How to Make Health and Wellness a Lifestyle Instead of a Phase
It’s not just speculation. Studies have found that people who maintain a healthy lifestyle live more than a decade longer than those who don’t.
But in order for health and wellness to be successful, it needs to be sustainable, enjoyable, and focused on both mental and physical well-being rather than just rooted in fad diets and fitness streaks.
So, how can you make wellness part of your everyday life rather than just a short-term phase?
Here are some ideas you can consider.
Prioritize Behaviors Over Outcomes
When you think about health and wellness, it can be easy to think about outcomes and results. But this kind of thinking is often tethered to short-term goals rather than sustainable long-term improvements.
So, rather than focusing on outcomes, prioritize creating healthy behaviors that will support a healthy lifestyle.
The tangible outcomes you desire will follow.
Focus on One Thing at a Time
Speaking of prioritizing behaviors, don’t try to do everything at once. Empowering a healthy lifestyle is a matter of building behaviors that are automatic—creating healthy habits that you can carry on throughout your life.
But it’s been said that it takes an average of 66 days to form a new habit and that it becomes increasingly difficult trying to build multiple habits simultaneously.
So, by taking on too much at once, there’s a good chance you’ll reduce your chance of success at any of them, in turn creating frustration and animosity towards the process.
Pick one habit you’d like to build—whether it’s waking up earlier, meditating daily, eating a more balanced diet, incorporating more exercise into your life, or any other goal you might have—and focus your efforts on that.
Once the behavior becomes automatic, then you can move on to adding a new one.
Build Health and Wellness Into Your Schedule
One of the most common inhibitors for living a healthier lifestyle is a lack of free time in your day.
After all, between a bustling work schedule and a busy social calendar, it’s easy to let health and wellness fall by the wayside.
But the key to being successful with health and wellness is to find ways of working it into your schedule—then sticking with them.
Whether it’s penciling in time to prep healthy meals during the week, setting aside lunch breaks to go for a walk or stop by the gym, or finding a flexible workspace that has wellness at its core, it doesn’t have to be hard to slot healthy living into your daily life.
Eat Whole Foods
Healthy eating doesn’t necessarily mean tracking calories and putting yourself on a strict diet. It can ultimately just mean eating intuitively and focusing on consuming whole foods.
The premise is simple: prioritize foods in your diet that are in their natural form—those that are unprocessed and offer the nutritional composition, fiber, water, and concentrations your body needs in the proportions it needs them in. The more processed your food is, the fewer benefits your body will get from it.
Beyond that, aim to reduce the amount of sugar you consume and try to prioritize products that contain five ingredients or less, but avoid trying to cut large amounts of calories for short periods of time or doing extreme diets you’ll never be able to sustain.
Make It Social
Sometimes the best way to stay motivated and inspired on your health and wellness journey is to partake in it alongside other people.
Not only is it more engaging than doing it on your own, but it also adds a level of accountability to one another, in turn supporting your commitment to sticking with your healthy lifestyle. It also comes with a built-in support system that you can lean on when you find yourself struggling.
Whether it’s going to wellness events, attending workout classes, joining a running or cycling club, or joining the wellness center in your local community, adding an element of socialization can make it that much easier to stick to your routine.
Emphasize Mental Wellbeing
As much as your physical well-being gets a ton of attention, your internal well-being is equally important. You need to maintain a strong and healthy mind in order for your physical self to follow suit.
So, focus on mental well-being by doing things like:
- Practicing mindfulness and meditation
- Connecting with other people and being part of a close-knit community
- Learning new skills and growing your knowledge
- Practicing gratitude each day
- Spending time in nature
- Prioritizing work-life balance
As much as your body is the vessel that will transport you through the world, your mind is the mechanism that manages it all. So, it’s crucial to make sure you’re taking care of it too.
Decide on a Discipline
General fitness can sometimes feel vague, in turn making it harder to stick to. For many people, simply going to the gym or going for a run without any sort of goal attached to it can make it harder to stick to.
If that sounds like a sentiment you can relate to, then you might want to consider deciding on a discipline that you can focus on.
This can be anything from HIIT classes to yoga, signing up for a running race, or joining a rock climbing gym like Session Climing, the brand-new state-of-the-art climbing gym in Santa Rosa. The options are virtually endless and you can try different things until you find the one that works best for you.
But whatever it is, investing yourself in one kind of activity can provide inspiration by way of seeing tangible improvements and having milestone goals and achievements you can reach along the way.
Surround Yourself with Wellness Opportunities
There’s nothing more conducive to living a healthy lifestyle than having easy access to wellness opportunities.
From being in close proximity to hiking and biking trails to living in a place that’s easily walkable and having wellness centers and community events nearby, the location where you live can play a big part in supporting your health and wellness.
So, if you’ve got the flexibility to choose where you live, consider moving somewhere that puts nature, the outdoors, and a like-minded community right at your doorstep.
Disconnect from Technology
Technology is an incredible tool but it also allows us to live an “always-on” lifestyle. And what’s worse is that overexposure to technology and social media can also create feelings of stress, depression, anxiety, and sleep irritability.
That’s why taking time to disconnect from your devices is a pivotal component of living a healthy lifestyle.
Even giving yourself a break from technology for an hour before bed and an hour after you wake up can have a significant positive impact on your mental health and wellness.
Embrace Slips and Move On
Nobody’s perfect, so you’re inevitably going to have slips along your journey to a healthy lifestyle.
It’s important to take them in stride and to move on from them when they happen rather than letting them derail you completely. Embrace any missteps and get back to your healthy routine.
Health and wellness are more than just a buzzword. They’re a critical component in living longer and maintaining a better quality of life for as long as possible.
And at SOMO Village, everything we do is set up to support healthier living—from easy access to hiking and biking trails to our local coworking space, farmers’ markets, community health and wellness events, and our wellness center.
So, if you’re interested in living in a community with health and wellness at its core, we invite you to come to visit SOMO Village and learn more about what we’re doing to protect the environment and support a better future for all.