The most important thing when it comes to improving our health and our happiness is simply to get started … and remember to give yourself a bit of grace as you learn to implement these healthy lifestyle practices!
One of my favourite quotes goes something like this: “The best time to plant a tree was yesterday, the second-best time is today”. Meaning, yes, although it may have been best to start healthy habits years ago, don’t let that discourage you from starting today.
So without further ado, here are seven small things you can start today to help boost your overall health and happiness:
- Get up and moving – This tip works best if you choose an event or time of day to be a mental cue. For example, ‘whenever the bowlers change over in cricket, I’ll get up and stretch my legs’ or ‘as soon as dinner is finished, we’ll go for a walk outside’. You’ll develop a good habit in no time!
- Keep a bottle of water beside you – You will be amazed at how much more water you’ll drink when it is visible and sitting just within reach! You can even infuse a bit of fruit to add a refreshing twist over the summer months.
- Gently stretch your body first thing in the morning to limber up and prepare for the day ahead. Your body will love you for it!
- Discover which healthy snacks you really like (one of mine is bananas!). There are a wide range of healthy snacks out there, some you will naturally enjoy and some you will dislike. Try out different snacks to figure out the ones you truly like. This will make you more likely to opt for the healthy option when you feel a bit peckish.
- Be mindful of your posture. Sitting and standing up straight and comfortably can truly affect how you feel, act and think. Take some time now to adjust your posture if needed.
- Start a journal. This might include prayers, thoughts, studies – anything that gives direction to reflecting on the day just gone, and on life generally. A growing body of research shows that regularly journaling can help lower stress, improve sleep, and may even reduce the risk of acquiring some diseases.
- Spend quality time with someone. Human beings are built for connection. And perhaps we know that now more than ever. Who is someone you could connect with this week?
BONUS TIP (for the coffee and tea drinkers): Consider reducing the amount of added sugar in your coffee or tea. 1-3 sugars can really add up over multiple cups a day!
We would love to hear how you go trying out these tips!
Article written by Emily Johnson, TPC Physiotherapist