Taking care of your wellbeing can be overwhelming or at least seem that way at first glance. Couple that with being a newbie to the wellbeing world and it can seem pretty scary.
You really want to make a change toward a healthier and happier lifestyle, but the more you look at the big picture you just see obstacles. And what’s worse the more you focus on the obstacles and struggles, the more anxious and stressed about it you become. It becomes so overwhelming that you end up giving up the prospect completely or resorting to calming yourself down with half a packet of chocolate biscuits and 2 glasses of wine postponing.
I know the feeling. But know that you are not alone and it is completely normal. So normal and there is a light at the end of the tunnel. You just have to look for it, and by looking for it I mean by just starting, going forward and moving, no matter how slowly in the direction you want to go.
Just start. Start small, but just start. Let the change at least have a chance of giving you the life you want.
I am giving you a few simple and super actionable tips you can apply in your everyday life. Keep to implementing only 1 or 2 health tips to start with. Once you have mastered those health tips and become are permanently set on autopilot, ie a habit, move on to the next.
It sounds simple because it is. A few housekeeping rules to consider in the name of keeping kind to yourself.
- Nothing happens over night. It all takes time and is a process, so be kind to yourself and just pick one or two things to start with a week.
- Be consistent. Repetition, repetition, repetition. Be disciplined in being consistent with your 1 or 2 health goals.
- Look at your goal or goals as easy. When you focus on eg drinking more water every day, approach it from the view point of "I am excited to be finally getting my body properly hydrated, rather than “ I have so much water to drink, it seems such an enormous task" Change your language around it.
- And be real. These are small changes to make in your lifestyle, you are not training to get first place in a marathon, well not just yet anyway!!
The best tip I can offer you is to look at all these small habit changes are easy. When you change how you look at these actions, things will change. And remember nothing happens overnight, it is all a process of layering. Just start small. Everyone starts small in the beginning, so be kind and take 1 step at a time.
Here are 5 simple, actionable wellness tips to get you on your way to a healthier and happier you.
1. Drink more water
f there was only 1 wellness tip I could give you to improve your health, vitality, digestion and weight, it would be to drink more water.
Water is essential people, for everything, every single thing that goes on in our body requires water. Yet, this is still one of the main causes for common everyday health ailments. From headaches, to constipation, to cramps and on and on. If you can drink more water you will not only be setting an awesome example for your family, but your body will begin to work so much better. You will be more productive, have more energy, sleep better, reduce fat, increase your metabolism. Water is a superfood and its free.
As with anything start small. I suggest drinking an extra large glass of water when you wake up everyday. This is not only an excellent boost to start the body’s natural detox after a night of lying dormant, but first thing in the morning your brain is at its most receptive and consequently is more likely to remember to repeat it. It also has the added bonus or actually putting your body into a place of hydration after several hours of dehydration, so helps get the cells, systems and organs doing what they should more efficiently almost immediately.
2. Eat more Veggies
Eating more veggies isn’t hard, unless you tell yourself it is.
Try to eat a rainbow of coloured vegetables, the more colourful the better. Get your kids involved and help them motivate you to increase your vegetable intake. When preparing meals ensure that there is a large non starchy vegetable component on your plate, such as broccoli, zucchini, cabbage, kale. Aim to eat the bulk of this before you eat the rest, helping your body fill up on nutrient rich non starchy vegetables rather than less nutritious food.
Challenge yourself to add 1 or 2 more vegetables to your daily intake.
3. Avoid Processed foods
Prepackaged foods and meals are often chock full of chemicals that really don't belong in food, let alone the food you serve your family and yourself.
There are lots of reason these additives are in our food, primarily to increase shelf like and taste better. however these chemicals can have serious consequences for your health, from increased risk of allergies, hypersensitivity, digestive problems, brain fog, irregular sleep and hyperactivity, to name a few.
The next time you visit the supermarket try to avoid foods that have been heavily processed or already cooked, such as precooked meals, sauces, cakes and biscuits.Rather opt for food that is in its whole state. Such as fresh fruits and vegetable, brown rice with the husk still intact and wholegrain pastas from whole wheat flour. If you are cooking a meal try and cook as much as possible from scratch. If you hate cooking like me, make sure you make enough for 2 or 3 batches so you can freeze it and save time later.
4. Quit Drinking Soda + Juices
Sugar added sweetened beverages are a major culprit in the rise of obesity and diabetes.
