Everyone longs to be healthy and happy. After all, what’s the point in working hard toward a long and healthy life if you can’t enjoy it? While focusing on a healthy lifestyle by exercising and eating right is great for your body, balanced living means protecting your mental and emotional health, too. And stress reduction needs to be at the top of your to-do list.
Balanced Living: Making the Commitment
Balanced living means considering all aspects of your life: relationships, work, fitness and health, and emotional well-being.
We all get bogged down with work and family responsibilities from time to time, but making time for yourself is necessary so that you can keep up with all your responsibilities. All batteries get run down, even yours. So recharge your body physically and mentally and make the commitment to enjoy some “you time” every day.
Balanced Living: Boosting Happiness and Creativity
Being happy gives you a better outlook on life, so you’re more prepared to tackle your tasks. Stress, on the other hand, can keep you from enjoying life and can have a negative impact on your health. Research also has shown that stress can stifle creativity.
Make time to take care of yourself and indulge in creative outlets you enjoy to help with stress reduction:
- Schedule time each week to allow yourself to de-stress, and spend a few minutes on relaxation each day.
- Get up a few minutes early in the morning to savor a cup of coffee and some quiet time before everyone else wakes up.
- Make daily activities more fun — try a new ethnic recipe for dinner, take a long aromatherapy soak instead of a quick shower, or listen to new music or learn a new language while you commute to work.
- Devote time each week to a hobby you love or to learning a new one you’ve always wanted to try; art classes in particular are stimulating and rewarding.
- Instead of just sitting at your desk and gobbling down lunch while you keep working, spend your lunch hour doing things you enjoy, like going for a walk, taking an exercise break, or reading a book.
- Don’t forget to laugh. It’s great for your health and can help:
- Alleviate stress
- Fight off infections
- Boost brain health
- Lower blood pressure
- Improve your mood
Balanced Living: Enjoying Exercise for Good Health
Exercise isn’t something you should force yourself to do, or you won’t be likely to stick with. Do something that you like and look forward to doing, instead of another chore that you’ll be tempted to skip. Remember that exercise plays a huge role in stress reduction, so make time and motivate yourself for exercise by:
- Making a good long workout part of your weekend plans. Hit the gym or plan a fun activity — go for a hike, bike ride, or play a game of golf or tennis.
- Sneaking in some exercise on your lunch hour at work, or get up earlier and work out before you start your day.
- Scheduling appointments for exercise just like you do other important tasks; commit the plan to paper so you’ll be more motivated to stick with it.
Balanced Living: Making Time to Eat Right
The right diet will keep your body healthy, give you energy, and boost your spirits. Healthy food can be delicious, and it’s fun learning new recipes and healthy combinations. Also, healthy cooking doesn’t have to be time-consuming:
- Scour the Internet for heart-healthy recipes, or buy a cookbook focused on quick and tasty cuisine.
- Buy fresh, ready-to-eat fruits and vegetables so that you can grab them on the go.
- Plan your healthy menu for the week ahead and buy all the groceries that you’ll need; having a system will help you resist the temptation to call the pizza delivery guy.
Everything in moderation is a phrase you hear often, and with good reason. Everything in moderation means that there’s a healthy balance to your life, so laugh, love, live, and be healthy.