Are you looking to make your routine a little healthier, but maybe you're overwhelmed by how to get started? The first step of your health journey doesn't have to be the hardest!
An immediate, extreme overhaul of one's lifestyle is almost guaranteed to backfire. It's best to take small, deliberate steps toward a healthier lifestyle, making incremental changes with enough rest in between to acclimate the body to its new conditions.
So what kinds of changes can we make to improve our lives little by little? Here are five healthy habits you can start today!
It's hard not to be hard on yourself.
We are often our own harshest critic. If you're the type to speak negatively to and about yourself that needs to stop now!
Name-calling and derogatory language isn't just offensive and inappropriate for other people, it is absolutely off limits for you too. When someone makes an honest mistake or doesn't know the proper solution to a problem it doesn't mean they deserve to hear how awful, unworthy and stupid they are, so why is it OK to treat yourself that way?
People can learn from their experiences and respond better with each opportunity. Give yourself the room to grow in the same way. It is okay to not have all the answers or do it right the first time. Speak gently, constructively and compassionately with yourself.
Acknowledge and resolve your flaws and blind spots, and continue to evolve into a responsible, caring and balanced person.
Plenty of people have a hard time making healthy food choices and often end up giving into the instant gratification of fatty, salty, carb-y or sugary junk foods. But even home-cooked meals can be calorie rich and nutrient poor, putting a damper on any diet attempt.
So start small with an anti-treat day. "Don't you mean treat day?" No.
If you're having a hard time switching to eating healthy every day, flip the script and have an anti-cheat day. We all know about cheat days - you eat healthy 6 out of 7 days of the week and then treat yourself to something less healthy. But if this seems daunting, try committing to 1 ultra healthy day and see how you feel.
Eat really well once a week.
It may not seem like much, but one anti-cheat day per week will get you into the habit of choosing foods that feed and fuel your mind and body. The urge to suppress uncomfortable feelings like stress, anxiety, anger, loneliness or dissatisfaction won't be smothered by comfort foods, so you'll have to find other ways to address the challenges you face in life, at least for a day.
Don't look at it as a punishment. You're actually treating your body well and giving it a nice little gift and a reason to celebrate.
Try this next: Habits for a Better Lifestyle
Gratitude is often a springboard into a healthier and happier life. Even if there doesn't seem to be anything worth feeling grateful for, find something.
If you are alive and breathing, if you have electricity and place to lay your head, if you have a single friend or decent family, or even memories of good relationships, express gratitude for them.
Say it out loud, write it in a journal, do it in a way that is meaningful to you. Not every day in your life will be worthy of celebration or nostalgia, but the ones where things go fine are just as important to acknowledge as the amazing days filled with luck and joy.
Have honest conversations with and about yourself. You don't need to be brutal when honest. Just speak your truth.
This can be very difficult as many unspoken rules of society require secrets, lies and alliances with power for comfort and security. The truth can hurt and will alienate and expose some people. But who and what you lose is often worth the peace and dignity you gain.
Jeopardizing your safety or genuine relationships for the idol of honesty is not the goal. Sacrificing your freedom or livelihood won't help you live a healthier life. But where you can, shine a light on your life and the people in it. Whatever shadows remain are no longer your burden to bare.
Be as polite and courteous as you can to service industry workers. These employees are not paid well and have to deal with unimaginably rude, entitled and abusive customers, along with managers who often do not have their interests in mind and can take away their financial security.
Yes, service workers can be rude and unhelpful themselves. Yes, they can be the cause of their own trouble. But it doesn't hurt to treat others well even if they do not return the favor. Say “Please,” and “Thank you.” Say “Have a nice day.” And remember, the way you treat others says more about you than it does about them.
How does treating others help you build a healthy habit? Besides being one less person putting out bad energy, science has shown that being kind to others is actually good for our mental health. It can even help reduce the effects of pain, depression and anxiety. Making someone else's day can really make your own better too!
Small changes spaced out over time can create vast, lasting changes in your life.
Committing to a healthy lifestyle doesn't have to hurt. Making little shifts throughout your life in several areas will change the trajectory of your experiences. Living healthy means thinking, acting and speaking with intention.
Know why you do, say and choose what you do and it will become easier to make a conscious choice that benefits you as a whole person. Step by step, brick by brick, these adjustments will help build a solid foundation to live, love and learn as the healthiest version of your remarkable self.
August 16, 2022
August 15, 2022