Am I Actually Living A Healthy Lifestyle?

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The current generation (generation Z we’re called) knows only too well the importance of a healthy, balanced lifestyle, yet we’re probably the most obese generation in history. Does a healthy lifestyle just mean eating salads and running every now and again? That could be part of it, but each of us needs to learn that there’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all lifestyle. People are different. They have different physiques, varying capacities, and they therefore should be taught how best to accommodate these in a lifestyle best suited to them as individuals. Skinny doesn’t necessarily mean you’re either healthy or unhealthy. If you’re a few kilos over what’s considered normal for your height you could be either healthy or unhealthy. To have a healthy, balanced lifestyle you must consistently do three things, eat healthily, exercise regularly and have adequate sleep. So, how best to do this?

Eating Healthily

When I think about eating healthily I instinctively think about salads and plain, boring foods with no taste. I should think again. For healthy food isn’t necessarily plain, boring, or tasteless. Okay then: but from the confusion of so many highly publicised fad diets, how can I determine what’s the best and most appealing food for me? I think I’ll start by looking as what scientific evidence shows works best for most people.

  • I’ll reduce/ stop eating processed foods — which will be tough at first. I’d expect to crave these, so rather than go cold turkey I’ll aim to taper off.
  • I won’t skip meals. We tend to think that to lose weight we need to eat less. However the science tell us when we skip meals the body begins storing fat protectively, uncertain of when it might be fed again.
  • I’ll do as nutritionists’ research recommends and eat 5 vegetables and 2 fruits daily.
  • Drinking 8 glasses of water is also recommended, so I’ll carry a water bottle with me throughout the day.
  • Generally I’ll make sure I eat more of what I call real food — as soon as possible after its been plucked from a plant, bush or tree, or dug from the earth.
  • I’ll graze rather than guzzle, eating less at regular meal times and snacking in between……healthily!

Exercise Regularly

I enjoy exercise most when, rather than striving for a bikini body, I’m just spending quiet time with me, and I’ve come to understand why this is so. When we exercise, our bodies release endorphins, which give us a feeling of wellbeing, of happiness and in certain instances outright euphoria. I’ve also found exercise reduces anxiety, tends to clear my mind and aids concentration. But as I’ve said, we differ in abilities and capabilities, so set your own goals and your own pace. I’ve adopted the general recommendation of doing my own form of exercise 3 to 5 days a week. And you don’t need a gym for much that is worthwhile and enjoyable exercise. You can….

  • Join a sporting team. The frequency and intensity of the exercise will depend on the sport’s and the team’s requirements.
  • Ride your bike to school, uni or work.
  • Walk with friends around your block, or be adventurous and walk up one of the popular hills trails. (You’ll be combining exercise and socialising.)
  • Walk the dogs each night.

Heed your body when exercising. If your body is tired and sore, don’t over do exercise. It’s not worth injuring yourself. If you do need to take a day or two off from a regular exercise program, perhaps you could usefully spend the time doing stretching and flexing exercises to maintain flexibility and to reduce the risk of possible muscle injury once regular activity is resumed.

Rest

Beware exhaustion both physical and mental. Body and mind have their limits. Make sure you are having adequate rest each day, and remember, adequate sleep is essential to adequate rest. Teenagers and young adults should have 8 to 9 hours sleep nightly. If they don’t get it, their bodies remember the loss and will seek to make it up at the first opportunity – which is why if we’re in this age group, we’ll sometimes find ourselves sleeping like the proverbial log over the weekend. Sleep deprivation can cause memory loss and reduce attention span, so aim always to have a good night’s sleep before tests and exams. In sleep your brain will subconsciously go over your last-minute revision, and if the test involves sport, will subconsciously rehearse your muscles for the morrow’s event. Think of a sleep as painless, automatic study time. Ideal sleep time differs with age, young adults tending to need one to two hours more nightly than the elderly. If you’re exhausted and circumstances allow, turn off the bedside alarm. Give yourself a chance not only to wake when your body is ready, but also to awaken bright and alert.

Enjoy Life

It’s so easy to get stuck in routine that we forget to appreciate who we are, how far we’ve come and where we’re supposed to be going. Reflect on and appreciate all the good things in life. Relish little daily successes. Having a positive mindset strengthens ability to cope with life’s inevitable stresses.

Now To Balance

So remember, a healthy lifestyle is derived from a balance of healthy eating, exercise, rest, and enjoyment of life as a whole. Some days maybe more challenging than others. But never forget that your life is yours to live, based on your choices and yours alone. Recommendations from people, organisations and even society as a whole should of course be considered. Demands, most likely, should not.

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Is It Worth Being “Instafamous”

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Have you ever scrolled through social media sites and wondered “her life looks so perfect!” Or “how does she look that good in all her photos!”… Let’s be honest every girl has. It’s this bizarre obsession we have with each other. Were always looking and comparing our lives to those Instagram models or reality tv stars or even just that friend from school who looks like they have their whole life sorted and your just sitting in bed with chocolate wrappers watching a season of friends every night. However let’s take a deeper look into those “perfect” people. That girl who you know their whole life story because you’ve stared at every single photo numerous times with your mouth open like “how???” Well the secrets out…. That girl is fake!

