We all want to be happy, both with where we are going in life and with what we’ve accomplished so far. Most decisions that we make impact our overall happiness, but sometimes those decisions can be difficult and overwhelming. There is a fear that making the wrong choice will cause you to be unhappy or at least have a heavy impact on your life.
It’s important to understand that not one person knows all the right answers. People are bound to make mistakes or make the wrong choices, but there is something to learn from every event that occurs. Life is not easy, and trying to balance a career, family, a social life, and your own hobbies can cause more stress than you should endure!
Don’t get caught up in what you believe your life should be like. There are truly no rules when it comes to how to live the best life, but there are certain things you can do to help you get there. In order to live your best life, you need to be taking care of both your mental and physical well-being. Working towards being the best version of yourself in all aspect of life allows you to live life to the fullest. If your physical and/or mental health is lacking, you may have a few setbacks.
Luckily, we have a few tips on where and how to focus on improving certain aspects to living your best life and have broken it down into five broad tips to make it as easy as possible to follow along with!
1. Your Eating Habits Matter
It should be no surprise that what you put into your body will impact how it feels and how you are able to function.
Certain foods have different affects on the body, some that help it to be successful, and some that cause fatigue and crashing. There are things that you should be looking out for when it comes to your eating habits. Being cognizant of how your body reacts to your eating habits will help you live a fuller life.
Focus on Your Nutrition
Eating healthy is not black and white. No one food provides all the nutrition a body needs, so learning about a variety of foods is important for ensuring you are consuming a wide range of nutrients. Learning about nutrition can be extremely interesting, but learning about exactly what your body needs brings it to a whole new level.
There are ways to learn about your nutritional needs through testing, and from here, you can find out what your body needs to be the healthiest it could be!
Eating nutrient dense foods can only help you, but knowing exactly what nutrients and minerals you need more of what can set you up for success. We all know that when you aren’t feeling well, you can’t participate in activities or experience life fully. This can result in feelings of sadness or disappointment, and the last thing you want is to feel as if you were held back because of your health.
When you aren’t receiving proper nutrition, you may feel symptoms of energy depletion, fatigue, headaches, and you could also heighten your chances of developing chronic diseases. Just by adding in some dark leafy greens, plant-based protein, and a surplus of water, you will not only feel better, but lead a healthier life.
Incorporate More Fruits and Veggies
This may seem obvious and easy, but that’s not always the case. If you have a select group of vegetables that you love and know how to cook, you can understand the hesitation in trying to learn how to make something new.
You worry you will spend all that time cooking and reading about how to prepare the vegetable to taste bad or learn that you do not like the dish. You may worry you will spend time cooking and reading about how to prepare the vegetable only to find out you do not enjoy it. Don’t lose hope! It takes a few tries with a new recipe before you master it! Vegetables carry many nutrients, antioxidants, and minerals that your body needs. Incorporating them is a must. Even if this means venturing towards something new.
- Slice up some carrot and celery sticks with hummus or peanut butter for a snack!
- For a delicious side dish with your dinner, roast asparagus tossed in lemon, garlic, pepper, salt, and olive oil.
Fruit is usually one of the easier food options to incorporate into your diet. People usually have a few fruits that they will eat, but most people enjoy various fruits. There are many ways to eat a piece of fruit. Whether it be a medley of berries used to top yogurt, an apple enjoyed with peanut or almond butter, or bringing in orange into work for a snack, fruits contain incredible nutrients and should be consumed daily.
Fruits provide multiple nutrients as well as what are considered “good” sugars, because they are naturally found in the fruit. This means that unlike with refined sugars you might find in processed sweets, you won’t crash from the sugars included in fruit. You are still able to get that sweetness without the fatigue attached.
Many fruits and vegetables are high in water content, this makes them hydrating and refreshing. When you are giving your body exactly what it needs, you are going to feel more energized, clear-headed, and happy. Consider doubling your fruit and vegetable intake and see how your body thanks you!
Drink Water and Eat Enough!
Hydration is key when it comes to feeling good. If you are not drinking enough water, you will feel the effects of dehydration: feeling fatigued, headaches, confusion, and dizziness. Water also helps aid in digestion and lubricating our organs so we can ensure our body is running efficiently. When you are not feeling your best, you will not do all the things you want to live your best life.
We aren’t sure why, but drinking water can be challenging for some people. If you struggle with forgetting to drink enough water daily, you should consider purchasing a fun and reliable water bottle. Find one that is appealing to you visually and is easy to transport around. This way, you can stay hydrated throughout the day without buying plastic water bottles or refilling them constantly.
