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10 Easy Steps to a Healthier Lifestyle

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All too often we get caught up in life. Jobs, family, the gym, our finances, can become overwhelming. We forget how to focus and in an instant, we are overcome with all of our responsibilities and cannot regain control. Here are some steps that may help you on the road to recovering what is important to you.

1. Get up an hour early.
Get up early and get outside. Yes, even if this means waking up at 4 am. This doesn’t have to be every day, at least once a week. Put on a watch, just a watch (yes, clothes too) and go for a walk. No phone, no status updates. Enjoy the walk for what it is and enjoy your surroundings. Maybe, walk to a restaurant and check out the menu in the window, walk to a park and revel in the silence. There is something very cathartic about being up before the birds and hearing them one by one also wake up to the day. If you’ve never seen the sunrise, find a spot and enjoy watching mother nature do her thing.

2. Be thankful.Don’t forget how good you have it.
You don’t have to look too far away to realize how good you have it. Look around where you live. I’m sure you can find one aspect of your life that brings you joy. Your significant other, children, pets, a new friend (or the ones who have been around forever) music; there is always something you should be thankful for. Don’t get caught up in what you don’t have, be happy with all you do have.

3. Breathe.
Sometimes, during our day we forget to breathe with purpose. Sure, breathing happens normally without us having to think about it, but sometimes we need to focus and centralize our energy into each individual breath. Find a room, a bathroom stall, your bedroom closest. Wherever you are, and take 10 breaths slow and controlled. Start with your chin buried into your chest and slowly raise your head upon inhaling and exhale the breath at the highest point and focus your eyes above you.
If you feel your day is getting squirrely, give yourself a thirty second reset and you will instantly feel better.

4. Smile and Greet a stranger.
What? Really! “It’s every New Yorkers God given right to be miserable.” -Ghostbusters
Something as simple as this, even if it’s not reciprocated, will make you and possibly that person feel better. Not everything you do has to have the ability to move mountains in order to have a positive impact. Give it a try. You’ll feel good doing it, and after too.

5. Workout
Just do something, not every workout needs to be a mind-blowing, physically exhausting experience. But, challenging yourself a few days a week can do wonders for your mental clarity, and with enough time dedicated to exercise, your body will perform mundane tasks with ease, making your daily routine, not such a burden.

6. Get comfortable, with being uncomfortable.
Nothing screams personal growth more than allowing yourself to be uncomfortable. Get out and do something, anything that you wouldn’t normally even think about! Go skydiving, try white-water rafting! Not so adventurous? That’s fine, go up to someone at a bar and strike up a conversation. You might not have the optimal outcome, but hey you did something out of your comfort zone, and that is what matters.

7. Volunteer your time.
Ok, I’m not asking you to be the pope or Mother Theresa. But taking time out of your life to help someone else out will DEFINITELY put your life on the upswing. It can be as simple as taking five extra minutes to help someone shovel their walkway, or volunteering your time at a local hospital or animal shelter. No matter what you decide to do, you’ll be better for it. And whomever is at the receiving end, will never forget.

8. Visit a dog park.
Don’t have a dog, don’t worry. You’re just going to watch them play. For myself, watching dogs frolic, run and jump without care is therapeutic. They don’t care if they never saw the other dogs before, within five minutes, they are all running and enjoying themselves. A lot can be learned from our furry little buddies. Don’t like dogs? Go to a cat park…

9. Read a book.
Go out and get a book. Doesn’t have to be a thousand page novel either. Allow your mind to wander and free yourself of technology. Get back your imagination you once had as a child. Studies have shown reading a good book releases dopamine “the feel good chemical”. So go out, find a good book, and get “high”.

10. Go to bed, early.
Everyone sleeps in on the weekends, right? And when you wake up, you feel refreshed, right? So why not do this during the week? Do you really have to watch the Late Late show every evening? Record your favorite shows if you must (you’ll have plenty of time to watch on the weekend), and get to bed an hour early. You’ll thank yourself in the morning. And so will everyone else!

Bill Shockley
Co-Owner CrossFit ACT