I am the farthest thing from a health nut. I do practice “moderation” the best that I can, but I will never have the willpower to say no to a Dominos pizza. You know?
That said, after getting pretty sick last year and facing a scary reality that (surprise!) I’m not invincible, I realized that I did have to prioritize my health. Sometimes I find articles about health and wellness to be incredibly overwhelming. One minute we’re supposed to be using coconut oil for everything and the next minute, it’s killing everyone (or so they say). I read up on the best practices, and instead of feeling inspired, I feel defeated. It seems like an impossible task.
Maybe if I ditched my electronics and moved to a cabin on a mountain, I’d be able to grow my own organic vegetables to live off of. But for now, there’s the real world– and all the temptations that come along with that!
This is NOT an expert post, but instead, a personal one where I share what I’ve found to work best for me. They’re easy ways that I’ve been able to incorporate healthy changes into my everyday life without it taking over my life. I thought it was good timing since a lot of us make resolutions at the beginning of the year to be healthier. Now that we’re halfway through 2017, it’s a good time to check in to make sure you’re living up to those goals you may have set.
SLEEP // I have found that the one thing makes the biggest impact on my life health wise is sleep. Getting enough sleep throughout the night is imperative. I used to be terrible about this, and that was a major contributing factor to getting so sick last year. When I was younger, I could get away with fewer hours, but not so much anymore. I set a goal to try to be wrapped up with work by 9:30 pm and to have the dogs walked and all of us in bed by 10. I read or meditate before falling asleep hopefully before 11. It doesn’t always work out that way, but starting with a goal makes it easier.
While I’m sure there’s legit science behind it, I can absolutely vouch for how I feel after a good night’s rest and how terrible I feel after a bad night’s rest. It sets the tone for my entire day if I wake up with a deficit.
WATER // Here’s another no-brainer, but this one was one of the more challenging ones for me to figure out. I knew I wasn’t drinking enough water for years. I’ve tried all kinds of tricks, and a lot ended up working (like lemon water and keeping cold reusable bottles ready to go at all times in my fridge). Once I got into the habit of drinking a lot of water though, I couldn’t imagine not doing it. When I’m at home, it’s the easiest to keep refilling glasses of water. And I try to stay on top of it when I’m out and about by keeping a water bottle in my car or tote. The more water I drink, the better I feel throughout the day. (And a bonus is brighter/healthier skin!)
MEDITATION // Are you sick of hearing me talk about meditation yet?! I just can’t recommend it enough. Instead of going on about it again, here’s my post from a couple of weeks ago. Bottom line: it’s a game changer.
LISTEN // Another super simple thing you can do is to listen to your body. You are going to know yourself the best. Trust what you feel and give your body what it needs. There are days when I crave fresh greens, and I make sure to get a salad or two during the day. If I feel lightheaded, I drink more water and sit down for a bigger meal. If I feel a little nauseated, I cut back on what I’m eating and go back to a simple diet that I know won’t mess with my stomach more.
Listening takes practice though. You have to be tuned into your body at all times and not just doing the listening when your body is in “crisis.” I try to measure how I’m feeling throughout the day while noting things that might cause little changes. Did a burger make me feel sluggish? Did that iced latte make me too jittery to focus in the afternoon? Was I satisfied for a long time after a grilled salmon salad?
Any easy tips you follow for a healthier life?