Feeling a little bit discouraged at the moment? Well, this article will give you some good tips on how you can develop healthy habits for a comfortable life while preparing to get your mojo back...
You know that we can all make our dreams come true but we must develop the courage to pursue them. We have to wind ourselves up. Isn't it a wonderful feeling that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve ourselves, and improve the world.Whether we realise it our not, the habits that we do on a daily basis, become the foundations upon which we build our lives. Here at TheLifeHabit you will find helpful tips, tricks and treats that will help identify and break those habits that hinder us, and to make and build those habits that allow us to become all we are meant to be.
Sustainability is a word on everyone’s mind and lips. This concept also applies to managing our inner resources such as our energy and drive, our health and our piece of mind. As humans we are designed to cope with brief periods of stress or danger, our bodies change and divert resources to help us respond to threat. We are not however designed to run at high stress all the time. When we try, we burn ourselves out, become physically exhausted, become over responsive to our surroundings, feel anxious and stressed, our memory suffers, as does our health.
We need to learn how to live and work at a sustainable pace. To use a car metaphor, we need to take time out to recharge our batteries, refuel, tune our systems and make sure we are not running hot for too long. One of the hardest things when we are operating under stress for too long is to recognise the need to take our eyes of the road ahead and refuel.
Here are 21 tips to refuel your life:
- Eat a healthy breakfast – A healthy breakfast makes sure you have enough fuel for the day. A good breakfast sets us up for the day’s action. It stops you wilting mid-morning and will help you lose weight over time. If you are skipping breakfast because you don’t have enough time, get up 10 mins earlier or prepare as much as you can of your breakfast the night before.
- Make time for lunch and eat it away from your workspace – It is tempting to eat at your desk or on the run, you may be physically refuelling but are you mentally refuelling? Take the time to let your mind slow down and process the morning’s events.
- Exercise – Exercise is often the first to go when we get busy but it will boost our energy, our metabolisms and help us clear our mind. It helps combat depression and releases the hormones generated from stress (fight or flight). Find time for exercise, most successful people don’t compromise their exercise routine because they know it keeps them healthy. Exercising outside enjoying the scenery or exercising with a friend will give you double recharge points.
- Sleep – Both your body and mind need regular, quality sleep to stay healthy and recharge. On average you need between 7 and 9 hours sleep per day.
- Get outside and see the scenery – Go outside find out what the weather is like, find a park, or get away somewhere where you can enjoy nature. Watch a sunset or sunrise.
- Be social, catch up with a friend – A supportive friend can help you put things in perspective, help you relax. Do one of the other refuel activities with a friend and get double the benefit.
- Limit your caffeine intake – Caffeine will give you a surge of energy, but once it has passed it will leave you tired and feeling worse. Remember, caffeine is a drug. Limit your intake of caffeine or give it up altogether.
- Do something you enjoy – Find a hobby or something you enjoy and do it. Don’t let money be an issue look for some low cost activities that you enjoy, read, listening to music on the radio or go for a walk. The main thing is that you enjoy it.
- Develop a routine to help you unwind – Routines can be good for us, especially if they are healthy. When actions become habits they utilise a different part of your brain allowing the problem solving part of the brain to slow down. Try to develop a routine that helps you relax and unwind. It may be soaking in a bath, a cup of green tea, meditate; listen to music, writing in a journal or whatever else helps you unwind. Try to do it regularly and it will become a habit and will automatically trigger your body and mind to relax.
- Set and maintain boundaries – Set some boundaries in your life. These can be positive boundaries such as I will exercise at least 45 mins three times a week or negative I will work no more than a certain number of hours per week. Make a promise to yourself and keep it.
- Clear your mind before going to bed – Clear your mind before going to bed, write a list of all the things that are swirling around in your mind, then give yourself permission to forget them until tomorrow. If you wake up during the night quickly add it to the list and think about it in the morning. Don’t ruminate about problems during the night. Things always look worse when you are tired and awake on your own.
- Take a holiday – Try to take a holiday at least once a year. If you can’t get away plan ways to have a holiday at home. You can do activities, plan day trips or activities you like that help you relax.
- Make sure you are getting enough vitamin D – With the move to indoor work and the importance of sun safety many people now have deficiencies of Vitamin D. Get your vitamin D levels tested and if they are low consider a supplement.
- Put more Omega 3 fatty acids in your diet or take a quality Omega 3 supplement- Ideally if you can incorporate Omega 3 fatty acids in your diet. Good sources are sardines, salmon, flax seeds and walnuts. If you are struggling to get enough Omega 3 fatty acids consider a good quality supplement. Omega 3 will help prevent fatigue and improve your ability to concentrate. It can help with depression, cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes, fatigue, dry skin, brittle hair and joint pain.
- Drink more water – Water will stop you from getting dehydrated, keep you healthier, help prevent you from overeating and may help you limit your intake of caffeine based drinks.
- Take regular breaks – Get up from your chair and stretch, move away from your work station and take your eyes off the screen. Regular breaks are a quick relief for your body.
- Switch off from the virtual world – Take some time out from your emails, social media and the web. As wonderful as these can be, take time out occasionally to slow down and enjoy your own company.
- Get some sunlight – Try to get some exposure to natural sunlight even it is just from a balcony. Make sure you are sun safe and avoid the hottest part of the day. Natural sunlight makes us feel awake and energetic. It also helps keep our body clock working properly.
- Stretch – Stretching can help reduce muscle tension, increase circulation to parts of your body and give you an energy boost. Try to incorporate some stretches into your daily routine.
- Meditate – Meditation helps you concentrate on one thing at a time, it helps you your mind rid itself of clutter. Give meditation a try.
- Laugh – Laughing will help you relax and release your troubles, enjoy a joke with a friend, watch a comedy or a funny you tube video. Try to find at least 5 mins a day to enjoy a good laugh.
I still struggle with recognising the need to relax and make sure I action some of these. I find when I am relaxed it is much easier for me to identify and focus on what is important.
What helps you relax? What are you better at doing when you are relaxed?