8 Ways to Stay Healthy Even When You Don’t Feel Like It
It is a fast-paced world we live in today. Studies have shown that this generation is the most anxious and stress-ridden yet. Not to mention the economic outlook for millennials is bleak, driving us to work twice as hard to make less money than our generational predecessors.
Our work and home life are fueled by too little sleep, unwholesome meals, and a reliance on caffeine. Working 8-10 hours a day, going grocery shopping, going to the gym, taking care of a home and other personal requirements leave little to no time for a personal life, much less time to maintain a healthy body and mind.
And by the time you’re done with all of the previously mentioned responsibilities, you either don’t have the time or are too mentally and physically exhausted to take care of yourself properly. Throw kids into the mix and it’s close to impossible. Even Wonder Woman would struggle. Luckily we can offer you a few tips that will hopefully help you sustain a little self-care and health in your weekly activities.
Are you getting enough sleep? Did you know that as young adults we should be getting 7 – 9 hours every night? Seems impossible, right? Maybe for some, it is. Even by the time we crawl into bed each night, likely later than we should be, it takes a while to wind down – to turn off your mind from the day and stop playing a loop of your to-do list.
We also have a habit of being on our phones or computers before bed, which has been shown to be one of the biggest factors in derailing restfulness. The blue light emitted from screens is a stimulant and leads to non-rejuvenating sleep as well as drowsiness the next day. A better option is to turn off all electronics and read a book for about an hour before bed.
Another way to harness a good night’s sleep is your mattress. A bad mattress is also the unrealized culprit of poor sleep as well as all kinds of other bad side effects. It can cause back and hip pain as well as restlessness during the night. Take the time to invest in a good mattress, preferably one that has a warranty that allows you to try it out for a month because no one can choose a mattress to sleep on for the next 5-10 years by just a quick lay down in the store.
In addition, you want to create a healthy sleep environment, with little to no light creeping in. If you are a light sleeper, perhaps a calming white noise machine. There are also apps that gauge your sleep cycle and allows you to set the alarm in a half hour range which wakes you up at the most conducive time to be non-startling and supports the most energy for your day.
We all need our caffeine fix, but energy drinks filled with sugar and artificial flavors are not the answer; and while coffee is not necessarily bad for you, there are better ways to get caffeine.
Tea has been brewed for centuries and is available with a huge variety of herbs and flavors, including a choice of caffeine levels. For example, Earl Grey may be a good way to start a slow day as it delivers lesser amounts of caffeine, while matcha could be better when you need to keep up during fast-paced days. Tea is versatile in other ways too. At night you can make a small cup of chamomile, which has no caffeine and will even help to promote relaxation.
What’s so good about caffeinated teas is that they often keep you buzzing and focused without some of the negative effects that can come with coffee, like nausea on an empty stomach, stained teeth, and increased heart rate. Tea may even help to curb your appetite. If you are someone that likes to add a lot of cream, sugar, or flavor swirls to your coffee, or you need a donut with your Joe, tea may be the answer. It’s the frothy dream you always wanted to start your day.
Take your vitamins! If you don’t have time to keep a healthy and well-rounded diet, vitamins are key to help fill nutritional gaps. You can also find herbal supplements that provide the medicinal benefits of plants in of several convenient forms, like capsules, powders, liquids, and more.
One increasingly popular herbal supplement is ashwagandha. Ashwagandha is popular for its potential ability to support a healthy mood, ease feelings of stress and anxiety, help to balance hormones, and supports the immune system.
Try to find time for a short walk if you’re too busy to get in 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise during the day. It is suggested that a short walk after every meal aids in digestion and boosts metabolism. It also helps avoid that “food coma,” which is the time after you eat where the body is using all of its energy to begin digesting your meal. Adding a few walks a week into your routine will serve as an excellent way to maintain your active health and energy between gym visits.
Water can help solve many of our health problems. The things we think may be an underlying condition may be linked to dehydration. Headache? Drink water. Tired? Drink water. Have a cold? Push fluids!
Staying hydrated helps to keep our skin feeling soft and plump, our nails smooth, and it is incredibly important when drinking alcohol. If you are looking to lose weight, try drinking a glass of water before a meal to help you feel full before having a second helping..
We should be drinking two liters a day, but rarely do. Try keeping a water bottle that holds at least 32 ounces on hand and challenge yourself to drink at least two of those a day.
Meal Prep can be seen as a chore and may sometimes lead to eating out and spending more money than necessary, or not eating at all. Worse still, when you don’t eat healthy meals and control portions, you can get into bad habits like overeating, gaining weight, or slacking off instead of exercising.
If you cut out just a small block on Sunday afternoons, or sometime during the week, to plan out a couple of simple meals, you can do all of your meal prep on Sunday evening and have everything waiting in individual containers for you in the fridge each day! And that in itself will take some of your weekly stress of wondering what you’ll eat that day or if you’ll eat.
Most of the recipes on here are made with very few ingredients and cost less than $4 a piece.
We all know by now that essential oils have hit the scene hard the past few years, and for good reason. Essential oils have countless benefits and can be used on the go, in the office, or at home. Keep a few popular oils handy, like lavender for stress, peppermint for headaches, or lemon for clarity and energy. Try using a calming one at home and when you sleep too for extra restfulness.
When our mental and emotional health is drained and suffering, it affects every other aspect of our lives. We tend to be more fatigued, grumpier, less productive, and lean on unhealthy habits as a crutch, like comfort eating, drinking, or feeling unmotivated to exercise. Even if it’s for 10 minutes a day, take a moment to breathe and do something that makes you happy.
Hopefully now, armed with these eight simple hacks to keep you healthy and sane, you can start following some of these habits and see if they make a difference for you. Even if you only commit to one this week and then build yourself up each week with a new challenge, you’ll start to notice a healthier, less stressed, better rested, and more energetic you.