For the past month or so, I have been trying to lose weight. I’ve tried different exercise routines and different “diets.” But I realized the problem is that my goal has been nothing but to lose weight.
This does nothing but put needless pressure on myself. Honestly, being a 21 year old college student is a more difficult time in life than many would expect. The school work is difficult and the pressure to figure out your future before it’s too late is scary. The focus is not just towards senior year, it’s towards a career and a future. So why add stress?
Being healthy is the best decision you can every make in life. But it should not be about losing weight, counting calories, and killing yourself at the gym. Healthy is way more than that.
Personally, I consider there to be 6 forms of health that we should all try to prioritize starting with the obvious. When you get these things in check, life will be so much easier and happier:
This does not mean you have to set a strict workout schedule each week and force yourself to bust your butt at the gym. This means not sitting around all day long. Many of us spend a lot of time sitting at school or work because we have no choice. This contributes to a lot of unhealthiness. It is important to stay active. So go for a daily walk when you have the time, do some yoga, dance around to music while cleaning or cooking, actively play with pets and kids. Any form of physical activity is great. It’s not all about the gym.
Honestly, I am a firm believer in living a little. You will never see me cut out wings and pizza from my diet. I love and enjoy food too much. But you can turn your diet around easily without sacrificing everything that you love. Cut out soda, drink PLENTY of water. Have healthy snacks during the week, go for smaller portions, give up fast food and limit eating out. Allow yourself to have foods that you love but in smaller and less frequent amounts. Any small change will bring about big results. Cutting out soda and eating more home cooked meals alone will change so much.
Being emotionally and mentally healthy is HUGE. If you are struggling with these two, talk to people. You are never alone. There is always someone willing to listen and help. If it’s something less serious, find an outlet for when you feel stressed, annoyed, or down. Listen to music, watch your favorite sport or tv show, cuddle with a loved one or pet, go for a walk. It is important to not downplay your emotions or shove them away. Listen to how you are feeling and decide what will make you feel better and if there is a problem that needs to be solved. If something needs to be solved, watching something or walking won’t take care of it. In that case, map it out, write about, talk it out. You WILL figure it out.
It is so important to have family, friends, and loved ones to spend time with, talk to, and just be with. Treat those people like they are special and they will do the same to you. Never take important people for granted. Think before arguing or making an issue out of something silly. Make sure you are thankful for those that you have and you will be less inclined to be so negative if they do something that frustrates you. And if they do frustrate you, communicate. If they are making you insanely happy, tell them. Keep in touch with people you love and learn to appreciate them. Hard times and happy times are both so much better when you have someone or multiple people to share your thoughts and feelings with.
5. Time Spent
How you spend your free time is actually so important for your healthy. When you aren’t busy working and going to school, you need to give yourself time to relax and to have time. Everyone needs a social life. Everyone needs something they are passionate about. Be sure to remember those two things. You will wear yourself down so bad if you are constantly working and stressing. Get out and go somewhere with people, watch a movie, take up a hobby. Life is meant to be enjoyed. And believe it or not, enjoying life is a huge part of being healthy.
6. Being Happy
Of course, you can’t be happy all the time. But it is important to strive to find something happy in each day or week. Smile to make yourself feel better. Don’t take life so seriously. Don’t sweat the small things. You have the power to let yourself be happy. No one can take that away from you.