Wednesday, 14 December 2022

How to Read Labels on Food Products

How to Read Labels on Food ProductsFood labels contain a lot of useful information, but it can be difficult to make sense of it all. Fortunately, you can eat healthy without having to learn a lot of complicated scientific equations or mathematical calculations.


This is a simple guide to clearing up the most common sources of confusion about food labels and mastering easy choices for better eating.


Common Sources of Confusion


Regard all sugars equally.

 Manufacturers sometimes use many different names for sweeteners, knowing that consumers may be trying to avoid sugar. You’re still getting a lot of empty calories if a food is high in molasses, honey, or high-fructose corn syrup.


Pay careful attention to serving sizes.

 Portions are another tricky area. You may expect to get 4 servings out of a small ice cream container, but the label is actually based on half that much. Ensure you know how many calories you’re really eating!


Calculate the true value of organic food.

 Organic food is usually more expensive, but there's no guarantee that it is nutritionally superior. However, you may still want to buy it if you’re concerned about avoiding pesticides.


Be vigilant about trans fats.

 The "trans" fats found in many processed foods have been associated with heart disease and other health issues. A product may contain these fats even if the label says "0 grams." That’s because the FDA allows this as long as the amount is below 1 gram. Your best protection is to eat mostly whole, natural foods.


Hold out for 100% whole wheat.

 Phrases like "100% wheat" or "stoneground" sound promising but may actually be the refined grains you want to eliminate. Always check the label to ensure that whole wheat or some whole grain is listed as the first ingredient.


Master the Easiest Choices.

Load up on vegetables and fruits. Getting most of your calories from fresh produce is the simplest way to eat healthy, and you can mostly forget about reading Labels.


Eat more fish. 

Most experts agree that the benefits of eating at least two servings of fish a week outweigh any concerns about mercury. When buying canned tuna, choose "light" rather than "white" products. They’re likely to be lower in mercury and usually cost less.


Choose the leanest cuts of meat. 

Look for packages that include the words "round" or "loin." Meat that is labeled "extra lean" typically has half the fat of meat that is labeled "lean".


Buy plain yogurt

Yogurt is a power food that most people can eat even if they are lactose intolerant. Adding your own flavors to plain yogurt lets you avoid added sugars. Try stirring in fresh fruit, granola, or cinnamon.


Include healthy fats in your diet. 

While it’s best to limit saturated fats and avoid "trans" fats completely, there are other fats that are good for you. Go ahead and indulge in sensible servings of extra virgin olive oil.


Diet plays a big role in the quality of our life and our overall well-being. 


Learn to read food labels like a pro and make healthier choices for you and your family. 

Thursday, 1 December 2022

Traits of a Highly Sensitive Person


Traits of a highly sensitive person



You notice absolutely everything. The odd smell, the way the sunlight hits the water, the emotions of the person you’re with, and a million other thoughts vie for your attention. You’re Highly Sensitive Person (HSP), and you are absolutely amazing.

 

You might not feel that way. If you’re one of the 15 – 20% of the population to experience this kind of awareness, you’ve probably been called a few names. The world can be harsh with people who seem ‘oversensitive’ and react accordingly. You might have been told to ‘toughen up’ or ‘not let things get to you.’ Chances are, your intuition has even been called into question, with no one understanding how you see all the connections so quickly.

 

What the world doesn’t realize is the Highly Sensitive Person actually is the one with the edge. Noticing the details, being in tune with what’s going on, and even having a deeper understanding of emotions and how things fit together, all make for the perfect person to succeed where others fail. Read on to find out the traits of a Highly Sensitive Person and  the advantages. In fact, some might even call these traits your superpowers.

 


 

Your Sensitive Superpowers

 

You Understand the Emotions of Others

Someone who can seemingly sense how others are feeling is seen to have the edge in every walk of life. These are the people who make for excellent counselors or social workers because they have so much compassion. Coupled with action, someone with this kind of empathy makes for a social justice warrior or even the best kind of politician. Empathy means you’re that awesome friend who knows just how to comfort someone when they’re feeling down or cheer them on when they’re flagging. This also makes you more considerate of others, a trait that makes people want to work with you or spend time in your company.

 

You’re a Great Listener

Empathy is what helps you to open up to others, and more importantly, to be open to them. Highly Sensitive People understand what’s it like to feel like no one is listening to them because they listen to the pain of others and feel it deeply when it’s expressed to them. That’s why you listen and listen so well. People love this about you and know just who to go to when they need a sympathetic ear.

 

You Take Time to Think

Highly Sensitive People have a lot of information to process, all the time. This gives them a lot to consider when they’re making decisions. This can lead to some frustration on the part of those who work with the HSP, as they generally aren’t quite as fast as others might be when it comes to deciding a new direction or strategy. On the other hand, your HSP will have considered all the angles, so you know when they do give their opinion, it’s well worth the wait.

 

You Know Who to Trust…and Who NOT to

All that information collected by a Highly Sensitive Person is always put to good use. It’s the HSP who notices when something is ‘off’ about someone, far quicker than anyone else would figure out the same thing (if ever). This is because the HSP is tuned into the fine details of the world around them. All those ‘tells’ that give away a liar, for example, might as well be advertised on a billboard when an HSP is around. More often than not, though, the HSP doesn’t always consciously know why they do or don’t trust someone. They process so much information! This usually comes out more like intuition. If this sounds familiar, you might want to spend more time listening to your gut. If you don’t feel good about a person or situation, pay attention. More often than not, you’re going to be right.

