5 obstacles to a healthy lifestyle and how to overcome them

Most of us know how to live a healthy lifestyle – eat nourishing food, stay hydrated, move your body regularly, and get enough good quality sleep. But sometimes knowing this…

Most of us know how to live a healthy lifestyle – eat nourishing food, stay hydrated, move your body regularly, and get enough good quality sleep. But sometimes knowing this isn’t enough. Our modern lifestyles have created some not-so-healthy habits, which are standing in the way of you being your best self.

Here are the obstacles holding you back from living a healthy lifestyle (and how to overcome them!).

Comparing yourself with others

The advent of social media has allowed us to stay connected with our friends and family, and offers an interesting insight into the lives of others. But it’s also brought with it some challenges. Scrolling through your Insta feed may motivate you to lead a healthier lifestyle, but it can also cause you to compare yourself with others. When was the last time an Insta post made you feel envious or upset?

As Theodore Roosevelt said, “comparison is the thief of joy.” Comparing yourself with others can cause you to feel discontent or unfulfilled, and may lead to an unhealthy mindset. Unfollow those who make you feel bad about yourself and follow social media accounts which uplift and inspire you.

Confusing your cravings

Do you crave pizza, chips, chocolate, or cake regularly? Food cravings (when you’re not actually hungry) can be reflective of your emotional state and needs.

Ensure you’re drinking enough water, eating enough calories in the form of nourishing wholefoods, and getting at least 7-8 hours of good quality sleep a night. Identify which types of foods you crave most – sweet cravings can mean you’re not experiencing enough enjoyment or happiness in your everyday life, salty cravings can reflect a need to relax, and chocolate cravings may indicate a desire to be loved. Do some research on your individual cravings and try to make small changes to your lifestyle to meet your emotional needs.

Living a lifestyle that drains your energy

Ever find yourself feeling inordinately tired after a social dinner or day out? Knowing whether you’re an introvert or extrovert can make a big difference in developing healthy habits and improving your energy levels. Although both introverts and extroverts can be great public speakers and team leaders, introverts recharge best when they’re on their own whilst extroverts derive their energy from spending time around others.

Determining whether you’re an introvert or extrovert can help you figure out the best way to recover after a long day and recharge your batteries. Extroverts may enjoy healthy group cooking days, team sports like basketball or beach volleyball, or going on a group hike. Meanwhile introverts may prefer to opt for trying a new recipe at home, sports like singles tennis or a solo hike, or going out to brunch with a close friend.

Netflix addiction

Back in ye ole days (like up till the late 2000s) watching too much TV was an issue, but it was somewhat curbed by the fact that you’d eventually run out of shows you liked and be forced to set foot outside. But with the rise of Netflix and other streaming sites, there’s an endless supply of shows tailored to your interests. Just when you think you’re done for the day, the next episode begins automatically.

Netflix provides a means of escape from the world, but it also stands in the way of you living a healthy lifestyle. Too much Netflix can leave you with less time to exercise, less productivity throughout your day, the potential for unhealthy eating while watching, and sleep deprivation. Try to limit your streaming media consumption to one hour on weekdays and two on weekends. Opt to read a book before bed instead, and enjoy dinner at the table with friends and family rather than in front of the computer screen.

Not catching those Zzzs

You may eat well and exercise regularly, but if you’re not getting enough sleep, you could nullify all that hard work! A lack of sleep (approximately 7-8 hours minimum) can cause lowered alertness, poor memory, stress, and a lower quality of life.

Improve the quality of your sleep by turning off all electronic devices one hour before bed, avoiding caffeine after 2pm, cut out long daytime naps (power naps of 30 minutes or less are still fab!), going to bed at a regular time and setting an alarm for the same time each day, taking a magnesium supplement, and drinking chamomile tea before bed.

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Published: 13/09/19

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