Tips to Help You Feel Better, Live Better: Part 1

You follow the Workout of the Day (WOD) to the letter. Every day you’re there doing the jumping jacks, the push-ups, the running and everything else. You even have a chart on the kitchen wall to mark off that you’ve done what you need to do for that day. Just for good measure, you knock out some bonus burpees or squats.

You do exactly what the Food of the Day (FOD) suggests. You’ve followed every recipe and even though you don’t like Brussels sprouts because that acidic, nasty taste is something you consider the work of the devil, you still eat them. They’re good for you and you want results. Yet through it all, you still don’t feel 100%. It’s almost like the battery within you can only ever charge to 80%. You know there is more in you, but you just can’t access it.

Collecting life clutter, missing targets that are very easy to hit and things so obvious that you miss them are all factors in your everyday life that drain your personal battery. See how many of these apply to you:

1. Playing With Your Electronics Before Bed

It’s bedtime. The clue is in the title. Time for bed. It’s not called “check my emails and the Facebook newsfeed until I get sleepy –time.” The light emitted from these devices screens put your body’s natural circadian rhythm off-kilter by smothering melatonin, a hormone that you need for your body to help regulate sleep and waking cycles. Naturally, the actual sensitivity to this light differs from person to person, but as a rule, it’s a good idea to leave the technology alone for at least an hour before bed. Turn of the apps, close the emails and don’t concern yourself with pictures and statuses that need “likes.”

The brain needs to relax in order to have a better quality sleep and by not checking your emails, you can aid this.  Have your bedroom dark, quiet and devoid of luminescent screens and demanding emails. The quality of your sleep will improve a lot.


2. Stop Worrying

Admittedly, it’s easier said than done, but let’s have a look at the issue of making mountains out of molehills. If you worry consistently about what might or could happen, you are adding tension to your life that really has no business being there. Anxiety like this can make you mentally exhausted and removes the quality of your mental health, sleep and therefore quality of your life.
Combating this can be done in many ways. Get outdoors. Walk through some trails; breathe in the fresh air; listen to the birds and animals in the trees. Try yoga or a little light exercise. Perhaps most of all, lean on a friend or family member and air your grievances. Ask yourself just how bad an outcome can be.

It’s been a long day. Bill in Accounts lost the invoices and you got the blame. That shipment of grubnuts didn’t come in and Susan in Receiving said it was because you didn’t send an email or something. A flat tire on the way home and the rain didn’t help. You finally roll in at 7:00pm thoroughly fed up and tired. So, you skip the workout and it’s all about you and the cookies on the couch. Try to avoid this. A study from the University of Georgia found that adults who exercised for 20 minutes three times a week reported of feeling less fatigued and actually, more energized after only 6 weeks. Getting a little regular exercise has been proven to boost the immune system, strength and endurance, too. Add to the list that your cardiovascular system will run more efficiently and because the blood pumps better, oxygen and nutrients are better delivered to your muscles. Even if it’s walking the dog around the block, it all counts. Little by little, think of your movements as pennies and start saving them up in your health bank.

A feeling of well-being comes from within. Do things that breed a feeling of niceness. Pay for the customer behind you in a coffee shop. Buy some flowers for the house. Buy a sandwich for someone asking for change. Treat your dog to that expensive food you know he likes. Get around to tidying that mess in the spare room. Listen to music written in a major key. Play some Abba in your car with the windows rolled down and encourage other drivers or pedestrians to sing along. Most of all, learn to laugh at yourself. Humor, they tell us, is the best medicine. Laugh for no reason and see how infectious it is. People around you will laugh too, but not know why. They won’t care. When you are surrounded by happy, smiling, laughing people, you feel good. Happiness begets feeling good. When you feel good, you function better. Boost that internal battery simply by having charging it on positivity. It’s really as simple as that.

5. Examine the Food You Eat

It’s really very simple. If you buy your food from a building that has a drive thru window, you are setting yourself up for failure. Sugary foods and ones with simple carbs rank highly on the GI (glycemic index), which is an indicator of how quickly (or not) carbs increase blood sugar. In layman’s terms, when you eat these foods, the blood sugar will spike and then eventually crash. This makes you feel burnt out and tired. So you eat more of the same to “feel better” and while you may perk up, you are caught in the cycle and are piling more bad food into your body that has little nutritional value. This is when the weight gain starts.

It’s very, very simple to beat this. Eat fresh foods. Eat lots of vegetables, grains, nuts and pulses. Dark leafy greens are power foods and will do you so much good. Challenge yourself to go 2 weeks without sugar, junk food, dairy and nothing processed. In 14 days you will see and feel the difference both mentally and physically.

A little tweak here, a small change there. They all add up and soon you’ll feel those extra small percentages really adding up!