When it comes to overall health, you need to consider the mental, social, and physical life aspects. Once in a while, it’s normal to feel stuck, unwell, and unlike your usual self. Sometimes, you suddenly want to make resolutions and turn over a new leaf with healthy lifestyle changes. However, not many people follow through with these resolutions. You don’t have to go to the extremes to boost your health; instead, do the following things.
Every day some activities need your attention, from household chores, school, and work. There being only twenty-four hours in a day, it may seem impossible to get time for everything and still have enough rest. However, every adult needs at least seven hours of sleep for good health. Lack thereof can increase the risk of suffering a stroke or heart attack. Practice good sleep hygiene by creating and sticking to a regular sleeping schedule.
Starting a workout routine or going to the gym are among most people’s New Year’s resolutions. However, they hardly follow through with exercise, yet it is one of the most vital things to do to boost your overall health. It helps reduce stress, burns excess calories to maintain a healthy weight, and reduces the risk of suffering heart disease. Spare close to an hour daily for four to five days weekly to do some exercise, either in the morning or evening. You can also choose to stay active by taking walks, jogging, or walking the stairs instead of taking the lift. As a disabled individual, I try to opt for my cane over my wheelchair when I am physically able to walk without immense pain. That’s obviously not an option for many other disabled people, but try to work out what would be best for you, while still being within your own abilities.
Attend regular checkups
Sometimes, you may feel very healthy, but in reality, you have underlying health issues. Some diseases take time to manifest themselves, and only qualified medical personnel can discover their existence. Regular medical checkups inform you of your overall health; they help you maintain or adjust your lifestyle. Some of the diseases people live with that are among the leading causes of death include high blood pressure, diabetes, and cholesterol. While I suffered from my genetic condition for my entire life, it was not discovered until I was 32 years old, mostly due to my lack of trust in the medical community, that kept me away from getting the help I needed. Be your own advocate, or take someone with you who can advocate for you.
Practice routine skincare
The skin is the largest body organ and protects internal organs, preventing them from damage. However, skin damage occurs frequently due to many factors such as poor dieting, lack of exercise, exposure to harsh environments, and accidental injury. Damaged skin impacts your health negatively by exposing you to diseases such as cancer and lowering your confidence, resulting in stress. Consume a nourishing diet, drink a lot of water, reduce stress, apply sunscreen, and check out The Ordinary skincare for enhanced protection and beauty.
You are what you eat; to boost your overall health, create time weekly to plan healthy meals. Ensure you eat a balanced diet daily and avoid foodstuff that is detrimental to your health, for example, junk. With all the adverts about dieting, it’s easy to get confused about what food to consume to maintain good health. Eat more plant-based foods like legumes, whole-grains, and cut down on processed foods. Also, as you eat a healthy diet, consume sizeable portions. If you get hungry in between meals, munch on healthy snacks like carrots instead of cookies.
Dehydration negatively impacts your health by reducing your mental focus, metabolism, and energy. Drinking enough clean water has its benefits, such as flushing out toxins, refreshing you, and maintaining a healthy weight and skin. On average, everyone should drink at least eight glasses of water daily. Sometimes, environmental factors like the weather can determine the amount of water intake that’s best for you. During summer, drink more water due to the heat and less in winter. To ensure you are getting enough water intake, carry a water bottle with you that measures the amount you drink, and keep filling until you’ve had enough. I set an alarm on my phone to alert me to drink a bottle of water every other hour. Find what works best for you, and add it to your routine.
Daily life hassles can take a toll on you; there are good days with high highs and those with very low lows. However, for you to stay healthy, take a few minutes in the evening to unwind and de-stress. You can do this by practicing meditation in a quiet place where you are comfortable. There are many ways to de-stress, in addition to meditation; take a nap, listen to soothing music, watch a comedy, or read a book. Whenever you are in a stressful situation and lack time to de-stress, get away from that situation for a while and do breathing practices.
I enjoy the Serenity app, and have a paid subscription. This has been the only meditation app that seems to work, regardless of the fact that I have aphantasia, which is the inability to visualize. I don’t have someone constantly telling me to “picture yourself on a beach” which is great, because it’s just not possible for me and I like the fact that they specifically stay away from visualization techniques.
You’ll be surprised how much fresh air and sunshine in the morning or afternoon can boost your morale. Being in nature does more than boost your mood; it is stress-relieving and helps you get away from crowded places. In times of a global pandemic when you spend most of the time indoors, being one with nature can boost your overall health, both physically and mentally.
Plan for outdoor activities like road-tripping, camping, and backpacking. Alternatively, you can visit your nearby park to enjoy some greenery and leave the stressful environment around work, family, and the internet. There’s times that we just pitch a few tents in our back yard and sleep under the stars. I always feel so much more calm the next day.
Cultivate a positive attitude and practice gratitude
Having a positive mindset cultivates healthy thoughts that, in turn, boost your immune system, and ultimately your overall health. You attract the kind of energy you invest your time in; it’s best to focus on the positive. To boost this, practice gratitude daily to eliminate negative thoughts and focus on the highs. Get a gratitude journal where you write everything you’re grateful for daily, and when things are tough, you’ll be able to be kinder to yourself. With time, consistent gratitude results in high self-esteem, improved mental health, sleep, and relationships. The Serenity app I mentioned earlier is also great for this, as it offers you the tools you need to speak kindly to yourself.
General body hygiene can boost your health and prevent you from acquiring viral diseases like COVID-19. It also refreshes you and boosts your confidence among people. Take showers regularly, keep your hair clean, floss your teeth, and wash hands as often as possible to keep away harmful germs.
Overall good health requires consistency in cultivating healthy practices. Prevention is better than cure; go for regular checkups, practice hygiene, get enough rest, and stay active with exercise. Eat healthy foods and add more protein to your diet. Swap unhealthy beverages with water and ensure your intake is enough daily. Cultivate a positive attitude and gratitude and include practices that enable you de-stress.