It’s a common myth that healthy living is all about proper dieting and regular exercise. However, developing and sustaining a healthy lifestyle would take more than just these two factors. Healthy living entails having a positive outlook, solid mental health, and a positive self-image. According to statistics, seven in every ten UK adults are motivated to live healthier this year than 2020, when approximately 43% of adults felt the need to change their way of living. If you’re among the millions of people looking to start a healthier, happier lifestyle in 2021, here’s how to get started.
- Consume nourishing food
Wholesome food is essential for your health, although people usually regard it as a key for ensuring weight management. Several studies have proven the importance of a balanced diet rich in fruits, lean protein, low-fat, vegetables, and whole grains for sustaining optimal energy.
Eventually, you’re what you eat. Consuming food from various food groups is vital for getting the nutrients to keep you energized all day long. Go for frozen or fresh fruits and vegetables such as carrots, potatoes, nutrient-filled dark and leafy greens, and broccoli. There are various fish and legume types to choose from as well. If you can, take in 3 ounces of whole-grain rice, pasta, or cereals each day.
- Monitor your online usage and energy consumption
You’re likely remote working, driving, or flying less in the present circumstances. Yet few pieces of research have proposed that we may be consuming more energy remote working and shopping online. Regular online buys generate more packaging waste and increased greenhouse gas release per product. More so, take-out meals have caused increased use of disposable items. Meanwhile, disruption in the supply chain means more food will end up in the dump. You can do your part by shrinking your footprint. You can begin by converting to LED lighting, installing a low-flow component to manage water consumption, and getting a thermostat for energy-saving the entire day.
- Sleep seven to eight hours each night
Getting enough sleep is one thing most people have to work on. There are several benefits of getting at least seven hours of sleep every night, so it’s worth considering. You can start by identifying how you can improve your sleep disruptors and remember that denying yourself some good sleep can have severe health implications. Sleep deprivation can take a significant toll on your health, affect your mood and drain your energy. Prioritizing getting more sleep is one of the best decisions you can take for yourself this year.
- Exercise regularly
With the current lockdown and remote working climate, you can easily make an excuse to fall into a sedentary lifestyle. It’s understandable if you’re overwhelmed with daily activities like work, household chores, or grocery shopping. Yet, there’s no excuse for not getting at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day. Regular exercising provides excellent relief for stress and tension, strengthening your muscles and core and boosting your endurance. All these are key for getting the most done in your daily physical activities and tasks.
- Do something meaningful every day
Doing this involves finding those activities you’re passionate about. or that unique talent you’re yet to show to the world. Accomplish something that inspires and energizes you every day. It could be as simple as preparing your most-loved meal or listening to your favourite song. Whatever it is, make an effort to channel your energy into the things you enjoy most and in ways that draw the best in you. You’ll be surprised how happy you’ll feel every day and the impact it will have on you.
- Be creative with socialisation
Humans are exceptionally social beings. Studies have linked extended isolation to stress, depression, cardiovascular diseases, anxiety, and early death. If you’re having difficulty social distancing and staying at home, get creative by starting a zoom dinner party, a digital book club, or enlisting your buddies for virtual game night. You may likewise schedule or join a foreign language, martial art, or painting class online.
Regular outdoor meetings with colleagues and best friends to the local pub, botanical gardens, or the museum is also an excellent idea. However, any existing social distancing or lockdown restrictions can hamper such physical interaction.
- Monitor your health
Thanks to the digital age, you can check in with your doctor about your symptoms currently affecting your work, home, and social life without necessarily leaving your home. Regular check-ups and tests are essential to your well-being. However, you still need to monitor your health in between visits. The truth is you may see your doctor maybe once or twice each year, but you should be health-conscious every day and be the best judge of your health.
While there are cues to identify any health issues you may have, you can also speak to an online GP for instant advice on your health. Virtual healthcare and telehealth are already here, improving healthcare delivery and making it more convenient. You only need to book a same-day video appointment, select your choice of doctor and get the best of care you need via your smart device.
- Constantly make the necessary changes and evaluate your progress
Deciding to make some life changes isn’t easy. Like old habits, it will require a lot of work and discipline. Regardless of how daunting it may seem, making those positive adjustments is possible. However, here are a few activities to become mindful of your well-being;
- Strategise and prioritise
It will help if you track the period where your energy levels seem to be at their peak and choose to use that to your advantage by prioritising essential jobs when you feel new, productive, and most efficient.
- Monitor your energy
Monitor your energy “temperature” at different points for an entire day’s duration on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the most elevated energy level. Take note of your daily details to recognise the individuals and events that affect you the most.
- Make changes
After determining those individuals and events that seem to drain your energy the most, proceed to make the necessary adjustment. Instead of attempting to change everything at a go, pick those areas most significant and set realistic goals. For instance, if your home disorganisation poses the most significant source of your daily stress, select a closet, cabinet, or drawer to declutter every week rather than stressing yourself with completing it all at once. You can then proceed to another area when ready.