Are You The Best You? Tips For a Better You!
By Brad Krause & Stacey Ferrari
At FiftyFierce, dedication to helping you look and feel fantastic has been my focus. Whether you’re hoping to get fitter, healthier, or just happier, the following tips may help you strike a balance and be at your best inside and out.
It’s not uncommon for us to develop negative associations with exercise - after all, it’s hard work getting up early to hit the gym! But exercise is crucial for our long-term physical and mental wellbeing. Research shows that regular exercise can greatly reduce the symptoms of anxiety and depression via the release of dopamine. It’s clear then that remaining physically fit is key to staving off negative thoughts and enjoying periods of sustained happiness. Even if you’re not in the best shape, a 20-minute walk can do wonders for your mood and put you on track for more exhaustive activities. Small steps in the right direction - done consistently - reap big benefits over time. It doesn't have to be an all or nothing approach, with a conqueror's attitude of slaying years of inactivity through gut-busting trials of stamina to provide beneficial results. The guy above is a case in point. He wants to bust his gut and that is NOT a beneficial result. Something is better than nothing. Please don't dupe yourself into believing you don't have time for even 20 minutes of exercise on a regular basis as this is the single most important thing you can do for yourself, especially if you want to age gracefully!
There are few rewards greater than a lesson learned. Especially during the pandemic, Americans have enjoyed the opportunity to study new languages, skills, instruments, or even to return to college and study. With remote learning, it’s even possible to gain a degree and further your career - for example, if you’ve ever wanted to earn a master’s degree, you can enroll online in subjects such as business and management and pick up new, employable skills in leadership, strategy, and self-assessment.
I know. I've discussed the diet subject ad nauseum from a multitude of angles, but it never hurts to be reminded of how dietary intake affects our performance and health, especially this time of year with all the holiday noshing. It’s difficult to overstate the importance of diet in affecting your well-being. By ensuring a consistent intake of fruit, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein, you’ll notice improved energy, mental clarity, physiology, and mood. It’s also of vital importance that you complement your food consumption with plenty of water. Studies show that, more often than not, we are actually living in a state of mild dehydration, which is negatively affecting our cognitive function and other areas of our lifestyle. This simple change to your daily living will have widespread, far-reaching positive benefits.
With the stressors of a pandemic creating disruption and change, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. To help with this, many opt to slow things down and practice mindfulness via meditation. If you’ve never meditated before, you can start with some concentration techniques or by learning some new breathing methods. Even if you don’t reach ‘Samadhi’, you may still find it’s a great way to unwind.
It’s not often that we take a step back and look at our social lives with perspective, but our interpersonal relationships have some of the most substantial effects on our happiness and wellbeing. Partly due to the influence of social media, we sometimes have a tendency to attach numerical importance to our friendships or number of friends but it’s less about how many people we have in our lives and more about how the people in our lives affect us emotionally. Do your closest relationships bring positivity? If not, what can be done to improve them? Oftentimes, with better communication or a new approach, our relationships can bring us a renewed zest for life. Especially during, and due to the pandemic, it may be time for many of us to step away from social media and start making phone calls instead to stay in touch with friends and loved ones. If you find that social media leaves you feeling drained, unhappy, discontent, or depressed, you may be comparing your life to those of others and this IS NOT healthy. A picture may be worth a thousand words, but social media photos are usually manipulated - including the fact that people typically do not post photos of how life really is for them, but how they want others to see their lives as they wish it were. Resist comparing your life to someone else's. This can be a dangerous practice.
Some people use exercise, others use books, and others their friends - whatever your method, the important thing is that you recognize and pursue your route to happiness and wellbeing.