Whether you’re dating, married or playing the field, oftentimes we spend a lot of time and energy making sure everything else around us is kosher — from your significant other to your pet, plants, kid(s), friends, boss, colleagues and everything in between. Starting today, take the time to focus a little bit of that time and energy on you. Not only will it help bring a little sanity into your life, it will also improve your relationships with everyone around you.
Toast to Your Good Health
Eating a healthy, well-balanced diet and getting plenty of exercise not only ensures a longer, healthier life, it also ensures happier romantic relationships as well. Exercise reduces stress, boosts self-esteem, improves your mood and promotes deeper sleep. Exercise also naturally boosts your energy, reduces depression and anxiety and sharpens your mental focus.
As numerous studies show, too much fat increases your risk of serious illnesses and diseases. Belly fat in men contributes to a whole host of health problems including diabetes, heart disease and erectile dysfunction. For women, belly fat increases your risk of certain cancers as well as negatively impacts your fertility. Talk to your doctor about your current diet and fitness plan. The good news is that Northern Virginia is home to countless gyms, hiking trails, bike paths, playgrounds, parks and more. Find something you enjoy and schedule exercise as if it’s an appointment you simply cannot miss.
Don’t Worry, Be Happy
When I was in the third grade, my teacher would play this hit single to teach us not to freak out over misspelling words like “island” (I misspelled it three times). The main message here is that yeah, it stunk that I had to rewrite the same word over and over and over again until I spelled it right but it wasn’t the end of the world. I somehow figured out how to remember the correct way of spelling that word in my brain and was able to enjoy recess with the rest of the kids. Whatever is bringing you down, whatever is stressing you out, set it aside. Like Bobby McFerrin says, when you worry you make trouble double. So, don’t worry about it. Be happy instead.
I know, sometimes that is easier said than done. Again, talk to your doctor about ways to help alleviate stress and pressure from your life. Sign up for a yoga class or start writing in a journal. Fall in love again with an old hobby like painting or building trains. Disconnect yourself from all forms of technology and head over to a local park, find a bench and sit. Observe the beauty of nature around you, let your mind wander freely. Interact with friends and family in person, not online. Take up reading, writing or photography.
I get it, you have to get up, get ready for work, spend hours commuting to and from work, work, come home, pick up the kids/dry cleaning/puppy/groceries, cook, clean, laundry, help with homework, reconnect with your spouse, catch up on the latest reality show, finish that last chapter in your book, work on that thesis, on and on and on. Next thing you know, you’re going to bed at midnight or one in the morning with a 5 or 6am wakeup call the next day. Lather, rinse, repeat seven days a week and you’ll understand why the United States is dealing with an obesity problem. Sleep does more than just replenish the mind and body. It also regulates your blood pressure, reduces your risk of suffering from a heart attack, helps you make better choices when it comes to food and drinks as well as reduces your risk of early death.
First, prioritize your to-do list into two categories: “Must Do” and “Can Wait.” Do you really have to have a spotless house every single day of the week? Does your life really depend on catching up on the drama that happens on “the Bachelor” or “America’s Got Talent?” I think not. Besides, studies show that the blue light that is emitted from televisions, laptops and other digital devices may hinder your brains ability to produce chemicals that lead to sleepy time. Set a regular bedtime schedule and refrain from any strenuous or mentally draining activities one hour prior. Read a book, drink caffeine-free tea or snuggle under the covers with your sweetheart. Aim to get at least seven hours of sleep on most nights.