An Uncomplicated Life Blog: Ways To Have A Healthier 2020

Monday, January 6, 2020

Ways To Have A Healthier 2020

It's not just diet and exercise, there are tons of easy ways to live a healthier life in 2020. Here's what I'm doing to be my best self this year

I think when people hear "living a healthier life", they always assume that means diet and exercise. And while that's certainly a part of it, I'm loving seeing the narrative shift to include mental and emotional health too. Sure, being in shape is great. Yes, eating well is absolutely essential to feeling great, and looking great too. But I'm also just as focused on emotional and mental health this year, and am finding others are too. If you're not mentally well, if effects your whole being, and you'll quickly learn that the physical aspects (as well as your emotional eating!) veer off course. These are all the ways I'm going to have a healthier 2020!

Emotional health:
- Give myself grace: I no longer expect myself to be perfect, but I do have high expectations of myself. Am I bummed when a dinner doesn't turn out as great as I want it to? Yes. Do I want to be the mom who doesn't yell, who's totally supportive, who jumps up with enthusiasm when one of her kids needs her? Yes, I wish all those things. And sometimes dinner is amazing and sometimes I'm exactly the mom my kids need me to be. And sometimes I'm not. And that's ok! I think one of the biggest lessons in parenting is learning to recognize your mistakes, apologize for them (literally, telling your kids that you're sorry for whatever it was you realize was a mistake) and letting it go is huge. To me, that's giving yourself grace: recognize it, apologize for it (if need be) and let it go.

- Pursue my passions: when you work from home, especially in an "online" capacity, it's really easy to always feel the need to work. The internet is always open; there are bloggers who are constantly engaged with their communities and you can feel pressure to do the same; your kids always need something or there's a play date you *should* attend; there's your children's activities you have to go to, like basketball or theater. The demands on modern parents is never-ending. This year, I'm going to intentionally carve out space for MYSELF. I love to paint, love to craft, I love to cook, I love to garden and love to decorate. All those things can go hand in hand, thankfully, and I want to focus on them a little more so that I'm an emotionally happy person. We've all heard the saying - only when YOUR cup is full can you properly pour out of it and help care for others. This is one of the ways I want to fill my own cup to be a better pour-er for my husband and kids.

Excited to read more and experiment more with both veggie and flower gardening in 2020

Mental health:
- Get off social media more often: it's no surprise; social media is detrimental to our mental health. Even the most well adjusted people end up comparing their lives to others, or get jealous when they see a friend advance/get something new/etc that they can't have or can't afford. Maybe it's not even that extreme, but you just feel bad because your neighbor got the perfect shot of their newborn baby and you couldn't even muster to break out your camera or forgot to call a photographer. I consider myself pretty well adjusted, and even I get bummed out when I spend too much time on social media. It's simply a drain on happiness and a detrimental to your system.

- Watch less TV: there just isn't much on that's worth watching, frankly. Sure, I love BRAVO and I love Andy Cohen, I love HBO series and I love quite a few Netflix series. But at one time, there might be one or two shows a week that I'm interested in watching. The funny thing is, when you're not watching TV, you realize how much time a week you actually waste doing it! I've really gotten back into reading, and if one of my shows isn't on, or if my husband is traveling (we watch most of our shows together, so with the exception of anything on BRAVO together, if he's not around, I won't watch it without him) I suddenly have two or so hours a night to fill. I've already started doing this, and it's great to get back into reading. It improves my sleep quality and I'm actually using my brain instead of numbing it out in front of the TV! I plan to post an updated list of all the reads I've enjoyed lately, but if you want to start shutting of your TV and start reading, this is a great list to get you started. Best part is, it's free at your library, or dirt cheap on Kindle/Amazon.

I've already finished both of these, which were excellent reads - I'll write up a second list of entertaining reads if you're trying to get off screens more often as soon as I have a good list going

Physical health:
- Learn new recipes: I love to cook. LOVE it (see above for pursuing my passions!) This past year, I did some exploring with a few new flavors, like the Thai Coconut Curry Soup I made. I want to keep doing that, perhaps with a few cooking classes. We have a market here in Dallas called Central Market that offers cooking classes; I hope to do a few date nights taking one and learning some new flavor combinations with my husband! Win win - date night and learning. Frankly, right now we eat out/get take out as much or even more often than I actually cook, and I'd like to transition that to me cooking mostly at home and rarely going out or getting take out. Making your food is healthier and more affordable, especially if you make it from scratch. I have the skills. Hopefully, with the twins being a tad older, I now can have the time, too. That's been the biggest barrier - time and exhaustion levels. I hope in this new year, I can add new menu items to our rotation and cook more meals at home.

This was SO tasty and took 25 minutes to put together. I hope to cook more meals at home in 2020

- Get outside every single day: I'm so thankful to live in the deep South where it's enjoyable to get outside year round! When we just had Henry and Otto, I made us play outside for an hour or two every day; but once we had the twins, it got harder. They're getting older now, and I can't wait for us to all play outside together daily. When they were little babies, it was too hard to take them plus my toddlers in the pool; then in the fall, all the acorns that fell from our live oak trees were a total hazard. But now! Now they're walking and now they can hold onto a swing and soon enough, they'll even be able to help us garden. 2020 is going to be the year of our return to outdoor play! The sunshine is so good for your mental health, the physical activity is good for your body and digging in the dirt is good for your immune system.

Looking for more ideas on living a better, all around healthier life? Check out these great ideas:

Not too lofty goals for the new year, right?! Ha, only time will tell about that. But I think they should be relatively easy to incorporate into a daily life practice. I also completed a two day juice cleanse to "reset" myself after a gluttonous holiday season (I used this product off Amazon - it comes in one, two and three day versions of the cleanse and I highly recommend it if you need a post-holiday system reset! I have a bunch of thoughts on "cleansing" so expect a full post on it later this month) If you've committed yourself to a better you this year, I hope you're inspired by these ways to have a healthier 2020. 


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