Taking steps to become a healthier person isn’t always an easy task, and it definitely doesn’t help now that we continue to spend more time at home. However, if you’re ready to get your life back on track, here are three easy steps to finding that healthier version of you!
1. Create a Short Daily Ritual
When I think about taking steps to a healthier lifestyle, I think about changing my diet for the better, drinking more water, or getting in more exercise. And although those are all important steps to a healthier you, it’s important to think past just the steps that create a healthier physical you. That’s why the first step to a healthier you that I’ll recommend is carving out some time for a daily “ritual”. Whether you choose to spend 5 minutes meditating over a cup of morning coffee, or 10 minutes practicing mindfulness while writing in a journal before bed, carve out a little you time. Do something that doesn’t involve your daily work or family members. Yes, both those things are important, but a healthier you means making time for a healthier mental state. A healthier mental state may mean opening the doors to other forms of health as well.
2. Remember to Eat Your Fruits and Veggies
Those recommended daily servings of fruits and vegetables should be taken seriously. Vegetables and fruits have an abundance of necessary vitamins and minerals that not only help keep your body functioning, healthy, and happy but also energized.
Here’s the thing, sure we know that fruits and veggies help our bodies function at a higher level, but many of us (myself included) still have issues making sure they’re a part of our daily diet. However, it’s important to make sure it happens, as it is one simple any easy step to a healthier you. So I figured out two main reasons why I wasn’t keeping fresh produce in my diet and tried to find solutions to make it happen.
My produce just wouldn’t stay fresh. Everyone hates spending money on a week’s worth of any type of food just for it to go bad before we can use it. With items like fresh produce, it’s even worse. Fruits and veggies that we enjoy, that may or may not be out of season where we live, can cost a small fortune. So, I personally found a few solutions to keep my veggies and fruits fresh for more than a week at a time. I had to relearn how to store my produce. I was putting everything into my fridge without thought as soon as I got home from the grocery store. And certain items, like bananas, I was leaving out because I was always taught to leave them out on the counter.
With a little research, I quickly learned that I was doing it all wrong. I wasn’t using my crisper properly, I was leaving too much moisture in with my precut fruits and veggies, and I was leaving produce out in the open that could have stayed fresher in the fridge. So, I learned to separate the produce that was “affecting” other produce with the natural decaying gases it was letting off, I purchased a tiny product to help trap those nasty gases before they could be passed off to other produce, and I learned to leave with brown (but fresh) bananas by keeping them in my fridge.
I get that fruits and vegetables are good for me, but I always stop making them a part of my diet before I see any outward change. Yes, it’s true that although getting in those fiber-rich veggies and naturally sweet fruits won’t make automatically make a difference in your outward appearance, it’s still worth making them a part of your diet until doing so becomes a habit. Eating a healthy, balanced diet, one that includes fruits and veggies can help enhance the look of your skin, boost your immune system, and even help you stay regular. Sure, it’s great that adding the right about of produce to your diet can help your physical appearance for the better, it’s more important to think about what’s it’s doing for the parts of your body that you don’t necessarily see in the mirror. It may be easier to stick with a routine when you see a positive change in your appearance immediately, but as with all things, look at the entire picture, and be patient with those habits that are ultimately good for you.
3. Remember to Keep Up with a Regular Sleeping Routine
I don’t know about you, but about a week into self-quarantine and working from home, my biological clock was off its rocker. My normal “wake up and greet the day” routine was basically non-existent, and I couldn’t seem to get a good night’s sleep anymore. What used to feel like solid nights of sleep suddenly became restless, to say the least. I wasn’t the only one experiencing this either. Several of my co-workers mentioned that the sudden shift in their work and life routine was taking a toll on not only their sleeping habits but because of the lack of proper sleep, their working habits as well. So how can you take a step back in the right direction and take back control of your sleeping schedule?
Say bye-bye to that nighttime social media scroll. Looking at any screen before bedtime is a terrible idea. Your mind won’t get the time it needs to slow down before you ask it to fall asleep for 6 to 8 hours. Not only is it just an unhealthy habit we should all break in general, with the current state of the world, but it can also be a distressing thing to look at the state of things right before we’re off to bed. The solution? Set your alarm, put your phone on the nightstand, and learn to distance yourself from it. Apply the 6-feet apart roll to your phone the moment you slip into bed.
Read a book, magazine, or listen to a calming audiobook instead. Although you may still be consuming something through site or audio in bed, it’s different than actively scrolling away on your bright phone. Both your eyes and mind have a greater chance of settling down with a book in hand instead of a cell phone.
Get cozy. Never underestimate the power of a cozy, fluffy blanket, pillows that work best with your sleeping position, and a mattress that supports your body. Something I’ve noticed was that, because I was working all day long outside of my home, I rarely stopped to think about my bedroom and what made the space a perfect oasis for relaxation. Whether you’re reducing your stress by cuddling up with a soft blanket or reducing the amount of transfer movement you feel when your partner tosses and turns at night with a memory foam mattress topper, think about how you can simply make your bedroom the ideal spot for sleeping, and don’t hesitate to make those changes.