Ooh, I love receiving contributed posts like these! Here are some really easy healthy lifestyle changes you can make today that will make a real difference to your mood. Instantly. And if you make these lifestyle changes stick, they’ll be life-changing.
4 Lifestyle Changes to Relieve Stress, Improve Your Health and Be More Successful
We all get stressed from time to time, and it’s not surprising. Life just has a way of being tough now and then, as our obligations to work, family, and our health, amusement, and well being all too often collide catastrophically.
Of course, it’s fairly common as well that we’ll make things worse ourselves through bad habits and unproductive approaches to resolving our problems.
In the worst of instances, you could find yourself on holiday in the best and most beautiful resort, only to find yourself chronically unable to relax and enjoy the moment. Conversely, if you’re able to manage your stress response when back at home, even the most mind-numbing work concerns can seem like small and manageable things.
As stress affects the quality of our lives to such a great degree, here are some suggestions for lifestyle changes that can help to radically reduce your stress.
1. Read on topics that uplift and intrigue you
You may have an enduring interest in technical subjects such as science or engineering, or your passion might be reading the literature of the past and getting lost in the incredible worlds that people managed to create over the span of human history.
Regardless of what your particular area of fascination is, reading has the ability to transport us away from the preoccupations and worries of ordinary life and to carry us off to an eternal world of images and concepts – whether those take the form of mathematical formulae, or the metaphors and wordplay of William Shakespeare.
Distracting yourself from your concerns and preoccupations – even if only for a brief time – can have a tremendously positive effect on your overall sense of wellness. It can calm the mind and reduce stress, and as we know stress is not just a matter of “feeling uncomfortable”, but can have tremendously negative consequences for health when it’s allowed to become chronic.
Reading is a great and productive form of distraction which you can turn to no matter where you are.
2. Quit the caffeine and alcohol
This tip is often difficult for people to stomach (excuse the pun), for the obvious reason that caffeine and alcohol are so incredibly rife and common in the world. The vast majority of adults in the Western world consume both alcohol and caffeine, and many consume them on a daily basis.
But caffeine is a drug known to directly boost the production of the body’s stress hormones, and to tire out the various receptors and organs associated with those, and other, hormones.
That daily cup of coffee may be contributing quite dramatically to your chronic sense of stress and anxiety.
Likewise, alcohol causes damage to the brain and other organs of the body, and there is evidence that even in small amounts, it may make people less healthy, less resilient, and less capable of facing the world head-on. A bitter irony, considering people so often get drunk to drown out their stress and anxiety.
By quitting these two substances and shouldering through the few weeks or months of irritability and withdrawal (yes, really, they are actually drugs) you may find your stress vastly diminished.
3. Be sure to fuel yourself properly
A large number of people are constantly fighting to attain the perfect physique. Bellies are never flat enough, biceps never toned enough, and so on, and so on.
One of the side-effects of this obsession is that many people live in a state of chronic yo-yo dieting and caloric deprivation.
The bottom line is that when you don’t eat enough food, your body doesn’t work properly, you are less resilient, less healthy, and your stress hormone level are through the roof.
Make sure to fuel yourself properly. Eat whole, nourishing foods, comprising carbs, protein and fats. Yes, low carb diets may also boost stress hormones.
4. Get away somewhere scenic every once in a while
If your home environment becomes too stressful, you need to take steps to address the causes of that stress, and make it more bearable.
If your home is not excessively stressful, but you’re just chronically stressed anyway, getting away and visiting somewhere scenic once in a while can really help to alleviate the bad feelings.
Go somewhere where you don’t have to worry about work. Somewhere you can be inspired by the beauty of nature, and just relax for a while.
Aren’t these the easiest lifestyle changes to make? And can you see how effective they can be? Are you doing this stuff?
Have you ever dreamed of travelling the world? Here are a few incredible careers that enable you to sail the seven seas, adventuring, exploring, discovering new cultures while padding your wallet rather than emptying it. Bon Voyage!