 

You Get Things Done

When you’re a Highly Sensitive Person, you’re more likely to have figured out one of the secrets of the universe: multi-tasking doesn’t work. The HSP knows just how much they can get done when they concentrate, and so they tend to do it well. Single-tasking is their strength. If this is you, you already know just how amazing you are when it comes to getting things done and are frequently surprised how everyone else seems to struggle with this so much.

 

You Know What’s Going On

Do you really need someone to explain what someone said just now? Probably not. The Highly Sensitive Person uses their eye for detail, and couples it with their listening skills to put together the finer nuances of conversation better than anyone else. You probably understand the subtext better than anyone else and are frequently the one called upon to explain to your friends what that guy meant when he said your friend was ‘interesting.’

 

You’re More Open-minded

The Highly Sensitive Person is so good at seeing where others are coming from, and they have a tendency to refrain from making judgments until they’ve had a chance to hear things from the other person’s point of view. This means you’re willing to give another viewpoint a shot and even willing to have your mind changed if the other person has the facts to support what they’re saying. This makes you more open-minded, a definite superpower in this day and age.

 

You’re Really Creative

Being able to think outside the box is one of the true benefits of being a Highly Sensitive Person. The HSP is used to noticing details and facts and has a great facility for putting things together, usually in ways the rest of the world wouldn’t think to. Also, the connection to emotions and the desire to express them tends to draw the HSP into highly creative career choices. As an HSP, your creativity is probably constantly being put to the test. You can’t help but think about things in new ways. When encouraged, you’ll come up with all kinds of ideas, and have the ability to be a great problem-solver.

 

You Bounce Back Quickly

There’s a lot to be said for being resilient. The Highly Sensitive Person is used to overcoming stuff. With so many stimuli, they’re frequently overwhelmed. At the same time, just in order to live halfway normally, they have to learn how to cope when overwhelmed and get past the discomfort. This means if you’re an HSP you face new challenges better than those around you and are back on your feet again quicker when knocked down by a challenge.

 

You Hang in There

Once you’ve bounced back, the Highly Sensitive You is more likely to try again. What makes the HSP so stubborn about continuing where others would quit? Simply put, they know how to keep their eyes on the prize. All that thinking means they’ve already considered why the end goal is beneficial and what it’s going to take to get there. With this kind of clarity, it’s no wonder you’re so great at keeping going, even when the going gets tough.

 

You’re Good at Being Alone

While this doesn’t seem like a superpower at first glance, it is. Alone time is where the Highly Sensitive Person recharges, so they’re going to seek it out naturally. But this is also great for you when you’re an HSP because it means you also don’t need to be entertained. You know the value of quiet, meaning you’re not cluttering up your life with people who are only so much noise or distractions that only cost you time and money you can’t afford to spend.

 

You Are the Calm

Where do people go when they need refuge from the chaos of the world? They seek out the Highly Sensitive Person, who is the expert at creating a peaceful oasis. Why? If you’re an HSP, you already know – it’s because you hate the wild emotions of conflict and with your empathetic nature, will work hard to soothe the drama and restore peace.

 

You’re Good at Taking Care of You

All that listening to what goes on around them makes Highly Sensitive People very good at knowing how to best take care of themselves. They’re more apt to notice when they need a break, or even just how good it feels to work out. If you’re HSP, then you’re in the position to be the master of your health, making you a hero to yourself.

You Notice EVERYTHING

Perception becomes a superpower when all those details you’ve constantly noticed can be put together into solutions. This makes the HSP incredibly valuable in the workplace or even socially. More than that, you are more apt to gain true enjoyment from things like art and music, as you’re going to discover the nuanced detail everyone else missed. All this combines to make your life incredibly rich and fulfilling.

 

You Know How to Live…and Love…Well

The Highly Sensitive Person experiences everything so completely. You experience every range of emotion so deeply it becomes part of every experience. So while a regular person might have a good time hiking in nature, your experience is going to be richer, with vivid memories of every detail from sights and sounds, to the way the pine trees smelled, and how the water in the stream felt when you stopped to go wading. What’s more, you share these experiences just as fully, meaning when you hit on something particularly strong like love, you reflect that love so fully and completely, the relationships of others seem paltry by comparison.


 

Conclusion

 

The Highly Sensitive Person experiences so much more than everyone else in life, and while this sometimes can become overwhelming, more often than not, it leads to a fuller, more exciting life. This ability to experience things so deeply is, in fact, your greatest superpower. So, if you have the traits of a Highly Sensitive Person, rejoice! Sure, things are more challenging sometimes, but the benefits are so worth it!

 

  

Friday, 11 November 2022

7 Ways To Silence Your Inner Critic

7 ways to silence your inner critic

 

Were you ever about to do something - and then suddenly, that voice inside your head starts talking?


 Why did you do that? You’re a bad person. No one wants to talk to you. You will never achieve anything in life.


 That negative voice inside your head that judges, criticizes, or demeans you is your inner critic. Your inner critic plays an important role in how you see yourself and your self-esteem.


 When you don’t know how to deal with your inner critic, you can feel ashamed, worthless, or low on self-esteem.


 Your inner critic might undermine your every accomplishment. Or it might show up as you enter a room of people you’ve never met before. That harsh inner critic can lead to self-doubt or lack of confidence.


