The key to a healthy lifestyle is to consider all aspects of your well-being. Mental and emotional health are just as important as physical health, but easier to overlook when making health plans for the new year. Here are 6 ways to help you holistically live your healthiest lifestyle in 2018!
1. Don’t Diet
Many people start the new year wanting to drop a few pounds. There is nothing wrong with that! However, as the NY Times explains, restrictive dieting does not help you lose weight. In most cases, you end up gaining weight! Instead, develop the following healthy eating habits:
- Eat more slowly. This helps you enjoy your food more, so you feel satisfied. It also aids in digestion.
- Everything in moderation! Eat more of the healthy things you like, but allow yourself small portions of the things you crave.
- Eat smaller but more frequent meals.
- Drink water throughout the day. We often think we are hungry when we are actually dehydrated.
- Cook more, eat out less. You’ll know exactly what you are putting in your body, and you’ll save money.
2. Exercise for Pleasure!
Another common New Year’s Resolution is to exercise more. Exercise is also a natural endorphin and stress-reliever, and is essential to cardiovascular health and weight management. It is the typeof exercise you need to consider. Do not set a goal of going to the gym if you hate the gym. Consistency is more important than intensity when it comes to physical activity, so find the type of movement that you actively enjoy, and make it your goal to do more of that.
3. Budget and Save!
Stress is a major threat to all three areas of your health. And as CBS News cautions, issues related to money are the leading cause of stress in our culture. Ward off this stress by following these smart financial tips in 2018:
- Calculate your monthly income and deduct your monthly expenses. This is how much you can spend each month.
- Set up automatic deposits into a savings account each month.
- Make extra cash! There are many apps out there that pay you for things you already do daily. Achievement rewards you for your weight loss goals. Ebates and Shopkick reward you for your purchases.
- Take those few extra minutes to look for discounts, sales, coupons, and promotional codes.
4. Say No!
The combination of work, school, family, and social obligations we have often adds up to more than our waking hours allow time for. Prioritize the obligations that are most important to you, and practice gracefully declining the rest. Surrounding yourself with those people who understand will further increase your emotional health.
Good sleep is essential to maintaining all facets of health. Figure out what amount of sleep you feel your best at, and schedule your 24-hour day to include that many hours of sleep. Prioritize your schedule so that you can go to bed and wake up at the same times each day, because consistency is as important as quantity. Finally, practice good sleep hygiene:
- Trade screens for a book, journal, or puzzle at least one hour before bed.
- Eat your last meal at least an hour before bed.
- Wind down slowly; do not go to bed right after being active.
6. Make Time for Your Hobbies
There is a difference between truly living and merely surviving. That difference often lies in making time for yourself and the things you enjoy. Only you know what those things are! Spend a minute to ask yourself what you would love to do more of, and then make time for that in your weekly schedule.
Nurturing your body and mind through a few simple lifestyle changes is the best gift you can give yourself this year! Make overall health your goal for 2018, and all your resolutions will fall into place. Start with these 6 tips, and then continue building on what works for your life.