I remember when I first started to become interested in healthy living. I pored over books, articles, and magazines. It was so easy to become overwhelmed with all of the (sometimes contradictory) information that I was learning. And then there was the issue of actually implementing what I had learned. I recall thinking, “Wow! I never knew being healthy was so stressful!”
You don’t have to live with that mindset my friend! While I’m far from perfect, I’ve collected a few tips over the years to make health and wellness less stressful. Remember these whenever the panic starts to set in and you’ll be back on track in no time!
How to Make Health and Wellness Less Stressful
Focus on making BETTER choices, not the BEST choice.
- It’s so easy to get “paralysis by analysis” when making any big life changes. It seems like there’s always a more optimal choice. However, action beats out inaction every time. So just do the best you can until you find out otherwise! If you have any questions, feel free to post them in the comments and I’ll try to help however I can. 🙂
Pick your priorities.
- You can’t do everything at once. Overhauling your whole life at once is intimidating and impossible. Pick the area that you feel will make the greatest difference and focus only on that. For me, this area is sleep. I feel the best when I’m well-rested. This spills over into other areas of my life too. It’s much easier to meal prep, turn down sugary lattes, and get in my workouts when I’m already feeling pretty great.
Start with bite-sized chunks…
- If the idea of cleaning out your cupboards and dramatically altering the way you eat is too much, just focus on one meal. For instance, commit to eating a healthy breakfast for 1-2 weeks. At the end of the allotted time period, that will feel much less like a chore and you’ll be ready to tackle another meal. It works the same way for exercise. If you’re currently not exercising but would like to meet ACSM’s guidelines of 150 min of mod intensity cardio and 2-3 days of total body strength training and flexibility per week, focus first on cardio. After a few training sessions, begin to add in some strength training. List come resources!
… or just do it all at once.
- I’m the type of person that does better “ripping off the Band-Aid”. (Most of the time) I prefer to make big changes all at once and never look back. I find it much easier to keep myself in check if I’m not in an ambiguous “doing better, but not quite there” state.
Use social media strategically.
- When I first started to clean up my diet, I followed a lot of blogs on healthy eating and real food. At first this was inspiring, but it eventually became a big stressor. Watching all of these healthy living bloggers do everything perfectly made me minimize my own accomplishments and left me feeling like I could never keep up. PLEASE unfollow anything that leaves you feeling this way (even this blog)!
Just start now.
- Research shows that the longer we wait to begin a task, the more daunting that it becomes in our minds. Defeat this mindset and just begin TODAY. Don’t expect yourself to do everything perfectly from the get-go. Remember, a journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.
P.S.- What area of health and wellness comes easiest to you? What’s caused you to struggle the most? Let me know and maybe we can support each other! 🙂