A word from Lindsay M from Public Health Corps
Developing and sticking with healthy habits can be a challenge for many given how busy people’s lives are today. Things get hectic with work, family commitments, and other relationships, and as a result, one’s health often becomes a low priority. Sometimes life makes getting healthy all the more difficult, but there are small steps you can take to achieve a healthy lifestyle.
Focus on one healthy habit at a time
The Washington Post points out that it is common for people to try to change too many things at once when they are aiming to create new healthy habits. You may decide that you need to cut out junk food, start exercising five times a week, and eliminate tobacco and alcohol from your life, but you may be setting yourself up for failure if you don’t slow down and form a plan.
When you aim to incorporate healthy habits into your life, you have to figure out what you are eliminating as well. For example, if you determine that you want to exercise five days a week, you have to figure out where in your busy day you can dedicate the time to that. Most people have work and family commitments that limit their free time, so it may work best to be specific about the habit you want to incorporate and form a plan for how to tackle it.
Develop a plan and make yourself a priority
In today’s busy world, many people have gotten used to expecting quick results and when it comes to developing healthy habits, progress can be slow. Psychology Today suggests writing down your plan of attack, detailing the benefits that will come from succeeding, and setting a date for beginning. This approach can work on any number of goals, and people do tend to achieve better results when they are detailed about the steps they will follow to be successful.
Sticking with healthy habits can be challenging under the best of circumstances, so it is important that you make sure you are giving yourself every opportunity to succeed by making yourself a priority. Self-care is critical, but it can be hard to find time for it when you are so busy. Start by creating some non-negotiable rituals such as turning your phone off every night by 8:00 p.m., starting each morning with a short yoga session, or creating a planning sheet before diving into work or the day’s chores. Before you know it, the rituals will become a habit and you can slowly add on.
Switch it up and try something new
It can be hard to break out of our comfort zones, but there are actually many benefits to it. For starters, by challenging yourself to do things you typically wouldn’t do, you experience uncertainty in a controlled environment. In doing so, you can prepare yourself for life changes that force you out of your comfort zone, and be apt to try out healthy habits the old you would have never dreamed of trying. In addition, productive discomfort transforms your comfort zone, making activities or situations that were once difficult or stressful easier to do.
Breaking out of your comfort zone doesn’t have be stressful, in fact, it can be extremely relaxing and help you take charge of whatever is holding you back. The Big Om Yoga Retreat connects yogis of all experience levels for a weekend of community yoga, workshops, and connection with a relaxed schedule to allow for a variety of experiences. In addition, yoga is one of the many healthy ways to replace a bad habit with a good one while gaining perspective to enable you to grow and learn.
Practicing self-care will help you be stronger for your loved ones
It is easy to lose yourself when your focus is on the people around you such as a partner, family, extended family, or co-workers. You are stuck in a cycle of feeling good when you help others but having to suffer silently through your own issues. Sadly, self-care typically falls by the wayside, but it’s time to bring it to the forefront. Self-care involves taking your fulfilment into your own hands to ensure that your emotional needs are being met. While it may feel selfish or difficult to focus on your own health, ignoring those needs can lead to bigger issues.
The good news is that self-care can start in the comfort of your own home. No time to go to the gym? Set up your own home gym using minimal equipment (here are some great ideas on getting started) and focus your efforts on effective strength training exercises like push ups (learn how to fix your form here), planks, wall sits and squats. Get light cardio by playing your favorite music and dancing until dinner is ready or chasing the kids around the house. Need some quiet time? Set aside a room or corner in your home that is your own personal retreat where you can escape for moments at a time to take a breather, gather your thoughts, and relax. Take time for a 30 second check in a few times a day to discover what is truly going on inside of you so you can create a plan to address it. Start making a habit of putting yourself first so you can be the best you for your loved ones.
Building healthy habits can be difficult given issues with work, relationships, and family that typically take center stage. However, pinpointing healthy habits to incorporate and building a plan to achieve them can help give you strength to keep up with all of the demands on your time.