Take charge!

Presenting 10 tips for a total health and well-being makeover…

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It’s your life… So it’s time for a complete healthy overhaul… 

Overhaul your comfort recipes

We all love food, but the adage ‘a minute on the lips, forever on the hips’ is one that dissuades us from eating what we like most, leading to (sometimes insatiable) food cravings that leave us grumpy and irritable. With a few minor tweaks to your recipes, you could enjoy your favourite foods and keep calories at bay. If you’re partial to fried foods, try baking them instead to enjoy a healthier version of your dish at a fraction of the calories. With healthy recipes for dishes as gloriously delicious as a lite strawberry chocolate fudge cake, low fat chocolate pudding, a lightened chicken, mushroom and tarragon pot pie and a host of other comfort foods available online, you can ensure that you have the best of both worlds this year.

Get enough sleep

When did going to sleep at two, waking up at four and then hitting the gym at six become a sign of coolness?  Not getting enough sleep can affect your peak performance levels and will leave you crabby and irritated during the day. Sleep and mood are both affected by the same neurological pathways and not getting enough sleep will adversely affect your moods. We sleep to conserve energy. When we’re asleep, our metabolism and other activities slow down, giving the body time to replenish and rejuvenate itself. Contrary to what some might believe, sleep only serves to boost productivity.

Get moving

There are times when all we’ve wanted to do is lie down on the couch and stretch, much like Tufty the house cat. Lethargy however can lead to decreased performance and that is why it is important to kick-start your day with a dose of exercise. You don’t necessarily have to spend a couple of hours at the gym, huffing and puffing on a treadmill. A half-hour morning yoga session or an early-morning run is an excellent way to boost your endorphins and alleviate stress, or if you’re at your best in a group, join a Pilates session or aerobics class at the gym.

Listen to music
Listen to music

Get some me-time

Whether you’re a working woman or a full-time mum, chances are you don’t get a lot of me-time. Taking time out for yourself is crucial when it comes to unwinding and maintaining good mental health. Once a week, enjoy a guilt-free evening just by yourself. Ask your husband to take the kids out somewhere, put all of your chores on hold, listen to your favourite beats and order in some food. Do whatever it is you want to do with that time, whether it’s watching a movie, reading a book, or even booking a spa session. You’ll feel de-stressed, rejuvenated and a lot more balanced, ready to dive into the week head-on.

Boost your immunity

The food you eat does not always provide your body with the right amount of vitamins and minerals and supplements help fill in the nutritional gaps. For example, copper helps at keeping arthritis at bay, vitamin C promotes dental health and vitamin A is good for your eyes. Most supplements are available off the shelves in pharmacies and drug stores and are quite affordable. To ensure that you take them regularly and get the best out of them, keep your supplements in a pill box so that you don’t forget to take them, always stay informed to know that you are taking the right supplement and keep track of what you’re intake is so that you don’t exceed the recommended dosage.

Spend quality time with your family
Spend quality time with your family

Go out more often

Unless you absolutely love what you’re doing (and even then), your job is can be a source of stress. A great way to unburden yourself after a hard day’s work involves going out with your family or meeting people. Human interaction and sharing stories with other people helps because it takes your mind off your travails at work and overwrites that with new information, helping you decompress. Because it might be hard to catch up with people on short notice, try forming a group that meets on a regular basis. Sitting at home, dwelling on your work day will only cause your brain to process your stressful work thoughts more, which in turn will depress you further.

Get a pet

How would you like a living being that provided you unconditional love and boundless energy throughout the day? Animals are great stress busters and in the past, have helped people get over their ailments and ended their dependence on medicines that they once considered vital. It is, however, important that you care for your pet properly. Visit your nearest pet shop to pick up a furry companion or if you feel you’re better off adopting one, go to a pet shelter where there are plenty of loveable animals waiting for warm, loving people and a new home.

Connect with nature

Once a month, leave the city and spend a day connecting with nature. Mother earth provides great physical, emotional and spiritual energy which goes a long way in healing you. But you don’t necessarily have to leave the concrete jungle to rediscover nature’s wonders. Try going to a park on the weekends to be a one with the elements. Slow down, inhale deeply, appreciate your surroundings and feel yourself replenished with elemental energy. It’s not just the lush greenery of trees gently swaying in the wind and the smell of fresh cut grass that will revitalise you. If it’s the sea that you prefer, plan a weekend trip to the beach and feel nature’s vast expanse.

Make a list

Lists make us all a lot more organised. Making a list of five things that is preventing you from putting in your best at work or stopping you from staying committed to your diet will help you tackle those issues head on, making you a more efficient, well-rounded person. If you make a list, you’re laying out all your problems in front of you, and that means that you can tackle them one by one. You’ll be amazed at how quickly the little things that have prevented you from being your best are resolved. Before you do put pen to paper, however, think your problems through. If you need help deciding, don’t hesitate asking a friend or coworker for help and do return the favour.

Clean up

Often, our surroundings reflect the clarity of our thoughts. Most people find cluttered surroundings quite irritable and that can get in the way of completing your tasks. Instead of wallowing in the clutter, clean it up. You’ll find that it works wonders when it comes to improving your mood, helps you think clearly and you’ll be surprised at how quickly ideas flow when you’re not preoccupied.

The same goes for your desktop, now the standard workspace platform for many. A clean desktop means easy navigation through important work files which in turn means increased efficiency.