Awesome Jobs You Can Do While Travelling the World
Everyone has the desire to travel the world, but not many people go out there and achieve that dream. If you want to do everything you can to really make the most out of the time that you have or if you want to do something that you have always wanted to do then you have to make sure that your finances are in order first.
The problem is that this can be very difficult, and it may even be impossible for you to do with the time frame that you have. One thing that you can do to try and get around this is find a job that you can do while travelling.
When you do this, you can easily make the money that you need and you can also take the time that you need to enjoy yourself without breaking the bank.
Being a freelance writer is quite possibly one of the best jobs that you can do when you travel the world. If you have experience as a banker then you can easily submit articles to various websites that relate to this.
You can also submit articles to various financial magazines as well. This is just one example of how you can use your past experience to your advantage and when you become experienced at writing, you can then begin to charge a much higher price for your work.
You can also write for other, more complicated topics as well, which will really help your career take off.
If you have a teaching degree or if you have a master’s in some kind of educational institution then you really are able to travel the world and make your own money.
Certain countries are always on the lookout for people who have these kind of qualifications and countries such as China, Thailand and even Korea are ideal options here.
America is also another country that is always looking for qualified teachers and most of the time, you can walk into a job with ease if you have the right education.
The problem here is that the visas for some countries, including America are very strict and you may find it very hard to meet all of the requirements.
For this reason, getting a job in these countries may be harder than you’d like to think so it’s super important that you do all of your research here so that you can go on to get the best result out of your trip.
If you want to be a travel nurse then there are plenty of ways that you can do this. One thing that you can do is be registered in a certain speciality. You can also work as a dialysis nurse or even as a practitioner.
If you have worked in the past as a physical therapist then this is another fantastic option and you would be surprised at how easy it is for you to really get the best result out of your experience.
The pay is great and you can do long or short-term assignments as well. In a lot of cases, your house will be provided and this is ideal. Of course, if you want to find your own property then it is also very easy for you to go through a property agent.
Travel agents often act as middlemen between travellers and hotels or even tourism boards.
A lot of travel agents are required to have first-hand knowledge of the package they are trying to sell so it is very helpful for you to have visited the country in question before.
You may also want to have experience in educational or college experience as this will make your resume way more appealing.
Of course, if you want to really step things up to that next level then one thing that you can do is travel the world and apply for jobs in the country that you are in at the moment.
With every country that you visit, you are increasing your resume and adding to your experience, and this will make you that bit more appealing as you make your way through your new adventure.
If you don’t feel as though your home is where you are right now then travelling really can make the whole thing much easier for you. If you want to travel but get a fun job while you are out there then it is more than possible for you to work as a tour guide.
This is brilliant if you have a lot of experience in a single country and it is also ideal if you have visited a country in the past that just “spoke” to you.
For example, if you know a lot about a country, the music that is there or even the culture then a tour guide is a great option and it is incredible to think that you can earn money while sharing the passion that you have with other people.
One option if you want to be a tour guide is to try and find out as much information about the area as you can. You don’t even have to have visited the area before and this is a great option if you are worried about not having enough experience.
You also need to make sure that you are very fluent in the other language as well. Speaking English as well is a great advantage and there is a high chance that your clients will speak it as well. Of course, if you are concerned because you don’t have the time to learn a new language then you may be able to pick it up when you are there, but it will be much harder for you to provide your customers with a fantastic experience.
Have you always wanted to be a sailor? That’s great but did you know that there are so many ways for you to travel the world while making money from it?
A lot of people out there need help maintaining their boats and there are so many yacht clubs out there that need a helping hand from time to time. This is a fantastic way for you to sail across the world.
If you don’t know how to sail a boat but you do like the idea of being able to get out there and see the world then you may be able to work on a cruise ship.
If you have experience as a sound technician or if you have experience working as a production manager then you really won’t have any problems at all in going on a cruise ship to work.
