It doesn’t matter how long we’ve been leading a healthy lifestyle, sometimes life itself throws a spanner in the works. It’s usually right about the time when you had it all worked out, killing it with a great workout and food routine, and then something catapulted your progress.
It doesn’t matter how long we’ve been leading a healthy lifestyle, sometimes life itself throws a spanner in the works. It’s usually right about the time when you had it all worked out, killing it with a great workout and food routine, and then something catapulted your progress. I know that many people may say, well, you have to think positive and be positive – changing your mindset to better yourself. I get all that, I do nothing but mindset work all the time (every day, in fact), but there are just some things that can sidetrack you. In my personal experience, they are usually matters of the heart and involve family members or someone you love. For instance, at the moment, I’m battling the heartache of my mum’s pancreatic cancer diagnosis. She spent more than a month in the hospital, and now she’s back in there. It was inevitable that she wasn’t going to live a long time, but now I’m at a point where I know, without a doubt, that she won’t be here for very long at all. This has set me back in all aspects of my life and my mental and emotional health. There is no amount of positivity and mindset work that can alleviate these feelings. You can try your best and do what you can; then, something will happen which takes the wind out of your sails. Anyone else out in the blogging world who has gone through something similar knows what I mean. Cancer is a tidal wave. Once you think you have a hold on it, it shows you who’s boss yet again. At one point, you have to allow your life to go with the tide as well. It’s the only way you can be at peace.Watching a loved one disintegrate from cancer is the most heart-wrenching experience anyone could go through. Does this make it extremely hard to instil healthy habits? Yes, it certainly does, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do some specific things to help keep your energy levels up and satisfy that small appetite that comes up during heartbreak. That’s why I wanted to share some habits I’ve cultivated during this process, to help me keep on top of my health (as best as I can) and make sure I am eating something nourishing. My philosophy is that if I’m not in the least bit healthy, how can I be there for my mum, help her and enjoy the minimal moment’s she has left on the planet. And there is also the aspect of extreme amounts of stress the effect that has on our immune system. With the pandemic changing mutation strains, it’s not that hard to catch it as a healthy person. What about if you aren’t because of your environmental & habit circumstances? That’s why I believe now is the best time to do something about it.
Four habits to avoid for better health and stress management during tough times
- You are not eating any food. You may be busy juggling work projects every day and find you are not eating or just generally skipping meals. Those missed meals can alter your energy levels and leave you feeling susceptible to catching bugs. As hard as it can be to sit down for a meal, I recommend you pick your 1–2 most peaceful times of the day and commit to having that meal in a relaxed and calm state. Don’t shove the food in your mouth or rush the meal. Take your time, enjoy every mouthful and relish the time of peace. It may be your dinner or breakfast. Whatever it is, make the time for these meals to nourish your body, mind and soul. I always make sure that breakfast and lunch are my meals – dinner I don’t usually eat. Those two times, I enjoy peace. No rushing, no multi-tasking – just me and my food.
- You are Sleeping less than you should. I used to praise myself for not needing much sleep. But this is a huge downfall – and one that’s hard to break as well. Lack of sleep can see you finding it hard to complete simple tasks, forget things, and live your day in a cloud. It almost feels when I was a new mum and was lucky to get 1–2 hours of unbroken sleep. Those were tough times, and those don’t have to show their face now! Do whatever you can to steal a few more hours each day of restful sleep: no tossing and turning or multiple wee breaks. Before you go to bed, take some magnesium and stop drinking water after 7 pm. That will help to eliminate bathroom trips. I also like to give myself a massage with essential oils. It’s a great way to eliminate the effects of a hard workout.
- You are eating sugar and processed foods. I believe that once we use sugar and processed foods to cope with something in our lives, it can turn into a destructive habit. Processed foods may have the initial fun and comforting feeling, but after a while, your mood & energy start to plummet. Then you feel the need for eating even more. It’s easy to chow down on that food rather than understanding why you are eating them. If you can talk to yourself and find out what’s happening in your environment to trigger this, that will be the first step towards changing it. Changing habits takes a bit of an effort to begin the change – but it’s well worth it. I promise you, after 30–40 days of changing, it will no longer be hard.
- You are not exercising at all. I know that sometimes exercise is challenging. You’re tired, worn out or too busy. But let me fill you in on a secret. Exercise helps to give you more energy, makes you feel and look fantastic. Initially, it’s hard to get out of bed or drag yourself from the office to the gym. But, once you get there, start and finish your workout; I guarantee you will be glad it happened. Once you start pushing through that excuse barrier of “not to exercise”, you will move through it and never look back. Again, this habit sounds easy. I’ve been training for over two decades, and the thought of not exercising never crosses my mind. If you want to cultivate the same kind of habit, you too must start from ground zero and work your way towards the top. Ground zero means initially making it easy for you to exercise and then talking yourself into it. This must happen every single time until it’s engraved in your mind; you don’t even need to think about it. Your body does what it’s supposed to do.
Isn’t it a marvellous feeling to cultivate these beautiful habits and making them chiselled inside your mind that you never even have to tell yourself to do anything? Once you first start, it may be exhausting, which will take a lot of effort and energy. Let me tell you that achieving anything worthwhile takes a lot of drive and determination. And to that, I say, what’s a better driver for this than health? Health is what determines the quantity and quality of our life. Wouldn’t you want to make the most out of every moment you have? To make every moment count, at first, you have to remind those seconds who’s boss and take it from there