20 Ways to Be More Healthy and Happy!Wednesday, December 15, 2010
The holidays have a tendency to make us feel blah about ourselves. I'm not quite sure why that is, but it happens to me every year. It might be the pressures of finding the perfect gift, dressing up for various parties, or the consumption of holiday goodies. Whatever the reason, this blah feeling tends to leave me feeling bogged down with negativity. In order to combat the holiday crummies, I've decided to be more positive and encourage all of you to do the same. I want to share some of the ideas I've come up with to live more happily and healthily!!
♥ Drink More Water!! I know that this is something we always hear, but we often forget that we need to stay hydrated throughout our busy days. Dehydration can cause headaches, stomach aches, and fatigue just to name a few symptoms! Drink a large glass of water when you first wake up, stash water in your bag, drink water with your meals, and have a glass of water instead of snacking mindlessly.
♥ Get at least 6 hours of sleep! Or more!! We need sleep, people! I know that it is easy to procrastinate a big project and wind up pulling an all nighter to get it done. But if you do this all the time, it will begin to wear on your body. We require at least 6 hours of sleep every night to function to our best ability. So get your Zz's!!
♥ Pack snacks to munch on throughout your day!! I like to pack granola bars in my purse and put sliced fresh fruit or almonds in a portable zip-lock bag. Packing snacks will keep you from indulging in the temptation of buying junk food out of the vending machine. Put your snacks for the entire week in an easily accessible place like a basket on your table. That way you can just grab them on your way out the door.
♥ Make playlists that inspire certain moods like workout playlists, working playlists, reading playlists, cooking playlists and studying playlists.
♥ Find an outlet for stress relief. Stress does awful things to the body if it's not dealt with. Hobbies are great for relieving stress. I've been crocheting up a storm this past month while dealing with all my stress. Doing positive things, especially things that can benefit someone else in a positive way really helps quell your stress and anxiety.
♥ If you have pets, spend more time being active with them. Take your dog for a jog around the neighborhood! Grab a ball of yarn and have fun with your cat!!
♥ Try to get a little exercise everyday! Exercise makes you feel great about yourself! Most people burst in seizures and panic attacks when they hear the word exercise, but working out doesn't have to be a stressful event. Make your workouts fun and personalized to fit your needs. Try blasting some fun music and dancing until you fall over from exhaustion! Try a pilates or yoga dvd for a low impact workout. Some people love going the gym and others hate it. Find out what works for you and go from there!!
♥ Stop beating yourself up every time you eat something that isn't considered "healthy". There is nothing wrong with indulging in something yummy every once in a while. If you have a heavy dinner, plan to compensate the next day with lighter and more healthy foods.
♥ Counting calories might help you lose weight, but sometimes you just need to listen to your body. It will tell you what it needs if you listen to it.
♥ Take your time when you are eating! Chew your food slowly and take a sip of your drink in between each bite. It takes your body a little while to know that it is full, so don't inhale all of your food at once. This will lead to over eating. Give yourself time to digest and stop eating when you are comfortably full.
♥ Try to eat a heavier meal early in the day. Eat a breakfast with up to 500 calories including fresh fruit and protein. Studies have shown that eating your most caloric meal earlier in the day gives you more time to burn off the calories during the day.
♥ Ask a friend to be your healthy living buddy!! Keep each other on track with meal ideas and give each other support to avoid temptation. It is always easier to get through something difficult when someone is going through it with you. Schedule workout dates together. It will keep you from wimping out on your workout because you know someone is depending on you.
♥ If you feel like crap after a workout, give yourself time to feel better. Don't kill yourself at the gym when you need some recovery time. There is nothing wrong with taking a day off to rest. Just don't let that day turn into a month. Make sure to get back into your plan once you are feeling better!
♥ If you enjoy eating out, reward yourself for cooking healthier meals at home by going out every once in a while. Make a goal of how long you want to stay away from restaurants and reward yourself for keeping that goal.
♥ Sometimes there is no way to avoid eating out. Busy schedules and social events sometimes get in the way of our healthy goals. A meal served at restaurants doesn't have to be unhealthy. Just make smart decisions and be aware of the large portions.
♥ If you don't have time to go home for your lunch, start packing a lunch. Buy things that are easy to make and eat on the go. I like to pack roasted turkey sandwiches on wheat along with some fresh fruit, yogurt, or organic potato chips (which are actually super yummy!) Sometime I eat a packet of tuna or a microwavable cup of soup instead of the sandwich. There are lots of options and you have to find things that work best for your situation. Avoid prepackaged snacks though because they are usually loaded with chemicals and preservatives which can make you feel yucky.
♥ If you aren't a morning person or tend to scrabble around like a crazy person in the morning (like me), pack your lunch, snacks, and workout gear the night before. Not being prepared has always been my major excuse for skipping the gym or eating unhealthy. Take some of the stress out of your morning by having your things all ready to go.
♥ Give yourself time to wind-down before bed. The worst thing you can do after a busy and stressful day is to just jump into bed and hope that you can fall asleep from sheer exhaustion. You will probably end up tossing around in your sheets for a while because you mind is still wide awake. Instead, grab a book or some soothing music before you get into bed. Spend a little time away from all of your stress and worries. Relax and let your breathing slow down. Once you feel calm, it's time for bed. Also, keep some melatonin handy for those days when sleep alludes you. Melatonin is sold at any drugstore in the vitamin section. Start out using a low dosage until you know how it will affect you.
♥ Just ignore that person who thinks your quest for a healthy and happy life is stupid. Their face is stupid!! Some people are just downers! They like to complain and nothing makes them happy. Nothing they have to say will benefit your endeavors so just tune them out.
♥ Reward yourself for accomplishing your goals!! Get your hair done, get a facial, have dessert, go out for fun! Life is always worth celebrating and even your small accomplishments are victories worth a party!
Hang in there, Lovelies!!