After all, these cruise ships are often full of entertainment and they usually need someone who is able to manage all of this for them. If you have experience working as a technician then this is ideal, and these jobs are often in very high demand. If you want, you can even get some experience as a casino dealer, a chef, a line cook or even as a masseuse.
Cruise ships focus on providing an all-around experience to the people who travel with them and if you want to get a job there then it really isn’t hard if you have a profession.
Other professions that you can easily integrate into your cruise ship line of work include a hotel manager, diving instructors, clean-up crews, musicians, childcare professionals, dancers and even comedians.
Someone who works as an au pair is a nanny or even a babysitter who is required to do some light housework.
The positives of this include the fact that the families that you will work for tend to be wealthy and they may even need you to go on vacation with them so that they can have some time away from the kids.
You may also get to experience gourmet meals, the chance to see the world in a completely different light and even a way to get out there and explore what is around you.
You would be surprised at how easy it is for you to get a job as an au pair and the best thing about it is that you can easily move between families and you can do this anywhere in the world as well.
All you have to do is make sure that you have experience in speaking that language so that you can communicate with the kids properly.
This one really does require some advanced planning but the whole thing can pay off with ease. The first thing that you need to do is make sure that you have a background in physics.
You also need to make sure that you have experience in studying math and even a master’s degree as well. When you are a geologist, however, you may find yourself jumping from one exotic location to another and this can easily provide you with one of the best experiences in the world. Nothing will be able to compare to this.
Have you got the travel bug? Bags packed and ready to go? Why not apply for that travelling job you’ve always wanted?
I’ve mentioned before that as a Mom to a busy little man, taking care of myself has been pretty low on my priority list for a while and that this year I’m planning to change that.
Mama… When last did you take care of you?
There was a time in my life that I was much better at taking care of myself, so I’m going to give you some tips today based on what I used to do when this was my focus. Because I learned a lot of great tips and tricks about Self Care back in my Twenties when I was an Aerobics Instructor and a Massage Therapist.
I learnt even more about Self Care when I burnt out as a Massage Therapist and found myself struggling with exhaustion, depression, Sciatica (lower back pain and aching down the legs), Spastic Colon and the most hideous, debilitating migraines. My road to recovery was long but eventually I found answers.
I never want to suffer from burnout or any of these horrible symptoms again. If you’ve ever suffered from burnout or any of these symptoms, you’ll know exactly what I mean. As the year progresses, I plan to incorporate more and more of these Tips back into my own life as well.
Simple Lifestyle Changes
Just a proviso to mention upfront: None of this is intended as Medical Advice or to replace the advice you may be getting from your Doctor.
What I’m going to share with you is really just simple lifestyle changes that I made in my life that helped me enormously. Nothing too radical. I can’t promise you will get the same results that I had, as I don’t know your Medical History and I am not trained to diagnose or treat Medical conditions. I can only speak from my own experience.
Okay? All good with that? Here we go.
Self Care Tip 1: Eat Nutritious Foods
It’s no secret that we are what we eat. And when I was feeling my worst, I was consuming a lot of chocolate and drinking a lot of coffee. These are not poisonous substances by any stretch of the imagination but they became poisonous to my system because of the quantity I consumed over time. And probably some other health factors coming in to play at the same time.
So, for a while, I had to cut anything that contained caffeine out of my diet altogether.
How did I find out I had become intolerant of anything containing caffeine? I consulted a Kinesiologist and a Naturopath. I highly recommend veering off the path of Allopathic Medicine and finding some Alternative Healers if you have a bunch of symptoms that won’t seem to go away and you’d like to find out the root cause rather than just treat each symptom.
At the time, I also did a 2-week fast and a few fruit and veg cleanses and discovered that my body likes fruits and vegetables more than any other food. I felt absolutely fantastic after a few weeks of eating only fruit and veg. Here were the 5 main benefits in a nutshell.
