After becoming a mom, my view on healthy living shifted as dramatically as an actor’s workout schedule for an action movie. Why? Because I wanted what was best for my kids. For example: Healthy snacks [Link to “3 Delicious Snack Recipes That Use Super Foods”] made from scratch, less harmful chemicals in products, getting plenty of sleep, etc. It’s funny how long I shrugged off those habits in myself. However, I believe your loved ones would agree when I say that you deserve as healthy a life as possible. That’s why today’s topic covers several basic ways you can boost your health in every area of your life.
How to Boost Your Health: A 3-Step Checkup
I’m not a psychologist or physician. Call me a pedestrian, a fellow onlooker trying to find the secrets to living a balanced life. With two young children, a busy spouse, an at-home business, volunteer hours at my church, spending time with friends, visiting family, and trying to remember the laundry in the washer before it starts to stink, balance feels like a pipe dream some days.
Other days, it clicks into place like crushing a fastball on the sweet spot of the bat.
Balance doesn’t always stay put, but it can be pursued. In my experience, the best way to do that is to target each area of your life and check in. See what’s disjointed or out of fuel or overheated. That’s why we’re going to glance at this simple lifestyle checkup and study three areas that could boost your health (or hinder it).
What steps are you taking to have a quality diet? When you think about your current energy level, weight, caloric intake, alcohol consumption, or ratio of fruits and veggies with carbs and fats, what areas need to change?
What’s one habit that you can reduce this week?
Dietician Laura Jeffers, MEd, RD, LD offers some easy-to-digest advice on improving your diet in an interview published by Cleveland Clinic.
What are some of your current fitness goals? I encourage you to do more than just say “lose weight” or “tone up.” When I started an online business, I learned that more measurable and specific goals create greater results, according to this study.
Step 1: Instead of “lose weight,” say something like, “Lose 20 pounds in eight weeks working out for 30 minutes five times a week.” OK, that’s extra specific, but you can see how measurable that goal is, right?
Step 2: Get accountability. Now that you’ve just set this handy dandy goal, it’s time to stick with it. Who in your life can text you at 6:00 AM to see if you’re up or watch your kids while you go to the gym? Is there someone who’ll run with you after work? Can you walk with a co-worker during your lunchbreak? Even investing some money to see a fitness trainer would be worth considering if it brings you one step closer to your health goal.
How are the various other areas of your life? They so often get overlooked, but they can create stress, cause ailments, and be a source of suffering for you if you’re not checking in with them. Here are a few to consider:
Mental Health - What are you feeding your mind these days? I love the ideas posted in this article from Mental Health America. Here are a few:
Use your talents to build self-confidence.
Eat dark chocolate to boost brain power (I can already check that off my list today!)
Emotional Well-Being - Jon Acuff, author of “Start”, once made an observation on his blog that created a pivot in my life.“If someone talked to you the way you talk to you, you’d never get coffee with him.”
Does the voice in your head fill you with affirmation or doubt? I can guess the answer. If you ever struggle with feeling like you don’t measure up or like your current situation in life will never change, then follow the advice I took from Acuff:
Step 1: Write it down.
Write down what the voice in your head is telling you. Look at the words and read them back to yourself. Would you ever let a friend treat you that way?
Step 2: Open up to someone.
Want more balance with your emotions? Tell someone. It can be a trusted friend, your significant other, or a trained professional. I know from experience that you’ll feel better and your emotional well-being will arrive at a much healthier place versus trying to ignore the lies buzzing around in your head right now.
This checkup may not cover things like career, relationships, or spiritual wellness, but hopefully, it creates an opportunity. Create some new goals about your wellness, lay out a plan for some of these areas in your life. Take a friend to coffee. As a matter of fact, a cup of coffee made the list of ways to boost mental health. Who knew?
-- Laura Harris
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