I was so focused on my scale’s digital display, that the only tools I ever turned to in my quest for health were calorie restriction and grueling workout sessions. And I was dumbfounded when none of it worked. I didn’t see the big picture. I didn’t consider that other things were arguably more important than what I was putting in my mouth, and that my crazy workout schedule was actually sabotaging my health, not improving it.
Health can mean different things to different people, but most of us would probably agree that some key components are: having energy throughout the day, lower levels of stress, and feeling happy and content most of the time. Eating whole foods and moving your body can absolutely contribute to all of those things–and I HIGHLY recommend them. But there are a few other things you might want to consider if your goal is health.
1) Get Your Sleep
Sleep is your body’s way of recuperating, and it’s especially important for healthy brain function. Getting 7-8 hours of sleep every night can sharpen your attention, improve your memory, and even help you avoid accidents. If you feel like you’re unable to focus during the day, aren’t as productive as you’d like to be, or are more forgetful than usual, getting more sleep is a great place to start. It can change everything.
2) Stop Trying To Be Perfect
Most of us know that perfection doesn’t exist, but it sure as hell doesn’t stop us from trying to achieve it. The problem is, trying to get everything right can really do a number on your overall quality of life. At best, it can lead you to procrastinate on and/or abandon tasks and projects so that you never experience satisfaction or a sense of completion; at worst it can cause you to sabotage relationships because no one can ever live up to your impossible expectations. Give yourself permission to move forward imperfectly, and know that you can always make improvements down the line.
3) Go Outside
There’s something about being outside in nature that grounds you and makes you feel more peaceful. In fact, studies show that a leisurely walk outside reduces stress, boosts your mood, builds confidence, and promotes creativity. It’s not about burning calories or counting steps; it’s about being in present time–not worrying about what happened a few minutes ago, or what will happen after lunch.
4) Treat Yourself
Treating yourself doesn’t have to be an all day affair, involve food (unless you want it to) or cost a dime. It’s all about taking a few minutes to do something that makes you feel good, and allows you to recharge. It can be as simple as curling up in your favorite chair with a glass of Pinot, or as luxurious as soaking in a tub of lavender scented Epsom salts in the middle of the day. Taking a few minutes for yourself each day is a great way to increase your level of happiness, and reduce stress like lady boss.
So, what does health look like to you? Can you relate to chasing a number on the scale as your measure of success? Hit me up in the comments–I want to hear from YOU!
Blessings, Love, & Light,
P.S. If you’re looking for a supportive community of women to connect with, I invite you to join my FREE, private Facebook group! I offer one on one support, and we share tips on self-care, self-love, how to have more fun, and be the happiest, hottest, healthiest version of YOU! Join us!