What exactly does it take to lead a healthy, happy lifestyle? It’s the million-dollar question that everyone wants the answer to! Whilst many of us are guided by a simple series of dos and don’ts, delving deeper into the matter can lead to a fair bit of confusion. Enough is enough, being hip and healthy should be simple. We believe that physical and mental wellbeing is a question of attitude because attitude informs every single decision we make – big or small. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of 20 – just 20 – habits you can add to your current routine so that you can achieve your ultimate goal; a healthier, happier you!
Plan your meals. Planning your meals doesn’t have to be dull, we actually rather enjoy it on a Sunday afternoon! A mindful activity that saves you time and money plus helps you avoid those staring-into-the-fridge moments. Make it a non-negotiable habit and you’ll reap the rewards.
Switch your phone off every evening. Yes, that’s right, it’s a toughie but unplug – relax, read a book, potter around – do it and you’ll de-fuzz your head.
Moisturise day and night. Don’t forget your décolleté and always opt for a moisturiser with an SPF – thanks for this one, Mum.
Always carry water. Yes, everywhere you go. Invest in a S’well Bottle or buy a couple of glass bottles to store in the fridge so you always have a cold glass of water whenever you need it.
Never eat a meal on the go or in front of your TV or computer. Force yourself to make an occasion of every meal and you’ll end it feeling much more satisfied. Pop on a podcast in the background by all means but take time to enjoy your meal without any tech distractions.
Pay compliments. You might be surprised at the positive energy that comes back. Don’t forget to mentally pay yourself a compliment in the mirror each morning. Whilst “Good morning beautiful” might make you cringe, studies show that personal, positive reinforcement bolsters your confidence over time.
Foam roll or, failing that, stretch both before and after exercise to prevent injury and to aid muscle recovery. Better yet, practise yoga once a week – think of it as a way of thanking your muscles for all their hard work during exercise.
Take a break. You’re never, ever too busy to take care of you.
Make healthy friends. Surrounding yourself with people who inspire you will not only give you an all-important support network but will act as a hub of fresh ideas.
End the blame. We all slip up every once in a while.
Look for a healthy alternative. Swap your regular milk for one that’s nut-based, for example, or use coconut oil in place of processed oils. Pasta lover? Try brown rice pasta… it tastes exactly the same! The list is endless but there are so many ways to up the nutrition factor of your favourite meals.
Never miss a Monday workout. Start the week right and you’re already winning.
Be kind to you. Your body is your friend, look after it and you’ll reap the rewards for years to come. Combat your body hang-ups (rest assured everybody has ‘em) with positive change and positive action.
Mix up your exercise. Whilst you might not want to hear this one, stop taking it easy with the same old routine and push yourself. Why not swap some of your longer runs for sprint interval training, for example? We respond well to progress yet results are only achieved through sweat and hard work. Think about it.
Hold yourself accountable. If you set out to achieve a certain goal, tell everyone about it. Join a running club or find a training partner because you are so much less likely to skip a workout if someone is counting on you.
Be more mindful of the way you respond to things. Don’t be that “yeah, but…” person who’s always the first to criticise, rather than recognise other people’s achievements.
End the emotional attachment to food. Food is fuel. Food is goodness. Food is preventive medicine but it is not a pick me up or an answer to stress, sleep deprivation or heartbreak.
Develop a mantra. We all have a weakness of some kind, a mantra can help steer you back on track.
Stop taking things personally. Is your first reaction one of defence? Do you immediately revert to “what did I do?” when so-and-so doesn’t smile back at you. Take yourself out of the equation, maybe they didn’t see you, maybe they just had some bad news or are having a bad day. 9 times out of 10 it will be absolutely nothing to do with you.
Put things into context. You might have slipped up today, but health is about the bigger picture. That’s where the term “balance” comes into play. The odd brownie isn’t going to shave anything off your life expectancy… so have no guilt and just try to make good choices for your body on a regular basis.