I know that sounds harsh and it is, but we can all make our lives sound like the Kardashians if we choose the right filter, modeled for every shot, had professional make up done AND wore designer clothes but does this sound like the life you want to live? I know I couldn’t be bothered! The struggle is real to brush my hair and make up in the mornings! Usually just none of the above, but can you see yourself putting in that much effort to walk down the street?

I understand they have 6000 followers and you have 200, but they don’t even know their followers at least yours are human beings!

To make your life look perfect on numerous social media sites it wastes a lot of your real life! Think about it, in 50 years time when your talking to your grandchildren about growing up are you going to tell them “I had 6000 followers on Instagram… I was Insta famous!” Is that something you truly want to remember as your fondest memories. No. Live the life your suppose to live not just the made up version on your iPhone.

So the next time you see one of these girls posing as if their a Victoria secret model when in reality you know they are just a average person in the society who is showcasing their looks and lifestyle as if their famous think to yourself could I be bothered, if no, keep scrolling. Because you actually have a life outside of social media which is a rarer gem to find in our current ego-driven society.

5 Things To Do When You Complete Your University Degree

I have recently graduated my undergraduate studies in psychology, but now what? It’s funny how you work so hard for years to receive a piece of paper but still feel as confused and lost as when you walked into the gates on your first day.

1. Allow Yourself To Be Proud Of Finishing 

Unfortunately our society has trained us to believe that we should always be looking forward in how to improve, which isn’t always terrible. However sometimes we forget to look back and evaluate how far we have actually gone. Being able to take a break and enjoy life and your achievements thus far.

2. Allow Yourself To Have A Break & A Reflection/ Reassessment Of Where You Want To Go From Here

We can all get tied up in the thought process of ok i’ve completed this now I should go into this degree get this job etc. etc. However, you have just had your head in the books for 3-4 years and most likely haven’t had a real world experience. To be honest it can be different to what you may have thought. Take some time out of the books to explore the real world and work out for yourself what you think is the next best process not what university/ college has taught you.

3. Travel The World

Like in the number two you haven’t been able to explore the world around you. Dive into new cultures and experiences around the world. You may be surprised at who you become and how much you change due to a different people and countries beliefs surrounding you.

4. Get Experience In Your Field

It is better to get work experience in your field through internships or even volunteering than to continuously study. The real world is different to those text books. Having a hands on experience may allow you to evaluate if this chosen field is what you truly want to do or it may support your original beliefs. Also, it looks good on your CV, never underestimate the power of your resume.

5. Enjoy Life Around You

You’ve got a degree, in which our society believes is essential for future outcomes, but now just enjoy life. In your 20’s (which is when most people complete their degrees) you have so much more time in your life to work full time, have a family, settle down etc. Why not make the time now as your exploration with the world and yourself as well the most exciting to just see where life takes you. You have nothing to lose!

If Only You Could Read This

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “From You to You.”

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Dear young 14 year old self, if only you could see the world now.

The world has changed in so many ways that you could not possibly understand. If I could do anything now it would not be to teach you the current technologies or our society but to be able to educate you on who you are and who you have become.

I know at fourteen you may think you know what’s going on but your life is so wonderfully sheltered. Don’t let anyone destroy your bubble, your bubble allows you to continue to become who you are. Remind yourself to continue through life through your perspective no matter what occurs.

Don’t worry if you feel self-conscious remind yourself this is natural and ask yourself what triggered you to think this way. It’s hard to understand at fourteen but trust me when I say it will allow you to start to understand who you are and how you are shaping to be as a person.

Other girls may look confident but I want you to understand right now that those girls who you think have everything going for them are just as self-conscious as you are feeling right now. Never forget if you do have these feelings talk to someone. Talking to someone may seem daunting and embarrassing but if you understand that your mum has gone through the same experiences your currently going through you may realise she can help you.

I want you to realise you are a smart, beautiful girl who people believe and trust in more than you will ever know. I hope people remind you how beautiful you are and you actually take it seriously, even if it’s your mum. I will tell you a little trick that I have learnt and you should implement everyday. Have belief and confidence in yourself! No one can read your self-conscious thoughts and no one knows that you are the harshest critic on yourself. However, all these negative thoughts will start deteriorating your confidence in yourself. Remember it’s not the end of the world if you stuffed up a test, it has no real impact on your life!

Lastly, learn from your mistakes. Be prepared that you are going to make 1000’s of mistakes in your life, some huge some little but all those mistakes you made you must find a positive insight. You will learn so much more from the mistakes you made then your successes. Trust me when I say you will be fine. I can understand that at the time you think it’s the end of the world and it may change your life but your a strong independent woman who can adapt to what ever life throws at you and that is one of the most valuable skills you have.

Remember this quote:

You’ll never believe in yourself if you keep comparing yourself to others

With love,

CJ