As a lifestyle and health coach, I am often asked about how to be more fit and balanced in everyday life. So many struggle with high levels of stress and anxiety, which results in poor lifestyle choices, exacerbating feelings of anxiety, frustration, even depression.
Let’s review the five components you can apply to feel more vital and healthy and also dig into strategies we can apply to live our best lives starting today.
1. Nutrition. The truth is we are what we eat. This expression can be a wonderful thing ... or not, unfortunately, for so many of us.
Increased stress and distraction makes creating a food plan challenging, but definitely not impossible. The most important thing is to come up with small nutritional changes that you can consistently implement every day. For example: making sure to include protein in your meals, particularly breakfast; increasing your water consumption; eliminating late-night snacking.
Pick one area to change, and do it consistently for the greatest success. Big changes happen by taking small micro-steps. Choose one nutritional shift you would like to adopt or release, and commit to this habit on a daily basis. You can do it!
2. Fitness. Find exercise that lights you up. Not everyone loves yoga, biking or Zumba.
Focus on an exercise you enjoyed as a child, and implement some of that activity in your daily life. Starting with even only 10 minutes is a great place to start. Do the activity long enough to tap into nature’s natural drug: endorphins, the body’s feel-good hormone.
The good news is that the more you exercise, the more your body will crave this natural high state into your present consciousness. Again, micro-steps are key here — one step at a time.
3. Stress management. Adopt some form of stress reduction program to your day.
A great place to start is to create a nighttime ritual to get better sleep. Some suggestions: Reduce overall alcohol consumption, which seriously disrupts sleep; cut out screen time an hour before bed; drink a relaxing cup of tea; do a five-minute meditation; set your schedule for the following day.
Add some form of meditation to your day. Give yourself the gift of rest and relaxation. You deserve more peace in your life, starting with a good night’s sleep.
4. Invest in healthy relationships. As the expression goes, we become the five people we spend the most time with. Choose wisely!
Good self-care means ensuring that your relationships are supportive and conducive to your living a healthy lifestyle. Perhaps it is time to consider filtering out relationships that do not make you feel loved and supported. This may seem challenging at the beginning, but it becomes easier as you become healthier.
And the good news is that you will be creating more room for new relationships, which are more aligned to how you are becoming, not just who you were. Three cheers on this one!
5. Practice spirituality. Just as we can view the words “fit” and “healthy” as active verbs, not just as a noun, it is also helpful to view our spiritual life as an active state of being.
We are all evolving daily, whether we like it or not! Choose to positively grow to become a better person each day by living into the core values you believe in — love, respect, humility, kindness. It’s up to you to choose the qualities that inspire you to be the best person you came here to be.
Adopting a practice of living your true value is what I believe living a spiritual life is all about.
Kate McKay, an American Council on Exercise-certified personal trainer, motivational speaker, author and business consultant, resides in Newburyport. Contact her at email@example.com, and stay tuned for her new book to be released in November.