Lifestyle Modifications

Lifestyle is the daily functioning of any individual involving daily activities, habits, and behavior. It plays a vital role in maintaining our physical as well as mental health. Lifestyle modifications can be used to treat a wide range of diseases. According to pieces of evidence, most health issues are due to improper lifestyles or bad habits.

Lifestyle modifications involve inheriting long-term good habits, especially eating and physical health along with a proper sleep schedule for months or even years. In simple terms, it means adopting healthy choices and avoiding unhealthy choices. There are basic three pillars of lifestyle modification which are SDE (sleep, diet, and exercise) as these pillars impact our physical and mental health and maintain balance by helping an individual live a healthy life.

Sleep

Sleep is the first and most important pillar of lifestyle modification as it is directly linked to mental health and also impacts the other two pillars. We all know the importance of quality sleep but sleep issues like incomplete sleep, sleep disturbances, and improper sleep schedule are major issues faced by most of the population due to fast running generation with unhealthy odd habits. Sleep is very important for daily proper functioning as it encourages our cognitive skills, and prevents the risks of many serious diseases, and psychological conditions. By taking care of some habits, one can improve the sleep schedule and can opt for healthy lifestyle modifications. Some of the habits to start with to maintain proper sleep hygiene can involve-

  • Make a sleep routine of 7-8 hours on daily basis.
  • Have a fixed sleep-wake time to inculcate it as a habit.
  • Make a comfortable sleep environment with soft cushions, good bedding, candle (if you prefer), and dark or dim lighting as per your preference.
  • Avoid any electronic gadgets such as phones, iPad, laptops, etc., as they emit blue light which interferes with sleep.
  • Practice relaxing exercises or meditation like deep breathing for 5-10 minutes before sleeping as it calms your mind and gets you in a stress-free mindset and lets you have a good and sound sleep.
  • You can also have a warm water bath and drink chamomile tea before bedtime to sleep properly without any disturbances.

Diet

Someone has very rightly said that ‘you are what you eat. Our diet and eating habits not only impact our physical health but also reflects what we feel and think. It provides all the necessities that our body needs such as vitamins, minerals, proteins, iron, fibers, etc. Several studies have shown that a healthy green diet full of leafy vegetables and plenty of healthy fluids helps to control several mental health conditions like stress, anxiety, and depression. Our body functions by the laws of nature so it is very important to add certain food items to our diet but it is also as important to restrict some such as junk and unhealthy food choices. Start by bringing discipline to your diet by following certain steps such as -

  • Have a realistic diet plan that you can follow and actually enjoy following mindfully.
  • Stay hydrated with at least 3-4 liters of water.
  • Eat at regular intervals.
  • Do not skip any meal.
  • Practice portion control.
  • Follow the 3-2-1 portion rule for a healthy and balanced diet where you eat 3 parts of your meal for breakfast, 2 portions for lunch, and 1 part for your dinner.
  • Take consultation from a dietician if you are following a supplementary diet.

Exercise

Regular exercising isn’t actually much practiced by people in this fast-paced lifestyle but do you know how exercise cannot improve only physical health but also is very crucial for our mental health? A brisk walk or 20-minute regular exercise can be a game changer to the complete lifestyle modification game. It has a positive impact on stress, anxiety and depression management, and memory issues, and enhances the sleep schedule and overall health. There is no compulsion of hitting the gym or to do hardcore exercises, just light practices like yoga, dancing, walking, or even choosing a staircase instead of the lift can be very impactful. Inactivity not only leads to weight gain but also other issues like sleep, hunger, anger, anxiety, and many others. So, exercise is very important for lifestyle modifications, just follow some basic steps like the ones mentioned below-

  • Try and include 20-30 minutes of exercise in your daily routine and it can be in any form may it be yoga, dance, Pilates or just walking.
  • Engage and take responsibility for your household chores whenever possible instead of depending on family members.

To enhance the overall quality of life, there are some additional tips that can lead to lifestyle modifications-

  • Spend some time in sunlight daily as sunlight improves an individual’s mood and helps the person stay calm and focused.
  • Take breaks in between as ‘too much of nothing is good and it is important to give the brain some time to relax apart from focusing on one or another thing.
  • Start with some soothing activities such as painting, gardening, cooking, or singing as a daily routine.

As mentioned above, along with some habits to add to your routine, there are some habits to be restricted.

  • Avoid or limit smoking as it can have adverse effects on the heart, lungs, or memory.
  • Avoid or limit alcohol consumption and caffeine products such as tea or coffee which affect the sleep and mood of an individual.
  • Avoid and limit binge-watching and have proper eating habits to have a healthy schedule.

Our lifestyle choices play an important role in our overall health and daily mood. Adapting to good lifestyle modifications not only prevents serious illness but facilitates daily functioning. So, what is stopping you instead of unhealthy lifestyle choices in hurry to complete so much daily, manage and balance them for a healthy lifestyle?