Good food, regular sleep and daily exercise are all important factors in getting healthy. These things together will give you more energy, you’ll feel less stressed, you’ll look better, you’ll be happier and your confidence will most likely improve. All good things! The trick to achieving better health is all in the way you approach it.
Start out by making small, positive changes to your lifestyle and then build from there. If you eat Mcdonald’s or other fast food three times a week, change it to once a week, then once every two weeks. If the recommended 2 Litres of water a day for females and 3 Litres for males seems crazy, start by drinking one litre per day and build it up. Making a point of carrying a water bottle with you can help.
The same goes for exercise. If you haven’t been active in a while, chances are running a marathon is going to suck, but not if you start small. Get some kind of light exercise happening every day. You might walk to the next tram or bus stop from the one you normally catch. Take your skateboard or bike instead of catching the train. Take the stairs instead of the lift. And so on.
MAKE IT WORK FOR YOU
There’s no point saying you’re only going to eat fish and salad everyday if you hate fish and salad. And if the idea of running on a treadmill for 30 minutes bores you to tears chances are you won’t bother doing it. Discover healthy food you actually like eating and exercise you enjoy doing.
Anything you make from home generally beats buying pre-made stuff. It’s less processed which means there’s less sugar, salt and other things that are bad for you. Find a couple of easy healthy recipes online - stuff that you would enjoy eating. Failing that, just some fresh bread with fruit & veg is a million times better for you than a Big Mac.
Don’t sign up for a gym membership if it’s not something that interests you. Maybe shooting hoops, dog walking or a dance class is more your thing. Try a couple of different activities and see which one you get the biggest kick out of.
Knowing how to unwind is super important when it comes to good health, both mental and physical. If you’re having trouble relaxing, there are some things you can do to help you chill out.
FOCUS ON YOUR BREATHING
If you’re feeling stressed or strung out try sitting quietly somewhere and really concentrate on your breathing. Get a steady rhythm going in and out through your nose. This can help to relax your mind and release tension you might have in your muscles.
DO SOMETHING ELSE
Instead of working yourself into a state, try focussing your attention somewhere else. Physical exercise can be a great way to get rid of stress. Try going for a walk or a bike ride. Otherwise listening to music you love, watching a movie or taking a bath can also be a great help. Talking to someone you trust about what’s bugging you can also help if that’s your thing. Shift all that stressed out energy into an activity you like doing.
Teaching yourself how to chill out naturally, without drugs or alcohol, is one of the most valuable skills you can have. But it’s not always easy. Especially when things can feel like they’re crashing in around you.
If you’re really struggling to cope with stress or anxiety, it can be helpful to talk to someone about it. Call us on our 24 hour free and confidential YoDAA Line: 1800 458 685 or check out our Programs + Services.