A few life hacks that I’ve learned in my over half-century of being in the world…I adjust where I need to make changes, so this, like me, is a work-in-progress. While this is not medical advice, hopefully these can be helpful to you as you choose to thrive every single day in this short life we get to live!
1. Make sure you take care of you first. If you’re not healthy, if you’re stressed, and if you are not fulfilling your purpose, you won’t be any good to anyone. Be okay with making yourself the priority, and lose no sleep over this. Quit feeling guilty about taking time for yourself and making sure you’re filling your tank every single day.
2. Move every single day. Sitting is the new smoking. A sedentary lifestyle will affect mood, muscle mass and strength, weight, and overall metabolism. Step it up! Incorporate walking, gardening, playing with your kids, housework, shopping, and creating opportunities for any increase in movement into your daily routine. Your body will love you now and will love you in your future years. You can change this at any point in your life – just start.
3. Commit to choosing fresh and unadulterated foods. Look at more plant-based options and less meat overall. Ditch the diets; they are not the solutions. Restrictive diets can contribute to vitamin and mineral deficiencies, and if your macros (the amount of carbohydrates, proteins, & fats) are off balance, you’re compromising your overall physical health, mental well-being, and vital metabolic functions including those that make your brain work, that allow your body to make hormones and those help you burn the foods you consume. Choose foods that make you feel good, that fit into your cultural and family values, and that you can follow. Opt to choose healthy foods instead of always focusing on the elimination of some food item you label to be “bad” for you. This just creates more anxiety and fear around food. Make small tweaks along the way to move toward more healthy and wholesome ingredients as well as how you might prepare them. If you get off the path, change your course and refocus. Try growing your own – eating out of your garden is so rewarding (if I can do it in the AZ Desert, you can do it where you are!).
4. Every day, engage in some spiritual activity – prayer, meditation, yoga, a formalized church community…whatever works for you. The trick is to stick with what you’re doing and make it part of your daily or weekly choices to connect you to something bigger than you that gives back in spades without asking.
5. Stay connected to a circle and socialize with a community who empowers you, supports you, and lifts you up…I call this the vitality tribe. Be the same resource for them. Ditch the naysayers, the doubters, and the saboteurs. We all lose a few people in our life when we “level up.” They will eventually catch up. Or not. Look back only to see how far you’ve come with efforts you’ve put forth alone as well as with the help of your vitality tribe.
6. Balance your work/rest schedule. Give yourself enough hours to rejuvenate and have uninterrupted sleep. Sleep is healing, both mentally and physically. Sleep deprivation has been shown to contribute to mental health issues, physical maladies, accidents, and decreased work productivity.
7. Choose work that is fulfilling to you. While your work may pay the bills, if it robs you of your spirit, you may want to reconsider what you’re doing or add something that helps make up the gap and reenergizes you. Keep learning. Don’t be afraid to try something new. Be okay with being a novice and feeling the imposter syndrome that you may feel when you’re in a new arena. If you stick to it and apply yourself every day, you will soon become the expert.
8. Disconnect from social media, TV, and useless noise at least one day a week. Simplify everything! We don’t need to be in front of the mindless chatter, the bad news, and the constant advertising, all of which can ultimately make us anxious and feeling a sense of lack. Living the life that is in front of you – not for purposes of posting on social media about them – will make you a lot happier and more connected and engaged to who and what is front of you. And while we’re talking about social media…it’s notorious for making you subconsciously compare yourself to the next guy, so getting away from it empowers and enriches your experiences without worrying if you’re “good enough” or keeping up with the masses.
9. Change your perception about the problems or closed doors in your life. When something doesn’t work out, be certain it can lead to better doors and opportunities. Allow the lessons of closed doors – the ones you choose to close or the ones that are seemingly closed by someone else – spurn your growth and exploration. I am also learning this, but know that these “things” happen for you, not to you. It’s a process to learn and appreciate the difference…
10. If anything in your life is not working, or you’re not feeling it, change it. Know that you have the power to engineer anything in your life at any time and that you are in charge of the path you create. You’ve got this!