Life is hectic and can be easily overwhelming if we are unable to handle it. Were not usually aware of this but when we feel healthy we are more productive, happier, and feel accomplished. There is no secret on how to start a good habit, or to be motivated. You just do it. You have to find the benefit, and the goal in each thing you want to change in your life. That is probably the best way to gain motivation. Figure out what your goal is, and why you want to gain these healthy habits in your life. Have you ever realized how your health is affected when you fail to incorporate these habits? A healthier you, is a happier you. As cliche as that is, it couldn't be more true. Without doing the 8 healthy habits that I listed below, my life becomes a mess and I don't realize it until I'm half way into a mental break down and I figure out that I haven't went to the gym in two weeks, I haven't been doing the best on my self care, ate terribly for the whole month, and probably had a few sips or no water. I know how easily it is to get caught up in life, school and work. Stress can come to you indirectly, and you won't notice it until your body tells you that you have to slow down. I got my first major migraine this past November and that was due to not paying attention to how I was taking care of myself, and my body shut down. The most recent health concern that I am dealing with is that I am now dealing with TMJ problems which is basically lock jaw, and tight muscles in the jaw. This is due to stress and guess what helps stress? Staying healthy. I read the pamphlet that the dentist gave me and to help manage stress for the TMJ and a lot of what was mentioned is listed in the habits I have listed down below. Therefore, I cannot stress enough the importance of making certain things habits so that you are able to maintain your health and stay productive. I am a go go type person, so when I am held back by any sickness or health concern I get impatient and frustrated because I can't complete what I want because I have to rest. However, sometimes that is our bodies just telling us to slow down, or that it needs some attention. With that said, here are my favorite habits to maintain my health, stress level, and to keep me going.
1. 5 minute clean up
A Clean workspace or place helps you become more efficient, and think more clear. This is a very easy healthy habit that helps especially when you just can't seem to find the time to clean up the whole house. So basically wherever you are in your household, whether its watching Netflix in the living room or cooking dinner clean that area for five minutes (or however long). During a commercial break or when your waiting for water to boil or waiting for the oven to heat up, clean whats around you. For me, usually on Thursdays because I don't have school I'll get up and clean my room, or if I just finished watching a movie in the basement I would just organize and clean the area before I would head back upstairs. One room at a time, once a day seems a lot less overwhelming than the whole house all at once. It also helps with maintaining the cleanliness of your home.
2. water, water, and more water
This is a tough one for me, because when I am busy I never really think about drinking. In addition to that, I am not the biggest fan of just plain water and would rather have some Crystal Light or favouring in it. I also like to cut up some fruit to put in my water to give it a little bit of flavour without anything artificial. There are a couple of habit challenges to drink more water that I would like to try because I defiantly feel like I need to drink more water. Right now I probably drink a water bottle a day which isn't a lot. Water keeps you hydrated which keeps you more awake. I always have some water first thing when I get up in the morning before my coffee because it gives me that initial kick to get up in the morning.
3. Getting up/going to bed early
I know this is tough for a lot of people because instead they have made a habit to stay up later and sleep in longer. Its hard to come out of bad habits, just like its challenging to start new ones. The question you got to ask yourself is what's going to benefit you more? Technology is one of the biggest reasons why we are up so late. We have to set restrictions for that kind of stuff so that we are able to actually get the sleep we need to function in the morning. I've made it a habit to get 8 hours of sleep and if I get any less its like my whole day is thrown off. Some tricks to starting this habit would be to set a time you would like to go to bed at, and how many hours you want to get in (6-8 is usually pretty reasonable). The bedtime option in the clock app on iPhones is helpful because it sets up an everyday alarm for you based on how many hours you want for sleep and what time you want to get up. Also, set a time where you shut off your phone, lap top, and tv so that you are able to go to bed to get however many hours of sleep. Another tip would be to have your phone or alarm clock on the other side of the room that way in the morning you can't press snooze and you have to get up to shut your alarm. Train yourself to get up earlier by using increments of time. For example, if your final goal is to get up 6am everyday and your getting up at 9am everyday the first night set your clock for 8:30am ,and the next at 8:00am, the next at 7:30am and so on until you get to 6 am. This way your body adjusts gradually.
