Keeping Healthy Habits, Plus A Free Printable

It's no surprise that when you eat well, exercise, and get enough sleep, you tend to be in a better mood.

Still, even knowing this information, it is easy to slip up. Maybe you decide to press snooze and skip yoga. Maybe instead of making a salad, you indulge in a junk food feast. Maybe you go out and have too many drinks, resulting in a nasty hangover the next day. You're only human, after all! Once the healthy pattern is broken, though, it sometimes can be hard to return to.

Over a year ago, I made the switch to a paleo diet (at the recommendation of my doctor). Cutting out processes sugar and grains made a noticeable improvement in my overall health, leaving me energized, strong, and less susceptible to getting sick. Despite the encouraging benefits, however, a strict diet can be challenging. I found that I would do well and feel fantastic once I got in the groove, but if I went off track and ate something not within the paleo restrictions, it can take a heck of a lot to get me back to where I was.

Lately, I've realized I've been in a bit of a slump, mentally and physically. Not coincidentally, I have only been eating a "paleo-ish" diet, and have slowly been consuming more and more sugar and grains. Although it may seem obvious, it can be much easier to spiral into unhealthy habits than healthy ones, and I found myself the other day going out in the pouring rain and hail to pick up yet another loaf of cinnamon sugar challah bread because my craving was too strong to ignore, despite just finishing off a huge loaf that morning. Not a proud moment for me, and I felt even worse later with the resulting stomachache and headache.

With spring's arrival, the reminder of new beginnings are popping up at every corner. The green grass grows taller, and flowers blossom on every block. Even after a hard time, whether it be cold temperatures or the spiral of an unhealthy habit, you can always start anew. Empowered by my desire for a fresh start, I am prioritizing my health once again. By no longer indulging my less than healthy cravings and by stocking my fridge with delicious paleo-friendly options, I find myself back on my path.

My yoga instructor offered this beautiful piece of wisdom that I thought was too inspiration not to share: Imagine that you are assigned a car at your birth, and that is the only car you are allowed to have until your death. In order to not only keep that car running, but running smoothly, you will likely make that car a top priority for your whole life. Your parents may help you when you are younger, but as you grow, as does your responsibility. You'd have to make sure it gets the necessary tune-ups, is constantly scrubbed and polished, fed premium fuel, isn't over-worked but also isn't left in the yard to rust, and is given a cozy garage to rest in in-between journeys. Now, realize that your body is your vehicle for your lifetime, and understand why you need to prioritize your health.

Without a hovering parent reminding you to eat your vegetables like they did when you were a child, you have to realize your well-being is your own responsibility. Tired of being sick and tired? Then do something about it! Go that extra mile and make yourself the priority! Switch that soda for a coconut water. Bike to work instead of driving. Set aside even just ten minutes in the morning to sit down and meditate. Find something that you can do for yourself that will set you on the path towards being healthier, mentally and physically. What is the reward of all your hard work? Happiness.

Keeping in mind that healthy living can be challenging at times, I created a little visual reminder to encourage me when I become frustrated. As a thank you to my readers for all their support, I've made my poster available to download!

(It might not show up when you open in your browser, but it should work once downloaded.)

Do you have any healthy habits that have significantly improved your life? What unhealthy habit do you find hardest to break?