Sometimes when you’re trying to adopt healthier habits, other health issues can get in the way. When you’re really struggling with these behaviors, ask yourself if more is going on. For example, mental health conditions like depression and anxiety are many times tied to unhealthy behaviors. Get help.
A health professional can work with you to address any underlying issues to make change feel easier and to help you be more successful.
You’re never too out of shape, too overweight, or too old to make healthy changes. Never. Don’t let anyone make you feel that way. Try different strategies until you find what works best for you. Slow and steady wins the race. Small, incremental steps are the best way to move towards your goals with success. If you’re trying to get more physically active, start with a 10-minute walk around your block a few times a week. If you want to reduce stress, try meditating for 10 minutes once a week and build on that. You may think this sounds too easy, but that’s the point. Over time, you can increase your efforts and enjoy the benefit of these healthy activities without feeling that the journey was such a struggle. Take the necessary time and enjoy the journey.
The truth is that getting healthy starts in your head. If you don’t feel ready to take an action step forward, don’t worry. Just focus on “cognitive goals”, where you gather information, think about your options, consider the benefits of change versus staying the same, and map out how you might best integrate new healthy behaviors in your life. In due time, you’ll feel ready to take an action step forward, and the cognitive work you’ve done will pay off. Things may not go as planned, and that’s okay. Change is a process. What’s most important is to keep moving forward. It’s a journey!