Building and maintaining a healthy lifestyle can seem like a lot of work, especially if you’ve gotten so used to a less than optimal lifestyle. However, the process of building healthy habits can be an easy one if followed correctly. All you need is some motivation and willingness to improve your lifestyle.
Big changes to your lifestyle are likely to backfire or demotivate you since as humans we are always warry and resistant to change. Building up your healthy habits should start at a basic level, with small changes to your lifestyle and routine building in order to ease you into making bigger changes. It’s also important to look at this healthy habit-building process in a holistic way. These small steps add up over time and help you build up a foundation for your new healthy lifestyle. The first step is always the hardest!
Let’s look at how one can improve their lifestyle and build healthy habits through the four pillars of holistic wellness: physical health, mental health, nutrition, and environment.
The four pillars of holistic wellness are a good way to gauge if your lifestyle changes are helping only one aspect of your health or all of them. If you can manage to make build meaningful habits to all four pillars, then you can be sure that you are indeed taking a holistic approach to improving your healthy lifestyle.
Your physical fitness is something that you have to foster and take care of over time. Ideally, you should spend most of your life being physically active. This is because long periods of inactivity make it much harder to adjust to an active lifestyle. However, there is never a too-late scenario!
Here are some great ways to build healthy habits that relate to your physical health:
This is a simple and effective way to build up a more active daily regimen. Instead of lounging around in the break room, use your break time at work to take a short walk or do some stretches. You will also return to walk refreshed afterward, so that's a plus too!
Why strength training in particular? It helps turn fat into muscle, improves your overall fitness level, and strengthens your heart. It’s also a good place to start if you cannot actively work out every single day yet. You can do push-ups and lunges, and even do some weight lifting if you’re feeling cut out for it.
It’s easier said than done, especially for insomniacs. However, there are several small lifestyle changes you can implement to help make sure you can consistently fall asleep on time and wake up refreshed in the morning. Exercising in the evening, especially by doing cardio, can help improve your nightly sleep. Drinking enough water and limiting your caffeine intake also have an effect.
Mental Health is an important factor, and we often do not give it the recognition it properly needs. Stress, fatigue, and irritability play a massive and underestimated role in your body’s overall health. It also impacts your sleep which is why it is an excellent idea to prioritize your mental health in the same way you would do for your physical health.
Building healthy habits that center around your mental health can be more difficult, and people have vastly different mental requirements making it difficult to find what might work best for you. However, here are a few healthy habits that do work for most people and are relatively simple to follow:
Quite often, we get caught up in the hustle and bustle of everyday life, and overlook our mental health by not giving ourselves a short mental break! Much like our bodies, our minds also need to rest, especially when we are overwhelmed or tired. The simple act of stopping whatever you're doing for a few minutes to sit down and relax while keeping away from electronics can help reset and refresh your mind. Practicing mindfulness comes in many different ways, however, and you may want to figure out what works best for you. Many people do find success in doing yoga, meditation, or doing some light reading in a quiet environment.
On the other hand, an understimulated brain can be a tiring and unhealthy ordeal for the average person. It’s good to keep your mind active, and this will especially be true the older you get. Engaging games are a good way to keep your mind active. Some examples include board games, sudoku, puzzles, and mahjong.
Another good way to keep your brain active is to engage in a stimulating hobby. Anything that requires you to be creative or to solve problems can be beneficial, such as painting or writing.
Too much work can be mentally and emotionally draining, and too little or no work can be unfulfilling and a cause of stress and instability. It’s also tough to be able to clearly define how much time you should dedicate to your work, and how much to spend on yourself.
You’ve heard this one before, but it’s true! You are what you eat. Nutrition is all about ensuring your body gets all the nutrients it needs, in the right amounts. Eat healthier food in better quantities, take natural supplements if you’re not getting enough of a specific nutrient or vitamin (vitamin B12 or zinc for example) and make sure you optimize your nutrition by building nutritional habits in tandem with your physical habits. It can be as simple as having a healthy, protein-packed meal after a workout!
Here are some great examples of healthy nutritional habits you should work towards building:
While it sounds obvious, we’re actually referring to eating regular servings of vegetables every day. If you can manage to make your meals always contain a large portion of vegetables (while reducing the portion of fatty food), you’re essentially giving your body a massive health boost with every meal. Vegetables are naturally rich in dietary fiber, and they also provide you with extra energy. Make eating vegetables daily a new healthy habit of yours and you’ll notice improved energy levels throughout your day.
Another unfortunate result of getting accustomed to the fast-paced modern lifestyle: many people are no longer eating breakfast. Breakfast is a super important meal that provides you with your day’s initial energy boost, as well as helps to prevent you from eating too much during lunch and dinner. Even if you are unable to sit down and have a hearty breakfast, something as simple as a healthy granola bar or some dried fruits can really help give you the edge you need to start your day out right. Make never skipping breakfast a healthy habit of yours!
Commonly found in many people’s diets, salt and sugar can be bad for your overall health when not limited. Cutting them out completely might be too difficult, and unrealistic, but make it a healthy habit to reduce your salt intake, and limit how many sugary snacks you grab. Less salt in your diet means a lower risk of developing high blood pressure and heart disease. Meanwhile, less sugar means a healthier liver and less weight gain, as well as a reduced risk of diabetes.
Environmental wellness is the final, and often the least considered, pillar of holistic wellness. Your immediate surroundings can be a source of good, or harm, for you. One massively important element of environmental wellness comes in the form of air quality, i.e. the air you’re breathing into your lungs.
The quality of the air you breathe can affect your sleep, fatigue levels, and more. Bad air quality can cause allergy flare-ups and prevent you from breathing properly. Additionally, whatever gets in your lungs will stay there for a while and in the long term, poor air quality can cause a variety of negative health conditions. To combat this, make sure that your home is properly ventilated and that your AC system is well maintained and regularly cleaned. Make it a healthy habit to keep dust out of your home by regularly deep cleaning your furniture and carpets!
Unfortunately in hot and humid climates like the one in Saudi Arabia, we tend to keep the windows closed to keep out the heat, and not to mention all the dust! It would be a bad idea to keep windows open in the KSA when in other countries it can actually be a very healthy and beneficial idea for your environment. So, we are left with a few alternatives, one of which is placing several plants in your home. Certain types of plants can help keep the air quality pure and fresh, and having some of them in your home is a natural and green way to maintain a healthier environment. We recommend plants like the Peace Lily, as it is relatively easy to take care of in a place like Saudi Arabia!
A dirty surface or piece of furniture needs to be cleaned, there’s no question about it. However, try to be more mindful of the products you use to clean your home. Some products may clean your surfaces, but they can release harmful chemicals that lower your air quality. While generally, most cleaning products are not harmful enough to cause any serious long-term damage, you should still consider greener alternatives to truly maximize the healthiness of your environment.
These are mostly simple changes you can make to improve your overall health. They are not massive changes, but the effects are huge and can be felt, especially if you combine them together. A holistic approach to building healthy habits can also be a great stepping stone towards making more drastic changes, such as a massive shift in your exercise routine or eating habits!
At The Healthy Home, we aim to provide holistic wellness solutions that help positively impact people’s lives. We focus on the four pillars of holistic wellness and provide services that improve the indoor home environment. We also provide a wide selection of wellness-enhancing products in our online shop. We’re always here to help you live a healthier lifestyle, so feel free to contact us for services, products, and recommendations!