If you’ve ever tried to adopt a fitness routine, then you know how hard it is to get started and maintain your efforts. It’s not uncommon for the pendulum to swing between too much or too little exercise, both resulting in little or no results or even injury and burnout. But being healthy is not just about how many miles you can clock on the treadmill. Rather, it’s more about balancing your efforts with self-care tactics in order to feel well in your mind, body, and soul. Here’s how to adopt a more harmonious lifestyle.
Unless you never go to restaurants or have gatherings at a family member or friend’s home, it can be difficult to make each meal perfectly balanced — but this is not to say you can’t make an effort to put the right foot forward. Clean eating involves eating whole foods that are minimally (frozen fruits and vegetables, unrefined grains, oils, some meats, and fish) or non-processed (anything fresh), which as anyone knows can be tricky in today’s society. However, there have been several successful plans to help people change their way of thinking about food choices. Research has shown that this type of diet can lessen the risk of getting a condition or disease such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular disease. Added bonus: It’s easier to manage your weight, you’ll perform better when working out, and it’s not uncommon to obtain a glowing complexion, strong nails, and shiny tresses.
Allow Yourself to Relax
Finding time to relax is the key to recharging your batteries so you have the energy to make it through hot yoga or your next big run. Adopt a stress-reducing hobby or activity such as coloring (adult coloring books are a thing), starting a collection, journaling, starting a garden, adopting a pet, knitting, baking, taking up an instrument, or learning a new language. Of course, taking time to do absolutely nothing but focus on your mind via meditation is also an extremely effective way to reprogram yourself.
Find a place within your home that can function as a meditation space. Aim for a quiet, low-traffic spot that has a decent amount of natural light. Be sure to keep it as minimally decorated as possible. Choose simple objects that bring you pleasure and a paint or wallpaper color in a soft, neutral hue. Up the ante with an aromatherapy diffuser and peaceful music.
While it’s recommended that adults get between seven and nine hours of sleep each night, many Americans find that difficult to accomplish. Promote quality sleep by revamping your bedroom to help alleviate mental stress. Invest in a quality mattress and pillows, install blackout shades in lieu of an uncomfortable sleep mask, eliminate clutter, keep the room temperature at a comfortable temperature, incorporate soft and soothing tones into the decor, and turn on a sound machine so you can hear crashing waves — not city sirens or the neighbor’s barking dog.
Create a Sense of Community in Your Life
Having perspective is perhaps one of the most powerful tools because it can be extremely humbling, so consider building a sense of community to keep you on your toes. For example, volunteer your time, get involved with projects in your neighborhood, be active at your child’s school, or start a food or clothing drive — even a random act of kindness counts.
Having spirituality is the glue that holds many self-care tactics together; however, many people think this only means being religious. While this is not to say that prayer isn’t an important component, there are other ways to tap into your spiritual self that have nothing to do with attending a place of worship. Take up yoga, watch the sunset, incorporate feng shui techniques into your home, let go of grudges, be open to receiving guidance, notice the beauty in small things, practice gratitude, take a solo sabbatical, light candles, or experiment with crystals. If this is all new to you, remember that choosing love over fear can help you achieve your goals.
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