What makes you happy? If nothing else, the pandemic has revealed that the answer is a lot simpler for a lot more people than previously suspected. Some people are happy to stay at home more. Others are happy to get to spend more time with their children.
A few are happy for the opportunity to sleep more and meet their exercise goals. Yet more have finally found the time to seek treatment for neck pain, backaches, and other issues, finding that it improves their quality of life. The most common factor among these people is that they were able to make healthier choices.
These healthy choices helped them to feel more satisfaction and a sense of contentment than their previous harried and busy lives had offered. Living well or meaningfully does not have to require sacrifice or a large change to your lifestyle. You can start small and learn to enjoy each step before seeking the next one. Over time, you will find yourself happier and healthier with hardly any strain.
Everyone tells you to drink water, but this is one common tip that actually does carry many benefits. Find a way to increase the water intake that does not fatigue you. People do not like to drink lots of water because it is tasteless. Add some lemon or dried fruit to your water to make it more palatable. Increase your fruit intake or start drinking plain coffee with much less sugar. Your hydration will improve, and along with it, your energy, mood, skin, and hair.
Start walking. Walk up and down the stairs, park your car farther away, and start walking to the store instead of taking a quick drive. Then transition to take a walk every evening after or before dinner and involve your family, so you’re motivated to go. Walking with people you love gives you a reason to continue as the inevitable bonding moments will make it an enjoyable family activity.
Focus on Healthy Eating
Start making notes about your meals. How often do you eat green leafy veggies? What types of salads do you enjoy? Are there healthy snacks you can use to replace your chips and dip?
Over time, you will begin to understand your food choices and begin making healthy changes. You do not have to give up the foods you enjoy if you can find healthier alternatives. Potato wedges you bake and season are better for you than fries and chips as a side with any meal. Greek yogurt can give you the tang of a great dip without the salt and lethargy that always comes with sour cream.
Make It Fun
Get a fitness tracker and begin giving yourself step challenges. This will put you in competition with yourself. You will enjoy the challenge of trying to break your own step goals and start having fun with it. As time goes by, you will feel that your stamina improves, so you can begin trying out other physical challenges as well. Maybe you will find a new love for hiking. Perhaps you will join a bicycle club.
Supplement Your Diet
Consider adding vitamins and probiotics to your diet to help improve your nutrition and digestion. A healthy digestive system is key to improving many digestive ailments, skin complaints, and even mental health.
Since your diet will take a while to adapt and evolve slowly, it’s good to use supplements to help your body gain all the nutrients it needs for overall health.
Find a way to enjoy getting a little sweaty at least once a day. You do not have to do the same activity every day either. You can try different things to keep it interesting while gaining the same benefits.
Do vigorous housework or take the family pet to the park. Rent bikes at a local park with your kids and try to keep up or take your wife to a dancing class. These are all great ways to connect with your family while ensuring that you get sweaty and raise your heart rate every day. You will feel the positive benefits very quickly in both your health and your mental well-being.
The small healthy activities you can do are simple and require minimal effort on your part. If you find that the idea of taking a walk in the sun or doing some gardening, or even getting enough sleep feels too hard, then you might have a deeper issue.
Being lazy is choosing to avoid doing things, but feelings of guilt and shame do not accompany it. If you are trying to do activities but find it impossible to motivate yourself to physically move to be active and then feel shame and guilt, you may need to see a professional.
A consultation with your GP and a few visits to a counselor and therapist can help you better understand how your mind works. There is no shame in needing help to feel happy. Many people have struggled with the negative effects of the pandemic and are seeking help to get back to themselves. A therapist offers you the same help and understanding that a nutritionist or a chiropractor would. They treat an important part of your body. Give yourself a chance and seek help if you think you need it.