Your health and wellbeing is the most important thing in your life. If neglected, it can have a profound impact on every other area of your life; your mood, hormones, stress levels, energy levels and even your relationships.
Most of us tell ourselves a story about why we can’t take better care of ourselves; we don’t have the time, resources, or energy right now, but we’ll get around to it one day.
We even have habits that stand in the way of taking better care of ourselves, which sabotage our best efforts to change. While that might not make sense on a conscious level, I imagine that we all do something during our day that doesn’t serve our well-being.
Could you be unintentionally sabotaging your health and wellbeing? Before you answer, take a look through these to see if any of them sound familiar....
PUTTING YOURSELF LAST
When others need us, it’s great to share our time, love and energy with them. But, if we’re always putting ourselves last when the time comes to help out, we simply won’t have the resources to share, which leaves us stretching ourselves even further and not showing up how we’d like to.
It’s easier than you think to make a change. I’ve shared this before, but I started by taking 2 minutes a day for myself when I wanted to create a meditation practice; just 2 minutes! Could you find that for yourself? You could use them to take a few deep breaths, repeat your favourite mantra, watch the world go by or read something inspiring.
To begin with, it’s not so much about the time it takes but more about what it represents; that you are worthy of your own time, attention and love.
OVERFILLING YOUR DIARY
If you find yourself rushing frantically through your day, then you’re overfilling your diary. I’ve been guilty of this in the past and have often tried to squeeze much too many things into one day!
Making room for a little white space; for the unexpected, as well as a bit of time for ourselves, we become overwhelmed and exhausted.
Of course, nothing can prevent the occasional busy day, but we don’t need to experience them every day. First of all, if you’re not already using a day planner of some sort, it’s helpful to start. Just seeing everything written down is often enough to make us realise when we’re trying to cram too much into one day.
If you’re already using a day planner, try creating a little more white space in as many days as possible. This could be extra time to move between appointments so that you can gather your thoughts and arrive feeling prepared or simply a few minutes here and there to breathe deeply and refresh your thoughts.
Multi-tasking is more accurately described today as task switching, and it’s not as productive as we used to think. It took me a while to get used to the idea, but after taking each task in my day individually - single-tasking - I found that I was much more focused and didn’t get any less done. I encourage you to give it a try for a week or two and see how you feel.
COMPARING YOURSELF TO OTHERS
How does comparison sabotage your wellbeing? It drains our energy and often leaves us feeling inadequate and not good enough. Focusing on what you don’t have or haven’t achieved leads to negativity and frustration; this mindset is not conducive to a healthy mind and body.
Looking outwards and focusing on what you don’t have can lead to negativity and frustration. However, if we keep our gaze turned inwards, we can cultivate gratitude for our blessings and address our personal and spiritual growth needs.
ALWAYS SAYING YES
While it can be a challenge to say no to people, it’s sometimes what we need to do to protect our health and wellbeing - both physically and mentally.
Saying yes to everything, overloading our schedules and minds doesn’t help anyone and can create a sense of regret and resentment over time. Think through some of the less significant commitments you’ve made and see if you can take a step backwards - who knows, there could be someone else just waiting for the chance to help out instead.
If saying no feels uncomfortable at first, then I’ve included a few phrases and tips in this post that will prove helpful.
We all know the foods - and drinks - to avoid, don’t we? Reaching for sugar-filled, processed foods is a sure way to sabotage your health and wellbeing. I know that eating habits can feel challenging to change because the wrong foods usually taste so good! But, if we’re serious about our health and wellbeing, changes are often needed - please note that I said changes and not diets because developing new healthier habits is much more effective.
Start small; change a high carb lunch for a salad, an afternoon coffee for a glass of mineral water and leave the sugary snacks for your colleagues. Smile when you make every small change and then build on them until you feel happier with your choices.
So, did any of those sound familiar? I’m sure most of us have done at least one of them and unintentionally sabotaged our health and wellbeing. But there’s no point in worrying about the past. Let’s focus on making some positive changes. I hope that these simple tips have inspired you to move towards a healthier and happier life?
AUTHOR: LEANNA DOOLIN
Co – Founder of holistic skincare brand, Pure Thoughts and advocate for women finding pause in their day to breathe deeply, give thanks and reconnect to what matters. Loves early mornings, dogs and books that you can’t put down.