This blog post about little things you can do today to feel happier and healthier originally appeared on my old blog, EatsLeeds.co.uk, but has now been republished and redirected here to ZoePickburn.com.
Little Tips to Help You Feel Happier + Healthier
Do you ever feel like the way you’re eating and the way you’re living are stopping you from feeling at the top of your game? We’d all like to feel happier and healthier, but who has the time for a complete lifestyle overhaul? Certainly not me, and probably not you either. So take little steps, one day at a time, to help yourself feel happier and healthier every day.
I’m know, I know: it can be really hard make healthy choices especially when you’re super busy and you don’t have a regular 9-5 to keep you in line, but I also know that I can really feel the difference when I at least try to follow these steps.
I get so restless and irritable when everything I’ve eaten is beige, I haven’t spoken to anyone except the internet and I’ve been wearing the same coffee-stained shirt for the last three days. Taking a more holistic approach to how food and eating, and my lifestyle generally, impact on my health and on the way I feel, has improved my mood (and my productivity) no end.
I’m no doctor: all the advice here is just that: common sense advice.
Eight little things you can do right now to feel happier and healthier:
Eat something fresh + colourful
Hint: it should either begin with ‘F’ and rhyme with root or begin with ‘V’ and rhyme with… regetable. Try to get your five-a-day, whether its adding a handful of frozen berries to your morning cereal, having a side of salad instead of chips with your lunch or snacking on an orange mid-afternoon, find the little ways that work with your life (and your budget).
Water, obviously. This one speaks for itself: clearer skin, increased concentration and sleeping better: what’s not to love? Seriously, right now, go – fill a glass with water and drink it down.
Set a timer and go outside for ten minutes, breathe some fresh air and get the sunlight on your skin. GO!
Go for a walk, go for a run, do some star jumps, ride a horse or take up trampolining. Do whatever it takes to move your body for ten minutes more today than you did yesterday. Even if it’s only walking to the shops.
Speak to someone you love
(Or at least someone you like): Call your dad, text your sister. Arrange a coffee date with a friend. Wake up ten minutes early to have a sleepy chatter with your partner. Message someone you’ve not seen in a while, just to say ‘hi’. Connecting with other people makes us feel human.
Go the f*ck to slep
I know that this is easier said than done (I definitely lose sleep when I’m stressed), but creating the right environment really helps: tonight, turn all you screens off an hour before bedtime, read a book or do something non-work-related, and make sure the room is dark, quiet and at the right temperature. Then set your alarm and get up
bright and earlyat a reasonable hour tomorrow.
Don’t foget to treat yo’self…
With whatever is a treat for you. To me, buying a new lipstick or having a bubble bath aren’t treats. Going for a run and reading Harry Potter (again) are kind of treats. But the best treats involve food and drink, and not necessarily #HealthFood. And that is fine too. Do something today that you want to do, just because.
…but go steady
If you want it, have a bar of chocolate or a glass of wine (or both – hell, have two bars of chocolate and finish the bottle) just not all the time, every day. Think, really think, about whether it will make you feel happy. Sometimes I know it will. I love nothing more than one-too-many pints and an unexpected takeaway! But sometimes I know it won’t – my stressful day at work won’t be fixed with a third helping of dinner – no matter how much I wish it would.
I don’t claim to be any kind of nutritional expert: for me, eating well and living well means listening to your body, and looking at your lifestyle, and using your common sense, to find the line of moderation.