Starting your well-being and wellness journey
Our life's "outcome" is made up of the sum of our habits.
We become what we do and what we think!
However, changing your habits can be daunting sometimes but when the habits concern your general health, we can definitely try to stick to it.
In this post, I am going to give you 10 tips that you can use to start your well-being and wellness journey. But before we dive directly into what those 10 tips are, let understand how our habits are created.
Changing our habits
There is a psychological pattern called "habit loop", which is a 3 steps process. First, we got the cue (trigger), that tells our brain to perform a certain task or behave in a certain way.
The second is the behaviour (routine) itself and the third is the reward. For example, if stress is the cue that is responded to by eating or smoking (routine), the "relaxation" obtained by the routine is the reward.
Rewarding yourself after a great workout for instance can be a great way to keep you motivated. However, I would suggest being very cautious about how you are rewarding yourself. Be mindful about it.
Having a high-fat content food or unhealthy snack after a great workout is not a good reward.
Similarly, when you did not stick to a good habit, you can "punish" yourself by reducing the number of minutes you are going to spend in front of the TV (if that what you like doing).
The reward and "punishment" might work as a motivating factor for you until you get used to the new set of habit.
If we want to break a bad habit, we need to mindfully identify what is causing the bad habit and keep reminding ourselves why we want the change. Re-stating our values can help to understand why we want the change.
If your habit is part of an addiction, I would suggest seeking the help of a professional.
Below are some tips you can use to stick to new habits:
Commit to the new habit for at least 30 days.
Make it daily. We need to be consistent with the new habit.
Start with something simple and then build upon that.
Remind yourself of the new habit through reminder.
Remind yourself why you started this new habit in the first place.
Changes you can bring to your daily life :
I am doing all of them and it is worth the effort.
1. Start by increasing your water intake.
It might sound cheesy, but water is extremely important for our health.
Yes extremely! It got a lot of benefits ranging from improving our physical performance to improving our mood.
2. Try to get 7 to 8 hours (young adult) of night sleep every day.
Sleep is the time where your body repairs and heals itself and it is crucial for your general wellbeing that you give your body adequate time for that process.
3. Sit on the dining table to eat.
Instead of binge-watching and eating, sit on a dining table, and appreciate and savor the food. Try to taste the different elements in it.
This could be also a good time to have some face-to-face conversation with someone.
4. Turn off all screens 1 hour before your bedtime.
Use this time to indulge in activities (reading, changing into your PJ, and sipping some hot herbal tea) that prepare your body and mind for a good sleep.
5. Set an alarm for bedtime.
We set an alarm to wake up, similarly, we need to set an alarm for sleep as well. Keeping a regular sleep schedule allows our body to maintain the timing of our internal clock. It helps us to fall asleep faster and wake up easily.
6. Starting reading.
I personally like reading hard copy books instead of digital versions because I find it therapeutic.
Reading helps in increasing our brain connectivity and reducing stress. Before a night's sleep, I would recommend reading hardcopy books.
7. Get active
A walk in the park might a good way to stay active.
I like to listen to a podcast or simply I will leave my phone at home. I will brisk walk in the neighborhood and admire the beauty of nature.
8. Take some time to sit in silence and solitude
Our daily life is full of noises and we always get trap in some kind of activities that we do not have time to listen to our internal voice.
Sitting in silence aids to listen to our voices. For me, it is a way to spend time with myself and practicing self-care. I prefer to do it in the morning before I start my day. I am calmer and more attentive to the activities that follow.
9. Reducing the time spent on social media.
Social media if is wrongly consumed can be detrimental to our mental health. I keep track of time I spend on social media and also what type of content I am viewing.
After waking up and before going to sleep I definitely do not use any social media app. It is not important (at least for me) to know what is happening on social media just before I go to sleep or after I wake.
These 2 sections of my day are sacred. I like to spend it in activities that uplift me or help me to connect better with myself.
10. Eat nutritious food.
I was never a fan of processed food. I always had this motto; If I can't distinguish what it is, I will never eat it.
We are what we eat
Eating wholesome and nutritious food like veggies, tofu, meat, and chicken. Choose to eat food that is close to nature.
It is definitely not easy to break old habits. I took me time to reduce the amount of chocolate I was eating on a daily basis.
Yes, I love chocolate and I still love it but I eat it in a more mindful way and I switched to dark chocolate (at least 80% of cocoa).
It's okay if you are also taking time to adjust to your new lifestyle. Nevertheless, don't forget the reason why you started.