2020 has been a bumpy ride. In times of change and uncertainty, it can be easy to neglect the basic things that keep us happy, healthy and thriving. While the craziness of the COVID-19 pandemic might be easing up in some places, it is as important as ever to stay mindful of our mental and physical health. Here are 4 essential pillars for a happy and healthy life. While they’re nothing groundbreaking, the stress of a busy life and long-ingrained habits can often have us paying less attention to them than they deserve – and these are not things you want to slack off on!
1. Get a good night’s rest
A good night’s rest should be an easy one, but for many of us, it isn’t.
Getting enough sleep does a lot more than just prepare you for the next day. A recent article from healthline has linked healthy sleeping patterns to a range of benefits, including, increased concentration, productivity, weight loss, and even better social interactions. It also does wonders for your immune function, reducing rates of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and depression.
To get a good night’s rest, try setting a regular sleep schedule, exercising, avoiding alcohol, nicotine, and junk food close to your bedtime, and having some time off your device before you hit the hay! The blue light emitted from electronic devices can mess with your body’s internal clock and suppress the release of the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin, leaving you lying in bed counting more sheep than you’d like! (if people still do that).
2. Eat a balanced diet
With much of the world socially isolating and stuck at home, Coronavirus lockdown has seen a huge number of people discover their inner chef/baker! Unfortunately, lockdown has also made overeating junk food a little too easy. Similar to getting a good night’s rest, eating a healthy, balanced diet carries a whole range of significant health benefits.
Shopping at a local supermarket can be a great way to eat a variety of delicious, nutritious food while keeping things interesting. For example, Coles is a great local option and a one-stop-shop for everything you and your family might need. A range of great deals can be found in this winter’s Coles Catalogue, including three Green Kiwi fruits for a dollar, Australian Navel Oranges for $2.50 a kilo and Australian Modi Apples for just $3.50 a kilo! Shopping locally for fresh, nutritious food is also good for the economy and will help steer things back to normal so we can all go back to our lives (and a sensible amount of baking!)
3. Stay active
Give your body some love!
This one goes hand in hand with a balanced diet. And it’s just as important. If there’s something you should mark out a bit of time for every day, it’s exercise. The benefits of exercise on your mind, body, and soul are widely agreed upon, and for just a little bit of time and effort, the results are substantial and almost immediate!
If you’ve had trouble sticking to a fitness regime in the past, you’re not alone. Start slow and set achievable goals so you can gradually work up to a routine that works for you. Whether it’s an online yoga class, a quick home workout, or even just a walk around the block, getting your body moving is a sure-fire way to improve the overall quality of your life.
4. Make time for yourself
And finally, the simplest and easiest one to neglect. Self-care.
Despite the current productivity craze that the Coronavirus has only seemed to intensify, there is something to be said about slowing down, taking stock, and spending some time reconnecting with ourselves. It is far too easy to get caught up in the rush of work, news updates, and the million other things we have in our schedules.
Take some time to connect with yourself and the people you love. Find time to do things that you enjoy and be grateful for what you do have. There is nothing more important than looking after your own well-being and a bit of reflection, gratitude, and self-love can go a long way.
The COVID-19 pandemic has given us an opportunity to slow down, reflect and make sure we are living in a way that aligns with our values. Some of us may have realised, it’s the simplest things that are the easiest to neglect. Developing good habits around sleep, nutrition, exercise, and personal care are the easiest way to making sure we are healthy, happy, and living the lives we deserve!
Hi, I’m Anna the Editor of Beauty and Lace. This website was my first baby and since its launch, I’ve gained three kids, a husband, and a puppy! We want to keep this space positive, we are all about sharing the things we love – and avoiding the things we don’t. Happy reading x