So this time of year we are bombarded with people telling us to lose weight, give up smoking, give up drinking or at least participate in dry January. I know – it’s our life so we should be able to do what we want with it right? The thing is, what if there is a little bit of truth in what they’re saying.
If you make a bit of an effort to be healthy – and healthy does not have to mean ultra skinny – you WILL feel so much better inside. You know what they say ‘healthy body is a healthy mind.’ I’m going to contradict myself a bit here because I’m not sure that is entirely true in every case – someone can try their hardest to be healthy but still suffer with mental health problems, however if we put in just a little effort to make our body healthy I think it will help most of us to feel a bit better about ourselves.
My philosophy is: we are inside this body, it is the one we have grown in and ultimately it is our responsibility to try and look after it the best that we can.
I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not the healthiest I could be but I would love to change that and I’m a bit
lazy silly really because I know all the fundamentals. It’s really not rocket science either…
- Get enough sleep. Not getting enough sleep can have an massive impact on your body and your mind. Sleep is the time when our body heals and repairs itself and our mind has a chance to rest. Let’s face it, what’s not to love about snuggling up in a nice warm comfy bed.
- Cut out processed foods. Try and eat wholesome unrefined foods where possible and definitely try and stick to lean meat and plenty of vegetables, these will give you the vitamins you require to be healthy without having to resort to taking vitamin tablets. Try and knock the ready meals on the head – processed food and convenience foods etc contain all sorts of crap and probably don’t taste as nice as when you cook things yourself anyway. The more colourful your plate the better and it makes you feel SO GOOD after you have eaten food that is good for you!
Exercisebe active for at least half an hour a day. This can just be brisk walking if you want which is quite easy to incorporate into our day. Just take yourself for a little walk around the block and inhale a bit of fresh air in your lunch break if you can. Being outside will also give you vitamin D, although it’s not abundant at this time of year. I’ve started walking in my lunch break (if it’s not raining) rather just moving from a desk to go and sit at another chair. I only walk for about 15 minutes but it is making me feel a little bit better, it’s all about small steps – and I don’t mean walk round doing an impersonation of a mouse.
- Drink plenty of water. It is recommended that we drink 6-8 glasses of water per day, which is actually quite easy to do. I have a water bottle that is 750ml, I have it on my desk at work and make sure I drink it all in the morning and refill at lunchtime. If I drink all this that’s 1.5l which means with the water I drink before work and then in the evening, I hit my target.
- Give up smoking. Unless you have been living in a cave for the last twenty years or so you will know how bad smoking is for your health. I gave up about twelve years ago and it’s astonishing how much of a difference it makes to EVERYTHING – your skin, your lungs, the amount of oxygen you consume, your purse …
- Cut down on alcohol, I’m not going to be all preachy but alcohol is a toxin and it is very addictive. Before long it can be an enjoyable habit and that leads to it being a not enjoyable habit and affecting your health in a bad way. Just drink in moderation as a special treat, if you are able to or even want to.
- For a happier outlook, try and practise gratitude. We all have something that we can be grateful for. It could be family, good friends, a home, being able to do the things we enjoy, a special pet, food to eat, good health, a nice smile, living in a country where we are not in a position poverty, being fortunate enough to have a bed to sleep in at night time. There are many people who do not have any of these things so we should feel happy if we have at least a couple of these. Just feel thankful each day and it will fill you with positivity.
These are all manageable, I think, and not even that difficult. Please let me know if you think I have missed anything out. Now I need to look back at that list and remind myself how to stay healthy!