The term healthy can mean a lot of different things for a lot of different people. Free from disease, in a good physical condition, in a good mental condition, eating a balanced and varied diet? The key is that what we believe is our healthy is what we should be striving for.
You know your body better than anyone else and you also know what makes your body feel good or bad. I currently have a month off to work on my dissertation and I was thinking ahead of how to take care of myself during this time a while ago as I knew that I would find the time off challenging. I struggle more without routine, I feel sluggish and can’t get to sleep as easily. This worsens if I stay in my pyjamas and don’t get my body moving. I knew that if I let myself in this month off, I wouldn’t be moving as much because I’ll be sat at my laptop all day, I would be feeling lethargic because I haven’t got dressed, I’d allowed myself to wake up when I wake up and I would be reaching for the biscuit tin instead of the fruit bowl. So I prepared myself.
Last week was my first full week off and my plan went very well. I made sure to set an alarm and be up at the same time each day to maintain my routine. I got dressed, made sure to go for a walk in my break to get some fresh air and kept my snacks healthy. Small steps that can make a huge difference to how we feel. My next step this week is to get back into my regular gym routine without pushing myself because my main priority at the moment is this dissertation.
We are constantly exposed to and influenced by other people on social media. When it comes to our health though we should only be listening to and paying attention to our bodies and not what we see on our screens. If you see someone going to the gym everyday and you go three times a week, that’s okay. For them and their body that is the right thing to do but if you feel confident and strong going three times a week then that is right for you! If you see someone only posting pictures when they are smiling and having fun but you seem to be having more tough days, that’s okay. Take the time to focus on your mental health and do something that make you feel more at peace and relaxed. If you see someone always choosing the healthy option but you feel like a treat, that’s okay. They are choosing the right option for their body and you are choosing the right option for yours. Remember though, what we see is not always the truth and that is why we should be focusing on ourselves.
It’s healthy to treat ourselves or to skip a gym session as long as you feel good in your body and mind. I know that if I go to the gym more and spend less time on my dissertation I will feel more stressed so I go when I can. I know if I only snack on chocolate, I will feel more sluggish and less alert so I prepare healthy snacks before I start studying. On the flip side, if I don’t go to the gym at all I feel that can have just as much of an impact on my mental health and if I don’t allow myself a chocolate treat then I crave it more. It is all about balance.
So this week, spend less time worrying about what everyone else is doing or putting pressure on yourslef to achieve so much and spend more time listening to and caring for your body.