|Deciding to give yourself a total life makeover doesn’t mean you have to sign up for Extreme Makeover. Besides the fact that the show was cancelled in 2007 (yes, I just now realized that 10+ years later), you shouldn’t want to turn yourself into Barbie nor have a midlife crisis as inspiration to improve yourself, mentally and physically. Sometimes, it’s easy to fall into a rut given the routine of life, am I right?
Complacency is an easy friend to have – she doesn’t judge, and she lets you eat all of the Chunky Monkey ice cream that you desire. However, when our good old friend Complacency decides to move in and become our permanent roommate, that is when there is a problem… especially when she doesn’t even want to pay rent!
Please note: This article does not contain healthcare or therapeutic advice. If you are concerned about your health or well-being, speak with a health professional or visit your nearest medical facility in an emergency.
9 Healthy, Happy Tips for a Total Life Makeover
I have been through many rough times in life where I felt not only complacent but unhappy with myself, my job, and my relationship. Life just felt like a burden. If you have ever felt this way, it may simply be time for you to give yourself a mini, happy and healthy total life makeover. Mental health and physical health go hand in hand, so get your pen and paper out, and make your checklist for your transformation.
Here are 9 actions to get the ball rolling.
1. Exercise 3 times per week
Exercise is known to boost your mood and energy. It will also improve overall internal health, promote muscle strength, and weight loss. If you feel good about yourself physically, you will in turn improve confidence and feel happier. I recommend prioritizing strength training (since building muscle prevents injury and atrophy, plus it burns more fat over time). Create an exercise plan that includes 3 times per week, minimum, and incorporate moderate cardio as you feel comfortable. If you are not accustomed to exercising regularly, try starting out small – maybe aim for walking 2 days per week, and slowly work your way up to moderate strength training 3 days per week. Even She Hulk had to start somewhere (…I think :P).
2. Find a career you love – don’t settle
I too often see people who settle in a career that they do not enjoy, or even worse, hate. If this is you, please don’t wait for a midlife crisis to make a job change. Part of a truly happy, healthy makeover is finding a career that suits your personality and passions. I find it particularly helpful if you select a job where you enjoy the company culture, environment, and colleagues. If you work with positive, like-minded people, you are much more likely to enjoy your work. Also, think outside the box and maybe try unconventional jobs.
Don’t be afraid to test the waters. I changed careers many times before I found what I love! PRO TIP: you can make some career changes without “starting over” or at the bottom, if you sell yourself on your transferable skills. Example: I went from being a teacher > marketing manager > interior designer > project manager > business development manager. Each time, I increased my title and salary, since I was hired based on my personality and collective, transferable skills (for example, interpersonal skills or problem-solving abilities).
3. Choose positive, supportive relationships
Many individuals fall into a cycle of selecting toxic relationships (whether romantic or even platonic friendships). This breaks my heart because it is something you truly have the power to change and control. Filling your life with only healthy relationships with positive, supportive individuals will have a HUGE impact on your health and happiness.
If you have a romantic partner, choose a person who wants to work with you to be better as a couple daily, rather than a drama-filled or negative person. If you wonder why you constantly choose negative relationships, there could be trauma from your past that has trained your brain to crave drama. However, I promise you CAN break this cycle, if you are self-aware, which is critical for a successful total life makeover.
4. Limit refined sugar and find the right balance of healthy carbs, fat and protein
This probably goes without saying, but diet can majorly influence our physical AND mental health. Sugar is often the culprit of mood swings and fatigue. Try eating a healthy balanced diet of REAL, unprocessed foods. Work with your doctor to find the right balance of protein, healthy carbs, fats, etc. Also, find healthy foods that you actually enjoy eating. I certainly don’t just eat kale and lemons (okay, I hardly ever eat them #truth). There are plenty of delicious, healthy foods and recipes. One of my favorite healthy recipe resources is dishing out health.
Related: Listening to Your Gut Health
5. Balance your body’s chemicals (hormones, vitamins, minerals, neurotransmitters, etc.)
If your body’s chemicals are unbalanced, and you have a deficiency or excess amount of a substance, this can cause major mood swings and even impact your physical health, such as your weight. Talk to your doctor to make sure things like your hormones, vitamins/minerals, and even neurotransmitters are balanced. Often times, we don’t realize these are the underlying causes of many of our mental and/or physical health problems. For example, too much iron can cause extreme fatigue and mood swings, as I unfortunately discovered the hard way.
6. Get adequate sleep
Lack of sleep can truly impact your body in many negative ways – physically and mentally. Thus, an important part of a total life makeover is to plan proper sleep (7-9 hours) every night. This will promote better moods, more energy, weight loss and increased immunity. It goes without saying that you will be happier if you have all of the benefits of a well-rested night of sleep. If you struggle with this, I recommend a sleep, sunset-sunrise simulator, along with an essential oil diffuser. These can help your body get into a natural pattern of sleep, as well as reduce stress and anxiety.
Related: 3 Reasons to Upgrade to a More Comfortable Mattress
7. Try new, FUN activities with family and friends
Who here feels stuck in a routine of doing the same ol’ things every day? Well, one easy way to break out of this rut is to try NEW and exciting activities with family and friends. There are lists of a million hobbies out there for you to try! Some of my favorites are camping, scuba diving, improv comedy, horseback riding, blogging (go figure), and playing ukulele (it’s so easy to teach yourself)! Sometimes you just need to give your brain something new to learn in order to feel happier.
Bonus – you may develop new amazing relationships through these hobbies. If you don’t know where to start, write down a bunch of ideas, throw them in a jar, pick one for each weekend and plan it out accordingly. Rather than just talking about doing these new hobbies, it will encourage you to take action. Also, if you are not sure where to turn to find others who enjoy these hobbies, I recommend searching local Facebook groups or Meetup.com.
8. Laugh more
Did you know that laughing more can boost your mood, improve your immune system and reduce stress? Yup, it’s true. So why aren’t we all laughing every single day? Try watching more comedy shows, movies or stand-up comedy. Additionally, I recommend playing fun board games or even video games with your family or friends. I know in my household, those are guaranteed ways to laugh more, which I believe is crucial for your mini, total life makeover. You can also pretend to be a kid again – build a fort or make something with Legos. Guaranteed you will be laughing at yourself in no time.
9. Work with your preferred health professional
Above all, and this one may go without saying, but work with your doctor and/or preferred health professional. Whether you practice Western or alternative medicine, I encourage you to talk to experienced professionals that can help you find a healthy routine based on your body’s specific genetic needs and makeup. We are all SO different. What works for me may not work for you. I personally have used and LOVE therapy over the years. Mental health maintenance and upkeep is just as important as physical health. If you don’t have mental health converge, try using BetterHelp.com or TalkSpace.com. They provide online, video and text counseling services, which I found extremely helpful.
Although this process of giving yourself a total life makeover may take time, effort, practice and patience, I can promise you one thing: you will get healthier and feel happier IF you take action. That’s it. Take baby steps. Start small. However, consistent daily action will ultimately help you achieve the results that you want. So, what are you waiting for – go out there and crush it.
Related Article: 7 Ways Your Physical Health Is Connected to Your Mental Health
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