This article was written by Everly Mag Intern Bridget.
Every year I make New Year’s resolutions to be healthier: to work on my eating and exercising as well as my mental health. And pretty much every year about two weeks into January I think to myself, I’ve already been unhealthy, I might as well just give up and try again next year. The truth is we DO NOT need to wait for a new year to get on the healthy grind. The whole idea of “new year new me” beginning on January 1st is simply a social construct. The date where you start to make a positive change does not matter at all. If you really feel like you need to start your journey on a landmark day, start on the first day of the week, or the first day of the month, or even just the first day of summer. The point is, it is only June, don’t wait 6 months to start being healthier, start as soon as possible! Here are some ideas for some healthy habits you can start right now!
Set Realistic Goals and Stick to them
If you go into the summer saying you’re gonna lose a huge specific amount of weight, restrict all unhealthy foods and have perfect confidence within a few months, you will probably end up disappointed, and you might even end up having an unhealthy mindset in regards to improving yourself. Make sure your goals are gradual. You don’t have to make your goals tiny, but make sure they are things you won’t have to put yourself through any physical or emotional harm in order to achieve. Tell your friends and family about your goals so that they can help guide you to them in a healthy way. Remind yourself often of your goals to keep yourself on track. For instance you can set reminders on your phone, or place notes around your house, even for simple healthy reminders like “drink more water”.
Practice Mindfulness Everyday
Image: Jared Rice via Unsplash
Practicing mindfulness can help you to ease stress and anxiety and get centered on yourself and your goals. There are countless ways of practicing mindfulness, whether it is doing yoga, meditating, listening to peaceful music, closing your eyes and deep breathing or writing in a gratitude journal. If you don’t really know how to get started with practicing mindfulness, apps like Headspace, Calm and Mindfulness Daily are great guides. No matter how busy you are, you should find a way to incorporate mindfulness activities into your day to ease your brain and focus on yourself rather than the stresses around. Taking a “mindful minute” is also a great idea if you feel yourself starting to fall into a bad habit.
Use Resources to Find Motivation
Find a source of constant inspiration for you to keep up with your health progress. If you believe it would help motivate you to workout, follow fitness accounts on Instagram or create a workout page on Pinterest. Following healthy recipe accounts online or reading healthy food blogs can help inspire you to cook healthy foods. Some of my favorite healthy food Instagram accounts are meowmeix and kalememaybe. There are also hundreds of books, podcasts and websites that can help motivate you and give you tips for working on your physical, and emotional health. For instance, some popular podcasts about mental health include Happy Place, Happier, and The Hilarious World of Depression. These resources can help you relate to others who face similar struggles as well as give you tips and motivation to improve your own health.
Be Active Everyday
Even if your goals are mostly to work on your mental health, being active is extremely important for all aspects of your well-being. You should be moving your body everyday, even if it isn’t a set workout. There are so many more ways of being active then just going to a gym. For instance, if you are someone who hates to run and will never be motivated to do it, don’t make yourself do it! If you are at the beach, instead of tanning all day, take a long walk along the shore, go swimming, or do some quick ab workouts on your towel. If you work or go to school all day, find times to stand up and walk around when you have breaks or during lunch. If you are hanging out with your friends, do an online workout class together, play a sports game, go on a bike ride, or even easier have a dance party! If you can’t find an exercise that you enjoy doing, don’t be discouraged there are so many different kinds of workout classes that exist today- from spin, to rock climbing to indoor surfing, there’s more out there than you might think. There is always something you can do to get your heart rate going and remember, exercise releases endorphins that will make you happier!
Find a Health Buddy
The struggle of achieving and maintaining good health is easier if you have someone by your side. If possible, find a buddy that will also be embarking on this health journey with you. Having an exercise buddy always provides extra motivation to get to the gym or do the workouts, and also to do exercises harder and longer then you probably would do them alone. It is also easier to cook or buy healthy foods if you have someone who will eat healthily alongside you, and who can help you cook and share recipes with you. A buddy can also help you with mental health in that they can share positive techniques for managing stress and you can keep each other on track with keeping up with good mental health habits.
If being healthier is something you have wanted to work on but haven’t found a good time to start, let this be your motivation, now is your time! Set your goals today and start them! No step in the direction of good health is too small. You can do it!
What tips for healthy habits would you add to this list? Comment below!
If you liked this article you might also enjoy reading:
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- Tips and Tricks to End Procrastination
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