Everyone wants to a bit healthier, right? But it can be so hard! But I have some top tips to help you on the road to being a bit more healthy and make life a little easier.
Get an early start
You may hate me for this one but hear me out. Getting up early (and by early, I mean not sleeping until lunchtime) your mind will be in a better place. Many people claim that getting up and getting organised first time has a much better effect on their day. This does not mean that they get less sleep, they just go to bed a bit earlier. Is that really such a bad thing? I will happily go to bed for 10 pm and get a full 8 hours if it means that I am a bit more organised. Plus, getting a full nights sleep is better for your mental health than sitting up to watch TV. And, let’s not forget, if you get up early, you can get a good breakfast and spend some time getting ready instead of having a mad rush in the morning.
Get a meal plan sorted
How often have you ended up ordering in because you didn’t have a dinner planned out? If you are anything like me, you will have done it so many times, that if you added up the cost you could buy a house. I’m not kidding. I’ve been a mum for 15 years and I’ve probably spent an average of £30 a week on takeaways because I didn’t have a meal plan (or dropped the ball). That’s around £1,560 per year, £23,400 is the total average. *WHAT!* Ok, that’s not exactly “buying a house” but it is a decent deposit for buying one. Plus, think of all that unhealthy food that I’ve eaten and then complain when I have a muffin top. If you can, meal plan for every meal (including snacks) and your waistline and your wallet will thank you.
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See what I said above about a meal plan? I did say in there that it should include snacks but I think that deserves its own section. When we snack, we tend to go for the rubbish option, and I’m not against having a naughty snack but everything should be in moderation. So, what do you do when you have the munchies but don’t fancy gaining an extra stone and a half? You get some healthy snacks. You can even prep them as part of your meal plan for the day. Carrot sticks and yogurts are handy to keep in the fridge. If you are feeling a bit extra, then you could bake some low-fat muffins, or freeze some vegan ice-cream. There are some many options available you will be spoilt for choice.
Don’t beat yourself up if you mess up
One of the big reasons that people give up any sort of healthy eating/living routine is because they slip up and then beat themselves up about it. Do not beat yourself up if you are doing your best! When it comes to making changes, it can be hard to adjust and there is a learning curve involved. Let’s say you get started, do a meal plan for the week, get the shopping in, and for a couple of days it all goes well. But then, disaster! You end up getting stuck in work and the meal that you have planned for the night involves roasting something for an hour and you have no mission of getting home in time to get it sorted, so you will have to order a takeaway. You know what? Shit happens and life isn’t perfect. you will mess up and make mistakes, but all you can do is keep moving forward.
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Move and exercise
Ah! Exercise! One of the most hated words in the world. But, is it really that awful? It doesn’t have to be. It is recommended that you take around 5k steps a day at the very least. The NHS recommends around 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week. There are so many ways that you can achieve that goal. I love doing my local Park Run on a Saturday morning. An older couple that I know takes a walk every evening with their dog (and they have been doing this for over 20 years). My mum likes to see how fast she can run up the stairs. My husband lifts furniture. There are so many creative ways to be active there is bound to be a fun way for you to exercise.
Have you heard of being mindful? If you haven’t, you should check out A monks guide to a clean house and mind. The book explains why having a clean house is good for the mind but being mindful is about more than that. It is about being completely present in what you are doing. Why is that important and good for you? Stress. How many times have you distracted yourself from doing something because of something that is annoying you? I’m a pacer, so when something is really annoying me I pace about. But if I can distract myself and be mindful, I can stop myself from spiraling and stressing myself out over nothing.