Did you wake up this morning dedicated to carrying out your New Years resolutions?
Traditionally, January 1st (or, let’s be realistic, January 2nd) is the time of year we all intend to cut out sugar, move our bodies, quit drinking, start meditating and reach a healthy weight. But why exactly would you want to attempt to lead a healthy lifestyle?
Despite all the attention for building healthy habits, few health experts fully answer the question why you should actually improve your routines.
The most mentioned benefit of a healthy lifestyle is to prevent life-threatening diseases, such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes, from happening. We all know that behaviors such as smoking, excessive drinking or sun tanning increase your risk of suffering from health problems, while eating plenty of vegetables and exercising can add extra healthy years to your life.
But what if you’re already suffering from a serious illness?
When you have a permanent, incurable health problem, why shouldn’t you just ‘live life to the fullest’, with all the chocolate you crave to comfort you? Why should you push yourself to take really good care of your body and mind?
That’s a choice only you can make. But here’s what I’ve found:
Being happy and living the life you want to are much harder to do when you feel sick and tired all the time. Not only do you want to avoid more health complications in the future, but you also like to feel as energised and symptom-free a possible right now.
It is possible to improve your quality of life by gradually incorporating more healthy habits in your daily routine.
When I was a teenage girl, I was diagnosed with juvenile rheumatism and chronic fatigue syndrome. For many years, my days were spent lying on the couch with burning joint pain, limited mobility, exhaustion and severe brain fog.
As I experimented with small lifestyle changes – with varying success – my body became a little stronger, my mind a little clearer. Over time – a long long time – these gradual physical improvements have added up. My health has hugely improved and, to my luck, I can do so much more now.
What’s been most important to me during this entire process is knowing that I’m doing what I can to become as healthy and happy as possible.
“To have striven, to have made the effort, to have been true to certain ideals – this alone is worth the struggle.” – William Penn
After spending all my teenage years sick at home, I want to live. I want to explore the world, laugh with my friends, care for my family, dance and sing more, go on spontaneous mini-adventures. I want everyday living to be as happy and fulfilling as it can be.
Yes, sometimes it’s a real struggle and I still can’t do everything I would like to. But now, when I’m having a bad day, I no longer feel frustrated and sad, because I did my part. The rest is out of my hands. And the 15-year old version of me who lay in bed all day would’ve been so incredulously happy if she’d known that her life would turn out to be like it is now.
That’s why it’s worth it to live a healthy life.
You might have a different ‘why’. Maybe you long to finish your degree or work part-time. Perhaps you’d love to pick up an old hobby, be able to dance at your own wedding or go on the trip of a lifetime. Creating your own definition of ‘recovery’ or ‘success’ only fuels the motivation you need to stick to your new healthy habits in the long run.
Do you also want to pursue your dreams, create your own achievements (big or small) and build healthy routines? Here are some actionable tips to get you started:
- Why You Should Create Your Own Definition of Recovery
- How You Can Still Pursue Your Goals and Dreams When You’re Chronically Ill
- The 2 Most Important Questions You Should Ask Yourself to Get Healthier This Year
2. Creating Healthy Habits That Last
- Ready for Change? The 5 Stages of Making Lasting Lifestyle Changes
- What Pavlov’s Dogs Can Teach Us About Creating Healthy Habits
- Getting Back on Track: 11 Expert Strategies for Rebuilding Healthy Habits
- The Power of Rituals: How Meaningful Routines Improve Your Wellbeing
3. Actionable Tips
- 101 Small Things You Can Do Today to Boost Your Health and Happiness
- How to Work Your Way Up to Walking 10,000 Steps Each Day
- 24 Exciting Ways to Eat Vegetables with Every Meal
- Curb Your Cravings: 6 Steps to Resisting Sweet Temptations
- 13 Spoonie-Proof Strategies to Improve Your Attention Span
- The Beginner’s Guide to Changing Your Negative Thoughts
- How to Effortlessly Eat a Balanced Diet
- 19 Quirky Ideas to Fit More Physical Activity Into Your Busy Day
For a holistic approach to start rebuilding your health after illness or injury, make sure you check out ‘How to Create Your Own Action Plan for Recovery.’
What’s your motivation to lead a healthy lifestyle?