We, humans, are constantly in a rat race. A race that at times is so futile that we tend to forget the ‘human’ element in it. The problem starts from childhood – we tend to fix a carrot in front of the stick for our little ones and this process continues to our graves.
Hence we’re constantly in a run trying to get that perfect score, a perfect body, the perfect job, the perfect home and it continues. As a result, we tend to postpone our happiness and health to another time and place, thinking that we will enjoy our lives once we achieve that goal. But this sadly never happens every time, and the number-one casualty in this race is our health and lifestyle.
It’s not that these things are not in our control – we have to realise that the rat race is not worth it if it costs our health, our time with our loved ones and missing out on doing the things we love. It’s never too late to create a healthy lifestyle and reclaim those lost years chasing a dream. Here’s a quick rain check on what we can do to reconstruct a healthy lifestyle for ourselves.
1. Define what wealth means to you
Wealth means different things to different people. Define what wealth means to you, and don’t feel guilty about it. For a mother, wealth could mean her child; for an entrepreneur, their definition of wealth is their company and staff; for a writer, her wealth could be the power over a language, while for a doctor, his ability to treat people. Whatever you choose to be your wealth, define it, plan it and work your life around it. This gives you focus and helps reduce unwanted and unnecessary distractions.
2. Reduce the clutter
Clutter in one’s life, at home and at work, causes all the stress. Stop hoarding. Stop collecting and buying things you don’t need. Give things away if you’ve not been using them for over a few months, let someone else use it. Give it away to a sibling, a friend or a neighbour who may need it. It may be difficult to do it at first – but do it and you’ll see how light you’ll start feeling. There’s a certain joy in reducing things we don’t need. Don’t buy things you don’t need. Reduce, de-clutter and let go and enjoy the space in your life.
3. Walk for life
If you cannot hit the gym, it’s okay. Wear a comfy pair of walking shoes and get strutting. Just go for a walk. It doesn’t cost a dime; it just needs better time management from your end. Wake up a little early if you must, or wrap up your day a little early – but go for that walk. Walk alone, with your spouse, friends, or dog – but go for that walk. Watch how your mind starts clearing up, and how after days and weeks, you start feeling fitter, more optimistic, healthier and happier.
4. Enjoy the silence
We’re in a technology overdose. No, wait, we’re in a noise overdose. We’re in an overdose of everything that can be unhealthy. We’re in a rush almost every single moment of our lives. It’s time just to relax and let go and, for a change, enjoy the silence. The silence could be a bit eerie in our present times, but it’s okay. Try it every once in a while – switch off that phone, turn off the telly, tune off the radio – if you can’t do it in city life, head out to a resort or sign up for a vipassana course. Silence is the only way to connect with yourself before reaching out to others.
5. Breathe right
We seldom realise that we’re not breathing right. Since we’re always so rushed, impatient and in a hurry that our breathing becomes short. No wonder we’re always tired, fatigued and running out of breath. Since we don’t breathe right, the body isn’t getting enough oxygen. One of the remedial actions is to slow down, deep breathe and relax. If you find that it’s difficult for you, then signing up for a yoga class or watching tutorials can help you.
These may be very simple steps, but it can get overwhelming when you try implementing them. The key is not to let these things overwhelm you. You can check the internet with hoards of advice given on having a healthy lifestyle, including healthy eating habits, sleep habits, and much more. But I thought, there has to be a step before this as well that will help us more. The problems of an unhealthy lifestyle don’t lie outside of us; it begins with us. So the work in progress for a healthy lifestyle starts with us.
Contributor: Tanya Munshi
Writing Mentor & Founder of The Lifestyle Portal.