What would it feel like to be healthy? And could a few small changes in your lifestyle make a real difference to your day-to-day wellbeing?
Consider whether any of the following statements resonate with you:
I’m tired. All the time. When I wake up in the mornings I just want to stay in bed.
I feel constantly on edge and expect bad things to happen all the time.
I’m OK, but always one stressful situation away from an emotional meltdown.
My body feels slow and heavy and it’s always a conscious battle just to get moving.
My energy is low.
- Overall I don’t think I’m unhealthy, but minor complaints add up and I don’t feel my best.
Health isn’t just about your weight or how far you can run on a treadmill. It’s important — no matter what your current diet and exercise regime — to ask yourself whether you feel well on a daily basis. Simply asking this question helps to develop a heightened sense of awareness which allows you to take control of your health.
Combine that awareness with some basic knowledge about the measurable factors contributing to health, such as Body Mass Index (BMI) and blood cholesterol levels. And then you’ll be able to pinpoint the areas in which simple changes could change your life.
How?! You ask. Well, if you’re reading the DLYN Y Blog we’re guessing you’re already interested in supporting your health with a holistic approach. Which means you’re already well on your way understanding how to set healthy lifestyle goals.
To help you on your journey we’ve put together our list of 10 tips that you can integrate into your life with ease.
1. Eat Well — and Avoid Crash Diets
Short periods of intensive dieting have their place, especially when recommended by your physician. But you are always on a diet, every day of your entire life — whether you’re making a conscious decision to eat a certain way or not.
So switch your perspective about diets: your diet consists of the food choices you make every single day. Your diet can support a healthy and energized body and mind or it can make you feel tired, low, and cause problems like weight gain or excessive weight loss, breakouts; and in the longer term, even serious disease.
Make your diet work for you. And not just for six weeks.
2. Little Doses Of Sunlight Help The Body
An article published in the journal Harvard Health tells us that the same DNA-damaging, sunburn-causing UVB wavelengths that sunscreens are designed to block also do some good: They kick off the chemical and metabolic chain reaction that produces vitamin D. Research shows that many people have low vitamin D levels. There is a well-documented relationship between low vitamin D levels and poor bone health.
Getting some sun may also shake off the wintertime blues: Research suggests that light hitting your skin, not just your eyes, helps reverse seasonal affective disorder (SAD).
About 15 minutes a day of direct sunlight is sufficient for many people’s bodies to manufacture enough Vitamin D; people with darker skin need longer exposure to sunlight to manufacture the same amount.
As we race to develop effective treatments and a vaccine against COVID-19, people are looking to reduce their risk of getting sick. One thing that might help is as obvious as the sun in the sky and as close as your medicine cabinet – Vitamin D.
3. Exercise Every Day
You know this one. But it’s important. The key to incorporating exercise into your life for enhanced health is not to go too hard, too fast. A brief period of moderate exercise every day will make a huge difference.
To start with, focus on simply moving more. Could you stand up and stretch more often? Walk a journey instead of jumping in the car?
And then think about how to add more exercise into each day in a way that you can sustain. This is different for everyone. Some of us love the gym or the yoga studio, and others don’t. Try swimming; walking; climbing; or 20 minutes of HIIT training at home.
4. Heighten Your Awareness
Many of the things that compromise your health could be avoided or changed if only you were aware of them.
For example: You feel tired all the time and you can’t figure out why. But when you spend a little time tracking your energy levels you realize that there’s a relationship between your tiredness and certain stressors in your life. You feel exhausted when a particular topic comes up in conversation, or when a specific kind of challenge is thrown at you.
Emotional stressors have a big impact on energy levels. Start to notice those connections and then you’ll be able to reshuffle your life and restore energy in other areas — so that you’re ready for anything.
5. Take Time Out
No, really. Real time out. Switch off your phone. Unplug the doorbell and close the curtains. Better yet, get out in nature and leave all your digital devices at home.
Take time out from being reachable. Allow yourself to be free from other people’s demands. Can you manage an hour a day? Try it!
6. Drink Good Quality Water
Everyone knows that drinking enough water is important for your health. But not all water is equal.
Many of us drink the water from our taps. Tap water is treated with chemicals in order to kill bacteria; and it often also contains hormones, pesticides and toxic metals.
Detoxify the body with alkaline water to improve blood circulation and boost the immune system. Hydrate better and get a better absorption of vitamins and minerals.
Bottled water is expensive — not to mention that buying plastic bottles is bad for the environment. But a DLYN Bottle can cleanse and purify your tap water and alkalize it to optimize its health-supportive properties.
7. Plan Bigger Breaks Ahead of Time
Short periods of downtime are important every day. But planning more immersive breaks a few months in advance can improve your health year round — because no matter what’s going on, you always know that you will be able to rest soon.
Book a relaxing holiday or, even better, a yoga or relaxation retreat. This is not frivolous. It’s investing in yourself.
8. Add Food to Your Diet to Improve Health and Mood
This is connected with tip number 1. It’s another way of shifting your mindset about diet to improve your health! Instead of thinking of ‘dieting’ as restricting food, try adding foods to your diet that are known to support physical and mental health.
That includes foods that have an alkaline effect on the body. You could start by discovering our 6 Brilliant Alkaline Breakfast Ideas and check out our comprehensive Alkaline Food List. Many of these foods not only improve physical health and function, but they’re also known to boost your mood. In the long term this means that incorporating them into your meals and snacks means you’ll feel better in body and mind.
9. Breathe Deep
Breathing is something your body does all the time without any effort on your part. But did you know that using your conscious awareness to notice and direct your breath has the power to instantly change how you feel?
Try this simple breathing technique, rooted in Indian pranayama. Practice it until it’s familiar to you and then you’ll be able to use it during any moment when you need to calm down and recenter yourself.
Place your right hand on your belly and your left hand on your chest
Breathe into the right hand, and then out of the right hand, for five breaths. Which each inhale you fill the belly up like a balloon — as much as you can. And then with each exhale the belly empties and the hand falls.
Now breathe into the left hand, and out of the left hand for five breaths. As you inhale the chest rises — right up to the throat. And as you breathe out the chest relaxes and that left hand falls with it.
Finally, connect the two. Breathe into the right hand — filling the belly as much as you can. And then when you can’t breathe into the belly any more, breathe into the left hand too — filling the chest, right to the top. On the exhale, breathe out of the left hand first; chest falls. And then the right hand; belly falls.
- Repeat this full cyclical breath 5-10 times.
10. Find Places to Express Yourself
Human beings need connection. According to UCLA neuroscientists, social connection is as important for our health as food and shelter.
Look for communities and groups where you feel free to express yourself. Where you can talk openly and share your challenges in family, relationships, business — or any other aspect of life — without fear of being judged.
Those places might be face-to-face meet up groups, a spiritual or religious community, or even an online group. Find your people and make a commitment to speaking up and prioritizing your sense of connectedness.
Restore and Be Resilient
All of the tips on this list have something in common. They are all effective ways to restore energy and top up vital heath stores. And this leads to more resilience — physically, mentally and emotionally.
Make these small changes to support your health and you will have the resilience needed to ride the waves of illness, stress, and…life.