Non-smoking week is technically over, but that doesn’t mean your healthy habits have to be! While striving for a smoke-free future is an absolute must, there are lots of ways we can promote a healthier lifestyle – and if you think that means reconfiguring your whole life, think again. It doesn’t have to be extreme, and it doesn’t have to happen overnight.
Let’s get into it…
We’re moving into an increasingly health-conscious society, with more focus on wellness than ever before. So what does “wellness” mean to you? Because the truth is, it can mean whatever you want it to, and it doesn’t have to focus on just one aspect of health.
The days of extreme dieting and exercise regimens are being replaced by intuitive eating, “everything in moderation” mentality, breathwork, meditation, walks in nature, and truly enjoying the process of cooking your own meals. Diet culture is out, and showing up for yourself in a way that allows you to live a balanced, full life – is very much in.
The wellness movement is doing more than promoting yoga and meditation (though these things are incredible for exercising your mental, emotional, and physical health). It is giving every person a chance to define their own healthy lifestyle, on their terms. Maybe that means challenging oneself to incorporate a morning green smoothie into the daily routine. Or maybe it means building in 20 minutes each day to walk in nature and slow your mind.
Healthy habits look different to everyone, and wellness is not a one-size-fits-all concept. There is room to custom-create, build, adjust and replace. The point is, it’s what works best for YOU.
With that said, we’d like to put forth some small, but impactful changes you can implement today, without going to extreme measures – because let’s face it: resolutions are often so unrealistic and difficult to maintain long-term, making them easy to give up on.
Let’s instead try adding in little bits at a time, and make the process enjoyable by customizing these changes to your liking and degree of comfort, helping you to stay accountable to yourself and your health:
- Create a plan to incorporate more healthy foods, instead of swearing off “unhealthy” foods altogether. This allows for a natural progression towards better health, and the change will feel far less drastic and difficult to manage
- Design a wellness-style “vision board” or journal – brainstorm new ideas, activities and practices that will have a positive impact on your mental and physical wellbeing. If you don’t incorporate every idea, that’s ok! Do what feels right and manageable for you
- Make small and attainable goals for each day, like “move my body for 10 minutes” or “take a short break during the day to engage in a mindfulness exercise” – this could be as simple as 5 minutes of guided meditation, drawing, journaling or just sitting with your thoughts
- Use creative ways to up your water intake – like every time you go to the bathroom, tell yourself you’ll finish / pour yourself a glass of water. If you tend to forget, set gentle and encouraging reminders for yourself on your phone, computer, or sticky notes!
- Prioritize your sleep. Even if that means hitting the snooze button and sacrificing a morning workout here and there. Your sleep is your fuel, and plays such a key role in your overall health
- Give yourself permission to say no! You can’t do everything, and you can’t be everything for everyone. Prioritize yourself so that you can be of service to others
So let’s all make small changes that are easy to stick to, and help us to live our best and healthiest lives!