2020 has been one heck of a ride.
A year that has shown us what we are made of but ultimately a year to ADAPT. Sometimes with the daily grind, we put “OURSELVES” on the back burner especially if we have a family to look after.
Here are 4 ways to live a better, healthier lifestyle.
These are meant to be integrated into your life to make it a bit more worthwhile and bring some color back to that black and white year that was 2020.
1. Eat nutritionally dense foods.
Health can have many different avenues with all the constant barrage of “diets” out there. However, according to the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, a balanced diet high in fruits and vegetables, lean protein, low-fat dairy and whole grains is what you need for optimal energy. We are what we eat and there should be a constant pursuit to incorporate a well-balanced approach to nutrition. Opt for fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables, especially nutrient-dense dark, leafy greens and broccoli, as well as orange vegetables, including carrots and sweet potatoes. There are many types of fish and legumes to choose from for healthy protein options.
2. Get some sleep (7-8 hrs)
This can be one of the hardest aspects to living a more well balanced life. The act of sleep has a countless amount of benefits from a physiological to psychological standpoint. There are countless studies showing the correlation of sleep deprivation that lead to cognitive decline, metabolic dysfunction, and mood. Give yourself the opportunity to have a better day by resting and recovering after a day filled with ups and downs. You owe it to yourself! Think about how you can improve your biggest sleep disruptors and know this: Sleep deprivation can perpetuate serious health conditions, as well as negatively affect your mood, motivation and energy levels. Prioritizing sleep is one of the best things you can do to set yourself up for a successful, energized day.
3. Exercise, breath heavy, and sweat
Exercise is the grand elixir for mood and energy. Contrary to what you might believe, getting the 150 minutes of weekly activity recommended by the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans can add to your energy account and not subtract from it. How? Exercise relieves stress and tension, strengthens muscles and boosts endurance, which helps your body to work more efficiently during other physical tasks or activities.
4. Do something meaningful each day.
What are you passionate about? Is there a hobby or skill that you have been wanting to get better at or explore? Doing something that you enjoy every day can do wonders for our psychological pursuit of a happier/healthier you. This can be anything from making a nice home cooked meal to trying to play your favorite Jimi Hendrix song on the guitar. The most important aspect of this is that you want to do something that brings you joy and is developing a skill to be a better more interesting self. Putting effort into the things that matter most to you will help you utilize and reserve your energy in ways that will bring out the best in you.