How To Make Your Health a Daily Priority
Today our lives are busier than ever – building careers, family commitments, juggling hobbies and essentials – it’s no wonder really that modern life can often feel quite overwhelming.
But what consequences does having so many daily responsibilities have on our health and well being?
Well, when life gets super busy, as it often does, it’s easy to fall into the trap pof short cuts and bad habits that don’t prioritise our health. Acting on autopilot, we sacrifice ourselves and make a short-term choice, be that grabbing the quick dinner that we know is less than healthy for us or choosing to skip workouts and meditation sessions that normally keep us grounded.
By default, we tend to operate on auto-pilot mode, muddling through the days and making excuses to ourselves. The side order? A healthy dose of guilt and blame, as we recognise deep down that we aren’t making the choices we need to for our long-term health.
But life isn’t going to let up anytime soon, so what can we do to make sure health becomes a daily priority? It turns out some simple strategies can stop you having to compromise all the time…
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Recognise The Choice Cycle
Trapping in feelings of self-doubt and tiredness, many of us avoid acknowledging our own agency in the matter. It’s easy to blame circumstances from ‘stopping’ us maintaining our health, but the truth is, although we can’t avoid what life throws at us, we can choose how we deal with it.
That autonomy is our gift, and refusing to accept that prevents many of us from achieving our wellbeing goals. Take a moment to step back from the situation and remove emotion from the equation. What would you say to you best friend or a relative that complained they were too busy to take care of themselves? Instead of judging yourself or blaming circumstances, acknowledge that life is busy and can be overwhelming – but also that you have a choice about how you react.
If you don’t actively choose to break the cycle, you’re going to end up stuck in a helpless, chicken and egg scenario – too tired and run down because of lack of exercise and healthy eating to make the right choices. Choose to prioritise your health – even if it means sacrificing something else. For example, if you love to fit in a morning HIIT workout, but don’t have enough time before heading to work – could you set the alarm a half hour earlier to fit it in? What if this meant going to bed a half hour earlier? What would you be missing? If the answer is another episode of that box set or a scroll through social media feeds then the choice becomes very clear.
What do you need to do in order to detox your body and mind? Treat being kind to yourself as a commitment that you choose to prioritise over all the noise in daily life, and you are taking back to the power and making a positive step – and that in itself can be very energising.
Isolate Your Eating
How many of choose to eat while distracted? In fact, sitting there munching mindlessly while we catch up on emails is very harmful to your health. Studies have shown those who eat while distracted consume more calories, as the brain is switched away from it’s task of sending the message that you’re full to your stomach. So when you eat, make it the main event.
Sit down properly at the table and take the time to engage your senses – what can you see, feel and smell? If you need to, scheduling in a half hour for a meal really emphasises your commitment to mindful eating. Ask yourself about your emotional state if you find yourself reaching for a sugary treat you don’t need. What is making you crave it? Are you bored or upset? Resolve to fix the root cause rather than using food as an emotional tool. Savour each bite, learn to recognise when you’re approaching full up and reconnect your mind and body as you eat. When your finished, you’ll find that you feel more satisfied and are free to continue your day with renewed energy and a clear mind.
Have a Plan for Stress
Stress is a daily factor in our lives. In fact, a little bit of the right kind can be very effective as a motivating factor that keeps us on track – so you shouldn’t be seeking to erase every trace of it from your life. The key is to learn how to manage stress. If it gets out of control, it can act as a major trigger for overeating or drinking too much alcohol, cause relationship issues and get our hormones out of alignment, leading to multiple health problems.
Recognise that you can’t control every factor and that life will throw you curveballs – but understand also how to deal with them. Keep crucial perspective by moving yourself forward in time mentally – will this issue matter in a week? A month? How about in a year’s time? Learn what it takes for you to avoid critical levels of stress – do you need to learn how to delegate more at work? Do you need to put aside more time to rest? Or is it simply a question of scheduling in 10 minute power walks outside to keep you balanced and get some fresh air?
Treat Health as Its Own Reward
If you choose to ‘reward’ yourself with food and alcohol, it promotes all kind of negative associations and cycle of guilt and rebellion. Recognise that these things are not ‘bad’ or ‘good’ in themselves, it’s our approach to them that has positive or negative intentions. Processed treats should never be used to cope with stress or as a reward for doing something. Choose health and wellbeing for its own sake, as a conscious decision that you know enhances your life. Find comfort in other things, such as a deep aromatherapy bath, spending time with your loved ones, or finishing a chapter of that must-have thriller novel. Turn around your reward system and the effects can be life changing.
Choosing to put your health first is not one big decisions – it’s a series of daily choices. Commit to them and you will see positive results!
Tia, and TipsfromTia.com is trying to keep you looking good and
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