I think that any time is a good time to look at our lives and make healthy changes that help us to be better for ourselves -- and better equipped to serve the people in our lives.
There is no reason to start on a Monday, or wait until the start of a new season, but for me, Spring feels like a time of renewal anyway with Lent and Easter, so I take a good look at areas where I can improve and begin to try to implement changes.
Small steps often yield better long-term results as too much change can be stressful and lead to burn out / bail out.
This year, some healthy changes I am trying to implement include allowing more quiet time and less social media -- more stretching and mobility work -- and setting aside more time to read, research and practice more so that I can bring new information and knowledge to my members. I am also experimenting with letting some foods back into my diet after several years of fairly 'strict' Paleo.
So what are some new habits you are adopting or exploring to be your healthiest self ever?
Think of your health as much bigger than just being 'sick or well' and watch how new, healthy habits help you be better and feel better in every area of your life.
A few thoughts:
- Get up earlier -- enjoy time to think, read, pray, meditate or organize for day. Being rushed is stressful. Look at those stress pockets of your life and implement a new game plan to remove them as much as possible by planning ahead.
- Get outdoors -- this winter made that tough and we may still not be rushing outside, but even 10 minutes outdoors can brighten the outlook of your day as we may not even realize it, but being in nature is restful.
- Read and write often -- don't we all do this already? I have gone through phases of not reading and I didn't like it at all. I am too tired to read at night, so I read after breakfast mid-morning -- after teaching morning fitness classes. I love to blog, but fitting that in is hard too -- so Sunday afternoons often are my time to write. Both of these activities help us learn and grow and learn more about ourselves.
- Clean and organize -- whether it's a drawer, closet or a pile of paperwork, uncluttering frees the mind and the body and makes us more efficient at moving through the daily business of our lives -- giving us more time to enjoy life.
- Try something new -- start something new to invigorate the body and mind -- or at least thinking about something new you would like to learn more about or try. This is limitless, but could include travel, music, food, art, hobbies, movement, parks, restaurants, groups, charities and so on.
- Change it up with different foods and new recipes -- It's easy to get stuck in a rut eating the same old thing, so look for one new food to try each week. We recently added roasted sweet red peppers into our meals and work nicely with meats. I am also buying melons weekly which work great with grilled steak or homemake tuna salad. Also, grab what's fresh -- mangoes are in season and are great to pair with meats or add to a smoothie.
- Take a little nap to refresh -- a new recent habit for me is a 15 min. snooze on occasion. I set my iPhone alarm and just chill. I might sleep or just send all the thoughts out of my head, but refreshing the mind is as important as refreshing the body.
- Help others -- I truly believe that we are happiest when we are helping others. Whether it's giving a compliment, making meal to share with your family, giving away stuff you don't need, reconnecting with an old friend or volunteering at a food pantry ... the list is unlimited and this can happen daily as it doesn't have to be anything big. Small acts with great love yield big happiness.
So what healthy habits are you implementing? I would love to hear from you.