How Not to Get Overwhelmed When Creating Healthy Habits
Do you feel like you need to start working out but worry you don’t have enough time? Would you like to start a morning practice but don’t know where to begin? What about eating healthier? I realize that because I have no kids, I have a good bit more free time than your average mid-lifer. That being said, I still believe the pursuit of self-improvement and a healthy lifestyle is something that can benefit everyone, regardless of how busy you are. From my experience, having a healthy body and mind allows you to function better in all aspects of your life (e.g. career, relationships, and community). You don’t need to put in hours at the gym, worry incessantly about your diet, or meditate twice a day.
“Well-being is realized by small steps, but is truly no small thing.” Zeno
Get up and move daily, even if it is only fifteen minutes when you wake up to get the body going. Take five minutes in the morning to start focusing on your breath. You can start out with box breathing to energize yourself for the day ahead. Box breathing involves an inhale, a hold, an exhale, and a hold – all with the same ratio. For Example, breathe in for three seconds, hold for three, exhale for three, hold for three, all through the nose. Breathe down into your belly activating the diaphragm, not your upper chest. In regards to nutrition, shoot for the 80/20 rule. For example, eat healthy six days a week and give yourself a nice cheat day on the weekends where you can eat pizza, fries, or whatever you want. You can also justify and feel good about having a few beers or glasses of wine on the weekends after six days of healthy eating. I know I do. You can also use the 80/20 rule when it comes to your daily routine or habits. For example, I rarely do my morning routine(meditation, breath work, and journaling) on the weekends but I am ok with that.
“It's not what we do once in a while that shapes our lives. It's what we do consistently.” Anthony Robbins
If you begin incorporating healthy habits and routines into your life, you will find so much benefit. However, these shouldn’t cause or add undue stress in your life if you miss a day or two. Our bodies and minds are incredibly resilient if we just put in a little work. The key to living a healthier life is to get started and find a routine that you can stick to. Consistency is key, but don’t let a couple of days off discourage you from continuing. Life throws a lot of curveballs our way and we must be able to roll with them and not allow the stress to overwhelm us. Stressing over your routines, the perfect workout, or the perfect nutrition plan can be just as detrimental as having none at all. I hope you can learn to take some time for yourself but always remember that: “Perfect is the enemy of good” - Voltaire.
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