Today we have a guest post from Wellness Central, which is all about finding your happier, healthier self.
The past year has presented new challenges for us all, and concerns about physical fitness and overall appearance may not have been your top priority. Nevertheless, looking good can help you feel more confident, more prepared to roll with the punches. Lifestyle changes to support physical health and well-being can also increase positivity and reduce stress. Whether you are staying home due to health and safety concerns or preparing to reenter the physical workplace or social spaces, here are some tips that can help you stay fit, refreshed, and upbeat.
Eat better to feel better
Dieting with an exclusive focus on weight loss can be anxiety-inducing for some, even counterproductive. But this doesn’t mean you should jettison all concerns about healthy eating, especially since good nutrition can give you more energy and mental alertness, and even improve happiness. If your approach to nutrition is “am I putting good food into my body?” This may be more rewarding than agonizing over calories, especially at a time when stress is already high. Make sure you are getting enough protein, vitamins, and nutrients, and think
positively about a wholesome food intake, instead of focusing negatively on calorie avoidance. When you adjust your thinking this way, you can be enthusiastic about enjoying beneficial foods such as dark chocolate, fresh vegetables, ethically sourced meats, and good fats.
Exercise for health and energy
Aging is a fact of life, whether you’re in your twenties or your seventies. Anxiety about aging, however, paradoxically tends to increase its effects. So try to approach health and fitness without beating yourself up over the fact that yes, you’ve grown a year older. Instead pursue exercise as an avenue to better physical strength, endurance, balance, and flexibility. Rejoice in what your body can do, no matter your age. Choosing exercises you enjoy is key. If you like to dance, shake it up with Zumba or check out free dance instructional videos on YouTube. Other options for workouts that don’t feel like work involve live-action role-playing, martial arts, and Parkour.
Update your wardrobe
A wardrobe refresher can help lift your spirits, especially if you feel you’ve been wearing the same pair of jeans or sweatpants for months on end. This can be a tricky one if you’re having to budget carefully due to loss of work or layoffs during the pandemic. It can also be tricky if you are trying to avoid going on unnecessary shopping trips.
Online clothes shopping can sometimes seem like a gamble, but it can also give you access to a vast selection of styles to choose from, as well as price comparisons and reviews. Make sure you measure yourself carefully and check the online store’s return policy before placing your order. If you are in an area where it is safe to shop, remember to do so while taking all the needed precautions, including wearing a mask and using hand sanitizer. Whether online or in person, if you are shopping on a budget, look out for clearance sales, and consider buying second-hand.
Oh, and speaking of masks: get yourself a signature one, to show off your unique style.
Alleviate anxiety by creating a positive space
Your surroundings influence your mood. If you are feeling trapped, especially with family members or housemates who have gotten irritable or quarrelsome over the past months, it might feel difficult to make any of the above-listed changes. Look into ways to declutter and reorganize your living space to allow for more light. Even if you dread cleaning, remember that a clean and open space will be conducive to a better mood, as well as healthier habits. An hour or so of vacuuming or scrubbing — during the morning or evening — will pay off exponentially in terms of quality of life. Get your family members involved in a home overhaul, as well.
Whatever changes you decide to make for a happier, healthier you remember that self-care is not selfish. And especially for those who have been looking after others or making sacrifices for public health, self-care is necessary.
Image via Pixabay