You probably more or less know the basics on how to live a healthy lifestyle. Some obvious first steps include eating more greens and superfoods and cutting back on sugars and alcohol. Sleeping, meditating, exercising, and keeping stress levels low are other key ingredients in the recipe of wellness. But while it’s easy to write all these things down, and even keep them in the back of your mind as you continue with your day-to-day, how many of us can say that we’re practicing these things on a regular basis?
It can feel overwhelming at times, but it doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, it’s possible to take a simple, realistic approach towards living a healthy lifestyle that actually feels achievable each day.
Eat Unprocessed Foods as Often as Possible
Your diet should consist of vegetables, fruit, lean meats like chicken and ground turkey, and grains. Make sure to give yourself a break, though, whether that’s a little bit of dessert one night, a splurge brunch with your friends on the weekend, or indulging in your favorite take-out every couple of weeks. Balance is key.
It’s essential to negate a sedentary work life whenever you can. If something’s within walking distance, make the effort to travel by foot instead of by car. When you have time to spare, park farther than you normally would to increase your step count.
Cut Back on Alcohol
Limit drinking to once or twice a week, and try to keep it to a glass or two of wine or one or two of your favorite cocktails at a time. It’s not only better for your liver, but it’s better for your wallet, too.
Pack Your Lunch
Skip the takeout or cafeteria and bring your lunch to work. Prepare a salad, sandwich, or even last night’s leftovers. Not only is it healthier, but you’ll also save money.
Take Time Off
You know those vacation days that have been piling up at work? Use them! Or at the very least, take a sick or personal day. Taking time away from work can have both physical and psychological health benefits, including reducing the risk of heart attacks, depression, and stress. Further, a little break from your job can actually increase your productivity when you return.
You can start to become what you allow into your life. Stay positive and optimistic (even when it’s the hardest to), and you may see things turn around for the better.
End Toxic Relationships
That’s not to say you should just cut people out on a whim, but if you have a significant other or friend who’s toxic to you or caused you pain and you’re unable to work through the situation, it might be time to consider walking away. Being open and honest with them, or even some form of therapy might be a good first step before you take more drastic measures.
Take a Break From Technology
We do almost everything on our phones, computers, TVs, and tablets, so a digital break might seem impossible, but taking time away from it every day is a good thing. It can improve sleep, increase productivity, and deepen your personal connection with those around you. It doesn’t have to be a long break, either—consider trying to media detox for 30 minutes each day. You can encourage this by keeping your phone out of your bedroom at night, going on a long walk sans phone, taking a bath, or making it a habit to keep tech away from the dinner table.
Exercise can improve stress, so make it a point to move every day. You don’t have to hit the gym, either, if that’s not your thing. Take a hike, play tennis with a friend, go for a swim, hop on a bike, do a yoga class, or stream an online workout.
Read More Often
Read anything. Just read. It stimulates the brain and enhances brain function. Reading, which exercises your brain, can help keep decrease mental decline in old age and possibly even keep Alzheimer’s at bay.6
Find a New Hobby
Having interests outside of family and work will make you feel more fulfilled. Consider learning to cook, taking up a sport, or volunteering.
Stop Caring What Other People Think
It’s not worth expending your energy on the opinions of others, especially when they become detrimental to you. Be true to yourself, and you’ll attract people who genuinely like and value you for who you are.