What?! We have had it drilled into us that we need to exercise to be healthy, however, exercise is ONE component of a healthy lifestyle that will allow you be feel your best and allow you to be your very best self in the world around you.
We all know what not feeling our best feels like: tired, cranky, impatient with our kids, life partners, employees or co-workers, resentful, overwhelmed, anxious and I could go on and on. And we all know the feelings that come with not feeling like our best self: guilty we snapped at our spouse or kids, ashamed we are emotionally eating behind closed doors, resentful that others seem to have it all together (which they don’t, trust me!)
Do you even know what your best self feels like? When you are at your best, what does that look like, feel like and sound like? How is your attitude? Your behavior? Your interactions with others? Your outlook on life in general?
So what gets in the way of us being our best selves? Our perceptions and choices. Are you surprised? Maybe you thought I would say time gets in the way? While we all seem busier than ever before, we all make choices about how we spend our time. You make choices that either help you or hurt you every day based on your perceptions, beliefs and feelings.
How can we be our best self as much as possible? By identifying for ourselves what a healthy lifestyle looks like and creating that lifestyle. Notice I said create which is an action word. Not follow (a passive word) someone else’s version of a healthy lifestyle. But actively create for yourself what a healthy lifestyle looks like so you can be your very best self every single day for yourself and for those around you.
Take an honest assessment of the following components of a healthy lifestyle (it is not an inclusive list!). See where you excel and where there are opportunities for improvement. And please do not judge yourself for any areas of opportunity you find, use them as a starting off point to create small, achievable goals you can conquer which will create positive change over time.
- Physical wellness
- Diet-your body needs food (not processed food-like substances) but actual food that provides nutrients in which to build all the cells in your entire body
- Exercise-your body needs movement to stay functional and strong, release happy hormones in your brain, help facilitate sleep and so on
- Sleep-you need sleep for your brain to function, for your mood to be stable, for your emotional and spiritual self to regenerate and recoup from the day
- Emotional wellness
- Stress Management-helps us to regulate the external and internal stressors we encounter and reset our body’s systems so they don’t improperly misfire!
- Mindfulness practice-helps us to grow in awareness of how we feel and why we make choices in the moment, which then helps us choose differently!
- Spiritual wellness
- Connection to meaningful people and life purpose
- Connection to higher power or spiritual community