A one-size-fits-all definition of a healthy lifestyle is simply impossible. What makes your body and mind happy is not going to be the same as what makes my body and mind happy.
I personally struggle with social media a little bit because of this – I enjoy connecting with our community and providing a source of motivation and inspiration to my clients, friends and family. However, I also like to encourage others to seek happiness and balance within their own lifestyle parameters.
What works for me may not necessarily work for others.
My “healthy lifestyle” has been decades in the making and is being refined constantly. I like to reflect back periodically on “how I used to do things” to provide a point of comparison for myself. Usually, I find that I have tweaked my routine or my choices fairly significantly. This can genreally be traced back to situational, financial or scheduling factors that are affecting my life at that point in time.
I’m sure you would all be able to relate!
My “healthy lifestyle” at the moment is very centred around my family. My weekly planning for exercise, kids, food, and leisure are all based on balancing everyone’s needs -including my own- and finding those pockets of time to connect. Our family values being in nature, spending time together, creating memories and having experiences rather than materialistic items. These things are my sparks of joy. Joy is such an important part of a “healthy lifestyle”.
I wanted to share a few things that are really important in my definition of a “healthy lifestyle” for myself. You may be able to extract and plant of this stuff into your own world, and hopefully make some of this work for you!
Buying the best food that we can afford: In Australia, organic food can be extremely expensive compared to the usual stuff. Whilst we can’t afford to go fully organic all the time, we try our best to source our fresh produce directly from our local farmers, our pantry items from small-time producers or from bulk wholefood stores and our meats from our preferred butchers. My aim is to have a diet that is varied as much as possible, and this usually means that I buy produce that is seasonal and plentiful – in turn, this means I plan most of our meals on the fly. The upside? We never really eat the same things between week to week and the kids have developed amazing tastebuds!
Creating memories through food: Like many other families, so much of our household is centred around the kitchen. Our kitchen looks like a science experiment gone wrong for much of the day, but it’s also the epicentre of so much health and happiness. I love opening the fridge and pantry to find an awesome line up of fresh fruit and veggies and other delicious stuff. We love introducing the kids to new things often, so it’s exciting to be able to bring home a chunk of goats cheese or quince paste, for example, for them to try.
Exercise: I am one of those people who need to move often and move hard. I have an insane amount of energy and my body needs to get rid of it daily, otherwise it causes me to become restless and even a little angry. I know that working out intensely and for long periods of time doesn’t suit everyone – but I know it works for me. I tend to exercise in the morning before the kids get up, because it’s really the only time of day when I can get a big enough chunk of time!
Quiet moments: My days tend to be long – they start very early and end pretty late. Not only are they filled with work and the other things on my to-do list, I also have to make sure that I am caught up with the kids’ lives! Amidst the chaos, it is so important for my brain to know that I have pit-stops during the day. They tend to be at the same time each day – this helps me to know how much more I need to push on for. I love having an afternoon tea break with Iker, to debrief the morning. Iker and I also always have dinner together, separate from the kids. This allows us to have an adult meal, with time to chat or watch our silly TV shows.
A morning ritual to start the day: My mornings are so important. They are the-calm-before-the-storm. I love having time to get ready to tackle the day before everything kicks into action. Whether it be washing my face, having a warm drink, or reading the news, my morning is never rushed. If I know that my day starts at 5 am, I am that crazy person that will get up at 4 am just to have an extra long hot shower to start the day on the right foot. If you’re not a morning person, an evening ritual may work better for you.
Finding joy in simple things: In the daily hustle and bustle, it’s too easy to focus on the things that haven’t been done, the things that have left untidy and all the other loose ends. I love finding joy in simple things. Small acts of gratitude like this always seem to lift my day. I love making and enjoying breakfast as a family one day a week, I love reading to the kids or playing a pretend game with them before they go to bed, I love falling asleep on the couch with Iker on Friday nights knowing that we can get up a little later on Saturday mornings, I love mornings where I work on my computer in my bathrobe rather than have to change into my workout gear, I love cooking for the kids and watching them gobble everything up like I’m the best chef in the world, I love going out with my girlfriends for dinner and talking about absolutely everything and nothing. It’s the small things that count and make up one big happy lifestyle.
So guys, I would love to hear how you have shaped, or are shaping, your own “healthy lifestyle”. Let’s share some ideas – after all, “healthy lifestyles” are always under construction. Who knows, you could be even happier next year than you are this year! How cool would that be?