 When you let your inner critic control too many of your actions, it could hold you back from things like growth, connection, and your full potential.


 Even though the way we think influences how we behave, those thoughts we have are not always true! If someone feels insecure and believes no one wants to talk to them, how charismatic do you think they will be in social settings?

 

These are seven ways to silence your inner critic and take control of your life:

 

  1. Acknowledge and understand. When negative thoughts come up, acknowledge your thoughts. Try to understand the source of where your thoughts are coming from.

 

     How old do I feel right now?

     Why do I feel this way?

     What are some patterns I recognize?

     Where do these thoughts come from?

     How do these thoughts affect my behavior?

 

  1. What advice would you give a friend? If a friend came to you in the same situation as you feel, what advice would you give to them? Many times, we are harder on ourselves than we are with others.

  2. Separate facts from feelings. Your brain might be hardwired to think that no one wants to talk to you or that you’re a bad person. But is that actually a fact? Practice sorting through facts and your feelings.
     

 What is another, more positive way you could look at the situation?

 

  1. Practice self-acceptance and self-compassion. Replace negative or critical thoughts with accepting and compassionate ones. Have a selection of empowering, compassionate beliefs that you can tell yourself instead of succumbing to negative ones.

  2. Write down positive thoughts. When your inner critic comes out, what is it saying? How can you challenge your inner critic?

 

 Write down times in your life that people have said positive things about you.

 Focus on your strengths and what you are good at.

  1. Distract yourself when you start replaying mistakes in your head. Have you ever made a mistake and replayed those moments over and over again? That doesn’t resolve the issue. If you find you’re ruminating instead of actively problem-solving, distract yourself from those thoughts.

 

     Take a walk.

     Read a book.

     Listen to a podcast.

     Play a game.

     Cuddle your pet.

 

  1. Remind yourself that everyone has an inner critic. Having an inner critic is a human function. It comes from the parts of our brain that evolved to protect ourselves. If you find yourself in a loop of critical thoughts, remind yourself that every human experiences self-doubt at one point or another.

 

Your inner critic does not have to control your life! Taking these steps to silence your inner critic and nurture a more empowering inner dialogue can help you grow and expand your horizons.

 

There’s a difference between that harmful voice telling you that you are not good enough and wanting to improve yourself. Use the tips above to silence your inner critic so you can reach your full potential.

Monday, 31 October 2022

Meal Planning With Intention

 

meal plan with intention

Meal planning is taking time to plan and write down your meals for a period of time, which could be a week, biweekly or monthly. Meal planning is not just about making a list of groceries and being sure you get everything on that list. It also takes having a solid plan, expecting the unexpected, and being realistic.

A big part of meal planning with intention involves considering you and/or your family’s specific needs  knowing that sometimes things come up and your meals won’t always be perfect. The idea is not to start any meal from scratch.


Benefits of Meal Planning


Eat Healthy Meals

If you want to make the switch to being a healthy eater who transforms their diet, one way to look at it is just by balancing your plate. Meal planning helps you to control your food choices because you get to plan and prepare your meals ahead of time. Planning out your meals makes it easier to stick to your food choices.


 Healthy, Balanced Plate

Meal planning can help you create a balanced plate. A balanced plate is simply one that contains all the necessary nutrients for a healthy meal. Not every plate will have these in the same portions, but it is a good place to start when transforming your diet to a healthy, sustainable one. The basics nutrients to focus on with a balanced plate include having a protein, carb, and a healthy fat, with some fruits or veggies in for fiber. 

For example, a dinner with salmon, brown rice, and roasted vegetables fit all the categories. Salmon is both protein and healthy fats, the brown rice is your carb, and vegetables allow you to get in more fiber, plus also have some carbs. If you used oil to cook your vegetables, that can be a fat as well.


What Nutrients Are You Missing?

Planning your meals can help you figure out if you might be missing out on some important nutrients, Start by listing all your favorite meals and snacks, and what you eat most often. Next to each meal, write down the components, like protein, carb, fat, fiber. Do you notice a trend of one category of foods you always eat? Maybe you have found you are really good at getting your carbs in, but tend to be missing out on fiber. Or perhaps you are great with protein and carbs, but don’t have a lot of healthy fats in your diet.


Read: 9 Heart Healthy Low Cholesterol Foods


Finding the Missing Ingredient

Of those food groups or nutrients you notice you don’t have much in your meals, which ones do you enjoy in those food groups? If you are not getting enough fiber in your meals, then you need to find some foods with fiber, and list the ones you enjoy. This might be healthy grains, vegetables, or fruits. Make a list of these foods that you can incorporate more into your meals, and your diet will start being a lot healthier and more balanced.


Eat the Right Portions

Planning and portioning out your food ahead of time can help to stop you from overeating. 


Reduce Food Waste 

You buy only what you need for your meals.


Save Money

Planning and cooking your meals at home can be less expensive than eating out.


Save Time

 Planning and cooking meals you love ahead can save time, You don't have to waste time deciding what to eat or cooking from scratch. This is helpful if you have a busy schedule or need to leave your home early in the morning.


Reduce Grocery Store/Market Time

When you have planned your meals ahead, you will have a list of the exact food items and groceries you need. This reduces time you spend going to the stores frequently to buy an ingredient for an unplanned meal. It also reduces time spent wandering at the grocery store because you have a list of the food items you want to buy.


