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A happier, healthier you

Spring Clean Your Life to Make Room for New, Healthy Habits

by Yes Health

‘Tis the season to get rid of what no longer serves you to create more space for the things that do. Refocusing your attention on trying new-to-you healthy foods and fitting in more time for exercise and stillness (and big gulps of fresh air) can lead to better overall health and well-being.

Ready to kick off some small-but-important changes you can stick with through summer and beyond? Here are 15 “spring cleaning” ideas from the Yes Health coaches to get you started:

  1. Shift your perspective. Go to your favorite park or take time out on a hike to lie in the grass and watch the clouds pass overhead. Doing a headstand or handstand can also do the trick. Sometimes seeing things differently is all we need to snap ourselves out of a bad mood or unhealthy rut.
  2. Plan a meal that requires prep. Cutting vegetables and measuring ingredients can be incredibly meditative. Knowing your efforts will end in a delicious meal for you and your family is an added bonus.
  3. Do what you love. Listen to or play some music, write, read, plan a walk or lunch with friends. Use your free time to increase your happiness quotient.
  4. Feed your hobbies. Gardening, knitting, dance, singing, biking—anything that gets you to use your entire body (and not only your mind) are great options. Don’t have a hobby? Pick something and see if you like it.
  5. Go screen-free. Put your devices away for a few hours or an entire day and enjoy a low-tech adventure in nature, or at home, with your family.
  6. Wake up and stretch. No time for morning yoga? No problem. Start simple with some hip circles, shoulder rolls and side stretches to start your day off right. (Check out more stretching ideas here.)
  7. Eat your colors. Plan your meals to include as many colors as possible—the darker and brighter the better. (Deep greens, reds, yellows and purples are all fair game.)
  8. Cook at home. Commit to making a home-cooked meal twice a week. Start simple—a protein and two veggies—if you’re not the most confident chef. A lot of restaurants use copious amounts of butter, salt and sugar. The best way to truly know what you’re eating is to make it yourself.
  9. Try plant-based proteins. Use beans or tofu in place of meat in one of your go-to recipes. You may surprise yourself by what you don’t miss.
  10. Open your mind. As a spring cleaning challenge, introduce yourself and your family to a new fruit and veggie every week for the month of May. And swap out your standard grain or wheat pasta for high-protein quinoa.
  11. Have a bedtime. One of the simplest things you can do to ensure you get enough sleep each night is to set a bedtime—and stick to it. Getting enough sleep can help you maintain a healthy weight, a strong immune system and a sunny mood.
  12. Slow down. Do you talk, walk and eat quickly? And do you sometimes feel impatient with other people when they don’t follow suit? Rushing through life can mean missing out on little (but important) moments. Stop to smell the roses and appreciate your life. This builds gratitude—which is a very healthy thing.
  13. Cut back on sugar. If you’re a dessert fiend, start weaning yourself with baby steps. Opt for water with meals and don’t keep any beverages besides water at home. Avoid buying cakes or cookies to avoid late-night temptation. Sweets are okay every now and then. The goal is to make them feel like a special treat rather than an every day staple.
  14. Find an exercise you actually enjoy. Not a fan of running? Or the gym? Maybe dancing, or swimming, or riding your bike is your thing. If you’re finding it hard to motivate, enlist your kids to help you get more exercise. Plan something active (bouldering at your local gym, or a vigorous game of hide-and-seek) you can all do together.
  15. Worry less. Live more. Worrying often takes us away from the present. Focus on what you can control, take some deep breaths and trust you’ve done your best to arrive at the best possible outcome. Letting go can be scary, but you’ll be amazed at how much lighter (and happier) you’ll feel. 

 

 

 

 

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