Everyone wants a stress-free, healthy lifestyle, but in the world that refuses to stop for us, catching our breath can be hard. Here are some quick tips to help create a sustainable lifestyle.
1. Wake up earlier.
Starting the day off bright and early actually has health benefits. From better grades to healthier eating, the early bird does get the worm.
Texas University found that students who woke up earlier did better on test than students who slept longer. This was a consistent finding though – as in the students were consistently waking up early.
Harvard found a similar result with early risers. The study found that those who wake up early are more productive than those who don’t. They were found to have better decision making skills, are better at planning/setting goals and are less distracted, which helps them achieve more.
When you sleep, your body goes through a fasting period. When you wake up earlier, it is necessary to eat breakfast. The body will go into starvation mode if you skip breakfast. This is often associated with people who sleep in because they wake up later and wait for the next meal (lunch or dinner sometimes) instead of eating breakfast. This can lead to overeating and even craving unhealthy foods.
When you wake up early, this is more daylight out. This will give you more time in the day for exercise. This is discussed in more detail below.
Sleep quality is also improved when you wake up earlier. Those who wake up early are more likely to have a routine of when they go to sleep and wake up – nearly consistent every day. This can help your body decrease the amount of times you wake up while sleeping. By the time you are used to your routine, your body will create an internal clock. That’s why you find yourself waking up at 6 a.m. on the weekends even when you wanted to sleep in.
There are so many benefits to waking up early, but these sum it up pretty good.
2. Organize your life.
Staying organized can seem like an impossible task when you live life in fast forward, but there are benefits to improve your lifestyle if you take the time.
To sum it up, when you become more organized in life, you can find things easier -allowing for more free time. You will also save money because you are aware of what you are running low on. No more scrambling to clean for late notice of company, and an organized life visually seen around you can make your life seem more organized in itself. For me, I know that when my room is a mess, I am usually a mess.
A messy surrounding usually correlates with lifestyle choices. Organizing your life can be an example for others as well.
3. Use your calendar.
This may seem like an easy task, but there are still tons of people who need the reminder. Calendars not only allow you to schedule properly but allows for a conscious layout of the day.
By using a calendar, you are able to spend less time running around getting to places on time and more time giving yourself reasonable breaks and prep time for events/appointments/dates/etc.
The most important factor with using a calendar will be the ability to understand time management a lot better. You will have a better idea of what events are going on before a new event appears – easy scheduling!
Apps are also a great reminder of events. The calendar on the iPhone can send reminders from 5 minutes to 1 week before the event.
4. Get moving.
Everyone has heard, but does everyone do it? Get moving! Exercise! Your body will thank you later.
The government lays out some pretty standard benefits of exercising such as: controls your weight, strengthens muscles and bones, improves mental health/mood and ability to do daily activities, increases chance of living longer and reduces risk for cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome and some cancers.
As well as that, Greatist found that exercise also leads to reduced stress, increased happiness, increased self-confidence, prevented cognitive decline, alleviated anxiety, boosted brainpower, sharpened memory, controlled addiction, increased relaxation, increased productivity, increased creativity and inspired others.
Mayo Clinic suggests that the average adult do 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity (cardio) or 75 minutes or vigorous aerobic activity each week as well as 2 days a week dedicated to strength training for each muscle group.
Most people shoot for exercising at least 3 times a week because it seems like a more reasonable mission in this busy era. As long as you are moving every day – that could even mean going for a walk – you are helping yourself become healthier.
5. Treat yo self.
I am such a Type A personality when it comes to anything – especially a diet. My diet is consistently whole foods because I cannot stand unhealthy foods; however, as healthy as I eat, I always treat myself.
A treat once a week or once every two weeks is what I aim for. I will get myself a nice bowl of ice cream or chow down on a good burger, but food is not the only thing I’m talking about for when you should treat yourself.
Self-love treating yourself is also important. Mental health is one of the most important things to me. I believe you can never truly be happy and healthy if you are not mentally healthy. So, take time each week to do something you love. That could mean watching what you want to watch on TV instead of your significant other/kids choosing. It could mean getting your fuzzy socks on, heating up some tea and reading your favorite book in silence. It could mean getting your nails done or grabbing a drink with friends. As long as you find time each week to do something you genuinely want to do, the whole week is worth pushing through. When you have that reason to push through, each week gets easier.