4. Healthy foods/portioning
So as I have mentioned before I don't like to give up any foods that I enjoy because I love anything sweet. However, I think a good compromise to that is portioning them. It has really made a difference in my life when I started to eat healthier foods but I think the best part was that I was enjoying what I was eating, and I never put restrictions on what I could eat. We all try these crash diets, and it lasts us maybe a month and then were back to our old habits. Heres the thing, and I've said this before IF YOU FORCE IT, IT WILL NEVER LAST. Bottom line is that you have to enjoy what you are eating, because food is honestly the best thing in this world. Keep a certain day for bingeing or for that one unhealthy meal (McDonalds always) for the month. Or if you know you ate not the best one month, try for the next month to eat really clean. There are hundreds of healthy recipes for some amazing meals all over Pinterest. For me, I like Monday-Thursday to eat clean, sometimes I'll have a chocolate (especially since our house is full of them right now because of Valentines Day) but for my main meals they are clean meals. Friday-Sunday are more relaxed days, it doesn't mean I just have the worst foods all weekend but if for instance my family wanted to order pizza on Friday that was okay, if I wanted a Coke it would usually be the time I have it and during the week I stick to water. If your a snack person and like chips, or are a chocolate fan like me (m&ms are the best) try to only fill up a bowl full/handfull instead of taking the whole bag with you. This way you won't continulousy eat and finish the whole bag, and instead will portion it. By doing this you don't have to give up any of the foods you like and it will make a difference in your diet.
You hear this one so often, I know. Although, Its defiantly the most true in staying healthy. Now, you don't have to be this crazy weight lifter. If you like that and it makes you feel good, then all you! If your more like me, I use to hate exercising at a gym. I played soccer for majority of my life so that was my exercise usually. I liked sports for exercise and hated when we had to go to the fitness centre for gym class. Anyway, I decided to give the gym a try and I learned a lot about myself and what I like to do for exercise. I am a class person so I like the classes because a lot of the ones I do are rhythmic movements, or like routines and it works out your entire body. I love to dance so the dance fusion/Zumba class I do is on Monday's and it makes a not so fun day into the best day of the week for me. Now I am not saying you have to go spend money on a gym membership to do classes. There are countless amounts of Zumba yoga, and other fitness exercises all over Youtube that you can do right from your house. I think a good goal is to get an average of 30 min a day of exercise. This can be as easy as just walking on the treadmill or elliptical. If you hate the treadmill and elliptical try watching an episode of one of your shows while you do it, trust me time just goes by. Now when I say an average of 30 min a day, it doesn't mean you have to work out everyday. For me, I usually do 2 hours of exercise on Monday, which is basically equivalent to a 30 min exercise for 4 days. The point is you can't force exercise either you have to want to do it or else you'll give up in two weeks. So find out what you like. Do you like sports? find a rec team. Do you like lifting weights? join a gym. Do you want to dance? find a dance class. Find your reasons and why you want to work out and it has to deeper than just "I want to loose weight." I do it for my anxiety, stress, and my health. Exercising also doesn't make me feel so bad for having that unhealthy meal! If you find a deeper motivation then habit is more than likely going to last.
6. Taking care of your body
PAMPER DAY! I always say when you look good, you feel good. I've mentioned this pamper day before, but basically find one day out of the week to just love your body and give it some attention that day. Paint your nails, put a face mask on, give your hair a treatment, take a bath and anything to make you feel clean and refreshed. I usually try to do this every Sunday before the beginning of the week so that I am ready to go. This is also good to do when your bored at home, and you finished everything you had to do because you were so productive. When your skin feels soft, and your hair is shiny how do you not feel good?
For me I like to do this in the morning and at night before I go to bed. Just being thankful for the people in our lives and everything that we have really does a switch in your mood. I have been quite a pessimistic person in the past, and I knew I had to change that if I wanted to change my life for the better. Now that does take training your brain, but that conversation is for another day (let me know if you guys would like a blog post on that subject). Just counting your blessings even through a difficult time can make things better. Another thing I like to do is manifest what I want in life. I usually listen to a motivational talk on Youtube every morning to start my day. This helps me keep my goals in check, and keeps me from staying on track. It has helped so much especially because my anxiety has stopped me from going after a lot opportunities and by listening to these videos and meditating it has helped me grow and surpass a lot of my fears. I encourage people to do this, but I totally understand that its not for everybody. However, even just doing something for you that helps you reflect on yourself is a great way to keep you on track.
8. Social media cleanse/ focus on relationships
Lastly, we are so caught up in social media that relationships are becoming affected everyday. There was a study that I learned about that looked at what truly makes someone happy, and it was studied for years and continues today. They found out that the key to happiness is the relationships in an individuals life. Now its not about how many you have but the quality of them. I think social media is great to express yourself, and without it I wouldn't be able to be writing this down. However, I think its good to start habits such as putting your phone away the entire time your with someone, or when you are eating at the dinner table. Try and just enjoy the moment with the person your with and try to learn something new about them. Face-to-face communication is one of the most declining skills in in today's society. I think its one of the reasons why people lack healthy relationships in their lives. Lets start connecting to one another again, so that we can be happier in our own lives, and bring happiness to others.
Also, I like to apologize for being late on this Blog post. I caught a little stomach bug yesterday and wasn't able to find the energy to finish my post. However, I hope that you guys find these helpful, and maybe come up with some of your own healthy habits you would like to try. If you have any suggestions please let me know in the comments, I am always looking for different healthy habits to pick up. Hope you guys have a good rest of your weekend! <3