Did you know that August is National Wellness Month? National Wellness Month focuses on self-care, stress management, and creating healthy routines for a healthier you. As such, let’s kick it off with discussing 5 Steps to a Healthy Lifestyle.
What is wellness?
The Global Wellness Institute defines wellness as the “active pursuit of activities, choices and lifestyles that lead to a state of holistic health.”
Wellness is an ongoing process and thus, a life-long journey that extends way beyond your physical health, as it takes a balanced approach to holistic health, encompassing the MIND, BODY, and SOUL.
Most models of wellness include at least 6 pillars (sometimes more). These 6 pillars of wellness are: physical, mental, emotional, social, spiritual, and environmental.
Check out this post for more on the 6 pillars of wellness and how to use them to start your own wellness journey.
Wellness and Healthy Living
Each week during the month of August, I will be focusing on a different aspect of wellness as it relates to the mind, body, and soul, in an effort to amplify the message of healthy living.
However, I know that as busy moms, sometimes our own health & wellness falls to the wayside and this can start to take a toll on our bodies and minds.
In the spirit of National Wellness Month, let’s start by discussing some easy ways to create a positive, healthy lifestyle that you can implement this month.
A lot of this begins with your mindset surrounding health and wellness.
5 Steps to a Healthy Lifestyle
Below are 5 steps to a healthy lifestyle and some simple mindset shifts you can make to help you implement them and be on your way to a healthier you.
1.) Engage in daily physical activity
Mindset shift: I exercise to feel good, not to lose weight.
I used to view exercise as a way to control my body which resulted in a lot of unnecessary guilt when it came to being physically active and therefore I was never able to consistently stick to an exercise routine.
However, once I was able to shift my mindset to see exercise as something I could do to feel good both physically and mentally, incorporating daily physical activity became something I wanted to do and an important self-care practice in my life.
2.) Eat a balanced diet
Mindset shift: Eating nutritious foods is a way to love my body and be good to it.
Like exercise, I also used food as a way to control my body in the past. I am certainly a victim of diet culture and I often would limit my calorie intake and the types of food I would be “allowed” to eat in an effort to maintain or lose weight.
Over the years, I’ve learned to view food differently and now see that feeding my body a well-balanced nutritious diet is a way to love my body and be good to it.
This also means listening to my body’s hunger cues and eating a wholesome diet that includes plenty of colorful fruits and veggies, lean proteins, healthy fats, whole grains, and nutritious snacks and supplements that support my active lifestyle.
And I don’t forget about proper hydration as this is also nourishing my body! I always have my refillable water bottle by my side and sometimes add lemon, lime, or cucumber to it or even kick it up a notch with a flavorful electrolyte powder.
3.) Get adequate sleep
Mindset shift: Going to bed at a reasonable time is taking care of my future self.
In order to get adequate sleep, we all should be getting at least 7 hours each night. This might mean going to bed earlier, which can be hard to do.
I know I’m sometimes guilty of scrolling social media or watching TV long past when I should be going to sleep so I try to shift my mindset to view going to bed earlier as a way of taking care of my future self, rather than cutting short my nightly TV time.
By going to bed at a reasonable time, I’m better able to wake up energized and refreshed, with a positive mindset to do the morning routine that helps bring me peace and clarity and benefits me much more in the long run, i.e. taking care of my future self. 😉
4.) Take time for yourself daily
Mindset shift: Taking care of myself first and foremost is how I am able to best take care of my family.
As women, we are taught to believe that we should be selfless in order to best care for and love our families. We are made to feel as if we must give all of ourselves to everyone else and that taking time to practice self-care is selfish.
But I’ve seen that if I don’t take time for myself daily, then I’m not able to bring my best self to the table. I become mentally and physically exhausted and this impacts my relationship with my children and my husband. They become another task on my to-do list and believe me, they can feel it when I’m giving off this vibe.
That’s why I make it my mission to take time for myself each day by incorporating things that ground me like my morning routine which includes intention setting, journaling, and positive affirmations, and also activities that bring me joy like reading, exercising, and spending time outdoors.
If you want some extra help with self-care ideas, check out this post with 50 Super Simple Ideas for Self Care Saturdays you can try and this list of my favorite self-care products from USANA that I use to support my own self-care goals.
5.) Practice self-reflection
Mindset shift: Self-reflection is not self-indulgent; it’s an integral part of my personal growth.
There are many benefits to practicing self-reflection regularly.
It’s the best way to connect with yourself and is an integral part of personal growth that helps you evaluate your life and start being intentional in creating the life you want, rather than functioning on auto-pilot. In turn, this leads to more happiness and fulfillment in your life overall.
Start a self-reflection practice by journaling your answers to 1 or 2 self-reflection questions each morning or night. The post below gives you more information on the benefits of self-reflection and includes FREE self-reflection questions to get you started.
There you have it – 5 steps to a healthy lifestyle and the mindset shifts you need to make them happen!
How will you prioritize your health and wellness this month? Let me know in the comments.
Carly is a wife, mom, and former NYC fashion industry executive turned writer and life coach. Through her writings on littlevoicebigmatter.com, she shares practical advice, heartfelt insights, and actionable resources to inspire and support women in motherhood, relationships, wellness, and life. Carly also helps women create better balance in their lives and live with more joy, purpose, and connection every day through her coaching.