Today is World Health Day, which I think is a great time to ask ourselves what the word ‘health’ means to us. Personally, I’d define health as simply a state of mental and physical wellbeing and balance. Health to me is taking time to keep fit, eat well, and be productive so that life feels fulfilling, but also taking time to enjoy myself guilt-free. Sometimes, lazing on the sofa watching movies and eating takeaway and chocolate can be just as healthy as getting up early, exercising and eating super well. It all comes down to that balance I mentioned; sometimes we find happiness in taking care of our bodies, and sometimes letting our guard down and chilling out can be just as healthy. Today I wanted to take some time to review the habits that keep me healthy, so without further ado, here are my top ten healthy habits!
- Drink at least 2 litres of water every day. This is probably the only thing out of this list I can hand on heart say I do pretty much every single day. Once you get into the habit it really is so easy, in fact, you will wonder how you lived without your 2 litres beforehand.
- Cook healthy food from scratch as often as possible. When I say healthy, I mean real, full-fat and genuinely tasty food – not low-fat, low calorie substitutes. If doing The Body Coach’s plan has taught me anything, it’s that fats and carbs are our friends, not our enemy. They both serve a purpose and, if eaten in moderation, are just as good for us as fruit and veggies.
- Exercise 4 times per week when possible. Notice how I always say ‘when possible’. Yes, I like to cook my own food most of the time and try to get in 4 workouts per week, but I also try not to obsess over it. Life is life and sometimes things just get in the way; we’re busy, things come up last minute, we get ill or let’s face it, sometimes we just don’t want to. All of this is fine, as long as you’re making choices that make you feel good, don’t beat yourself up – it’s only counterproductive in the end!
- Plan. I’m a real organisation-lover, and make sure to plan my meals and workouts, as well as any plans or commitments at the start of each month, week and day in my Happiness Planner.
- Take time offline. I find being online for any length of time leaves me feeling irritable and tired; I notice this hugely on days I spend sorting my social media for Evolve with Elise. It definitely helps to take some time out; whether this be a 15 minute walk outside, switching off an hour before bed or having a full-on detox is up to you.
- Have a peaceful, tidy space. I can’t stress enough how much being tidy calms me mentally. Ever since reading Marie Kondo’s book, ‘The Life Changing Magic of Tidying’ (which, by the way, I would highly recommend), I have been extra aware of how my surroundings impact my mood and stress levels.
- Look after my hair, nails and skin. This doesn’t have to be costly; it can be as simple as moisturising daily, training your hair to go longer without washing (natural oils are your friend!), or making an effort to not bite your nails.
- Take time away from social media. As a blogger, this one can be a bit of a struggle, but if you can manage it it’s so refreshing for the mind. At the moment, I’m working on shutting off social media half an hour or so before bed.
- Talking of bed, sleep is always a top priority. As a former insomniac, I really learnt the value of sleep the hard way! Everybody has their own ideal number of hours per night (my body prefers 9-10), and it really is worth figuring out what works for you. I find that too little or too much sleep can be really detrimental to my mood, productivity and energy throughout the day.
- Finally, and most importantly, I think the number one healthiest habit a person can aim to get into, is to simply be gentle with yourself. Make sure that everything you do is done out of love and compassion towards you. Remember that healthy doesn’t always mean veggies, water and meditation. Sometimes it may mean maccies, movies and duvets. Although it’s a cliché, it really is about balance.
Today is a great day to think about what your healthiest habits are, or of any new habits you can put in place to make you feel your best. Making the decision to put yourself and your wellbeing first is truly the best decision you could ever make. Happy World Health Day!