Free of pain
Here are my…
5 Ways to Eat Nutritiously
1: An Apple a Day…
Eat 90% what God Made and 10% what man-made (or tampered with). So if it’s in a box, bottle or packet rather than in a basket needing to be weighed, if you can’t grow your own in your garden, it’s probably man-made or tampered with.
In other words: Eat Plenty of Fresh Fruit and Veggies (this includes Berries and Nuts) to limit consumption of bread, biscuits, muffins etc.)
2: Find Out What’s Poisoning Your System
Find out if you are allergic or intolerant to anything and if you are:
eliminate it for a good few weeks or until all nasty symptoms disappear
then re-introduce, slowly
and never in the same quantity as before.
3: Eat Frequent Smaller Meals
Eat Frequently and never until you’re overly full (5 to 7 Small Snacks rather than 3 Big Meals) to keep blood sugar and therefore energy levels up. Maintaining even blood sugar levels can mean the difference between whether you are happy and relaxed or depressed and nervous.
4: Drink Plenty of Water
Drink lots of water or herbal tea and eliminate sodas or soft drinks – even fruit juice and diet drinks as they still contain some form of sugar.
5: Eat More Fish
Choose Fish or Poultry over Red Meat or Pork. I find my body works best when I eat plenty of fish rather than heavier, usually fattier steaks. I know this is very controversial advice nowadays with the popular diets that centre around fat, juicy steaks. However, fish oil is incredibly important for the brain.
If you’re not eating fish at least 3 times a week, I would recommend supplementing with Omega 3 Oils. If you’re vegan or vegetarian I’d imagine you already know which foods are richest in Omega 3, but in case you don’t, there’s a great article here.
A Note on Supplementation:
I believe 100% in supplementation, simply because I know most of us don’t have the time or inclination to eat as nutritiously as we should. The supplement that helped me most when I was burning out was a little colloidal liquid called Cellfood by Nu Science Corporation. I got it here in South Africa from a company called Oxygen for Life.
Why it worked for me was because it:
was readily absorbed by the body
available at the cellular level
contains 78 elements and minerals, 34 digestives, 17 amino acids
contains Deuterium Sulphate which splits water molecules to release Oxygen at the cellular level
I must just mention here that this product is extremely detoxifying. I had a severe headache every day for the first 10 days of taking it but after that, I never suffered from a migraine ever again. Ever. And my spastic colon disappeared too. Along with the lower back pain, depression and exhaustion. After about two weeks on the product, I felt better than I had felt in years. It was life-changing for me.
Self Care Tip 2: Be More Active
I’ve read a number of articles proclaiming that our sedentary lives are becoming the new BIG HEALTH ISSUE. i.e. More life-threatening (and more fattening) than either fat or sugar.
We sit on our bums to get to work and then sit at a desk all day and then come home to sit on the couch and watch the TV, eating our TV-dinner, which we popped into the microwave. I know that sounds like an extreme example, but these are the kind of lifestyle habits that sneak into our everyday life.
And I can see how, as a blogger, sitting at my laptop for hours a day is not doing me any favours. I am fortunate that I’m also a Mom which sometimes requires me to be active, either doing housework or playing with my son. So I’ve started saying YES more often when he asks me to come jump on the trampoline with him. We also go for walks together and now that he’s a bit older we can pick up the pace a bit (sometimes).
Regular Exercise is Key
What I learned when I was training to be an Aerobics Instructor, back in the day, is that for exercise to make a difference to your health and well-being, it needs to be regular (at least 3 times a week to maintain fitness, 4 or 5 times to increase fitness).
Along the way I discovered that the drop-off rate is really high is people aren’t enjoying themselves.
5 Ways to Being More Active
1: Find Exercise that You Enjoy
In modern society, we tend to get stuck on the idea of the Gym as the only place to go to be active and the Gym may not be your cup of tea. But don’t let that stop you exercising.
