With our choc-a-bloc calendars, hectic work schedules and trying to slay our goals, it’s easy to lose a bit of ourselves every day. We get so busy with tasks at hand that we allow aspects of our lives to slip below the ideal.
That’s why we all need to maintain Balance.
Leading a balanced life is so pivotal to your mental and physical health. We can’t enjoy life or reach our goals if we are sick, burnt out, emotionally spent and lacking in vitality.
So since it’s a new decade, I am taking my new year’s resolutions very seriously.
If you’re like me and found 2019 a little bit off-balance, there’s no time like the present to make balance happen!
Here are my 7 New Year’s Resolutions to start you on your journey to balanced living:
1. Eat an 80% colorful plant-based diet
Keeping a diet that is mainly plant-based is the most effective means to ensure optimal gut health. It promotes helpful and stable beneficial bacteria which improves intestinal function and reduces gut inflammation.
Plant-based diets reduce heart disease risk by 40%. It helps improve several risk factors such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and plaque build-up in the arteries.
Eating a wide variety of different colored fruits and vegetables ensures that we get a diverse bacterial ecosystem and a variety of antioxidant-rich phytochemicals and fibre.
2. Get moving at least 30 min a day
Movement has long term benefits. It increases and maintains muscular strength, physical fitness, cardiovascular health and reduces the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Start the day with a 10 min slow stretch to wake up the body and to maintain flexibility. During the day, aim for at least 30 minutes of activity to get the heart rate up. Mix it up with fast walking, Zumba, dancing, water aerobics, swimming - they all count! The key is to find an activity that you enjoy so you’ll stick with it daily.
3. Bask in nature
Walking in nature is great for relaxation, calming one’s mind and being thankful for the beautiful surroundings that God has created. We get a shot of important vitamin D from the sunshine and get to breathe in nature’s fresh air. Not to mention it’s good to rest your eyes from staring at screens all day.
4. Sleep by 10 pm and for at least 8 hours
The body’s repair takes place from 10 pm to 2 am. Hormones such as Growth Hormone are being produced for the repair of muscle and joints. Detoxification takes place. During this time, the brain gets rid of the debris and creates new synapses which are critical for brain health. Lack of sleep results in brain fog. With less sleep or poor quality sleep, the immune system takes a hit and we are more likely to get sick.
5. Be fully present with friends and family.
Spending time with friends and family often gets put on the back burner when deadlines need to be met. I feel guilty when less priority is given to quality time with loved ones. Good relationships are the most important treasures in our lives. So being fully present and cultivating meaningful relationships should be a high priority. Support and good energy from loved ones can refresh and motivate. That’s truly invaluable.
6. Laugh out loud
A good laugh has an enormous positive impact on your health. Feel-good substances, serotonin and dopamine, are released. I am avoiding dismal movies which may full of drama and suspense, but are not uplifting. In fact, gory and anxiety-filled movies can have a severe impact on your the restfulness of sleep. I replace these with comedies and soul-lifting movies. I like Michael McIntyre and Trevor Noah and watch funny baby-with-dog videos. It sure lifts my mood.
7. Maintain a daily spiritual practice
A balanced spiritual life is whatever resonates with your soul. For me, it is prayer, counting all my blessings and giving thanks.
For others, it may be following a guided meditation, visualization exercises, deep breathing or journaling thoughts and dreams. Whatever it is, it should be some peaceful quality time for yourself to explore what makes your inner self feel alive and expansive.
Shall we start on this journey together and make 2020 your decade of significance?