The stress, frustration and panic of 2020 overwhelmed even the most resilient of us. You may have had strong feelings and dealt with issues on levels you never dreamed you would have to.
This year, you may have decided to hit the reset button and get back to a healthier lifestyle, hoping it will also lead to an overall improvement in your quality of life. Sometimes, however, knowing where to start can derail even the best of intentions.
Utilise these four tips and get yourself back on the strong, healthy and happy life path.
1. Clear the Clutter
At the close of a year, it is typical to step back and decide the things you can change to improve your life. You may consider purging those things that no longer seem to serve a purpose in your life. Most people may wait for spring to clean out their closets and garages, but you may not want to. It is never a bad thing to go through and get rid of the clutter.
This may come in the form of a pile of clothes you no longer wear, a pile of old magazines you will not read, or a bunch of projects that you will never get to. This is a great time to clean out and up. Set a timer, so the project does not become all-consuming. Work on one area at a time and make piles of things to repurpose, recycle and donate.
2. Examine & Adjust Eating Habits
Eating better is a central element in becoming healthier. The dreaded "D" word may be something that carries a negative connotation with it, and rightfully so. People who go on diets often find themselves losing weight for a short time, but inevitably they wind up gaining it back. Some studies have shown that when people restrict their eating too much, they tend to pile even more pounds back on over time.
Instead of focusing on what you should not eat, shift your thinking to 'balance'. Don't deny yourself completely. Supplementing with extra water and protein powder can help keep cravings for sweets at a minimum. Taking a slower and more positive approach to changing your diet can also help with your mental wellbeing.
3. Start Moving More
Exercise in any form is better than remaining sedentary. If you are used to sitting for work or school, you may want to start getting active. Even easy exercise, such as walking, can have positive benefits for your physical and mental health. Blood pumps more efficiently, and the heart grows stronger.
Endorphines are released through exercise. These hormones flood the brain with feelings of contentment. Becoming active gradually may help keep injuries at a minimum. Start by walking 20 minutes a day, six days a week. Increase the time as the weeks go by. Having an accountability partner can also keep you on track.
4. Explore Meditation
Meditation is a practice that can profoundly shift your mental health. Meditation is all about retraining the mind to become more attentive by focusing on an object, a thought or an activity. Those who meditate can remain calm even in difficult situations. People who meditate regularly report less stress and are often less likely to develop a chronic illness or pain. Yoga is one way to explore a meditative state. Through a series of concentrated and controlled movements and breathing, yoga helps to refocus the mind within. Of course, any movement of the body is beneficial for physical health. Meditation can benefit mental and physical health.
Caring for yourself, especially after a stressful and draining time, is essential in increasing longevity and happiness. Making a few adjustments and focusing firmly on your mental and physical health can go a long way to getting back on track for a long and fulfilling life.
This article was kindly written and contributed by Lewis Robinson.