Meal Planning Tips


Start With a Plan

You should always have a good plan when you are meal prepping. For some people, they like to write down days they know they will be eating out and just plan the remaining days, while others are on a budget and want to use what they have in their fridge as much as possible in the meal plan.

Create a weekly habit where you go through the food you have, decide on meals with those ingredients, and make a list of what you need. This is a really easy way to start with healthy meal planning.


Use Ingredients That Cross Over Multiple Meals

To avoid getting bored, think of foods or ingredients that you can add to your meal plan that you are able to use for multiple types of meals. 

For example, you might have veggies that you are using for a salad, and use the leftover veggies in sandwiches or wraps throughout the week. You can use parmesan cheese for pizza, pasta, and even to top salads, and use leftover chicken for  new types of casseroles.


Don’t Cook Too Many New Recipes at One Time

If you try to cook 5 brand new recipes in one week, you will probably get overwhelmed, and by day 3 or 4, be over cooking altogether. When you first get started with meal planning and meal prep, choose just 1-2 new recipes to try each week. 

This allows you try new recipes and new foods for your healthy diet, but you can avoid becoming stressed or overwhelmed. It also ensures you are also cooking some meals that you already know your family enjoys.


Be Realistic With Your Own Needs and Preferences

It is great to use other meal plans people recommend, but if your family hates pasta, for instance, why are you trying to make a pasta salad with dinner one night? The great thing about meal planning is that it is easy to personalize to your own family’s preferences. Always start with foods you enjoy, and use those to create healthy meals.


Read: How To Eat Healthy On A Low Budget


Tuesday, 11 October 2022

Know Your Portions


know your portions


Did you know that the reason you are gaining weight or failing to lose weight may be simply a matter of portion sizes? If you have never weighed or measured your food, it is possible that what you think is ½ cup of rice is double or triple that amount. 


You may also be eating portions larger than the recommended serving sizes. Eating large portions means consuming more calories which could lead to weight gain and obesity. This can increase your risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and cancer. While transforming your diet, put emphasis on learning proper portion sizes. The tips below will help you control your portions.


Identify Normal Portion Sizes

To start with, get familiar with the average portion sizes of different foods. For example, protein like chicken or steak, should be about the size of your palm. This would be approximately 4-5 ounces(113g - 141g). You may also want to weigh your proteins in the beginning to become more familiar with how much a serving size is. 

For grains, aim for 5-8 ounces(141g - 227g), which is around ½ to 1 cup. Fruits you can enjoy up to 2 cups, though it depends on the meal. For vegetables, aim for a slightly higher amount with 2-3 cups of vegetables or greens. Dairy you want to limit to 3 cups a day, not in on sitting. 


Look at the Nutritional Label

When you are first getting started and aren’t sure how much to eat, just look at the nutritional label. The recommended portion size will say right there, whether in the amount of servings, tablespoons, cups, ounces, or grams. 

You are not always limited to what the nutritional label tells you, but it is a good place to start. Some people have never considered portion sizes before, and really have no idea how much they are supposed to eat. Grab that box of crackers and see how many one serving is. Just stick to that one serving, and see if you are satisfied or still a little hungry.


Balancing Your Plate

Another great way to know your portion sizes is to balance your plates based on the percentage of the plate with certain foods. For example, if you are trying to balance your plate between carbs, protein, and fiber, try to have ½ your plate filled with veggies or salad, ¼ protein and ¼ complex carbs. It is also good to have healthy fats in there, which might be in your protein, a topping for your salad, or in your carbs.


How Big is Your Plate?

Serving your food on a large plate may mean that you may likely put more food on it and lead to overeating. You can buy portion control plates which are already divided. If you don’t want to overthink it, just try getting slightly smaller plates. Don’t just use the smallest plate you can find, but at least stop using big dinner plates when you are having a smaller meal or a snack. This keeps your portion sizes a little smaller. 


Try Measuring Cups

Use measuring cups to gauge the amount of food you eat. You don't have to buy special cups though. You can use a mug, container or tea cups that contains the right amount for you. It is a simple way of measuring the right amount of food for you every time.


Don't Eat leftovers

Wasting food is not ideal. However, if you find yourself finishing up everyone's leftovers, you will likely overeat. To prevent this from happening, cook smaller amounts of food or plan to store them and use them in another meal.


20-min Rule

It can take some time for you to feel full after eating. If you feel like eating more, try waiting for about 20 minutes before reaching for a second helping.



Ask for Less

When you are eating out, ask for smaller portions if the portions served are supersized. Take care at eat all you can buffets and refillable fizzy drinks. These can encourage you to overeat. Also watch out for meal deals. You can go to get a healthy sandwich and end up with a fizzy drink and fries. This could double the amount of calories you consume.


Portion control can be very helpful in helping you control your weight. Using these simple tips can help you adapt to the right portions for you.






Wednesday, 28 September 2022

Self Care Activities For a Bad Day


self care activities for a bad day


When you have a bad day, you might find that you want to grab a drink or eat something unhealthy. But these are not healthy habits to have. A good option is to indulge in self care activities, which can make you feel better and will be good for you at the same time.


Watch Something Funny

Don’t underestimate the power of laughing! If you are having a terrible day, find a way to watch TV or a movie that makes you laugh. Avoid action, drama, and other genres that might make you feel miserable by the end. Binge watch your favorite comedy on Netflix, or turn on the TV to try something new. Laughing is extremely healing and can quickly change your mood even after the very worst of days.


