While we may be amid chaos with holiday after holiday coming our way, there is still room to kick things into high gear and start your wellness journey - even now. Rather than waste another minute, let us start taking control of our lives, care for our bodies, and jumpstart a healthy lifestyle. Below are ten health hacks on how we can get healthy, happy, and focused.
Setting attainable goals gives you a long-term vision as well as ongoing focus. They provide you with a representation of your inner desires that motivate and inspire you to be the best possible version of yourself. Try reflecting on your own personal goals and make sure to journal them. This will help keep you on track.
Having good organizational skills increases productivity and makes it much easier to avoid making wrong choices when we are already hungry. Staying organized also helps with maintaining your goals and reduces significant levels of stress. Consider re-organizing your pantry and classifying foods as those that align with your goals versus those that do not. Try meal planning/prepping at home or when going out to eat, look at the restaurant menus ahead of time to determine what the healthiest options are prior to getting there.
LIMIT UNHEALTHY FOODS
Eating calorie-dense foods high in fat, sugar, and sodium may taste good and feel rewarding in the short-term, but they can also lead to unwanted empty calories, weight gain, and health problems down the road. Eating nourishing foods will make you feel more upbeat and benefit your mind and body as well as make you feel fuller and limit your cravings.
DRINK WATER & STAY HYDRATED
Making sure you are optimally hydrated and actively drinking water throughout the day is essential for your health. Hydration prevents mood swings, constipation and helps the body maintain a normal body temperature. Proper hydration can increase satiety (feeling of fullness), decrease cravings, and improve overall bodily function.
LIMIT ALCOHOL INTAKE
Cutting down on alcohol has all kinds of benefits like lowered blood sugar and weight loss. It often also reduces the number of associated negative consequences like a headache or heartburn. Remember that some alcoholic beverages come with many extra and empty calories that may lead to weight gain and hinder your weight loss efforts because it does also impair judgment. If you do choose to drink alcohol, be sure to drink in moderation.
Regular physical activity improves your brain health, helps with weight management, reduces disease, strengthens bones, and muscles, and improves your overall energy to tackle daily activities. It is important to include exercise at least three times a week to maintain good health. Also, consider setting a daily goal of at least 10,000 steps throughout the holiday season. Try to accomplish this even when workouts are not feasible or practical.
REDUCE SCREEN TIME
Too much screen time does not simply affect our mind and body; it can also affect the people around us. We need to remember to put down the devices and connect with the people around us while they are still here. A bonus is that reduction in screen time is associated with better sleep which is beneficial for our overall health and wellness.
GET ENOUGH SLEEP
Sleep plays a significant role in our physical health; it gives us the energy we need. Healthy adults need between 7-9 hours of sleep per night. Lack of sleep has been associated with increased food cravings and weight gain due to the increased levels of cortisol (stress hormone) in the body. Ongoing sleep deficiency is linked to an increased risk of heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and stroke.
Mindfulness practices can help us to increase our ability to regulate emotions, decrease stress, anxiety, and depression. It can also help us to focus our attention, as well as to observe our thoughts and feelings without judgment. To practice mindfulness, try journaling or meditation to help concentrate your thoughts.
DO SOMETHING MEANINGFUL EACH DAY
It is easy to let time pass by without us truly noticing where it has gone and what we have achieved with it. Try finding meaning within each day; help a stranger, spread positivity, and actively think about how you can help another human being even if it is the most mundane thing. Meaningful actions can have a significant impact on your overall wellbeing, especially during the holiday season.