Birthdays are usually a time when we reflect on the year behind us and think about all the things that we could have achieved if only we had put in a bit more effort.
Instead of brooding over what might have been how about you count your blessing and make a list of things you want to change in the year to come? Check out these 5 lifestyle upgrades you should make before your next birthday:
Eat for energy
If you feel sluggish, drained, and unmotivated all the time, you’re not alone. The frenzied pace of modern life has created a perfect storm of conditions for an exhaustion epidemic. So what can you do to fight the nagging fatigue?
Start by analyzing your eating habits. The main nutrients your body uses for energy are carbohydrates, protein, and fats. Now, if you want to increase your energy levels, not just any form of these three will do – you need to pick foods that are both nutrient-dense and satisfying enough to eat on a regular basis.
Healthy (and yummy) sources of carbs include fruit, oatmeal, air-popped popcorn, and sweet potatoes, while good fats are found in avocados, walnuts, and oily fish like salmon and tuna. As for protein, it can be tricky to add more of it to your diet without simultaneously increasing your intake of carbs and fats. This is why it’s a good idea to add all-natural whey protein powder to your diet for that extra boost of energy you need to make the next year of your life your best year.
The health risks of not getting enough exercise are too many to mention. The sedentary lifestyle is a silent killer that can lead to anything from heart disease and different types of cancer to memory loss and depression.
While fitness challenges that keep popping up all over your Instagram feed can be a good way to get you back on the workout wagon, they’re usually hard to stick to in the long run. Plus, most of them are designed to sell a product which means the results they promise are often unrealistic.
The key to reaping the long-term benefits of working-out is making exercise an unavoidable part of your daily routine, just like brushing your teeth or showering. It’s best to pick an activity that will not only help you get fit and strong but the one you’ll also enjoy doing every day.
Learn a new skill
Repeat after me: you’re never too old to learn something new. If it’s been a while since you walked the graduation stage, it may be hard to get back into study mode. Luckily, learning and studying are two different things.
Studying usually involves poring over piles of textbooks and memorizing facts, while learning comes in many different shapes and forms. Whether it’s educating yourself online, giving your home a makeover with a DIY decor project, or taking a cooking class, learning can take place anywhere, anytime.
Not only is learning a new skill a great way to build self-esteem, but it will also literally make your brain stronger by increasing the density of myelin, a fatty substance that protects nerve fibers from damage and speeds up the transmission of signals between neurons.
Set healthy boundaries
Setting personal boundaries is highly important – though often neglected – part of self-care. Feeling good in your own skin and living the lifestyle of your dreams has plenty more to do with the boundaries you set than with the way you look or the stuff you own.
So what does the process of setting healthy boundaries actually involve? For starters, it’s good to make a list of things you no longer want to allow others to do to you or around you. It can be anything from being rude, lying, invading your privacy, or being dismissive of your feelings or opinions.
Once you’ve identified what bothers you the most in your personal relationships, it’s time to learn the art of saying ‘no’. Remember that there’s always another choice and you’re under no obligation to put up with toxic people or situations.
Adopt a skincare routine
Choosing the right skin care routine before your next birthday might not sound like something of an utmost priority, but trust me – your skin will thank you in a few years. No matter what age you are, it’s never the wrong time to start taking care of your skin.
Think about it: the skin is your body’s largest organ and the first defense against harmful outside influences. Bad skin habits do not only affect your skin’s appearance but can actually increase your risk of infections and even lead to life-threatening conditions.
In other words, stop making excuses for yourself. Boosting your energy levels with healthy food, staying committed to exercise, learning something new, maintaining healthy boundaries, and taking better care of your skin are lifestyle upgrades anyone can implement and the best time to start is right now.