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Healthy Lifestyle Choices

Change: It’s All About Choices

by Petra Beumer, Health Educator.

Petra Beumer, Health Educator
Petra Beumer, Health Educator

Are you ready to make a lifestyle change? Have you had good intentions to start a regular exercise routine, eat better, not work so hard or spend more time with family and friends? If it has been a challenge to follow through with making these plans a reality, you are not alone. Many of us struggle to make the time for the things we know would give us joy, greater health and guarantee a healthier life in the long run.

What is the solution? Can you possibly cut down on your work schedule? When will you find the time to go shopping and prepare healthy and nutritious meals? When will you go to the gym and actually work out? The solution is to sit down and prioritize your tasks, you may have to decide to let go of a few commitments and rearrange your schedule. You may come to the conclusion that you will have to delegate more and put yourself first. It is a choice to practice good self-care even in the face of a demanding work environment or obligations in your home life. Start small by leaving work early one day, schedule a massage or make plans to see a movie or art show with a friend. Rediscover a hobby that you have put on the backburner for a while.

It is helpful to have clarity on what "fuels" and energizes you and plan for those activities by writing them down on your calendar. Make them as important as a doctor’s visit or a meeting with a client. You are worth it! It is a choice to make time for yourself, to recharge and to revisit your priorities regularly. Everyone needs reliable periods of restoration and relaxation.

When planning for those meaningful activities, be mindful not to say to yourself that you will "try" to go to the gym. Tell yourself that you "will" exercise on a certain day at a specific time. Do not leave it to chance – make a commitment. The benefits are that you will feel better in body and mind, you will have more energy and a more positive outlook on life. When you start acknowledging your  physical and emotional needs, you will be able to deal with stress differently, sleep better and rediscover your "Joi de Vivre".

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