If it took you years to build the habits you have, it’s only natural to think that it will take just as long to adopt a new one. Change is never easy and putting pressure on yourself to have everything a certain way at once is unrealistic. Baby steps – that’s all that’s standing between you and your goals. With that, here are some simple changes you can do now to set yourself on the right path to a healthy life.
Learn to say no.
Sounds cliché, right? You might think you’re already practicing the habit of saying no, but how many times do you find yourself committing to social events or saying yes to extra tasks at work you know are going to cause stress? Living within our energetic means is key to avoiding burnout.
Saying no isn’t wrong or selfish. You are in charge of your well-being and if you don’t take care of yourself, who will? It’s time to start saying yes to everything that will uplift, inspire and serve you, and let go of everything else that won’t.
Eat to seasons.
A senior researcher and campaigner at Survival International, Jo Woodman once said: “For many tribal and indigenous peoples, their food systems are complex, self-sufficient and deliver a very broad-based, nutritionally diverse diet”. Mother Nature knows best.
Your body is equipped to eat to seasons, due to temperature changes and changes in the soil. Asparagus is always best in summer while celery can be enjoyed fresh in winter. Learning to purchase produce from local farmers who know what is in season is essential to eating the best quality products available.
There is no right or wrong way to meditate – you just have to start! It isn’t better in the morning, or at night, or for an hour or guided. What is best is what works for you, so start experimenting. Listening to some soothing music can help with relaxation, or you might prefer a positive affirmation practice to set the mood for a motivated day.
Start small and build from there. Ultimately, the goal is to allow yourself to switch off and focus on YOU! Meditation is not the art of not thinking, allow the thoughts to come to you, acknowledge them and move on. You will soon learn that the real art of meditation is letting go of being controlled by your mind.
Move more through “incidental activity”.
If exercising is not your thing, trick your body into it. Incidental activity or exercise is the single most effective habit you can build and sustain long-term for practicing exercise.
Incorporate a little extra movement into your daily activities. If you drive to work, park further away and walk the rest of the distance. Live in an apartment block? Take the stairs. Walk to the grocery store. Meet a friend for a takeaway coffee and go for a walk. Better yet, meet your client for a walking meeting and set a new trend and standard for business gatherings.
Bedrooms are simply for sleeping.
Bedrooms are certainly not for watching TV or browsing the internet. Train your body to recognize your bedroom as the one room in the house it goes to relax, unwind and, of course, sleep, if the temptation is too real with your phone ride beside you try leaving it in another room of the house overnight.
Self-care isn’t selfish.
Our mind and bodies not only require but also deserve frequent self-care sessions. In order to function at our optimum best, we must pay careful attention to the needs and requests our bodies yell out for from time to time.
Feeling tired isn’t always a normal symptom, it’s a cry from your body to say slow down. Aches and pains need attention as well. What is your body telling you?
Practice self-care and self-kindness and treat it as you would healthy eating or safe driving; a necessity not a luxury.
Which of the above lifestyle changes do you already practice? Anything you do or start today however small it may seem will make a big difference to the well-being of your future.
This article was written by Samantha Lippiatt