Drink more water. Try to keep your liquid intake mostly water to avoid drinking a big portion of your daily calories. I’m sure I don’t have to tell you how many calories are in those fancy coffee drinks, but even calories from soda or juice can be sneaky.
Eat more veggies and fruits. Today there are more ways than ever to sneak vegetables into your diet if you aren’t a fan of them. There are chips made from vegetables (and fruits), as well as fries, tater tots, and pastas. There are also fruit juices with added vegetable juice, and applesauce made with added veggies. Be mindful of your fruit juice intake because the calories can add up if you have too much. As for regular fruit; while in-season fruit might taste best, frozen fruit is just as nutritious. Use it for smoothies and homemade ice cream. Speaking of smoothies, if you add a handful of spinach that’s another way to get a serving in.
Get enough sleep. It’s no secret that if you don’t get an adequate amount of sleep, you usually don’t feel great. Your body needs rest to recover and keep it functioning at its best. If you’re feeling run-down and mentally exhausted, try sleeping more during the night, or take a nap during the day.
Go outside. Nature has a way of making us feel at peace. Go for a walk among the trees, sit alongside the water, or put your feet in the grass. It might drown out any stress you have from the man-made noise we’ve become accustomed to. Even those who stay at home or work from home need a break from being cooped up indoors. Make time to be one with nature every once in awhile.
Eat enough protein. Many people, especially women, don’t have enough protein in their diets. Without enough protein your body can start craving sugar, which is a struggle for a lot of people. Protein is even more important if you’re trying to lose weight. The goal of weight-loss should actually be FAT-loss; you should want to hold on to whatever muscle you have, and with enough protein, you will. Protein doesn’t have to mean meat. There are a lot of options to get protein in your diet and ideally you should be having some at every meal. Try adding Greek yogurt, lentils and beans (try lentil pasta), cheese, bone broth, eggs, and whey protein powder, as a few suggestions.
Do the things on your bucket list. Don’t wait until you retire to do the things you’ve been wanting to do. Your bucket list doesn’t have to look like everyone else’s. It’s YOURS. If you’re not into adventures like skydiving or traveling the world, that’s okay. Why not have small dreams you know you can accomplish sooner? Want to start a new hobby? Write a book? Continue your education? Today is a good a day as any to get started. When I add something to my list, I get started on it right away, if possible. Mostly because I’m impatient and like instant gratification, but that’s another story.
Take care of your mental health. Mental health is just as important as physical health, but it doesn’t get nearly as much attention. If you aren’t well mentally it can affect you physically. Do more things that make you happy and get rid of things that don’t.
Avoid drugs and smoking if possible. I know this is a tough one for those already stuck in the habit, but if you have been wanting to quit, keep trying. You’ll get it eventually.
If you drink alcohol, drink in moderation. Again, I know this is a hard one for those who have wine nightly to relax or go out drinking with friends a lot. But if you can cut down at all, that’s great!
Avoid junk foods as much as you can. I don’t drink, do drugs, or smoke, so this is the toughest one for me because some junk tastes so good. and we all have to eat, but we can make better food choices. It can feel impossible to be 100% perfect when it comes to diet. Temptation is everywhere, and add in stress, and emotional eating can rear its ugly head. But the great thing about food is that it’s easy to get back on track even after you mess up. Try making better choices for your next meal and focus on adding good foods to your diet instead of focusing on what you have to give up. You’re more likely to stick to it if you don’t try to eliminate all the foods you love.
Stay active. If you have a sedentary job or just don’t like working out much, try adding more steps to your day. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, walk on your breaks, and park further away in the parking lot. It might not be the same as living an active lifestyle, but it’s better than nothing and the bonus is that even a short walk can boost your mood. If you’re ready to become more active and want to add an exercise regimen to your days, that’s even better for overall health.
Look at your relationships. Are you friends with someone just to ‘keep the peace’, but they drain you? Are they taking more than they’re giving in the friendship? Why not worry about your own peace and happiness and stop putting others before yourself? If someone makes you unhappy and has for a long time, it’s a sign you’ve outgrown the friendship. Sometimes you just need a break from them, but other times you need to walk away altogether for your own sake.
Make time to relax. Relaxing doesn’t mean being lazy. Everyone should make time to relax their body and mind. Feeling stressed is a sign you need a mental break. Relaxing is different for everyone, but it can be anything from bubble baths, starting a new hobby that has nothing to do with work, reading, hanging out with friends, the list goes on. If your home life is causing stress, make time to get away. If your work life is causing stress, get your mind off it by doing other things so you can focus on yourself in your downtime.
Find fun hobbies. There are far too many to list because fun is subjective, but do what makes you happy. Find time for it, even if you think you have no time left. It’s imperative for you to do things that don’t have to do with work. Hobbies can be learning a new craft like woodworking or knitting, taking nature walks, learning photography, gardening, volunteering, or anything else that interests you.
Let go of what you can’t control.
This is a lot easier said than done and doesn’t come naturally for a lot of people. However, it is possible to learn to let go. Learn to keep your mind busy. If you’re doing other things you CAN control, that will begin to push the other things to the back burner and eventually they won’t be a worry at all. Focus on today and not all the “what if” statements your mind can come up with that drive you crazy and steal your peace.
Ask for help if you need it. Some people are too proud or scared to ask for help when they need it. You might think you’ll bother someone or that you don’t deserve help, but don’t be afraid to ask. Even if you aren’t close to anyone, reach out to friends on social media who can lend an ear and see if they can help you get through whatever you’re going through. People care, but they can’t help if they don’t know the problem.