Listen- it’s been a tough year and a half. People across the globe have had to completely change up their routines and, at times, kick into ‘survival mode’. You are most certainly not alone if your body does not look or feel the same as it did in March of 2020. But, as we are slowly beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel, you may be ready to ease back into your pre-covid routine and re-adopt some of your old habits. Or, you may be ready to see this as the start of a new beginning and make some healthy lifestyle changes.
Either way, you’ve already taken the first step; the hardest part is making the decision to make a change, and you’re already there. Don’t give up now! Here are some ideas to help you solidify your journey to make some well-deserved positive changes for the cherished mind and body that carried you through the pandemic.
- Set small, measurable, and attainable goals for yourself
Set yourself up to exceed your expectations. Start small: get up an hour earlier than you normally do. Eat breakfast. Set aside 5 minutes to meditate. Commit to 30 minutes of exercise today. The same goes for exercising- Run 5 minutes before stopping. Gradually increase that time to 7 minutes. 10 minutes. 30 minutes. If running isn’t your thing, apply the same principle to walking, reps, sit-ups, whatever gets you up and moving. The point is to set a goal, achieve it, then continue to push yourself.
- Write it down!
Use a journal or planner to write down your goals for the day. It can be as simple as “wake up at 6:30”, “make bed”, “mid-day walk”; things that you normally get done throughout the day. As you begin to cross these items off your list, you are getting used to holding yourself accountable for each task. When you begin to add things like “take spin class” or “run 2 miles” or “take Fido for a walk”, you’ll already be in the habit of completing your daily tasks before you cross them off, and you’ll feel that much more satisfied when you do what you set out to do each day. You’ll be surprised how proud of yourself you can be!
- It’s more than the number on the scale
Looking good doesn’t always mean feeling good. If you want to achieve a well-rounded healthy routine, it’s more than losing weight and exercising more. Adjust your nightly routine to ensure you get 6-8 hours of sleep. Drink 64 oz of water a day. Wear sunscreen. Eat your vegetables. Meditate. Stop and smell the roses. A true healthy routine means you prioritize your body, mind, and spirit. Do something that makes you happy every day – it can make all the difference!
- Create healthy habits
We have a tendency to fall into habits in response to stress, or just by repeating the same action to feel comfortable in a routine. For example, drinking alcohol after a bad day, watching TV or scrolling on your phone in bed, drinking a venti Starbucks latte every morning instead of breakfast, et cetera. Make a conscious effort to replace these actions with something that will be beneficial to you; take a walk after a bad day at work. Read a chapter of a book before you go to bed. Brew some coffee and grab a banana or granola bar before heading out the door in the morning. These changes won’t become a habit overnight. Add them to your daily plan, and stick to it!
- Be patient with yourself!
They say it takes anywhere from 18 – 254 days for a new habit to stick. It’s different for everyone, but the bottom line is that improvement takes time! It starts with the courage to come to the realization that you can do better for yourself, and it gets a little bit easier every day. Give yourself some credit – the hardest part is over! You’ve taken the first step, now hold yourself accountable to feel as good as you deserve to feel, and be patient; it only goes up from here!
Image credit: Stil on Unsplash/Maddi Bazzocco on Unsplash