Millennials, we might be making less than previous generations, but so far that hasn’t stopped us from spending more on health and fitness than the rest of those generations either. Clearly we’re doing something right in terms of jumping on the fitness train. But is it enough? What about our mental health? If you aren’t making time in your schedule for a little “me time” or thinking about your physical health at all, here’s why I think you should start!
So first of all, why care? What’s so important about your health anyway? Well…
Your physical health impacts your daily life more than your realize. From energy levels to your mental health, your food and fitness choices can mean the difference between having a good or a very very bad day. Imagine this for a second. You eat nothing but fast food all week and are in a constant state of dehydration. You are probably getting headaches from being dehydrated, which would impact your focus and productivity at school or work. You’re probably grumpy from said headaches and being extra snippy. Your energy level is in the tank because all you’ve had to eat is salt and grease, so you’re constantly tired. Your body’s immune system is on the fritz from lack of proper nutrients and you feel a cold coming on…
Imagine being in this sort of state on a busy or stressful day! Not good my friends. Not good.
You physical health is more than just your fitness. It’s everything to do with keeping your body in it’s tip-top condition. It’s bigger than your weight or your appearance. Honestly, that doesn’t even matter! What matters is that your body is given everything it needs to stay as healthy as possible. Staying hydrated, eating well, and working out (semi-)regularly are just a part of your overall health.What matters is that your body is given everything it needs to stay as healthy as possible. Click To Tweet
For me personally, my metabolism is crazy-high which means I have serious problems gaining weight. Which might sound amazing to some of you reading this I’m sure. Trust me, I’ve heard it all. And also trust me when I say it gets a little old. Without getting into too much detail (I’ll be writing about it later), while I was in grad school in Scotland and while I was working on my thesis back at home, I was obviously a little stressed. Needless to say, prioritizing my health fell to the wayside. Especially in the nutrition department, so I lost some weight.
Since I’ve been done with school, it’s been an uphill battle trying to gain it back. While I could sit here and eat nothing but pizza and hamburgers to gain weight, I would also feel like complete crap. So I’m doing it the healthier (and much harder) way – increasing my calorie intake with healthy foods, and focusing on strength training rather than fat burning. Already I’ve noticed a huge difference in my energy levels, overall moods, and I’m even sleeping better! Which means I’m more productive at work and with blogging. Win!
Another huge part of your health? Your mental health – the kind that most people can’t see. Which (in my opinion) makes it even more important. It is so so so important for you to do a little self-reflection and evaluate your mental state. Especially as a college student or a struggling millennial, you need to keep your mind sharp. So make time for a little self-care and relaxation. Take a break from school every now and then. It’s ok if it’s for your mental health. If you feel like taking that time for self-care is selfish, then make sure to check out Amanda’s (at The Light Owl) post on just that – Self-Care Isn’t Selfish.
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Your physical and mental health play on one another. If you’re in poor physical health, your mental health suffers and vice versa. If you’re in a bad place mentally, it can impact your life in the same way – feeling extra snippy, increased stress levels, poor sleep, feeling tired, etc. All of which impact your productivity at school or work. So the best way to fix that? Take time for yourself. Get your mind off of the things that are making you unhappy/stressed. Take a freaking break!
And that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to have a crazy spa day or do some hardcore self-care. It just means some “me time” or doing something you enjoy that gets your mind off of those stressful things for a while. Don’t get me wrong, I love a nice hot bath every now and then. But sometimes I prefer reading a book, going to the gym, or even baking!
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So what are some of those “me time” things?
- Take a walk/get some fresh air
- Take a bath/have a mini spa-day
- Bake or cook
- Work out
- Watch TV or a movie
- Various hobbies (see post linked above for some hobby ideas!)
- Organize stuff
Basically, find something you enjoy doing that doesn’t bring you stress, and plan time to do it. But how exactly do you do that if you’re crazy busy hustling? You make time that’s how. If you make your mental health a priority, then you will find the time for it. It’s that simple. It doesn’t just happen on accident, you have to make an effort to work it into your schedule. And I get it – it’s not easy! But even taking a few minutes at the end of your lunch break just to read a chapter in a book, write a journal entry, or heck, even stare at a wall and think about nothing can make a huge impact.
So how do you stay healthy? Do you make time for a little self-care?
Comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org!