Three steps on starting a ‘happy, healthy lifestyle’

With the holidays just around the corner, many people experience added and unwanted stress. On top of stress, holiday snacks and treats are a big part of the next two months and if you’re anything like me, you can’t say no to those holiday sweets. 

Well, I am going to offer you three steps that are a big part of making sure you stay happy and healthy through the stressful holiday season. 

Step 1: Drink More Water!

Drinking water has numerous health benefits. The all-natural, calorie-free drink is better for you than high-sugar drinks like sodas and juices. It supplies nutrients and hydration to your body.

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Some ways water can benefit your health include:

  • Cleansing toxins from the body
  • Controlling calories
  • Energizing muscles
  • Balancing body fluids

Remember to drink 8 glasses—64 ounces—of water a day to get the benefits of drinking water. 

Personally, I set a goal of 5 32-ounce water bottles a day. I end up drinking 160 ounces of water per day.

A good way to measure how much water you should be drinking is by dividing your weight in half. You should drink half of your body weight in water every single day!

Step 2: Stabilizing your mood

Mood is an important part of your mental health and well-being. If you’re in a bad mood then you could see negative effects in interactions with others and your daily experiences. Assess how you feel daily so you can adjust your lifestyle and choices.

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To help stabilize your mood:

  • Sleep 7-8 hours each day
  • Engage in social, fun activities
  • Exercise
  • Seek professional counseling if needed
  • Spend time with loved ones

I exercise for at least 30 minutes every day. Exercise and sleep regulation is a very great way to begin stabilizing your mood, becoming one step closer to a happy lifestyle. 

Step 3: Set personal goals

This by far is my favorite step in my three-step process. As a senior at the University of Maryland, goal setting has been a big part of my life since I began my time here at the university. 

By setting sharp, clearly defined goals, you can measure and take pride in the achievement of those goals, and you’ll see forward progress in what might previously have seemed a long pointless grind. You will also raise your self-confidence, as you recognize your own ability and competence in achieving the goals that you’ve set.

Here are some steps to get you setting goals:

  • State each goal as a positive statement
    • Express your goals positively – “Execute this technique well” is a much better goal than “Don’t make this stupid mistake.”
  • Be precise 
    • Set precise goals, putting in dates, times and amounts so that you can measure achievement. If you do this, you’ll know exactly when you have achieved the goal and can take complete satisfaction from having achieved it.
  • Set priorities – When you have several goals, give each a priority. 
    • This helps you to avoid feeling overwhelmed by having too many goals and helps to direct your attention to the most important ones.
  • Write goals down 
    • This crystallizes them and gives them more force.
  • Keep operational goals small – Keep the low-level goals that you’re working towards small and achievable. 
    • If a goal is too large, then it can seem that you are not making progress towards it. Keeping goals small and incremental gives more opportunities for reward.
  • Set performance goals, not outcome goals – You should take care to set goals over which you have as much control as possible. 
    • It can be quite dispiriting to fail to achieve a personal goal for reasons beyond your control!
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With the holidays coming up, these three steps have helped me create a better lifestyle for myself. I hope they will be put to good use for your future endeavors!

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