Get Out of the House

Some people prefer staying inside and watching Netflix for self care, while others already spend a lot of time indoors. If this is you, then getting out to socialize and meet up with friends might be a better option. When you find yourself doing nothing but working and going home, you may simply need another outlet. Try meeting co-workers for drinks after work or calling up a sister or cousin to have a girl’s night out. Get a little bit out of your comfort zone and it can be very good for you.


Spend More Time with Friends and Family

As mentioned briefly in the previous section, spending more time with your loved ones can be great for self care. Many people think being alone is the only way to take care of themselves and relieve stress, but sometimes the best thing for you is being around others. Think about your daily lifestyle and what tends to stress you out. You might find that you feel worse when you are constantly alone, but your mood seems to lift on happy hour night or when visiting your best friend. This is a good sign that what you really need is to get out and spend more time with others.


Take a Bubble Bath

As long as you have the bath supplies, this isn’t going to cost you a dime. Draw yourself a hot bath and pour in some bubbles, essential oils, or baths alts. Soak in the tub with some music playing or just sit in silence. Music is a good distraction if you have kids in the house that you want to tune out for the time being. Lock the door so you have no distractions and let the dogs out so they don’t bother you either. Remember not to bring your cell phone in the bathroom with you!


Try Meditation

Many people also like to give meditation a try when they want to practice self care without spending a lot of money. This is something else that can be free or possibly cost a small amount of money, depending on your method. For example, if you want to purchase a meditation CD to follow along to, naturally you will be spending a small amount of money. However, for the most part, this is minimal and a one-time cost. 

Meditation involves breathing exercises and sitting in a quiet space alone while you relax your mind. You want to try to think about as little as possible, using imagery to think of something that brings you peace and happiness, scripture verses instead of using this time to think about what is causing you stress in the first place. It does take a little practice, but once you get the hang of it, you will realize just how beneficial it can be.


Go for a Walk

Walking is probably one of the best exercises you can do for self care. It is easy to do with a lot of flexibility, doesn’t cost anything, and can be done alone or with others. If you have dogs, you can take them for a walk around the neighborhood or go hiking. You can walk alone during your morning break at work to de-stress, or walk in the evenings with your kids for some family time. Walking alone also helps you to really focus your thoughts and provide much needed private time.


Wednesday, 7 September 2022

How To Live A Balanced Healthy Lifestyle

 

how to live a balanced healthy lifestyle



 It is often easier to just focus all your time and attention on one area of your life, but even though that one area is often the most efficient, it leaves out so many other pillars of life and happiness in your life, creating an imbalance. But don’t worry – balance is always possible when you set your priorities, know what would bring you the most happiness, and how your mind and body can work together for optimal health and longevity.


 All it really takes for a properly balanced healthy lifestyle that makes you feel happy, joyful, healthy, and productive, is to add some simple daily habits to your routine. This is a simple change you can make in your life, and it is one you can go about gradually so you don’t feel intimidated by too many changes all at once. 


Here are some very simple habits you can add to your routine that help you live a balanced healthy lifestyle:


 Drink Your Water 

Drinking enough water is very important. If you struggle drinking enough water, here are some tips to make sure you are staying hydrated: 

Flavor your water – You don’t have to drink only plain water to get the effects of being more hydrated. Feel free to flavor your water by infusing it with fruit and herbs, using water flavor enhancers, or even drinking flavored sparkling water. 


Read: Benefits Of Infused Water


Use a fun cup – Water bottles have come a long way! There are hundreds of varieties, including different materials, colors, sizes, patterns, and so much more. You can even get a water bottle with motivational sayings for each water milestone you reach during the day. 


Add water to your habit tracker – You might enjoy water, but you just don’t think you drink enough. This is where tracking your water comes in handy! If you don’t have a water bottle that shows you how many ounces you have had during the day, the next best thing is to either use a water tracking app on your phone or just track with a printed water tracker. 


Eat water-dense foods – You can also eat more foods that contain a high amount of water, such as lettuce, watermelon, cucumber, tomatoes, zucchini, celery, and apples. 


Move Your Body

 If you want to be happier and healthier, you need to move your body. Remember this doesn’t have to be with a structured workout plan, unless that is within your own personal goals. 

But if you just want to exercise to boost your mood and improve your overall wellness, then any form of movement will work great. Here are some ideas: 

• Go for a short walk every morning or evening 

• Spend some time at the beach or lake 

• Have a living room dance party 

• Take a fun dance or fitness class 

• Try tai chi or martial arts 

• Join a friend at your local gym 

• Do indoor rock climbing 

• Find a local trampoline park 

• Start stretching every day


 As you can see, there are many ways to get some exercise in without feeling like you’re doing “fitness”. Some people have physique goals or really enjoy fitness, and that’s amazing! But even if you don’t, you can still move your body and get all the same health and happiness benefits. 


Read: How To Stay Motivated To Work Out


Take Your Vitamins 

While it is best to get your vitamins and minerals from natural food sources, that isn’t always possible. At the very least, you can take a multivitamin every day to get more nutrients into your body. But if you have a diet that restricts certain foods, such as not getting a lot of iron or zinc while on a vegetarian diet, consider adding these supplements. 

This is another good reason to visit your doctor for bloodwork to figure out what supplements you might need.


