interests outside of family and work will make you feel more fulfilled and stop boredom, particularly during Covid-19. Consider learning to cook/bake, taking up a sport (if they’re open), volunteering or learn DIY.
DON’T CARE WHAT OTHERS THINK ABOUT YOU.
It’s not worth expending your energy on the opinions of others, especially when they become detrimental to you. Be true to yourself, and you’ll attract people who genuinely like and value you for who you are.
LET ME KNOW WHAT YOU THINK ABOUT THESE TIPS, IF YOU HAVE ANY TIPS, POST THEM IN THE COMMENTS, I WOULD BE GRATEFUL!
HOPE YOU ENJOYED READING!