If you’re looking to create a healthier lifestyle, maybe its important to think about what health means to you. I know it sounds obvious at first, but for me it was a lot more than exercising and eating more veggies.
Some ways I’ve create a more holistically healthy lifestyle for myself:
1. Cooking my own meals. Getting interested in cooking. Caring about the ingredients.
We plan out our meals on Sunday, and then grocery shop. We eat a different meal each night. Tonight, for example, I’m cooking green lentils and making a warm salad with goat cheese and arugala and a homemade dressing. Last night we made vegetarian chili. Because we decided to buy as much locally produced food as possible, and organic whenever possible, we eat a lot less meat (its expensive to buy good, humanely raised meat!). I read some food blogs to get ideas, and I love nice cookbooks. Maybe put a few nice ones on your Christmas list, and vow to try a new recipe each week?
2. Spending time outdoors.
Exercising is a tough thing for me to do regularly, but I slowly have gotten more into the habit. One way of doing this was to notice how much better I felt when I spent time outdoors. I live in Vermont, so there are a lot of outdoor activities available to me, but even in cities you can spend time in parks. If the weather is nice, I walk to class (about a mile) knowing that it will make me feel better about sitting inside for six hours if I’ve gotten a little sunshine in. I am asking for snowshoes for Christmas, and have gotten better at cross-country skiing each year. We go for hikes on the weekend. I also go to the gym sometimes, and lately I’ve been lifting weights, but my time outdoors always makes me feel the best.
3. Getting enough sleep.
I always prioritize sleep. I’m a mess without it. I go to bed early and read for a while, and then try to get up at the same time each morning. If I didn’t get enough sleep, I try to find a way to get a nap in.
As for getting your partner involved, the first two suggestions are things you can do together. Take a cooking class together, or suggest walking to the resturaunt for your next date (we did this once, and walked 2 miles to the resturaunt and then back after dinner- it was so nice! We got home feeling happy and relaxed, not stuffed to the gills!). My partner has also really gotten in to cooking, so we take turns cooking each night. We sit down and eat dinner together at the table, instead of infront of the t.v., which slows us down and makes eating a more intentional and enjoyable experience.
Mostly, I think its about changing the way you experience your body- finding what makes you feel good (for a sustained period of time, rather than the short rush of less healthy activities), and doing it.
Sorry to write a novel, I’m really interested in holistic visions of health. I think so often women think of health as a restricted diet and hours of treadmill time, and this makes me sad.