Read: Basic Health Screening Tests For Adults

 

Get Some Sunshine 

Oh, that beautiful vitamin D! It does miracles or at least feels like it. Why do people feel so much happier and more energetic in the summertime? For many people, it is because of all that wonderful, healing sunshine. The sun’s UV rays emit vitamin D, which you can get naturally absorbed into your body simply by being out in the sun. But if you live in a cold climate, you don’t get it for a good amount of the year. This is when taking a vitamin D supplement might be needed. 


Write in Your Journal

 Journaling is a wonderful activity to add to your daily routine if you want to focus on a balance between health and happiness. It not only helps with your emotional and mental health, but you can often use it to track habits related to your physical health as well.

 

Read for Fun 

While it is great to read for personal development or learn new things with books and courses, don’t forget about reading just for fun. Whether it is a genre or just an author you really enjoy, get into the habit of reading on a regular basis when it is just for you and nothing else. 


Do Something Creative

 Let’s get one thing clear: you don’t have to be artistic to be creative. Even if you weren’t born naturally artistic (most people aren’t), you can still be creative. Think of any activity or hobby in your life that uses the creative part of your brain, such as making or playing music, writing, drawing, painting, creating things with your hands, assembling things, or really anything you can think of that you enjoy. 


Take Care of Plants

 Plants are so amazing for your overall wellness, including your mental health and mood. Just having plants or flowers in your home can improve your oxygen and help with so many physical ailments. They also tend to give you more energy, boost your mood naturally, and even reduce anxiety. 


Reassess YOUR Needs Regularly 

Lastly, consider reassessing your needs as part of your self-care routine. This is a habit many people forget, as they are busy trying to be consistent with their routines and get as much done as possible. But your needs are going to change over time, so it is good to check in with yourself weekly or monthly, and consider what habits are improving your life, and which you are not seeing a positive impact from.


 Remember that your wellness and happiness journey is yours, and yours alone. It should be customized to who you are as a person, your own needs, and the goals you have. While it is great to get inspiration from others as you try to live a balanced healthy lifestyle, what works best for them might not be the best for you.

Why Health and Wellness is Important

 

Why health and wellness is important



To live well is to find a balance between all the different pillars of health. It is a harmonious balance between health, productivity, mindset, and happiness, all intertwined to make up a joyful and fulfilling life. One of the best decisions you can make is to make your health and wellness a priority. 

These are some reasons why your health and wellness matter:


 It Makes You Happier

 It can often feel like you have to choose either your health and wellness goals or your happiness goals, but in many cases, focusing on one will actually help to transform the other. When you begin to take your own physical and mental health more seriously, you often have an increase in energy, your mood is better, and you feel better about yourself, which can have a snowball effect on the rest of your life. Suddenly, every aspect of your life is better, including your own feelings of joy and fulfillment. 


You Have Less Stress

 The more you focus on a healthy balance between your wellness, nutrition, exercise, and other pillars of health, the less stress you tend to experience in your life. This in turn can lead you to being happier overall. Think about how often you feel a lot of emotional stress and burden simply because of your health, energy levels, your diet, or activity. The way you feel can have a very large impact on your emotional and mental health, which in turn leads to more stress and makes it a lot harder to find gratitude in your life. By focusing more on health and wellness, you reduce your stress levels, which then encourages you to feel gratitude and really soak in all that positivity that brings you happiness.


 It Encourages Healthy Habits

 For some people, it is when they change their daily habits that they improve their health, but many people have found the opposite to be true. You might make a specific change to your lifestyle for a health-related issue you are having, which can then give you the motivation to make even more changes and start adapting your lifestyle and habits. 


 Similar to reducing stress, healthy habits often lead to more happiness and fulfillment in your life. These habits allow you to achieve a healthy balance each day, where you feel like you are getting everything done, without being overwhelmed. They can also help you see where your schedule might need to be tweaked a little. Plus, when you track your habits, you feel that sense of accomplishment every time you cross something off your list.

 

You Boost Your Mood

 Many of the healthy changes you make to your lifestyle will help to boost your mood. This can be something as simple as going outside in the sunshine for 10 minutes every day, which boosts your vitamin D to help you feel happier and more energized. Many habits can help to improve your mood, such as:

 • Vitamin D and sunshine 

• Eating a balanced diet with more vitamins and minerals

 • Drinking water

 • Moving your body 

• Serotonin boosts from activities you enjoy 

• Cutting back on alcohol 


It Increases Your Confidence 

Your new healthy habits can also make you feel happier by increasing your confidence. This is often related to healthy changes that might make you feel more comfortable in your body, such as eating a healthier diet, starting a workout program, or losing unwanted weight. In other people, they notice they have a boost in confidence when they start a self-care routine or another type of wellness routine, as it helps to boost their energy.


Read: Paying Attention To Your Body For Optimal Health

Sunday, 21 August 2022

How To Make The Most of Your Mornings

 





What’s most important to you? What is the one thing you really want to do on a daily basis that would make a big difference, but you just can’t seem to find the time for? What good habits do you want to cultivate that would make a real impact on your life? Think about this for a moment. It could be in any area of your life from exercise and healthy eating to self-improvement or getting ahead in business or at your job. It could be working on your relationship with your kids, finding time for creative pursuits, or getting in the habit of reading every morning.


