It’s the same routine every year for the majority of us. After the decadence and indulgence of the holidays, we go into a new year, determined, it seems, to finally turn over a new leaf. We’re going to get healthy once and for all, we tell ourselves.
The only problem is that our goals are too lofty. We want to do too much, too soon. We forget that health is all-encompassing. It isn’t just going to the gym five days a week and cutting every carb imaginable from your diet.
So here’s another way to go about it. Slow down. Take baby steps. And start with simple changes that are meant to take care of your whole self (not just the outside part).
1. Sleep More - Yes. You read that correctly. #teamnosleep is grossly overrated. You aren’t special because you pulled an all-nighter or because you chose to power through instead of giving your body the rest it desperately craves. We need rest. Your body needs to recoup. Yes, work is important. But getting the sleep that you need will only enhance that.
2. Move More - I know, I know. Didn’t I just let you off the hook from joining the gym? Yes — if pumping iron is not your thing, that’s OK — but movement is still very important. Instead of embarking on some new strict exercise regimen that you’re unlikely to stick to, or jumping on the latest fad exercise craze, focus on movement that feels good to your body. This could be yoga and light stretching. This could be walking in the nearby park or just around your neighborhood. This could be dancing wildly in your living room like no one is watching. Find what you enjoy and do more of that.
3. Connect - And I don’t mean on Facebook. I mean having real face time with those you love and making the people that are important to you a priority. Are your loved ones not nearby? Write them a letter. Give them a call. Send a thoughtful gift just because. No matter what it looks like, choose to be present.
4. Go Outside - Our modern day society is so removed from nature. some of us have forgotten what trees and other common plants even look like. I’m not saying you should take up herbology here, but make it a point to spend some time outside in nature, whether that be a park, a beach or the forest if you’re adventurous. Being in nature helps calm our minds and gets us back to our natural rhythms,
5. Be Still - We’re always moving around. Even our minds can’t seem to just stop. The constant go go go that most of us are used to will take its toll after a while. We can’t escape it; it’s the world we live in now. But we can balance it. Even if it’s just for a few minutes a day, take those few minutes to breathe deeply, sit still and quiet your mind. You might be surprised at how much your focus and energy may improve.
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