Welcome. If you’re here, then it shows that you want to take control of your life. All of us grow in different environments. We develop different versions of normal. But, your version of normal led you until this time in your life. People reach a point in their lives where they wish to take control and change things up. For most of us, it begins by changing our lifestyles.
A recent tweet by Adam Grant says, “Being practical isn’t about abandoning hopes and dreams. It’s about turning dreams into goals, goals into plans, plans into actions, and actions into habits.”
We all have a dream life that we wish to have and a dream self that we wish to be. The following habits may help you get where you want to be:
Consume the right food:
This is a no brainer. Eating the right foods help your body to function and heal better. To construct a strong building, one needs raw materials of good quality. Similarly, if you want a resilient and a healthy body, then you need to eat better foods.
- Eat three meals in a day. With every meal, make sure you have one fibre-rich component like bread, pasta, rice, oats, potatoes, etc.
- Control the portion sizes of the meals. Don’t eat in big quantities. Eat in small amounts. Avoid processed foods.
- Eat mindfully. Observe how hunger reduces as you eat. Learn to stop eating when you feel full.
- Try to get at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables every day. Eat fruits between meals and get at least one serving of vegetables per meal. Like eat a banana after breakfast, get a smoothie after lunch and eat two fruits before dinner.
- Our body has 600 muscles and for them to function smoothly, we need proteins. Eat eggs, lamb, chicken, fish, dairy etc. for protein. If you’re vegan, then try getting plant-based protein foods like chickpeas, beans, nut butters, nuts, tofu etc.
- Cut down on sugar and salt consumption. We should not consume more than 25g of sugar and 6g of salt every day.
- Practice gratitude for the food you have on your plate. Teach yourself to enjoy healthier food options.
Keep yourself hydrated:
Being optimally hydrated allows good functioning of the body and maintains the blood volume at sufficient levels.
- Fruit juices
- Unsweetened teas
- Broths throughout the day.
Remember to keep yourself hydrated especially during hot weather and exercise to prevent dehydration.
Exercise boosts energy, improves concentration, promotes blood flow and keeps the immune system in a good shape. Be sure to move your body every day. On an average, an adult needs 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week to maintain health.
Choose an activity you enjoy and get some blood flowing:
- Wall Climbing
- Going to the gym
If going to the gym is hard, then be more active during the day. Take the stairs, walk to a nearby café, take stretching breaks, clean up your space etc. Take every chance to move your body. You could also take up an active hobby like gardening, bird watching, volunteering etc.
During sleep, your body is working to maintain healthy brain function and to improve physical health. Not getting enough sleep leads to long-term health problems. On an average, an adult needs 7-9 hours of sleep per night. But, each person is different. Therefore, sleep the amount that makes you feel rested and energised.
Some sleep tips:
- Follow the same sleep pattern every day. Go to bed and wake up at the same time.
- Make sure your room is dark and cool. This makes it easier for you to fall asleep.
- Don’t keep any electronic devices in your room. If that isn’t possible then turn off all devices.
- Avoid eating before bed.
- Avoid drinking alcohol and stimulating drinks like coffee before bed. Instead, opt for calming teas or even warm water.
- Follow a bed time routine to signal to your brain that it’s time to relax and sleep.
A simple bedtime routine
- Eat 2 hours before bed time.
- Turn off all devices.
- Take a warm bath and put on some pyjamas.
- Plan for the next day. Make a to-do list with 2-3 tasks.
- Reflect on your day and journal out your thoughts and feelings.
- Read something light
- Do a full body scan or some deep breathing
- Visualise your dream life and relationships
You can make your own bedtime routine with activities and tasks that calm you down and get you ready to sleep.
Take time off to relax and unwind. Being in a state of high stress for long periods can lead to developing diseases, and disorders and falling sick more often. During the day, we are always doing something or solving a problem or dealing with various challenges that pop up like a child’s game. It’s important that we take breaks to breathe and recharge so that we can handle situations in a better manner.
Some de-stressing methods include:
- Taking a small walk
- Deep breathing
- Visualization of a beautiful place or memory
- Using somatic healing practices like shaking and moving our bodies
Make sure you take time to relax every day to recover from daily stresses. Spend time with your loved ones, call a friend, go out for lunch, get a massage, walk a new route or pursue a hobby. Remember, you can’t pour from an empty cup. Fill your cup first.