Five Changes You Can Make to Lead a Healthier and Happier Life
Let’s face it: We all could lead healthier lives. From cutting back at work to focus on ourselves to living in cleaner environments, there are actions each of us could take to improve how we feel. Here are some simple ways you can make your life even better.
Make Free Time
It seems like there is less time to do the things we want to do these days. As a nation, we work too much and don't get the requisite time off that other countries do. This can lead to increased levels of anxiety, which isdangerous, as chronic stress can weaken your immune system, damage your teeth and heart, cause weight gain and premature aging, and much more. It’s in your best interest, therefore, to avoid working through lunch breaks and do your utmost to engage in at least one enjoyable activity a day. After you have that worked into your routine, try to add in another to bring even more joy to your day.
Declutter Your Home
It’s easy to let cleaning habits slide when we feel tired or too stretched for time. However, the unfortunate reality is that acluttered house is bad for our health, relationships, and even our careers. When you decide to declutter, begin by making a plan and setting goals. For instance, when do you want your house cleared by? Which parts of your home will be the most difficult? Once you have an idea, you can determine which rooms need immediate attention. Hiring a one-time house cleaning can make your job easier and won’t break the bank.
Humans are social animals, and we all need the company of loved ones from time to time. Speaking to people we care aboutimproves our mental health and can potentially regulate pain levels. Of course, when work dominates our lives, finding an opportunity to see friends can often seem impossible. Yet, byscheduling a recurring meeting, so to speak, every single week, you can make it easier to do so. Gather for coffee or lunch on a regular basis so that you can plan around it as you do with other parts of your schedule. If that isn't practical, then catch up with friends while running errands to allow you to chat while getting necessary tasks out of the way.
Move Your Body
When we feel too busy, our physical health suffers as a result. We live in a society that values fitness — not only for wellness but for aesthetic — and we may get erroneous messages of how much we need to work out to be truly healthy. That alone can deter us from devoting precious time to exercise, but it only takes a few minutes each day to develop healthy habits to build upon. Do squats while you work instead of sitting still for hours at your desk, or jog up the stairs and avoid elevators. Dedicate perhaps 10 minutes to walking quickly around the parking lot at work, and then increase that number over time. Take a moment to notice how you feel after your workout. By enjoying our energy levels and how our bodies respond to exercise, we may be able to encourage ourselves to add new routines.
Remember to include some rest days in your exercise routine as well. When you push your body too hard all the time, you run the risk of doing damage to your body, which can derail your plans for improved health. To help care for your muscles, schedule a massage and look into a supplement that can reduce soreness and inflammation, such as CBD oil. And if you can’t stand the taste and texture of CBD oil, take advantage of CBD-infused gummies, which some people find far more palatablethan the oil or tinctures.
You only need to use 20 minutes of your day to see the benefits of meditation, but what do those benefits entail? For starters, meditation — as well as other mindfulness practices — can lower feelings of depression and anxiety while simultaneously increasing cognitive abilities, including memory and learning. Try sitting quietly for a few minutes and repeating an uplifting phrase in your mind, something that brings you joy or comfort. Build upon these small increments until you can sit comfortably for those 20 minutes to fully nurture a positive mindset.
The sheer volume of adjustments may seem overwhelming, but they don’t need to be. If you feel stretched too thin, focus on one change at a time. This way may offer less stress, yet it will still amount to numerous health benefits by the end of the year.
Written by Jennifer McGregor
Image courtesy of Pexels