Seven Things I Do Every Day to Stay Healthy
For so many of us, keeping up with our health seems like such a lot of time and work. It really shouldn't be, but with unhealthy lifestyle practices being the norm rather than the exception in today's world, we have to be much more aware and aggressive than we once did if we want to maintain a good level of health for ourselves and our family.
Here are some of the things I do daily, as lifestyles habits, to help promote wellness. Keep in mind that any lifestyle change takes effort and time. It is hard for our brains and bodies to adapt to too many changes at once!
These are habits I have gradually put into practice in my life. They help me and I hope they will help you too!
This is the most important part of my day. I spend time each morning and evening praying; going over the things that I am thankful for and unloading my burdens.
Philippians 4:6 says “Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”
You've probably heard of the mental and physical health benefits of meditation. Prayer is my meditation. It is my way to de-stress and find comfort and strength. I love spending time with Jesus and living with the power He gives me. And I am a much happier and pleasant person when I do it regularly!
2.Live in Community
This is so important and so lost in today's world! As Americans, it is way too easy to get so caught up in ourselves and what we need, that we often fail to notice others’ needs.
I try to spend each day with others. Even if it is just my husband and myself, we make a point to be together whenever possible to talk and share our lives with each other. We also have specific days of the week that we spend with others, and call our family and friends regularly if we cannot be together.
One way to do this on a daily basis is to call, email, or text one friend or acquaintance (someone you don't talk to every day) and one family member (also someone you don't talk to every day). For me right now, because my husband and I are not at home for a few months and are still getting to know locals, this works well. It is still very important to spend actual, physical time with others; but if it's impossible, a phone call is the next best thing!
And be sure to ask meaningful questions. This habit doesn't help ourselves or others if we only talk to share gossip or vent or tear others apart! Encourage them. Truly be interested in what their needs are and what they want to talk about. Remember, this is about others, not ourselves. But we will also feel good about it!
Another aspect of living in community, whether you have others living in your house or immediate neighborhood or twenty miles away, is doing selfless things for others. Regularly! Like…every day!
This might be volunteering at a homeless shelter, singing at a nursing home, working with a prison ministry, or even things as simple as saying hello to someone you meet on the street or cooking dinner and inviting your neighbors. Or cooking dinner for your family! Just get out of your comfort zone and realize that there are others around you whose day you can brighten and whose faces you can bring a smile to!
Moving my body every day was easier when I worked as a housecleaner! Now that I spend more time standing in one place, I find it is especially important to exercise.
While most days this means an actual workout for me, some days it is just a long walk with my husband or while I'm on the phone. Some days it means just parking farther away from the grocery store and walking! Whatever it means, it is vital to keep your body moving every single day!
This one definitely takes time to establish as a daily habit, especially for those who have insanely busy lives and very little time to eat. It is so worth the effort though! Eating right on a daily basis gives you the fuel your body needs to function well. This really makes a difference for busy people!
I found in my transition to eating clean on a daily basis (this transition took a few years, by the way) that one of the things that helps the most is to to gradually implement healthy eating. Don't try to do it all at once! Unless you are an extremely motivated and disciplined person, you will probably become overwhelmed, and it will be easy to give up. Your body also is not used to eating this way and needs time to adjust and realize that it feels better on real food.
So well I definitely recommend going all at once if you are sure you can do it and stick to it, for most of us, slow and steady is better!
Once you are eating well every day, you will notice that when you do have some pizza or ice cream or fast food once in a while, you won't like it as much anymore. (Although I still like chocolate… a lot!)
This has made a big difference in my life. I used to be extremely motivated to get up very early every morning and get as much done as possible in a day. While there are perks to that, I found that I actually feel way better, and am therefore far more productive, when I get a good 8 -9 hours of restful sleep at night.
We Americans often behave as if sleep really doesn't matter. We tend to stay up late whenever we have the chance, and then struggle to get out of bed in the morning because of it.
I wrote a whole blog post on how to get better sleep, which you can find here!
This is one of the most important habits you can develop for your mental and physical health. Going to bed early takes discipline, but it promotes much more restful sleep. I have found that when I go to bed on time consistently, I wake on time as well without an alarm. And let me tell you, waking up naturally is a whole lot better than waking up to an alarm!
6.Choose a Cheerful, Thankful Attitude
When you start your day with prayer and thankfulness, it is much easier to maintain that attitude throughout the day. But sometimes things still come up that, if we allow them to, can ruin our mood.
But that's the key… if we allow them to! We have far more influence over our emotions and mental state than most of us feel like we do!
Keep in mind that a cheerful, thankful outlook is not a feeling. It is a choice. In the heat of the moment when you don't feel thankful and you definitely don't feel happy, step back, pause, and ask yourself if this is who you want to be. I don't think any of us a actually want to be that way! We want to be cheerful. But it's a choice!
Choose gratitude, and choose a smile! You and those around you will all be the better for it!
7.Affirm Someone Else
Have you ever gotten an email or text out of the blue from someone thanking you for something you did, or telling you how much they appreciate you?
If you've been on the receiving end of that, than you know what a blessing it is!
Now you have a chance to do that for someone else… on a daily basis.
Everyone you know has a quality that can be admired or appreciated. Tell them what it is! Your spouse has loads of these and would love to hear you say what you see in them! Same goes for your kids, your parents, and everyone else you know!
Sometimes you'll have to do this via phone call, text message, email, etc., but when you can, do it in person. Or write a note on some pretty paper and send it in the mail. If you want to make the note extra special, check out this beautiful thank-you card set!
So there are seven of the things that I do daily to be healthy! What are some of your healthy habits and tips? I'd love to hear them!
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