Once you’ve figured out what you want to work on, what you want to improve, and what’s important to you, think about how you can make it part of your morning routine. Sit back and imagine your perfect morning. It isn’t stressed or rushed. Most importantly it’s a day when you have time for everything on your list. Maybe it means having time for a long shower. Maybe it’s going for a run before breakfast. Maybe it’s having a few minutes to connect with your spouse or maybe it’s carving out an hour first thing in the morning to work on your side-business. 

The key is to start with what’s most important to you and think about how you could fit it into your morning routine. Remember, you’re just dreaming and imagining at this point. We’ll work on figuring out where to find the time to fit it in and how to make it all work out later on. For now, simply paint a vivid picture of what your new morning could look like.

Become very clear on what you want that perfect morning to look like. Imagine it in as much detail as you possibly can. Write it down in a journal or on a piece of paper that you can refer back to as needed. In short, define your perfect morning.

Why is this so important? Because you can’t start to make any meaningful changes until you know what your goals are. You need to know your destination before you can begin to pick a route and figure out how you’ll get there.

 

 

Finding Time In Your Busy Morning

 

Mornings are busy and they can be quite chaotic. If you have a young family and plenty of people to get ready and out the door, you know this first hand. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be that way, no matter how busy you think you are first thing in the day. Do you want that to be rushed, frantic, and feeling like you’re constantly running and trying to catch up? Or do you want it to be calm, collected, productive, and with a feeling that you’re in control? It’s up to you and it’s all about embracing two simple concepts.

Get Up Early Enough


It’s tempting to hit the snooze button and catch a few more minutes of sleep, isn’t it? It’s even hard to set the alarm early enough that you have plenty of time for everything you want and need to get done. If you’re not a morning person, moving up the alarm by 30 minutes to carve out a little extra time can be tough.

Getting up early enough and avoiding the snooze button at all costs is the key to an unrushed morning. Here’s the problem with cutting time too short, or worse hitting the snooze button a few times. It gets you behind from the very start. You have to rush to make it out the door in time and any little problem or speed bump along the way turns into a huge problem. Not being able to find the car keys is suddenly a major crisis because it could cause you to be late for work. Remember, your morning sets the tone for the rest of your day. If you start it chasing down time and things, that’s likely how you’ll spend the rest of your time.

Getting up early enough on the other hand puts you ahead of the game. You’re in control. You can take care of everything that needs doing in a calm manner and still have time for the important things you want to work on. In short, getting up early enough sets you up for an amazing, productive day.

Restructure Your Routine


Spend a little time thinking about your current morning routine and where you’re spending time. Look for things you can change and tweak to find more time for the things you really want to do. For example, if you want an extra 20 minutes in the morning to journal, look at what you could take care of ahead of time, eliminate, or delegate to make that time. If you spend a lot of time getting breakfast for everyone, get in the habit of setting the breakfast table the night before. Get your spouse to get the coffee ready, so all you have to do in the morning is push a button. Teach the kids to make their own breakfast and take the dirty dishes to the sink and wash them. Make sure clothes are set out the night before (including yours), that book bags, purses, briefcases, and car keys have a designated spot, and that there where they need to be before you turn in for the night. Small changes like this to your morning routine can make a big difference. I challenge you to come up with a few small tweaks that will save you at least 30 minutes in the morning.

 

Determining What You Should Be Doing Is Crucial

 

Think about what you should and what you shouldn’t be doing in those first few hours of the day. That’s an important idea to ponder. So often we get stuck in a rut or a routine and do things because that’s what we’ve always done. We do it without thinking about whether or not it’s the best use of our time.

It’s Not About Cramming More Things Into Less Time


Making over your morning isn’t about figuring out how to cram more tasks into fewer hours. When you read books and articles on productivity and time management, that’s often the main message and gist of it. While it can help in the short term, it isn’t a good long-term strategy for meaningful change. Very soon you’ll hit the limit of how much faster and how much more efficient you can get.

Shift your thinking and don’t try to add to what you do in the morning. If you want 15 minutes for bible study, meditation, or exercise, don’t just think about getting up 15 minutes earlier, or shaving 15 minutes off your morning routine by showering faster, getting dressed in record time, and rushing through breakfast. In other words, don’t add to your lengthy list of things that need to be done. You’ll only feel more rushed and stressed if you do.

It’s About Making Smart Choices About Using Your Time


Instead, what you should be thinking about is the best use of your time in the morning. Compare your perfect morning with your current morning routine. What aren’t you doing on your ideal morning? If you can start by cutting things out, finding time to do what’s important to you becomes much easier.

There are two great ways to find things you can stop doing. The first is to look for busy work. This is something you do out of habit that doesn’t necessarily need doing every day. Maybe it’s checking your email first thing in the morning or playing around on Facebook for half an hour while you drink your coffee. If that’s how you choose to spend your time, that’s perfectly fine, but if you’re doing it out of habit it may be time to rethink it.

The second way to quickly earn back time is to see if you’re doing things or others that they can do themselves. Kids are the perfect example. We start out fixing their breakfast, making their lunch, cleaning up after them, picking out their clothes, and making sure their backpack is packed and ready to do. When they are very small, we have to do these things, but all too often we continue to do them long after they’re capable of doing things on their own. The same goes for things we do for our spouses. Maybe there was a time when you had less to do in the morning and it made sense to take on the majority of morning chores. Did things change and if so, is it time to lighten your load and get help from your partner? A few small changes may be all it takes to make the time in your busy morning for what’s important to you.

