You know when you’re busy trying to juggle a million things at once and somehow your health gets pushed wayyy down to the very bottom of your priority list? Yeah, it happens to us all (even those of us who try to be healthy on the regular). I mean, if I’m trying to write a blog post, finish a work project, AND keep up with everything else in life, I’m probably going to reach for a chocolate muffin over an apple #LetsBeReal.
Unfortunately, if we keep prioritizing everything else in the world above our health, it starts to take a toll on the quality of our work and life in general because we’re operating with sleepy brains, upset stomachs, and hangry attitudes.
I’m here to tell you that being healthy isn’t actually impossible, even if you’re a super busy person.
There are some simple mindset shifts you can implement that make it a whole lot easier to take better care of yourself, and you’ll start thinking about health and wellness in a slightly different way from all of those marketing scams you’re usually bombarded with (no LOSE WEIGHT FAST ads here, my friends). Here are the most important things to remember to when it comes to healthy living:
- Ingredients are more important than calories.
The whole point of eating is to nourish your body and take care of a basic human need. Your body is not asking you for calories alone; it wants food that makes it feel good and satisfied. Counting calories can be helpful if you want to see how much you really are consuming, but it’s not the best measurement for your health. For example, a handful of almonds has 150 calories which is about the same as a can of Coke. Because the almonds contain healthy fats, protein, and fiber, they’re going to fill you up and keep you satisfied for longer. Coke is mostly sugar which means you’re still going to be hungry later (and probably a cranky-pants, tbh).
Instead of looking at calories, take a look at the ingredients listed on the food label. Do you recognize what most of them are? If you don’t, you might not want that entering your body. Many people opt for fat-free or low-calorie versions of their favorite foods because they think they’re healthier, but these foods are often laden with additives in order to make up for the sugar or fat that’s been taken out. My best advice is to stick to foods that contain simple ingredients you can actually pronounce.
- Exercise to feel good, not to lose weight.
If you think of exercise as something that can make you feel better, both physically and mentally, you’re more likely to actually do it than if you think you need to do it to lose weight. Our friend Elle Woods was right when she said that exercise gives you endorphins and endorphins make you happy. I know that if I exercise even for 10 minutes in the morning, I’m going to feel better and be more productive for the rest of the day.
You also have to make exercise fun for you. So many of us are opposed to exercise because of the effort it takes, but it’s important to find a form of exercise that feels effortless and fun to you. Don’t run just because everyone else is doing it (I’ve tried for years but I still hate it). For me, pilates and kickboxing are basically the only forms of exercise that don’t feel like work to me. Think about something you’ve enjoyed doing in the past, or try out something completely new. Maybe it’s dancing, karate, bowling, or even lip-syncing – think outside of the conventional box!
- Healthy means something different to everyone.
Have you noticed that no one can agree on what it means to be healthy? You can’t post a recipe on the internet claiming it’s healthy without someone else commenting that it’s not healthy at all. Someone will probably disagree with the tips I’m sharing here ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Because there are so many different schools of thought on health and wellness, your best bet is to eat what feels good to you and experiment with different ways of eating if that’s something you’re interested in doing. Eating should make you feel satisfied and energetic (after all, food is energy), so if you feel like crap every time you eat pizza, maybe don’t eat it so much. It’s important to do your own research and remember that just because something works for one person, doesn’t mean it will necessarily work for you. You do you, boo thang.
- Healthy doesn’t have to be expensive.
People are so quick to push their health aside because they think it will be expensive and time consuming. Your health is worth investing in, but you honestly don’t have to break the bank in order to make healthier choices. One of the best ways to start saving money (and improve your health in general) is to cook at home more often than you eat out at restaurants. Some people really advocate for organic food at every meal, but I just stick to Dirty Dozen/Clean Fifteen list. Also, there are so many free exercise videos and apps out there, and nature makes a great playground, so you don’t really need a gym membership in this day and age.
- She’s beautiful, but so are you.
If I asked you to name all the things that you love, how long would it take for you to name yourself?
We are so willing to compliment other people on their looks, but we are so against the idea of complimenting ourselves. You have to acknowledge that while someone else has a banging body and beautiful skin, that has absolutely no reflection on the state of your own body. In order to lead a healthy lifestyle, you also have to be conscious of your thoughts towards yourself and others.
I’m always striving to make my mind a little more blissful (hence the name of this blog), and self-acceptance is an important part of that. I know it’s not easy to appreciate yourself every time you look in the mirror because we tend to see the negatives before the positives, but something as simple as acknowledging the parts you like about yourself each morning (including your awesome brain and unique talents) can make a huge difference.
A CHALLENGE FOR YOU!
Set one goal for your health for 30 days, and share it on Twitter or tell us about it in the comments below! It can be anything from checking the ingredients in your food to drinking a glass of water when you wake up. My goal is to exercise for at least 10 minutes every day!
What are the health truths you live by? How are you prioritizing your health this month?