At this time of year, as the clocks go forward, the evenings get lighter and the days get (hopefully!) warmer, many of us feel our mood lighten and thoughts turn towards how we can make improvements to ourselves over the remainder of the year, not just physically, but who we are as a person. Trying to better yourself does not necessarily mean that there is anything wrong with you, but it can mean improving the quality of life for not only yourself but the people who are around you. Self-improvement can mean many different things to different people, but here, we have shared a few tips on things that you can do to make yourself an (even!) better person this year.
We sometimes forget that keeping ourselves healthy not only has a positive impact on our own lives but on those around us. We are, thankfully, moving away from concentrating on just being thin, but are more focused than ever on leading a healthy lifestyle. It doesn’t matter whether you are a perfect weight, underweight or overweight, there are always steps you can take to improve your health.
Many of us have an incredibly unhealthy relationship with food – with ‘good’ foods and ‘bad’ foods, and really, there should be no such thing. A diet which is generally ‘clean’ and healthy can cope with the odd piece of cake or full-fat latte, and, actually, shouldn’t be avoided (unless you have any allergies, of course) because they can be an excellent tool for keeping you motivated on track with a healthy eating plan.
Other diet and exercise misconceptions you might want to think about are:
Eating just because it’s a meal time – we are socially conditioned to eat at particular times a day – morning, noon and evening, just because society set those as meal times. Pay attention to your body though – if you are not hungry, don’t eat! For some people, more regular but small meals are much better than three big meals a day. However, it is advised not to eat too close to bedtimes, to give your body the chance to digest your food and allow you to have a better night’s sleep.
Overeating – If you compare plates these days with the plates from forty years ago or so, you will see an enormous difference. Most of us, quite simply, eat too much. Choose a smaller plate, and stop eating as soon as you get those first signs that your body has had enough.
Eating instead of drinking – we often confuse hunger with thirst. If you are hungry, try having a drink first and waiting a few minutes. More often than not, your body is just telling you it needs rehydrating rather than more food.
Get moving – Exercise does not have to involve going to the gym. It does not have to mean a five-mile run every morning. It can be as simple as dancing around the kitchen while you are cooking dinner, putting a bit more effort into the hoovering and a brisk walk at lunchtime. Incorporate just a couple of small pockets of exercise into your daily routine, and you will soon see a difference.
You never know, by the end of the year you could be looking at OriGym’s guide to starting a fitness blog and writing your own, full of your own tips and tricks!
Think about your mental health
People always bang on about improving your physical health, but even now, in 2019, we are reluctant to talk about mental health and take care of ourselves emotionally. We are all too easily consumed by work, pressures of parenting or caring for other people, and the media, and it can lead to us feeling stressed out and unable to shut off. Keep every door open when it comes to boosting your mental health, whether that be taking more walks to get some fresh air or checking out Eyeglasses.com for a new pair of specs (the wrong glasses can contribute to issues such as anxiety and stress). Take some time for yourself when and where you can, even if it just means having a soak in the bath. It is okay to be selfish sometimes! If you feel like you are struggling with your mental health, talk to someone you can trust and get yourself to a doctor. You won’t necessarily have to take medication, although there is absolutely no shame in them if you feel you need them. After all, you wouldn’t try and muddle through a physical health problem without treatment, so why would you when it comes to your mental health?
Help out in your community
We all lead such busy lives these days that it is hard to find time to give a little back to the communities that we live in, but doing something positive to help other people can be incredibly empowering and uplifting, not only for the people you are helping but your own well being and https://antibioticsall.com mental health. It doesn’t have to be big, meaningful gestures – sometimes, the smallest things can make all the difference to someone’s life.
Can you go and have a cup of tea with someone in a care home? Many older people feel lonely and isolated, so just spending a few minutes chatting to someone can make a big difference to their day.
Volunteer your skills. Maybe there is a new startup that could benefit from your help and experience. You could see if any start-ups or new businesses are in your area and perhaps work with them in a mentorship role. You both benefit from this – you can add the experience to your CV, and they get the help that they need. It’s a win all round
Help out family and friends – maybe your friend could do with a date night but can’t find a babysitter, or perhaps your neighbour needs to pull out the weeds in her garden but can’t get down to do it. Offer a few minutes of your time here and there when you can, and help someone out. You’ll also find people are much more likely to reciprocate when you need help in the future.
Forgive and forget
People fall out for all sorts of reasons, and, understandably, sometimes it can be challenging to get past that and move on. However, it is also important to remember that people can disappear from our lives without any warning, and we often feel regret that we never made up with them. Life is too short to hold grudges, so, if you can, find it in yourself to forgive someone who has hurt you. You don’t have to be best friends, but moving on can be incredibly therapeutic for both you and the other person.
Cut out the toxic people
This one sounds strange immediately after telling you to forgive and forget, but occasionally, there are people in your life that really are better off out of it for one reason or another. If there is someone in your life that brings nothing but trouble and heartbreak, think about whether they really need to be there. If not, cut the contact. You will feel better for it in the long run.
Finally, set yourself a challenge or a goal. It can be as big or as small as you want – skydiving, running a half marathon or even just learning a new skill such as photography or coding. Having a goal to work towards is an excellent way of keeping yourself focused and healthy, and at the end of the year, when you have met that goal, you have something that you can be proud of.
Nb. Collaborative post.