Thursday, 1 September 2016

Easy Steps For Living Well

As I sit here and type, I've just read an article of "50 Healthy Habits For Every Women." Flicking through, it became apparent that some points I agreed with and added to my mental "must do this more" list, but some points just left me cold. I think it's the wording of "every women" that's just not siting right with me. Precisely because as women, as humans, we are all so individual, it feels a vastly sweeping statement to instruct that those specific 50 habits will make every women feel healthy. 

For some relaxation comes from yoga or meditation, for others it comes from an adrenaline rush and downhill mountain biking. For some people high carb raw-til-four diets make them feel energised, for others high protein diets work best to achieve healthiness. 

The definition of health: the condition of being sound in body, mind, or spirit; especially :  freedom from physical disease or pain

...the FEELING of health, is achieved via different methods, techniques and lifestyles for different people.  The key is learning to understand how to operate the best version of yourself, not how best to copy someone else's techniques and hope they also work for you. We can read a thousand articles on how to live well, but if steps aren't taken to add these behaviours we think will transform our lives, in the context of our lives, they just won't stick. 

Take Time to Learn Your Own Body

This year I've explored briefly eating vegan, tracking macros and eating intuitively and settled on a mixture of  combining all 3 "diets". I want to feel unrestricted, fuelled, strong and generally well and energised.  Cutting out food groups or labelling days as "cheat days" did not contribute positively to living balanced, and frankly too much time was being taking up planing and prepping meals. I love a largely plant based diet with a ton of greens, fruit and superfoods. I like to keep my protein intake high as I'm doing alot of weight lifting and through trial and error I know I feel best when protein and fats are my main sources of energy. Nut butter and crispy baked salmon, I'm talking about you. My bit-of-whatever-I-fancy approach has now stuck. When my body feels happy, so does my mind, so don't feel the need to pigeon hole your habits, if an eclectic approach also works for you, then keep going.  

Trial and Error

Approaching situations with a YOLO mentality is a sure fire way to get the most out of them. Nothing ventured, nothing gained is up there in my list of top cliches to live by as time and time again, I find the best opportunities and experiences come my way after committing to things I initially wavered over. Be that trying a new dish in a restaurant, applying for a job you don't think you're ready for, or going to a gym class when you really aren't in the mood. Diving in head first wins over fence sitting 90% of the time. The 10% of the time when things don't turn out in your favour, valuable lessons are learned and we grow that little bit more wise and comfortable in our skin because of them. That satisfying feeling when hard work pays off, or you take a risk or try something new, is hard to beat. 

Know Your Limits - And Be OK With Them

I don't know about you but through stressful periods, I turn to exercise as my sanctuary. Instead of cutting my schedule back, it's seems an involuntary reaction to ramp it up. Packing my week with activities to "de-stress" such a jogging, hot yoga, a date night, an extra gym class. Under tension a bit of foam rollering and a hot bath would no doubt be more beneficial to reducing my cortisol level than a hard core HIIT session but my addiction to sweat induced endorphins and Friday night Prosecco often has me burning the candle and both ends. Recently, I've got to know my limits, and become more accepting that going 110% all the time, is just not possible. Finding calm moments and working smarter not harder are little missions I'm continually working on but steps like this are definitely making living, that bit more sustainable and alot more satisfying. 


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