5 Tips to Living a Healthy Lifestyle
In our series, Getting Fit – Physically, Mentally, and Financially, I discuss different ways to get fit, whether it pertains to changing your eating behavior, exercising, getting routine checkups, etc. This post will discuss five ways you can embrace a healthier lifestyle. They may seem obvious, but let's be honest, we don't always do it even when we know something is good for us. Take a few minutes to read this post and incorporate some of these simple tips into your life.
We have been living through a pandemic for the past two years, and this has led to a great deal of isolation for all of us. At one point, children were doing remote learning and not mingling with their peers. And if they were, it was through a virtual hangout or a gaming device. And for the rest of us, we were working from home and not getting those regular chances to hang out with friends, family, and the places we frequented pre-pandemic to let loose and relax. Many of us are missing that feeling of connectedness, but we have learned to improvise through Facetime, Zoom, Teams, etc.
The value of connecting
What do I mean by connecting? I'm referring to when two or more people have a conversation in which they feel heard without any judgment. Think about it, whether you go for a walk with a friend, chat on the phone, or schedule a Facetime call with a loved one, you can experience various emotions. According to PsychCentral, when we experience these emotions, our body releases dopamine and endorphins – the "feel good" transmitters responsible for happiness. But not everyone is comfortable doing the ”virtual thing.” Sometimes It can be challenging to make these connections even in person. After a certain age, just finding like-minded people whose schedule meshes with yours can be difficult. I joined a book club before Covid, but we didn’t let a pandemic stop us. We’ve managed to "meet" every six weeks either outside or via Zoom. In the process, I have developed some wonderful friendships. Not into reading, how about an outdoor activity such as cross-country skiing or a walking group? You may have to do a bit of homework, but the benefits you reap will be worth it! Don’t use the pandemic as an excuse. Find new ways to connect and create new friendships.
It seems like such a simple thing to do, but it can be challenging to get the family to all sit down and eat simultaneously. Even when you’re a family of two…. Or one. If you have kids and they're doing in-person school and activities, it may seem like there's no time when everyone's home. No kids? Living the single life? How often have you grabbed a quick bite in front of the TV, or had a silent dinner for two because you were both on your phone catching up with the day? There are a variety of factors to prevent mealtime from happening. But often, this is the only time of the day when all family members are at the same place at the same time. Or the only time you get to sit with yourself or your significant other and regroup, connect, and share. It's the one time where everyone can "connect." Yes, we are back to the importance of connecting with others. Make time to learn about what happened in each other's days and maybe plan for the week. Even if it’s just you, take that “just” word out of the sentence. Connecting with yourself and others is important. It gives you time to breathe and appreciate.
When they say that laughter is the best medicine, it's true! Did you know that a good laugh can affect you mentally as well as physically? And who doesn't love to laugh? Not only does it lighten your mood immediately, but it also reduces your stress response. According to the Mayo Clinic, laughter also has long-term effects, such as improving your immune system by releasing neuropeptides that help fight stress and more serious illnesses. It may also ease pain by causing the body to produce it’s own natural painkillers while making you feel good about connecting to other people. There we go with the "connect" thing again! To help get you in a better space, I did some research and put together a list movies that will make you laugh. So grab a cup of hot cocoa, pick from the selection below and settle down with a movie.
- There’s Something About Mary
- Office Space
- Dumb and Dumber
- The Hangover
- Monty Python and the Holy Grail
This one can be challenging, especially if you have a lot going on in your life or if you've got NOTHING going on in your life. How do you incorporate a positive attitude, and why is it important? First of all, do you hear that negative talk in your head? Well, stop it immediately. Negative thoughts can be internalized and set you up for failure. When you catch yourself criticizing yourself or someone else, replace it with a positive thought.
Hanging out with a Negative Nellie? Surround yourself with positive friends and co-workers. And let Nellie tag along. Maybe some of that positive feeling will rub off. While you cannot control the people around you, you can choose to spend more time with those who have a good attitude. This makes you feel good and makes it easier to stay positive with others.
Focus on the Present
Maybe you disagreed a few minutes ago with your co-worker. Instead of dwelling on it, think of this exact moment and let the rest go. You can't predict what will happen in the future so experience any given moment. According to Success.com, most sources of negativity come from a memory of a recent event or the imagination of a potential future event. Being in the moment can be something as simple as enjoying your morning cup of coffee, listening to your child’s voice, or taking a deep breath. Several apps and books are available that provide information about being mindful. Jon Kabat-Zinn wrote a book titled Mindfulness for Beginners. It has received almost 1,800 reviews on Amazon. Another well-rated book by Tich Nhat Hanh titled The Miracle of Mindfulness, received close to 2,400 reviews. There are also several apps that you can download. I am familiar with a couple. One is called “Stop Breathe Think: Meditation” and “Present – Guided Meditation.” Just search "mindfulness," and you will get quite the selection!
There is no "quick fix" to living a healthy lifestyle, but it's essential to slow down and take time for yourself each day. Try to stay “connected” to those around you and live in the moment.
Get Fit Series
- How Fit is Your Financial Future? Get Fit with an Estate Plan
- 5 Tips to Living a Healthy Lifestyle
- Food Plans that Promote a Behavioral Change
- The Benefits of Exercise
- Choosing an Indoor Bike
- What are the Benefits of a Good Night's Sleep
- My Top 4 Tips to Managing Stress
- How to Create a Daily Routine in 5 Steps
- Comparing Meal Plan Memberships
- Screening Tests - Which Ones Should You Consider
- Gym Membership - the Pros and Cons
- Getting Fit - Physically, Mentally, and Financially
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