You’ve likely heard that it’s important to shake up your workouts every six to eight weeks because the body is very good at adapting. That’s sound advice (and true!), but what many people don’t know is that it’s also sage advice for other parts of your life. If you want to keep expanding ways to keep you healthy, happy, and curious, it’s a good idea to change up your overall lifestyle. The results? A healthier body holistically including physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being.
The physical changes are the most obvious. Have you been stuck in the same cardio or strength training routine for months, or even years? Haven’t tried all of the classes or teachers at your gym? Never thought of taking your treadmill run outside? Personal trainers recommend dramatically changing your workouts at least every eight weeks. However, this can include modality (what you do and what you use) as well as intensity, time of day, and any other variable.
Most people could benefit from a mental health overhaul. You might want to consider adding meditation, therapy, or forest bathing to your daily routine. None of these practices have to take a lot of time. However, meditation can vary greatly based on the practice and guidance. Try downloading a few different guides and seeing what works for you. Although considered somewhat taboo, seeing a therapist can be a great way to talk about personal issues. No one is perfect and simply discussing life with a trained professional can be incredibly beneficial. “Forest bathing” is really just a term for mindful walks in the great outdoors (the more into the woods you can get, the better). A breath of fresh air really does make a difference, especially if it’s not part of your usual lifestyle.
Emotional and mental well-being often go hand-in-hand. However, if you feel a bit stagnant from fatigue, anxiety, or simply the same old routine, it’s up to you to make a change. Challenge yourself with daily affirmations. Changing how you speak to yourself, also called cognitive reconditioning, can make a huge difference in every facet of your life. Many people regularly speak negatively to themselves (either internally or externally) because society tells us we’re supposed to be modest, have humility in spades, and that sarcasm is a good thing. It wears us down and damages our emotional health. Talk kindly to yourself—that’s a big lifestyle change that will work wonders.
You don’t have to follow a certain faith, or any at all, to work on your spiritual well-being. What “feeds your soul?” What makes you feel good in a holistic way? For many, it might be a walk outdoors, spending time with animals, or closing your eyes and listening to music that soothes. All of these are practices that feed your spiritual health. You probably already know what works for you, and the bigger challenge is making time for it. Can you volunteer at a local animal shelter or pet-sit for a friend to get your animal “fix?” Can you spend your work breaks taking a brisk walk in a local park instead of huddling and gossiping with co-workers in the break room? Prioritize your spiritual well-being, and make a positive change to your lifestyle for big results.
Humans love routines, and they can be healthy in the right doses. However, change is also good for us. What good change can you make this summer?