Leading a healthy lifestyle is not always easy. There is a lot of information out there making it hard for us to really know what to do. What does a healthy lifestyle look like to you?
Well, I did some interviewing of clients and friends, and this is what I found when I proposed the question, “What do you think is a healthy lifestyle.” These are some of the answers I got.
“It’s exercising more”
“It’s eating right”
“It’s taking time for yourself”
“It’s not eating junk food.”
“Maintaining a consistent schedule”
Notice that none of these really include anything difficult or challenging. These are very simple things.
Why do we make it so complicated?
Well, I think part of it is attitude and it starts with your mind. You cannot do any of the above until you have decided wholeheartedly to embrace these concepts.
In my last blog I spoke about discipline, that is one of the key elements, but before we discipline ourselves, we have to believe in ourselves.
I think that the way to living clean, happy, and free of stress is believing you can and most importantly not making a mountain out of a mole hill. Don’t make it difficult.
Earlier today I was on the phone with a close relative talking about a stressful situation in my life. As we got to talking, I started feeling different. I realized that some of the obstacles I was facing were really put there by me. And another friend’s advice came ringing true, “Get out of your head”
Our minds like to create problems to solve, they like to think and be active. They are little busy bees running around a hive. In reality we don’t need to think about all this that much. Take for instance the current topic about saturated fats, which ones are healthy, which ones aren’t healthy. Should you eat refined coconut oil or unrefined, how much when and with what? What about the difference between organic butter and grass-fed butter? As a researcher, I like to find answers. I read over 10 different articles on oils. Afterwards, I felt that it was a minefield of what not to eat and when to eat and it just created more problems.
The other side of this is looking too far ahead. We look down the road with the “what ifs.” “What if I don’t have time?” “What if I don’t like that gym?” “What if I make a fool out of myself in my first yoga class?” “I don’t know how to meditate.” “I don’t know how to cook.”
You see with these phrases comes uncertainty and doubt. We already are setting ourselves up for failure.
We just have to believe we can and make that first step. Anyone can make a first step. It’s also important to make that first step easy. So here are my favorite 5 easy tips for leading a healthy and balanced lifestyle.
1. Find something you love to do and stick to it.
With so many different trends out there for exercise it can seem overwhelming, but we can all find something we love. We are more likely to stick with something we enjoy doing than feeling dread before going to the gym. I tried all kinds of fitness trends before I found Pilates. And since I loved it so much, I became a teacher then teacher trainer. So it goes to prove a healthy habit can also turn into a healthy career.
2. Move with Joy
Gone are the days of “No Pain, No Gain.” if you’re still living by this motto, please stop. We all love to feel the burn and there is definitely nothing wrong with that, but pushing past our limits can lead to injury so take care. Have fun and don’t think about it as exercise. Just walking, dancing and being up and about is all part of staying healthy. If you don’t enjoy it, don't do it (back to tip #1).
Find time to chill. When the mind chatter turns off it gives us a chance to receive and listen to our body and our hearts. We feel refreshed and ready to return to our daily grind with a little more peace and patience. Good decisions are never made when we are in a state of stress or heightened emotions. Take time everyday to find a little calm.
4. Eat Real Food
I always tell my kids…”Did that come from a factory or from the earth?” Less ingredients is better. Our bodies were meant to eat real whole food. Find ways to add more to your day and you’ll find yourself reaching less for the boxed stuff. And if you have a bad day, don’t beat yourself up. It’s better to find healthy habits that you can stick to instead of extreme trends that feel like a struggle.
5. Spend time with people you love
Take time out of your busy life to schedule social time for yourself with friends or family. I have heard so many times….”I am so busy.” But we don’t get any extra points at the end of our lives for being busy. It’s the human interactions that fulfill our lives. So when my kids ask me to go swimming or play a game with them while I’m hurrying to get something done, I take a moment and give them some of my time. I always feel better afterwards and am rewarded by hugs and smiles. What’s better than that?!
So you see, these aren’t hard or challenging. Pick one. Make that first step. I believe you can!