Sometimes, some things are easier said than done. The idea of a healthy lifestyle is one that seems like a mirage; attractive, but unrealistic. It’s similar to a couple doing marathon training together and posting pictures on their social media-of course captioned with #couplegoals. However, that really shouldn’t be the case. Healthy living is a goal we should all ascribe to, and here are some ways to help you ease into it.
1. Pick up the phone, and call a doctor.
I’m not saying you should call an emergency contact number (unless you need one, in which case, this probably isn’t the article for you). A regular health check up is just that. For those of us who aren’t used to the idea of getting a check up, this could be a daunting procedure, and you may not even know where or how to go about doing it. Contact your nearby clinic, health centre, or hospital, and they will be able to help you to book an appointment with a doctor for a health check up. Or if you pass by one during your daily commute, why not just pop in and make the appointment in person?
Hack: If you Google search “nearest hospital or healthcare centre and clinic”, the results will give you a list of the nearest health institutions for you to choose. It’s that easy!
2. Figure out what your next meal is going to look like.
You don’t have to dive right into diet planning and throw out all the carbs and dairy in your fridge in order to have a healthy meal. All it takes is just a little bit of thought! Instead of taking out that microwaveable dish of mashed potatoes and chicken fingers from the back of the freezer, why not use the stove for once and create your own dinner? You’ll be surprised at what you can accomplish with a few ingredients. And it’ll inspire you to create a grocery list that’s more than discounted Ben and Jerry’s ice-cream and frozen chicken nuggets the next time you go shopping.
Hack: Chicken breast is one of the easiest meats to cook, whether in a pan or in the oven. Just look up a simple recipe that uses the common ingredients in your kitchen. And it doesn’t take too long to prepare.
3. Take a walk.
It is as literal as that. Get up, and take a few minutes away from your laptop, phone, TV, or whatever it is that’s keeping you on that seat, that couch or in bed. A short exercise will help to get rid of that grogginess from staring at a screen too long. Bonus points if you can muster up a bit more effort to walk outside.
Hack: Leave behind all of your electronic devices when you take that walk, because the point is take a break and do a bit of exercise, not be hunched over your iPhone as you speed walk to your next meeting.
4. Don’t fall into that “Just one more episode” trap.
You know how it is. Whether it’s the next episode of a Netflix show or you’ve decided to start binge-watching that trendy new anime, chances are it’s easier to succumb to the temptation of letting the next episode play. And yet, it’s also as easy to pause and shut your laptop for the night. Really, the show will still be there for you when you’ve gotten your requisite eight hours of sleep. Your future self will be incredibly grateful for your self-restraint when you wake up refreshed instead of a zombie state of being.
Hack: Don’t start a new show an hour before you’re supposed to be in bed. It’s really not worth the agony of choosing between a full night’s rest or finding out if your favourite pairing has finally gotten together or not.
5. Put the phone down.
After you’ve made that appointment with a doctor, go ahead and put your phone down. Do some chores in the yard, or spend some time alone as you do some mental recharging yourself. There is nothing wrong with not being able to reply a text in the first five seconds after receiving it. There will always be seemingly urgent matters at hand; and yet a mere ten minutes of solace from everything can make all the difference between an overwhelmed state of mind, or one that’s ready to face the world again.
Hack: That first few minutes of anxiety will melt away once you realize the world is running just fine without your much-needed input. Leave your phone charging in a room away so you wouldn’t be tempted to check it every few seconds.
6. Grab a coffee.
Or tea. Or whichever beverage you prefer, as long as you take a break and have a proper, face-to-face conversation with someone you haven’t really made time for in a while. Take an afternoon or a night off and have a good catch up with your friends. Have dinner with your family without the distractions of a constantly vibrating phone for once. It’s important to maintain strong and healthy relationships with your close ones because they boost your self-esteem and are beneficial to your mental health as well.
Hack: Set a time at least two weeks to a month ahead before that catch up so you’ll reduce the ensuing headache of having to schedule a coffee break that’ll fit everyone’s free time together.
7. Pause, and pray.
All too often, we’re like rats running in a never-ending race, with constant deadlines to chase and too little time for ourselves, much less for anything else. And yet, we forget that we don’t live for ourselves, but for a higher purpose. When was the last time you whispered a prayer of gratitude to the One who blesses us in all things? How long has it been since you took out that prayer mat and experienced a quiet, reverent moment in worship? Spiritual health is essential for our overall well-being, and there’s never a wrong time to pause and pray.
Hack: Sometimes, it’s good to keep a reminder for ourselves that our very own Creator deserves our time more than anything else.