 

 

Come Up With A New Morning  Plan

 

Now that you have a pretty good idea of what you want to do in the morning, what you don’t want to or need to do, and where to find the extra time needed, it’s time to put it all together in a new morning game plan.


The best place to start is with the new set of tasks that are most important to you. Figure out a preliminary time during which you want to get them accomplished. If your goal is to go for a run in the morning, you may decide to do that first thing before getting a shower and having breakfast. If your goal is to journal each morning, you may decide it would work best after you’ve had a cup of coffee. If your goal is to find some time for reading or your favorite hobby in the morning, you could carve out some time before everyone else gets up and while you enjoy that first coffee. The same goes for wanting time in the morning to work on your business or learn something new.

Then work the rest of your morning chores around these new plans. It may take some shuffling around and mixing up your current routine, but with a little creative thinking and a bit of flexibility, I’m sure you can come up with a working plan.

Making over your morning and turning it into a new routine isn’t something that comes naturally to most of us. It takes a little while to get into the groove of things. We’ll look at this in a little more detail tomorrow. For right now, my suggestion is that you write your new morning game plan down. It’s easy to forget what you’re planning to do. Writing it down will not only give you a reference to refer back to, but also solidify your new plan in your mind.

Put the note or notebook where you jotted down your new plan on your night table or somewhere else where you’ll see it first thing in the morning. It will serve as a reminder of what you’re intending to do and do differently in the morning now.

Even though you’ve written your plan down, it’s important to realize it’s not written in stone. The well-laid-out plans don’t always work when put into action. Adjust it and make changes as needed until you come up with a new morning game plan that works well for you and the rest of your family. Once you have that it’s time to make it the new routine… something we’ll talk more about tomorrow.

 

 The Importance Of Habits And Routines

 



With your new morning game plan figured out, it’s time to not only put it into action but make it your new morning routine. Why is this important? Because you want to make sure your new plan happens every morning without fail and turning it into a routine is the best way to make sure that happens.

Before something becomes a habit or a routine, it takes a lot of willpower to things happen. That’s energy that you will need for other things throughout your morning and the rest of the day. Yes, it will take some willpower, mental energy, and drive at first to create the new morning habits, but once they are set, it will become automatic like brushing your teeth before bed.

Once you come up with a good working morning routine, stick to it for a few weeks. That’s the best way to turn it into a strong habit. Before long, it will feel like the new normal and you no longer have to remind yourself to do each thing along the way. It will have become a habit and a routine you’ll follow automatically. It will take a lot less effort and mental pep-talk to get things done… even if your new routine includes a 30-minute run, or getting up at the crack of down to work on your most important business task for an hour.

Watch out for moments when you slip back into your old habits and routines. It’s going to happen. The key is to catch it early and get back on track as quickly as possible. For example, let’s say you’ve been doing well with waking up 30 minutes earlier and going for a run before you start your day. Then one day you oversleep and can’t make it out there. Or the weather turns too bad, you get sick or hurt, or something else pops up that keeps you from going on that run. That’s life. It happens. What’s important is what you decide to do the next morning.

Your most important job whenever life gets in the way of your new morning routine is to get back on track as quickly as possible. Do what you can as soon as you notice the disruption. If the weather is bad, do a quick workout at home, or head to the gym to run on the treadmill. If you overslept, try to squeeze in a few minutes of me time or doing something to grow your business before you get back to the rest of your day. Most importantly get back on track with your regular morning routine as soon as possible. Get back into your new habits the next morning if at all possible. Actively remind yourself to get back on track for a few days until it routine is firmly back in place. You’ll be glad you did when you start to see the results you’ve been hoping for.

 


 

Take Time To Review Your Morning Routine Regularly


Creating routines and habits for your mornings is a great thing. They allow you to do what you need to do to move ahead without having to spend a lot of energy and time thinking about it.

When we get into a routine, it’s hard to stop and ask ourselves if it’s working as well as it could be. Even more importantly, with a routine and a set of habits firmly established, it’s easy to keep going even when the circumstances change. That’s why it’s important to take some time every now and again to review our routine and habits, including the new morning routine.

Set aside a little time every few weeks, or even months to review your routine. Put it on the calendar and make sure you do it. It won’t take long and it will be a very valuable exercise in the long run. Our lives and circumstances change. Our routines should change with it. Just because something has served us well over the past few weeks and months, doesn’t mean it will continue to do so.

When you sit down to review your morning routine (or any routine or habit you’ve been working on for that matter), ask yourself this:

Is it working? Is it working really well?

If it is, simply carry on. If it isn’t, it may be time to make some changes and tweak it until you find something that works well for you at that particular point in time.

Another way to look at it is to find what you love and what you hate about the new morning routine. Change it accordingly until you get as close as possible to loving everything about it and still getting the results you want.

Remember, this morning routine will change and evolve over time as you, your circumstances, and the people in your life change and evolve. Embrace the changes and look at them as an indication that you’re making progress.

Keep tweaking and improving your morning routine and don’t be afraid to mix up your goals for it. Maybe you started out by making exercise a priority first thing in the day. As time goes by and you become more fit and make time for it later in the day, your focus may shift to journaling, or learning a new language. Keep evolving, keep changing, and keep using those precious first few hours of each day to establish some positive change in yourself and those around you.

 How To Start Your Day With Power and Intention


 

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