Whilst there are many factors as to why these drinks have such an impact on our bodies, the easiest to understand is the sheer quantity and speed which we take in sugar when we drink a coke or a juice. A can of coke which equates to nearly 10 teaspoons can be drank in seconds. This flood of sugar, all 40 grams of it, creates a massive surge on our bodies resources as it struggles to cope with the massive overload. Similarly a cup of apple juice containing approximately 6 teaspoons of sugar has the same effect. Just because the sugar is natural makes absolutely no difference. To your body, sugar is sugar.
Going cold turkey might be a struggle at first.
What small change you can make?
If it is the bubbles in soda you like perhaps try to substitute soft drinks with sparkling water.
If it is the sugar you like perhaps dilute it to help you ease your body off it in a more gentler fashion.
Another health tip when looking at your juice intake is to change how you think of fruit juices.
Many of us subconsciously believe that fruit juices are healthy, but in actual fact that are not much healthier than a can of coke.
Reframe your thinking . Consider that a glass of apple juice has more than half the sugar of a can of coke or nearly the same amount of sugar as a mars or snickers bar. Next time you reach for the apple juice or lemonade, imagine consuming 1 mars bar in the time it takes you to drink your juice. It changes how you look at juice don't you think?
5. Cut your sugar intake
Sugar and health don't go together, so reducing the sugar you consume in your diet will only give you health benefits.
If you are a sugar addict, like I once was, start small.
Set a limit on how much you can have and reduce it every week. If you go through 2 bags of lollies a week, reduce it to 1, and go from there. Maybe you buy only one chocolate bar every 2 days rather than every day or replace you coco pop breakfast for muesli with no added sugar. If you are still craving sugar and sugar and you cant satiate it, try eating sweet fibrous fruits and vegetables such as apples, strawberries, sweet potatoes and carrots.
Look at the areas you have sugar in your day and see which is the easiest area you can reduce your sugar to get yourself motivated and into the flow of reducing sugar more significantly when you are feeling more confident.
6. Opt for Full Fat rather than Low Fat
For most of us selection the low fat version of our favourite yogurt or milk appears to be the right thing to do. Sadly not. Whilst once revered fat is not as nasty as once thought and more importantly it is much better for you and your family than the lower fat varieties.
Fat is tasty, so when you take fat out of food much of the taste can be lost. To remedy this, manufactures add sugar and other additives to increase its palatability and make up for the lost fat.
The next time you are choosing your low fat milk or yogurt check out the differences in the sugar content on the label. Also it is worth adding that in order to remove the fat the food must be interfered with and processed to some degree, add more fuel to the fire.
7. Limit your coffee
We live in a coffee society and whilst having a coffee is one of my favourite times of my day, I am very aware it is a drug that can play havoc with my body, particularly my sleep.
As you know coffee is a stimulant and wakes you up, but sometimes in the busyness of life you may forget the connection. The 3 o clock slump at work lead you to race for quick caffein pick me up. Then come 3 am in the morning we are struggling to stay asleep.
If you are sensitive to waking up in the night, look at the amount of coffee you drink in the day. If you drink coffee after 12pm experiment with limiting coffee to the morning and see how it affects the quality of your sleep.
The next time you are struggling to stay awake in the afternoon, go for a walk or do 5 minutes of stretching or 50 sit ups if you are a crazy like me. Physiologically the movement stimulates blood flow throughout your body and of course to your brain, increasing the flow of energy and alertness, waking you up and helping you complete your productive day.
These tips are all actionable but often the best place to start is to look at what you are already doing. How much coffee you have? How much sugar you eat or fizzy drinks you drink. When you look at your daily life on paper you can easily pinpoint habits or patterns that perhaps didn't even know you were doing, an afternoon Diet Coke or morning tea of biscuits. These pesky habits can easily be identified when you have it all set out in front of you. To do this,there is no better tool that keeping a written lifestyle journal.
way to do this than grabbing yourself a lifestyle journal and keeping it for at least a week.l
Life is busy. You may have assumed habits you dont even know. By looking at your life, your habits and daily patterns it will emerge clearly where you are going wrong. But in order to change it you have to at first see it.
hope these tips have inspired you to take some actionable tips towards your wellbeing. Remember, it isn't as hard as we are told, nor how we think.
Start small and be consistent.
Be kind to yourself and remember wellbeing is a journey not a destination. Nobody just made it to their healthiest self overnight, so don't expect the same.
You got this!! You just have to do it.
Love in wellness