By Samantha Lippiatt.
Are your New Year’s resolutions starting to look like a scene straight out of Groundhog Day? On the first of January, you’re beaming with positivity for your new change, lifestyle, nutritional choices only to be back to practicing old tricks by Valentine’s Day? We hear you, but we think we might know why and how to change your habits.
Falling into the trap of thinking that achieving the new you is easy, setting you up for failure when it all becomes too hard, is your biggest downfall. We’re all guilty of practicing the art of all-or-nothing, if we don’t see changes right away, we think it isn't working and give up. But why are we in such a rush?
If it took you years to build bad habits, its only natural to think that it will take just as long to adopt a new one. We believe the trick is to practice smaller changes that will make a big difference. Here are our top 6 simple healthy lifestyle changes to do now.
LEARN TO SAY NO:
Sounds simple, right? You might think you’re already practicing the habit of saying no but how many times do you find yourself committing to social events or saying yes to extra tasks at work you know are going to cause stress? Living within our energetic means is key to avoiding burnout.
Saying no isn't wrong or selfish. You are in charge of your wellbeing and if you don't take care of yourself, who will? It’s time to start saying yes to everything that will uplift, inspire and serve you and let go of everything else that won’t.
EAT TO SEASONS:
A senior researcher and campaigner at Survival International, Jo Woodman once said: "For many tribal and indigenous peoples, their food systems are complex, self-sufficient and deliver a very broad-based, nutritionally diverse diet”. Mother Nature knows best.
Your body is equipped to eat to seasons, due to temperature changes and changes in soil. Asparagus is always best in summer while celery can be enjoyed fresh in winter. Learning to purchase produce from local farmers who know what is in season is essential to eating the best quality products available.
START YOUR DAY WITH OM:
There is no right or wrong way to meditate - you just have to start! It isn't better in the morning, or at night, or for an hour or guided. What is best is what works for you, so start experimenting. I love listening to chakra balancing music that uses specific amounts of hertz to aid in opening chakras. But you might prefer a positive affirmation practice to set the mood for a motivated day.
Start small and build from there, ultimately, the goal is to allow yourself to switch off and focus on YOU! Meditation is not the art of not thinking, allow the thoughts to come to you, acknowledge them and move on. You will soon learn that the real art of meditation is letting go of being controlled by your mind.
Extra tip: Browse Youtube for free meditation videos, I particularly love Meditative Mind.
PRACTICE INCIDENTAL EXERCISE:
If exercising is not your thing, trick your body into it. Incidental exercise is the single most effective habit you can build and sustain long-term for practicing exercise.
Incorporate a little extra movement into your daily activities. If you drive to work, park further away and walk the rest of the distance. Live in an apartment block? Take the stairs. Walk to the grocery store. Meet a friend for a takeaway coffee and go for a walk. Better yet, meet your client for a walking meeting and set a new trend and standard for business gatherings.
How can you add more activity to your day?
BEDROOMS ARE SIMPLY FOR SLEEPING:
Well, that and some other fun activities we won't get into, but bedrooms are certainly not for watching TV or browsing the internet. Train your body to recognize your bedroom as the one room in the house it goes to relax, unwind and, of course, sleep.
SELF-CARE ISNT SELFISH:
Our mind and bodies not only require but also deserve frequent self-care sessions. In order to function at our optimum best, we must pay careful attention to the needs and requests our bodies yell out for from time to time.
Feeling tired isn't always a normal symptom, it’s a cry from your body to say slow down. Aches and pains need attention as well. What is your body telling you?
If you ever feel selfish for taking time to yourself use a tactic taught by Chloe Brotheridge in her book ”The Anxiety Solution” called ‘the best friend voice’. When you are next tempted to skip self-care time, ask yourself, what would you say to your best friend in this scenario? Would you tell a tired friend to work through the evening? Would you tell your best friend to skip their Epsom salt bath when their muscles are aching?
Practice self-care and self-kindness and treat it as you would healthy eating or safe driving; a necessity not a luxury.
Which of the above lifestyle changes do you already practice? Anything you do or start today however small it may seem will make a big difference to the wellbeing of your future.
Living healthy is simply a habit you learn.
About Samantha Lippiatt:
Samantha is an entrepreneur, healthy lifestyle advocate and co-founder of Australia’s first specialty wellness travel company Health and Fitness Travel. Samantha has an unbridled enthusiasm for all things travel, health and fitness and is committed to providing healthy holidays options that not only enhance but change lives. Samantha’s goal is to bring wellness tourism into mainstream acceptance in Australia and showcase that taking care of yourself can be both a very enjoyable and rewarding experience.