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Adopting Healthy & Mindful Lifestyle Habits



The end of the year is approaching fast, and it is usually a time of indulgence and bad habits, as we get ever closer to Christmas Day. This year however I want to be a little bit more mindful. Rather than reach for all of the festive treats, stay in every night and drink hot chocolates watching Christmas films… I want to be a bit healthier, get myself to the gym and walk into the New Year without that feeling of guilt about how naughty I’ve been during the festive period!
So I started to gather a few ideas together and have a think about how I could have more of a healthy and mindful countdown to the New Year - I think the list below is a perfect starting point…

Create A Healthy Meal Plan


"Pretty much everyone could eat a little healthier. That's something we should all do. But the notion is a little abstract without the means to put it into reality. Therefore, do something practical, such as creating a healthy meal plan. This is your basis for looking at those recipes that will help you to lose weight, and is the starting point for eating more of those foods that will preserve your health. So don't just say you will 'start eating healthier,' but commit to creating a plan, and then pin it to your wall so you can refer to it. It needs to be realistic; adhering to your budget and culinary skills. And it needs to be based around foods you will actually eat, and not those foods that you think you should eat but secretly hate. To help you in your planning, use this automatic meal planner at the start of the year, and stick to it as far as is possible in the weeks and months to come.

Learn how to cook


Perhaps through a lack of confidence in the kitchen rather than our lack of skill, we often resort to the easy options with our food choices, such as grabbing a takeaway on the way home from work or stocking our refrigerators with processed meals instead of the healthier options. So book yourself onto a cookery course to learn the basics. Or head over to YouTube and watch a few cookery tutorials. And use sites such as ours, practicing your cooking with a few simple recipes that won't take long to learn. Once you are well-versed in cooking techniques, and when you have grown in confidence, you will be able to stick to the meal plan that we advocated and feel healthier to boot.

Quit a bad habit


New Year's resolutions are all about kicking bad habits, but it may be more beneficial to tackle a few before January to start the New Year feeling motivated.  From smoking too much to drinking one too many glasses of alcohol, you will also be hurting your bank balance as well as your wellbeing. Setting yourself a target to quit your bad habits is something to think about. However it may be a good idea not to try and quit everything all at once. While you could certainly try, your better bet is to focus on one of your bad habits, taking steps to conquer it before moving onto something else. It might be less stressful for you if you do. Smocking is a popular habit to quit and although you could follow these steps, it’s important not to beat yourself up if you don’t manage it straight away. When quitting a bad habit, I think it is important to celebrate the small victories and take each day as it comes.

Find an exercise activity you will enjoy


If jogging or going to the gym seems like a chore to you, then don't. Give them a try by all means - you might actually enjoy the activity - but don't force yourself to do something that gives you little satisfaction. While exercise isn't only about enjoyment - you are ultimately doing it for your physical and mental wellbeing - you are less likely to give up on something if you actually have a good time taking part in the activity. Therefore, think about the sports you used to enjoy as a child. Join a group that has both an activity you might enjoy, and other people to have fun with such as a yoga class or something at the gym. And consider the ideas listed here to inspire you into starting something that falls under the category of 'fun.' By committing to something you enjoy, you will start to feel healthier, boost your happiness levels, and possibly enhance your social life as well, should that be a motivating factor for you.

Book your medical appointments


Instead of making a mental note that you really should get around to booking an appointment with your doctor, dentist, optometrist, and any other medical professional that will aid your health... Booking appointments now is your best way of staying healthy, even if there is nothing wrong with you, there is still that peace of mind that comes from knowing you are okay. And if there is something wrong, it's better to find out early, as the issue may be resolvable. Therefore, cut out your excuses. The financial aspect may be a reason for you putting off your medical appointments, but you may be eligible for a concession, so check with your local bulk billing medical centre. And if you are fearful about going for an appointment, especially if it's at your local dentist - we know how scary it can be - you might want to consider these simple tricks to overcome your anxiety. Just remember, ultimately, you may have to pay out more money if any medical issues you have aren't resolved early. Your health matters, so book those appointments as soon as.


Turn off the television


A sedentary lifestyle can create all kinds of health problems, so if you are prone to spending more time in front of the box than you should be, you are going to suffer in the long-term. And it's not only your physical or mental health that will suffer. Your social life may suffer too, with setbacks to both family and friend relationships. There are tones of amazing shows to watch but sometimes it’s good to hit that record button and then spend more time doing something else. A new hobby will prove more fulfilling. Spending time with the people closest to you can boost your happiness levels. And you will benefit your health if you can find something active to do with your time, be that pottering around in the garden or going for a walk somewhere interesting. So, set aside time in your weekly calendar to do other things, and at the start of each week, record anything you want to watch later.

Start a gratitude journal


Life isn't perfect. There will be things that get you down. But the more you dwell on these things, the unhappier you will be. And that can affect both your mental and physical wellbeing. Therefore, plan to take some time to sit and reflect on all those things that you are grateful for. Remind yourself of the moments, people, and other aspects of your life that are positive. By doing so, you will shift yourself away from anything that might cause you anxiety and depression, and into a mindset that is happier and more content. Sure, you might need to deal with the things that get you down, but you also need that positive balance to ensure you don't suffer unduly."



I hope that you’ve enjoyed having a read through this list of mindful and healthy lifestyle habits, I know that I plan to adopt a few over the next few weeks. I’m really looking forwarded to the build up to Christmas and the countdown to 2019 and want to head into each feeling as positive and happy as I can.

Madolyn
xxx

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