Many people struggle with pushing themselves to do things for their health that feel out of possibility. This creates a vicious cycle of negative feelings that are made worse by a lack of energy to fix them. Even if you’re not feeling fit, when are you going to have time to exercise between work and sleep? It is possible to do these things — you might not have the confidence to believe it.
All it takes is one step to start making positive changes, so consider these five ways you can take care of your health. The results are more effective than you’d think.
1. Haircare and Skincare
Everybody wants to look beautiful, and sometimes your hair and skin can affect whether you feel that way. Take your hair, for example. Every day, you carry it around with you and display it to everyone you meet. If you struggle to find it beautiful yourself, then it makes sense that you don’t feel confident going into the world. But by exploring new products and routines, you can change how you think about your hair.
The same goes for skincare, particularly if you have difficult-to-control conditions like acne or rosacea. Nasty flare-ups don’t help your outer self-image, even if you are confident about everything else. Luckily, prescription acne treatments can help make a difference in how your skin looks. When you find one that works for you, you can remedy your feelings of powerlessness as your skin improves.
2. Healthy Eating Habits
The modern food industry has a vested interest in warping how people see what they put into their bodies. As a result, our perception of our bodies (and eating habits themselves) is adversely affected. The most important way to take care of your health in this regard is to follow your body’s natural cues. Pay attention to your level of hunger, for example. You don’t have to clean your plate if you are feeling full.
Your body will tell you what you need and how you need it. For a more straightforward assessment of your eating habits, you can also track your macronutrients. You can eat freely as long as you follow recommended macronutrient targets (depending on your weight and age). You will feel better physically, but you’ll have less anxiety about the food you consume.
3. Improved Sleeping Patterns
You might fall into a less-than-ideal sleeping pattern at a certain point in your life. This can mean that you’re going to sleep far too late or waking up far too early. Disrupting your sleep cycle can influence your schedule, your energy levels, and, ultimately, your mental health. Your life runs a certain way, and when you can’t balance your health and your schedule, it gets stressful fast.
One change of your habits at a time is all it takes to see the difference in your perceptions. Even if your wake-up time doesn’t change, going to sleep an hour earlier provides more sleep and, therefore, more energy. It becomes much easier to take on the day’s challenges with even such a small difference. You can track your sleep cycle with an app for optimal wake-up energy for a more involved solution.
4. Exercise and Fitness
The concept of beginning to exercise after a hiatus can be anxiety-inducing because it feels intense. The first run in months can be agonizing if you don’t pace yourself. But not exercising at all is, while easier to settle into, damaging to your mental health. Keeping fit provides many psychological and physical benefits, including increased (yes, increased!) energy, higher alertness, and stress relief.
Putting effort into your body alone helps build your confidence the more regularly you do it. Psychologically, being focused on your body’s health makes you feel healthier, which pushes you forward even more. No matter what kind of exercise you do, you’ll have a higher trust in yourself and your methods. Any activity can affect running, yoga, swimming, long-distance, and even walking.
These things feed into the way you feel about yourself and the world around you. But ultimately, if you aren’t mentally in tune with yourself, it’s much harder to let that happen. Mindfulness is a meaningful way to take care of your health and confidence. It provides the foundational mindset you need to get through each day.
Practicing mindfulness is simple; for example, you can meditate for 10 minutes once a day. You can also take time each day to sit with yourself, listen to music, and think about life. These quiet moments can help you understand the importance of your mental state and your daily responsibilities. Mindfulness practice provides rest, mental energy, clarity of mind, and perspective, among other things.
The way you treat your physical body directly influences your mental health. In the most challenging moments, it may feel hard to do even the most minor thing. But just that smallest thing, even if it’s getting out of bed, is the catalyst you might need to get through the day. Taking care of your health can boost your confidence in unexpected ways.