There are many different activities to do other than working out. And some of them may be more appealing to you than doing a workout indoors along with a bunch of other sweaty bods.
Here are some fun ideas you might want to try that may keep your interest:
Dancing (e.g. Ballroom, Salsa, Scottish Dancing, Line Dancing)
Martial Arts (e.g. Karate, Judo, Kung Fu, Tai Chi)
2: Shorten the Duration of Exercise
People often avoid exercise because they think it’s going to take too much time out of their day.
All you need to find is 20 to 30 minutes a day.
And it’s been proven that short bursts of exercise where you get your heart rate up can make a difference – even 5 minutes four times a day makes a difference.
You could try these tips to be more active.
Climb stairs instead of taking the lift whenever you can.
Step away from your desk every couple of hours or so and skip (with a skipping rope)
Go for a short brisk walk in your lunch hour
Warning: Don’t try do any of these in high heels, you can stay in your work clothes but good shoes or bare feet are a must.
3: Get out in Nature
Being out in nature is good for the soul. Exercising in nature is good for body, mind and soul.
There are so many amazing outdoorsy activities you can enjoy. Here a few examples:
Hiking or Mountain Climbing
Walking on the Beach
Swimming (in the sea)
Windsurfing or Kitesurfing
Stand Up Paddle Boarding
Jogging or Running
4: Change it up
If you find your interest in any activity is flagging, then it’s time for a change. Try something new every once in a while.
Or do something different every day. Whatever it takes to keep you active.
5: Change Your Mindset
Don’t let exercise start to feel like a chore. If it feels like something you HAVE to do, it becomes something you do grudgingly. Let it flow. Let it become a natural part of your life. Find enjoyment in movement.
Self Care Tip 3: Take Time Out
When last did you take a bit of R & R (Rest and Relaxation)? Read a good book? Or even flip through a magazine?
Emotional wellbeing is essential when you’re a Mom. Because if you’re an emotional wreck, your kids usually are too. And everyone around you for that matter.
Here are my Top 5 Ways you can bring some much-needed balance back to your life.
1: Play Time
It can be so easy to let go of your friendships when you become a Mom. Especially if you have a number of children and your whole afternoon is spent getting them to all their extramural activities.
Take time to nurture your friendships, even if you have to have the kids in tow while you’re doing it. Find things you can do with your friends and your children.
In the same vein, it’s just as important to find time to play with your children. Get down and dirty with them. Climb into the sandpit sometimes or onto the jungle gym. Lie on the floor with them playing cars or dressing up dolls or building blocks. Let them lead the play and you might find you have a blast.
Oh… and while we’re on the subject of down and dirty, your hubby might appreciate some playtime with you too.
2: Down Time
Never underestimate the rejuvenation power of a good nap. Sleep is generally in short supply for Moms, so take naps whenever you can.
And if napping is not your thing, at least find a way to get in 8 hours a night every now and then.
SLEEP is one of the greatest healers I know.
3: Quiet Time
We live in a very noisy world. There is almost always something on, TV, Radio or just the background noise of traffic and chatter. That’s why it’s essential to find spaces and block out time when you can experience stillness.
Find a way to bring meditation or prayer into your life. Learn Transcendental Meditation if needs be. Or learn a breathing technique. Or just breathe.
If you really find it impossible to slow your mind down to that pace, a Yoga class might provide just enough stillness for you. Or you can lose yourself in a book or some classical music, any music that calms and relaxes you. Whatever it takes to quiet your busy mind.
4: Me Time
While we’re busy slowing things down, it’s a good time to discuss chilling out on your own.
Here are some favourite me-time activities that you can consider incorporating into your life.
Is there any aspect of self-care you think I have left out? Do you see self-care as self-indulgence or a vital part of your health and wellbeing? What do you do to feel your best? What do you do to operate at your peak? Join the conversation below…
Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on [relevant Amazon Site(s), as applicable] at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.