Today I have a collaborative post with the new year in mind for healthy living. I hope you enjoy!
The new year is all about making goals and resolutions that put us on the path we want to be on in life, and helping us to be the best person we can be. But many of us rush into making ourselves promises that just won’t last, they’re things that leave us feeling restricted and like we’re going without and over time it makes us miserable causing us to give up.
Why not do things differently next year, focus on health but do it in a fun way. Make changes that will add to and improve your life, rather than leaving you feeling like you’re restricting or missing your favourite things. To be able to keep up changes long term, they need to be enjoyable to be achievable and it genuinely is possible to do this. Here are some ideas for things you need to put on your resolution list for 2020, to go about things differently this time.
Learn to cook
Our diet is of course a huge part of a healthy lifestyle, the foods we consume on a daily basis will be either helping or hurting our bodies. If you currently live off junk like takeaways and convenience food because you think that you can’t cook, something needs to change.
When you prepare your own meals, you have full control of exactly what goes into them. Unlike processed and premade foods, they won’t be packed with hidden salt, sugar or oil. Instead, you can flavour your food with things like tasty herbs and spices which give everything a kick while still being good to your body. Learning to cook can be incredibly satisfying, if you’re a total beginner you could join a local cooking class, or just find some easy recipes online and follow along to them.
As your knowledge and confidence grows, you’ll be able to start tackling more complex dishes. Being able to create flavourful meals from healthy ingredients isn’t just good for your health but for your wallet too. How much do you currently spend buying lunches at work, ordering takeaways or eating out in restaurants? It’s not to say you need to give up these things all together, but use them as a treat, rather than a way to live. You’ll enjoy the occasional indulgence much more, and the rest of the time have the satisfaction of knowing you made your own food, exactly the way you like it.
Have a think, what’s really so special about that pre- bought sandwiches, pasta or salad you buy every day anyway? What’s stopping you from making something very similar but healthier and for less money yourself? There are tons of recipes on Pinterest and blogs to give you inspiration, enjoy the process of learning and trying different ingredients and techniques. It’s really not as difficult as you might think to create food that tastes great. If you’re looking to get healthier and improve your skills next year, definitely put cooking on your list.
Find an activity you genuinely enjoy
Exercise makes you feel great both physically and mentally, if working out feels like torture then it’s time to switch up your routine. Find something that’s genuinely fun and enjoyable, it doesn’t have to be working out in a packed gym after work.
Why not join a rambling or dog walking group and spend your evenings going on long, scenic walks? Maybe you could join a dance class, a trampolining group, a hot yoga session or even go rollerblading or ice skating with the kids? Anything that gets your heart rate up and has you moving around is a good thing, so it doesn’t always need to be structured exercise.
You could even kill two birds with one stone, and socialise or do something else at the same time. For example, you could call up your friends and family and organise a game of rounders or cricket at the park, you’ll be so busy having fun it won’t seem like exercise.
If you’re a lover of retail therapy, you could book a coach to a new city and spend the day walking around shopping- you’ll rack up way more steps than you might think plus carrying bags adds a bit of resistance! Do some research into how to get the absolute maximum from your workouts so that you can have fun, be time efficient and give your body a real workout at the same time.
Instead of telling yourself you’ll join the gym in January (and then give up in February) think of activities that you’re going to enjoy and want to stick with for the foreseeable future. Think outside the box, and find out if there are any more unusual activities that you could try out. It could be anything from pole fitness to circus skills!
Practice hygge at home
Health isn’t all about physical health. We have to consider our minds too, mental health is so important. Something that we should all be doing in today’s busy and chaotic world is spending time relaxing and unwinding on a regular basis. This isn’t just a luxury, it’s fundamental to good health.
And relaxation doesn’t always have to be expensive spas and professional massages, there’s plenty you can do in your own home, on a budget. A hot bath with some salts, oils or bubble bath can help to lower blood pressure, ease tense muscles and give you a quiet place to relax. Self massage on your hands, feet and limbs can also be effective, you can purchase massage ‘shawls’ from places like amazon which massage your back and neck without the help of another person.
Sometimes hygge at home just needs to involve playing some relaxing music, putting your feet up and sipping some tea. It could be reading a book or watching your favourite tv show on Netflix. Anything that lets your mind rest and gives you a break from work and commitments is good for you.
Don’t let it lead to burnout, anxiety, stress and depression. Not only are these things bad for your mental health, but for your physical health too. It’s been long established that there’s a strong link between the body and mind, if one is affected the other can be too. Which is why when we’re focusing on health and overall wellbeing, it’s mental health we need to take into consideration too.
As humans, we’re social creatures. It’s natural for us to spend time in groups, however modern society doesn’t always work like that. More of us live alone, work alone from home and generally spend time by ourselves more than ever. In a world where we’re more connected than ever thanks to the internet its seems strange that we could be in the midst of a loneliness epidemic, however it’s definitely the case.
Do what you can to spend time with the people you care about. You might want to put yourself out there to meet new people, join friendship and meetup apps or start a hobby where you’ll be in contact with like minded people. It’s the people in our lives that really make it worth living. They give you support and advice when needed, offer another perspective on our issues and worries and encourage us to try new things which we probably would never have done.
Overall wellness should focus on mind, body and spirit and ensure all of our physical and emotional needs are being met. By being proactive and finding ways to enjoy living a healthy lifestyle, you could be prolonging your life and be a much happier person.
How do you plan on getting healthy, or improving your health next year?
Do you enjoy massages? I often only get sports massages rather than relaxing ones!
Do you like to cook? For me it’s something I find very relaxing.