Another tip is to add fruit into your water! You can add lemon, strawberries, cucumber, mint, or any of your liking in order to enhance the flavor of your water. Not only will this add extra nutrients into your day, but it also makes drinking water much more enjoyable.
When you don’t drink enough water, you won’t be able to focus, which can negatively affect your life. When you tell someone you are not feeling well, often water is the first thing they mention to you to consume, and there is a good reason for this!
Like water, if you aren’t eating enough food daily, you will not be in the best shape, both physically and mentally. Food is the primary way to receive the proper nutrients you need to function, and if you are not eating enough calories or receiving the proper nutrients, your body will let you know.
Some symptoms of not enough are bloating, irritated mood, fatigue, insomnia, headaches and muscle cramps. It is very important to make sure we are properly fueling our body throughout the day.
Our body's are constantly running and if we do not support it with the proper amount of food, we can become run down. The type of food we eat plays a huge role in sustaining energy as well. Processed breads and crackers give us quick energy but leave us drained shortly. Consuming nutrient dense foods are slower digesting and allow for a prolonged period of energy.
For some, tracking what you eat and making sure you are receiving the right amount of protein, fats, and carbs can help you eat healthier. There are plenty of applications you can download to your phone to help track your macro and micro-nutrients!
Try a New Recipe Weekly
Eating can become repetitive, especially when it comes to making sure you are reaching your nutrient goals. You want to ensure you are getting what you need to be fulfilled. This means straying away from what you are used to, and it can be scary.
This is where understanding nutrition can be helpful. If you know what foods will be useful to you, you can use them in your dishes.
Trying a new recipe weekly can help to keep you learning meal ideas, helps with practicing skills, and doesn’t limit your options. You can become bored with foods if you eat them too much, but you shouldn’t let comfort keep you from trying something out. Make it a habit to find one new recipe weekly. Who knows! Maybe it will end up in your weekly rotation.
2. Sleep is Essential
Ahh, sleep—something we all have a love/hate relationship with. Why is it so hard sometimes to fall asleep or stay asleep when all we want to do is sleep? You might notice that you are more irritable, anxious, and unfocused on days after you have had a restless night, and there is a reason why.
Sleep is essential for our brains and allows us to recuperate overnight so that when we wake up, we have a clear mind. Without sleep, your brain cannot function properly, and you might experience reduced cognition, delayed reactions, and mood swings.
Sleep and Mental Health
Lack of sleep has been linked to poor mental health, as it can affect memory and increase the risk of harmful behaviors for those already struggling with disorders like depression and bipolar disorder. Getting enough sleep is essential to living your best life because it helps with the emotional processing of events and memories of the day.
When you aren’t getting enough sleep, you might have more trouble retaining and processing positive emotional content. This can aid in a decline in mental health, so you must find ways to improve your sleep quality.
Sleep and Physical Health
The effects of sleep deprivation will impair your everyday life. You won’t focus on your activities, you lack the drive to be successful, and you are more likely to be irritable. Over time, not getting enough sleep will have adverse effects on your physical health.
As an adult, you should be receiving at least seven hours of sleep a night, and if you aren’t, it could harm your nervous system, immune system, and cardiovascular system. Sleep has been linked to obesity in adults and children, diabetes, hypertension, and increased alcohol use.
Improving Your Sleep
If you want to see an improvement in your mental and physical health, you need to be working on your sleep routine. There are ways to improve your sleeping habits simply by taking away or adding things into your life:
- Turn off your electronics and stay away from them for an hour before bed.
- Stay away from alcohol and caffeine before bed and in the afternoon hours.
- Drink some herbal tea before you go to bed to help calm yourself.
- Invest in a comfortable bed set, weighted blanket, and mattress—comfort is key!
- Stretch before bed, especially if you’ve been inactive during the day.
- Play white noise podcasts in the background as you fall asleep.
Building a sleep routine can help train your body to prepare for bed. If you stick to a few of these tips, you should begin to see a noticeable improvement in your sleep habits. When you are sleeping better, you will feel better. You’ll have more drive to get up each morning and start your day, you won’t feel like you’re crashing in the middle of the day, and you will have a clear, focused mind that will help you become successful!
3. Stay Physically Active
Finding new ways to be involved in physical activity is a great step towards living your best life. Physical activity is great for both your physical and mental health, and there are so many options to stay active that you are bound to find one that works for you.
Whether you are someone who enjoys water aerobics, long-distance running, yoga, or pilates, any kind of physical activity will do your body good.
Find Your Favorite Physical Activity
You don’t have to go to the gym and lift weights to be considered healthy or active. So many people would rather skip working out completely than have to go to the gym, so you’re not alone. And if you like going to the gym, all the power to you!
