How to develop new healthy habits – and stick to them
By Sarah Russell
We could all do with kicking a few bad habits to the kerb and adopting some new, healthier ones in their place – whether it’s eating better food, quitting alcohol during the week, or standing up for yourself a little more often.
Making these sort of changes to our daily lives doesn’t have to be something we reserve for the new year, we can set new boundaries and goals for ourselves whenever we feel like it. In fact, with only 46% of people sticking to their New Year’s Resolutions beyond six months, we’re actually statistically more likely to succeed when we start them at other times of the year.
So, I figure, why not now? Here are a few habits I’m trying to develop at the moment in order to feel healthier, happier and more in control of my life.
Eat food that makes you feel good
When we were having our kitchen built, cooking became a real challenge. This meant we were getting a lot more takeaways than usual, and I realised that the more I was eating fast food, the more I was craving it.
This led to us spiralling into the habit of depending on unhealthy food, but, after a couple of months supporting the local Dominos, McDonald’s and my personal favourite Indian restaurant, I started to feel sick of the sight of them.
Once I started cooking from scratch and eating fresh produce again, I realised I was craving that more than anything, and the more I cooked and ate proper meals at home, the more I knew I needed them.
The food that makes you feel good isn’t always healthy, but it isn’t necessarily bad for you either. Listening to my body and really hearing it when it tells me what it needs is something I’m trying to focus on going forward.
Drink more water
It’s easy to drink enough water in the summer. When it’s hot outside, I reach for a pint of ice-cold water over anything. In the colder months, I find it much more of a struggle.
The comforting sound of the kettle and the warmth of a cup of tea in your hands is much more appealing, and I have been known to get to the end of the day and realise I’ve had four brews but nowhere near enough water.
I’ve bought myself a beautiful new water bottle to keep on my desk as a reminder to keep drinking water. It’s a good habit to get into, and there’s rarely an occasion your body won’t thank you for drinking more H2O.
Make space for yourself
Our lives can get so busy and overwhelming at times. While the weeks are jam packed with work and day-to-day chores, the weekends seem even busier with weddings, christenings, birthday parties, and trips away in the diary. Not to mention those nagging DIY jobs that need doing, an overgrown garden and the spare room that needs painting again.
Making space for ourselves can be really difficult, but it’s also really important. Especially when you throw children, pets, chores, family obligations and everything else into the mix – when do you have the time to pop out to your favourite coffee shop or read the next chapter of your book?
I’ve decided to make some more space for myself in the diary. Instead of putting everyone else first all the time, I’ll be making a bigger effort to ensure my wants and needs are being heard as well.
Surround yourself with positive people
Spending more time with the positive people in your life, and less with the negative ones is a really healthy habit to adopt, but probably one of the more difficult ones to actually accomplish.
Negative people can be really draining, sucking the fun out of things or making you feel bad for your life choices. Whether they’re colleagues, old acquaintances, friends’ partners, or even family members – spending time with them feels like a chore and yet we all do it out of some misplaced feeling of obligation.
Of course, it’s not always possible to avoid these negative people, and it’s a fact of life that we won’t like everyone we meet – but actively making the choice to surround ourselves with the people who make us feel good, and spend less time with the ones who make us feel bad is a simple theory that can have a big impact.
Which leads us on to the next point...
Say no to things that don’t feel right
Whether it’s plans with old school friends who you don’t have much in common with anymore, a job offer for a bit more money but a lot more stress, or even just lunch with your mother-in-law at a really inconvenient time – getting into the habit of saying “no” more often is something else I’m working on at the moment.
Between working, keeping the house tidy, raising children, remembering to call your mum and attempting some form of a social life – there really isn’t much room for anything else. It’s important to prioritise the things that mean the most to you, and this means having to say “no” to everything else.
So much of our headspace is taken up by worrying about other people’s feelings. In reality, people are usually a lot more understanding than we tend to believe, so you may be surprised just how easy it is to decline invitations as long as you’re polite.
Did you relate to any of the things I mentioned in this article? If so, I hope I’ve inspired you to think about ways you can adapt and change your own little habits to make sure you’re always living your best life.
Content published by Nature’s Journey CBD Wellness is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent any disease. Always seek the advice of your GP or another qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise, or other health-related programme