Being 'healthier' to most people typically means going to a gym and losing weight. Being 'healthier' is both your physical and mental state. Here are some of my top tips of ways you can be healthier....
- Avoid sitting & be more active
We sit all day....using the toilet, eating, driving, sitting at a computer desk, watching tv....how much of your typical day is spent moving? How can you incorporate more 'activity' into your day? You could try: getting off the bus 1-2 stops early and walking the rest of the way, parking further away, go for a walk once you get home at night or at lunch time, standing or a combination of standing & sitting at work.
- Drink more water
I always drink more water when I am in clinic as I have a glass sitting on my desk. If you do not like water, trying adding some lemon to give it some flavour.
- Minimise alcohol
Whilst alcohol can be a great way to unwind for some people at night, try minimise alcohol to 1-2 glasses and ideally only once a week. Make alcohol a 'treat' verse part of your daily, evening routine.
- Read more
Find a good book and avoid watching tv at night. It is recommended we stop watching tv and looking at screens at least two hours before going to bed to get our body ready for sleep, as the light from tv, phones, laptops etc is stimulating.
- Remove yourself from toxic friendships
Does this friendship for fill you or does it drain you and feel one sided? Is the friendship easy or is it hard work? As life gets busier, friendships can become harder with our busy lives, so only make time for those who reciprocate and value your friendship.
- Do things that make you happy
Put yourself first. It is easy to always put loved ones first but sometimes whether it be a few minutes a day or once a week doing a hobby that makes you happy, make some time for YOU. Meet up with a friend, do a yoga or pilates class, take up a new hobby, get out in the garden, get your hair done, find a new book.
- Eat healthier
Easier said than done sometimes, but find what works for you, whether it be preplanning meals, taking a packed lunch with you, not buying 'treats' at the supermarket. Find what works for you and suits your health needs. That may include minimising dairy or gluten, removing sugar, increasing fruit and vegetables.
- Sleep better
Nothing beats a good nights sleep. With young children myself I appreciate this is not always easy but whether one night a week you sleep in the spare room to get a solid 8hours of quality sleep or have a sleep in on the weekends. Make an effort to have a good, QUALITY sleep. How old is your mattress and pillows? Do you wake sore and aching? It could be worth investing in a new bed, especially if your mattress is over 8years old.
- Avoid stress
Yes stress is not always avoidable but address what is causing the problem or how it affects you and make a plan. If a colleague is upsetting you, can you speak to them or a manager to try resolve the issue. How you handle a situation if how the stress affects you. Remove yourself, go for a walk to unwind, decide what outcome you want and how you are going to achieve it.
- Be present
How often in a situation are you actually present? Or are you thinking of the millions of other things that need doing..what is for dinner, what have I forgotten and so on.
- Use your phone less
Something I need to work on, is putting my phone down (ideally in another room) and being present. We typically spend hours on our phone per day, especially when we are bored. Where do you charge your phone at night? Try leaving it in the kitchen or lounge so it is away from the bedroom and therefore away from you at night.
Sounds simple enough, but do you breathe with your chest/upper ribs only? Or do you engage your diaphragm? Breathing using our diaphragm is also an easy way to calm us as it engages the parasympathetic nervous system, which is our rest and digest nervous system. How do I breathe using my diaphragm?
Place one hand on your chest/upper ribs and other hand on your stomach. As you breathe in your chest rises slightly up + out and your tummy gets 'bigger'. In doing this your diaphragm and rib cage expands allowing more air into your lungs.
Your rib cage moves down + in and tummy returns to a 'flat' position.