While life can’t be fully in balance, it is possible to create one that is in harmony with your vision of who you are and what you want to do. A good way to improve your midlife journey is to be focused on how to achieve your overall wellbeing. That doesn’t mean spending hours at the gym or cutting out all your favorite foods; good outcomes are best accomplished through making small changes over time and short, simple interventions are the most effective ways to find harmony in your life.
Here are a few life hacks to boost your physical and mental health, despite what’s going on around you.
Become an early riser
Starting the day early improves your concentration which means you can accomplish those goals and tasks that you set out the night before. Also, a large-scale genetics study recently conducted by Exeter University revealed that people who are “early birds” have greater levels of happiness and are at a lower risk of depression compared to those who are “night owls”.
There are two main reasons why it’s hard to wake up in the morning. Either you’re an early riser but you had a bad night’s sleep, so you don’t feel rested in the morning. Or, you’re just not an early riser and you’ll have to shift your chronotype from an evening to a morning type. A good trick to wake yourself up is to keep a tablespoon of coconut or olive oil by your bedside table. Oil pulling is an ayurvedic morning ritual for better oral hygiene and a good way to get you out of bed because you will need to spit it out.
Keep a special note pad and pen near your bedside table. Spend a few minutes journaling two states of mind; letting go of the negativity and embracing what you are most grateful for that day. Some of the benefits of gratitude journaling include lower stress levels, a greater sense of calm, and a whole new level of clarity. You’ll learn more about yourself in the process and gain a fresh perspective that allows you to recognize blessings in disguise. As you continue the practice, you’ll be able to focus your time and energy according to the things that truly make you the happiest version of yourself.
Reboot your body
Kick-start your body spending a half-hour with a practice that is good both for your body and mind like Yoga, Tai Chi, Qi Gong. Try to exercise at least three times a week. Keep track and have a partner if possible. Every time you complete three sessions reward yourself with a massage. Maybe you can try restricting TV or social media based on your ability to complete your workout.
Mind your diet
An ancient Egyptian proverb says “one-quarter of what you eat keeps you alive. The other three quarters keep your doctor alive“. Unless medical conditions suggest otherwise, a good way to keep your weight under control is to start practicing an intermittent fast once a week. During the months of 2021, why not try to gradually shift to two meals a day. You can either choose a time-restricted diet or limit yourself to a low carb or vegan diet. Most of all, mind the quantity of food you put on your plate. A good way to help you eat in moderation is to try putting down your cutlery after every mouthful. Chew more slowly and savor it. This may help improve digestion, reduce bloating, and make you feel more satisfied with your meal. Stick to a single serving on most days.
Improve your sleep routine
Get super strict with your sleep routine. From 7 pm onwards, regulate your activities to help you get to bed at 10 pm. Rewarding your body with 7-9 hours of sleep it’s the best way to improve your well-being. According to researchers from Harvard Medical School, a good night’s sleep can make us feel ready to take on the world. It plays a critical role in immune function, metabolism, memory, learning, and other vital functions.
Learn a new hobby
Minimize Negative Self Talk
Some of your self-talk comes from logic and reason. Other self-talk may arise from misconceptions that you create because of a lack of information. Try to keep a day aside that’s free from complaints, regrets, bickering, and comparisons. The brain has a negativity bias, by training the mind we can wean off the habit of dwelling on the negative. Approaching unpleasantness in a more positive and productive way may help with stress management and can even improve one’s health. Be gentle and encouraging with yourself. If a negative thought enters your mind, evaluate it rationally, and respond with affirmations of what is good about you. Think about things you’re thankful for in your life.
Ditch your unhealthy habits
Actively, persistently reduce your intake of alcohol, tobacco, sugar, and other substances that do not add to your health. Eliminate triggers that make you want to indulge. Try keeping your sugar far away from the kitchen counter and instead keep healthy nutrient-packed snacks close by, for instance, might help. Also, think about all the benefits and rewards you’ll enjoy once you adopt your new successful habit. The more vividly you describe the benefits, creating the new picture in your mind, the more likely you are to make changes.
Declutter, minimize. Everything you do in your day-to-day life has an impact on the planet, from the food you eat to the car you drive. This doesn’t mean you should only eat vegetables and start riding a bike everywhere. Although, you could try consuming less meat, save water, and only driving when necessary. You could also try to reuse products and items as many times as possible before binning them to reduce waste. Single-use products, particularly plastic ones, tend to end up in landfills and the ocean, causing harm to wildlife and the environment.
In a world where you can be anything, be kind. Be kind to yourself and be kind to others. It has the capacity to improve our well being and change the world we live in. The way we interact with others is directly related to our own emotional health. According to scientists, being kind seems to buffer the negative effects stress has on us. Witnessing or participating in acts of kindness also produces oxytocin, the “love hormone.” Oxytocin lowers our blood pressure and improves our overall heart health. It also increases our self-esteem and optimism. Additionally, being kind acts like a medical antidepressant in that it stimulates the production of serotonin, the feel-good chemical that calms us down.
Remember life is a marathon and not a sprint. Pace yourself and direct yourself. Slowly, surely you will direct yourself to greater joy, peace, and purpose.