Health is hard. It’s made even more difficult when we’re assaulted with triggers that are encouraging us to live a less than healthy lifestyle.
I’m looking at you, Netflix.
I’m also looking at you, bulk candy aisle.
Chip aisle, you get a special shoutout as well.
Chipotle, don’t even get me started on you.
Becoming a healthy person is much more than simply adopting a good diet or running them milez. It encompasses your whole being, so the habits you create should reflect a well-rounded view of wellness. There are far more than just 25 habits to a healthy life, but this list is as good a place to start as any.
- Exercise on a regular basis. It’s the first step to being healthy, and has numerous benefits, besides just losing weight. Including, but not limited to, all those feel-good endorphins.
- Sleep. Don’t be afraid to nap (remember when napping was a given and not a luxury? Oh, kindergarten.) but remember that overnight sleep is more important. Don’t nap if you think it’ll interfere with that.
- Eat well. Choose foods that will fill and nourish you, not just that are easy. Easy foods tend to have higher levels of sugar and salt, which can make you feel bloated and sluggish. I spent 24 years of my life not knowing the magic of Brussel sprouts, and that’s a tragedy in my book.
- Cook your own food. Learning how to make good food can help you learn how to cut down on the bad things in your diet, mainly fat, sugar and salt.
- Strong bonds with family and friends have been linked to a longer lifespan. Fam over everything 4E4L.
- Gratitude for the good. Things can always be better, but that doesn’t mean you can’t show immense appreciation for everything you already have in your life.
- Laughter should be a part of your every day.
- Forgiveness. Carrying a grudge doesn’t do anything to improve your life, it only detracts from it.
- Quiet time. Spend quiet time without phones or television when you can work on something you love. It might be painting, reading or dance, but make sure you have time to devote to it
- Don’t miss breakfast. It helps to kickstart your metabolism. That will keep it boosted for the rest of the day and keep you from overeating later.
- Try new things. Be open to new experiences no matter how small.
- Pick a day to avoid meat. Whether it’s an entire day or just dinner, it gives you an opportunity to try new recipes. And, you know, you avoid a day of ingesting an animal’s fear.
- Meditation has been linked to lower stress, lower resting heart rates, a healthier lifestyle and many other benefits.
- Get a pedometer. There are hundreds of apps you can download. Set a goal to walk double the steps you take your first day, and keep working to increase your goals.
- Buy a new fresh food every time you go to the grocery store. There are probably many things you haven’t tried. I spent 22 years not knowing the magic of guacamole. Don’t let something like that happen to you!
- Address addictions. They impact your mind, body and spirituality. Only by taking them on can you begin to work toward a healthy life. Bulk candy aisle, I’m sorry, but we have to break up.
- Listen to your body. It knows what it’s doing. If you feel sluggish, tired, anxious or in pain, something is wrong. Stop and listen, and eventually you’ll figure out what you need.
- Find a doctor you trust. That can be hard today. Many doctors are simply too busy and see too many patients. Find one who takes the time to listen and work with you. Their advice can be invaluable.
- Manage your stress levels. Balance your stress, and make sure to take time out from things that create stress, including work.
- Take basic preventative measures to avoid getting sick. Wash your hands, cover your mouth when you cough and try to avoid people who might be sick.
- Learn how to handle your anger. Many people still struggle with this, even as adults. There’s no shame in it, but learning how to deal with it appropriately can be vital to friendships and your career.
- Drink enough water. Staying hydrated will prevent you from mistaking dehydration for hunger and will help prevent overeating.
- Find your balance. No life is well lived if you can’t eat cake at all, or if you eat cake on a daily basis. Similarly, you can’t work constantly and expect to have a wonderful home life. Find the balance that works for you and your family. Otherwise, you’ll always feel dissatisfied.
- Try probiotics. They have been shown to help lower stress levels and help relieve depression, and there are signs they can impact a wide variety of health issues. Take care of your gut fauna – they need you to live, and you need them to live well.
- Ask for help. Never be afraid to say when something is too much. Trying to force yourself to take it all on is a recipe for disaster – especially for your mental health.
Start here. Take it one day at a time. You can live a happy, healthy life, but only if you work for it.