Not everyone will find themselves enjoying every physical activity they do, but when you find one you love, you should stick to it. Joining in on group activities is another way to hold yourself more accountable when working out. It can be difficult to persuade yourself to get up and move, but when you are looking forward to the community, you will be happier to oblige.
Some examples of fun physical activities to do are:
- Going on a hike with some friends!
- Early morning bike riding or stationary cycling.
- Jumping rope, dancing, zumba, or boxing.
- Try something more adventurous—like rock climbing!
Getting your blood pumping, sweating a bit, and moving your body are extremely good for you. You will receive a rush of endorphins that help you stay focused and driven throughout your day.
4. Practice Self-Care
If you want to live your best life, you need to ensure that you are taking care of yourself and your well-being. You deserve to practice self-care in a variety of ways. Feeling good will help you in your journey towards your best life, but if you aren’t sure where to start, consider some of the following ideas:
Find Your Favorite Hobbies
When you find things that you love to do, you create inner happiness that only you can fulfill for yourself. Hobbies are something we have as children, and when work and day-to-day life gets in the way, some of us forget about how happy they used to make us. Returning to old hobbies or finding new ones can remind you of the importance of little things.
There are so many options for you to choose from when it comes to finding new things you love, so don’t be afraid to try things out! Some hobbies you could try to take up are:
- Art: There are many artistic options to choose from, whether it be drawing, painting, embroidery, or even creating new clothes from thrift items. If you’ve always wanted to try pottery, look into local art classes that might offer classes on using the wheel!Even scrapbooking and collaging can become a hobby that you enjoy; you just have to give them a chance.
- Music: If you’ve always wanted to learn an instrument, it’s not too late! You can look online for lessons or try your hand at self-teaching through YouTube tutorials and lesson books. Join a local choir if you love singing, or just start writing your own tunes!
- Nature: Being outside and learning about the different kinds of plants and birds in your neighborhood is another fun hobby that you can practice alone or with others. There are plenty of bird watching groups to join in on, gardening clubs, and walking groups that are more than happy to add in a new member.Getting outside is not only good for your physical and mental health, but it offers a plethora of opportunities to learn and explore your community.
- Reading: If you once loved reading but feel that you never have enough time to sit down and read, this is your chance for a do-over. Now is the time to take that back and try again! Join a book club, or start your own!Find books of all genres that you might enjoy and give them a try. Who knows, maybe your own little book blog will come from it!
Create a Skin Care Routine
Taking care of your body is essential for feeling good and living your best life. Having a routine makes it easier to stay on top of your skincare and carves out time to focus on your own needs. Having time to yourself is key in living your best life because you begin to understand yourself better and what will make you feel fulfilled.
Your routine does not need to be overly intense or meticulous. Simply washing your face each night before bed, applying some moisturizer, and drinking a glass of water are enough to make you feel better and look better.
When our skin is happy, we feel happier! Self-care means actively taking care of parts of you that you want to feel more replenished.
Maybe your skincare routine involves a few more steps in order to achieve the look and feel you want—and who cares! If you feel good, you will be happier, and that’s what matters most!
Another great way to focus on living your best life is to say your daily affirmations. This may seem small and meaningless, but trust us, if you are someone who isn’t often told how great and deserving you are, telling yourself these things does wonder.
Start each morning by telling yourself something kind, something you want to accomplish, and something you are proud of. It can look something like this:
- “I always strive to be kind and helpful to my friends and family.”
- “I will write my own romantic comedy novel by the end of this year.”
- “I am proud of how far I’ve come within my therapy sessions.”
You deserve to talk about and achieve your goals. We often find ourselves talking down about ourselves, which limits our own capabilities even if we don’t recognize it. By being kinder to yourself, you are setting yourself up for success. So stand in front of that mirror each morning and take on the day with positivity first!
5. Stay Connected!
Whether it be to local or international news, your family and friends, or your community, staying connected helps you become a well-rounded individual with hopes, aspirations, and stories. To live your best life, you must be aware of what is going on around you.
Making mindful decisions that impact those around you can help you feel more fulfilled in your life. While you should focus on yourself and your needs, living your best life means being immersed in your surroundings and accepting their impact on you.
If you get fulfillment through action, knowing how you can help in your community or assist your friends and family can be a great way to feel you are living your best life. Community is key in feeling fulfilled, so find a community where you can feel connected and happy with their mission.
Living Your Best Life
Everyone will find different pleasures in life, and not everyone will enjoy the same things. You must understand living your best life is completely up to you. Make decisions solely based on what you know will make you happier. You know yourself better than anyone else, so don’t let others stop you from making decisions you know will make you happy.
We all deserve to live our best lives, so don’t let anyone (even yourself) tell you otherwise!