When you're stressed or in a rut, you feel tired and even downright irritable. Sometimes you're in a bad mood, or restless, and you're not sure why. When we feel this way, it' easy to make unhealthy decisions , such as choosing to skip gym time or indulging in comfort foods. These are signs that it is time to make a change for the better. Here are seven tips to help you reach a healthier lifestyle.
- Map out behaviors you want to change. Most of us know the habits we should break and which new ones to adopt, but it can be hard to set the plan into motion. To start, keep a journal for a week or two describing your days and details (e.g., what you ate, exercise, what time you woke up and went to bed). Then, review your journal , do you notice anything you can improve? Jotting your thoughts down daily helps bring to light unhealthy habits that you may miss when they're too ingrained.
- Check your energy levels. Are you tired all the time? Sleep is often overlooked, but it' an important part of a healthy lifestyle. Make sure you're getting the recommended seven to eight hours of sleep. The CDC recently reported that one in three adults do not get that amount every night. You'll surprise yourself at how much energy you have when you get more rest. You're also less likely to make bad decisions (like skipping the gym) once you establish new sleep patterns. It' also a great idea to invest in high-quality bedding and pillows, such as the REM-Fit Rest Collection 200 series hybrid adjustable pillow, which adjusts to your sleep style and regulates temperature.
- Wake up, and write down your goals and why you're thankful. When you start your day by writing what you want to accomplish, what you hope to improve and what you're grateful for, you'll be amazed at how much happier you are. Studies show that by practicing gratitude has positive effects on health and motivates you to keep going.
- Plan to make one healthy change per week (or month). You'll feel better knowing that you're trying to tackle one goal per week. Walk during lunch instead of sitting at your desk, exercise three times that week or eat five fruits and vegetables a day. You don't want to try to tackle too much at once because that often leads to a breakdown.
- Schedule time to exercise. Some love working out and others find it to be a chore, but the benefits of physical exercise are too great to pass up. Regular exercise stimulates your brain, resulting in you feeling more relaxed and even happier. It also boosts your self-confidence as you see progress from your hard work. Track your activity with a device such as the REM-Fit Active, a sleep and activity tracker that tracks your activity and measures the quality of your sleep.
- Celebrate milestones. Do you love reality TV? Is ice cream too important to give up? Use your favorite indulgences as rewards when you accomplish your goal or reach a milestone. For instance, if you stayed in and made all your meals for a week, then treat yourself to that extra half-hour episode. Or, if you work out more than four times a week for a month, buy yourself a gift that motivates you to stick to your goal.
- Know that it takes time. It is often said that it takes at least three weeks to establish a new habit or break an old one. One study even showed that it took most participants 66 days for their new habit to be automatic. Don't give up!