10 easy-to-start lifestyle habits that pay off

10 easy-to-start lifestyle habits that pay off

Are you envious of those energetic and happy people who seem to have boundless energy and health? Stop wondering how they do it and take action! Here are 10 lifestyle habits that will help you reach your personal happiness and satisfaction objectives.

1. Garnish your plate

It’s no secret – processed foods contain heaps of salt, sugar and preservatives.

Get out your pots and pans! Start cooking simple meals with fresh ingredients. You’ll know exactly what you’re eating and will be able to control your salt, fat and sugar intake.

Try new fruits and vegetables. You’ll be seduced by all the exotic flavours out there.

Start off slowly: you don’t have to try everything available in the aisles of your supermarket on your first day. Do it at your own pace.

Why not score one for the environment and encourage local producers. You’ll be helping the local economy too.

2. Get disconnected... really!

Is being online 24/7 necessary for a fulfilling life?

  • You don’t always have to be on your smart device — iPhone, iPad, iBook et al. Be smarter and turn them off every once-in-a-while.
  • Let your social media “friends” take care of themselves for a minute. They’ll be there when you get back...
  • When at home, connect “in person” with your family.

According to recent studies, extended and excessive use of social media poses serious threats to your mental health. Be on the lookout for the telltale signs.

Taking a vacation is an excellent way to relieve stress. Getting away from the daily grind, if only for a few days, can be very beneficial to your general health and wellness.

3. Quit cold turkey

There are plenty of benefits to quitting smoking:

  • After a few hours, your blood oxygen level will slowly return to normal.
  • After 48 hours? Your sense of taste and smell will greatly improve.
  • Imagine how you’ll feel after a year!

Sure, you’ll experience some discomfort after quitting for good — and that’s normal. Luckily, there are ways to alleviate it.

4. Long live lunches!

There’s nothing better than a beautifully presented, colourful meal of your favourite food to give you a boost on your lunch break.

Take the time to prepare nourishing meals rather than opt for the dry-sandwich-from-the-vending-machine diet plan. Flavour and savings guaranteed.

A well-balanced lunch will give you the energy you need for the rest of the day.

5. Make time for physical activity

It’s a well-known fact: sitting all day at work can lead to serious health problems. Some even go as far as to say that sitting all day is as bad as smoking.

One solution: Get up and walk around every hour or so, or better yet, get a workstation that lets you work standing up (if possible) and stretch your legs.

Another solution: exercise on a regular basis. Team or individual sports, weight training, exercise classes: the options are out there.

If working out doesn’t interest you:

  • Walk as much as possible.
  • Get off the bus a few stops before yours.
  • Take the stairs rather than the elevator or escalator.
  • Try running.

Every little effort counts.

6. Avoid toxic individuals

Put an end to unhealthy relationships that never do you any good.

Don’t be afraid to burn bridges if you feel like you’re giving a lot to a personal or professional relationship and not getting anything back in return.

Say no to a project when you know that it will leave you exhausted and run down.

Know when enough is enough.

7. Drink less alcohol

Drinking too much is never a good thing. Moderation is always in good taste (Women: 2 glasses a day and no more than 10 per week. Men: 3 glasses a day and no more than 15 per week) because there are a number of benefits, like improved sleep, more patience, improved concentration, not to mention more money in your pockets.

8. Give a hoot, read a book

Reading is free — or almost free — entertainment that stimulates the brain, reduces stress, relaxes and so much more.

Diving into a good book, whether fiction or nonfiction — you decide — provides hours of pleasure and is good for the soul.

9. Love yourself

Loving yourself isn’t narcissism or being selfish. It’s THE sense you need to be happy in your life and love others. So, learn to love yourself!

Don’t expect more from you than you would expect from others. Know your limits and appreciate your talents.

Trust in yourself and nurture your self-esteem.

10. Sleep well!

To keep your heart and immune system in good shape, think sleep. There’s nothing like a good night’s sleep to make you feel refreshed and replenished in the morning, and happy.

Is your environment conducive to sleeping in? If not, try these changes:

  • Make sure your room is cool, well-aerated and dark.
  • Buy a pillow that matches how you sleep - on your stomach, back or side.
  • Buy linens that you find comfortable - cotton, Egyptian cotton, “healthy” sheets.

Develop a sleeping ritual that will help you fall asleep quicker and help you recover more.

Integrate these sound lifestyle habits into your routine and you’ll join the ranks of those who are known for their energy, well-being and iron-clad health. Good luck!