So here’s a new idea – how about using your birthdays and other big dates on the calendar to do a once-over in your life? Take stock of what you’re doing, where you’re going and what you can do better.
You can have more to show for your birthday than cake crumbs and burnt candles. Let each annual celebration serve as a trigger to develop habits that contribute to a longer and healthier life. Take a look at these suggestions to help you get started.
Simple Habit Tweaks to Enhance Your Mental Health
1. Let go of expectations. While many events may be beyond your control, you can decide how to respond to them. Welcome whatever comes your way and use your experiences to learn and grow.
2. Give generously. Focusing on others brings more happiness into your life. Share your time, expertise, and possessions.
3. Practice forgiveness. Take a load off your mind by giving up any grudges or resentments. Wish others well even when you disagree with their actions. Show compassion for yourself as well.
4. Develop a hobby. Put your leisure time to good use. Learn how to play a musical instrument or speak a foreign language.
5. Communicate directly. Express your true thoughts openly and tactfully. Offer constructive feedback. Ask for what you want and need. Your courage will help others to do the same.
6. Deepen your relationships. Concentrate on the quality of your relationships. Make time for family dinners and meaningful conversations with old friends. Pick one acquaintance you want to know better and invite them to lunch.
7. Look on the bright side. List the things you are grateful for, and start each day by giving thanks for your blessings. When you’re feeling challenged, think of what you have to gain.
8. Meditate and pray. Take care of your spiritual side. Follow your faith tradition or invent rituals that are meaningful for you.
Simple Habit Tweaks That Lead to A Better Body
1. Exercise regularly. Keep your body strong and limber. Aim to work out for at least a half hour three days a week. Find a variety of activities you enjoy so you’ll stay motivated.
2. Move around. Build more physical activity into common tasks. Stand up when you talk on the phone. Climb the stairs instead of riding the elevator.
3. Sit up straight. Good posture requires no extra time out of your busy schedule. Straighten your back, lift your head, and lower your shoulders. You’ll instantly feel more alert, and protect yourself from back pain.
4. Sleep well. Your body needs good quality sleep and rest to keep running efficiently. Go to bed and wake up on a consistent schedule.
5. Eat a balanced diet. Stock up on nourishing whole foods. Fill your plate with fresh vegetables and fruits, lean proteins, and healthy fats. Cut back on processed foods that are full of sugar and empty calories.
6. Apply sunscreen. Put on your sunscreen year round instead of saving it just for summer. Reapply it if you’ve been sweating or swimming.
7. See your doctor. Ask your physician what lifestyle changes would have the greatest impact for you. Maybe you want to quit smoking or lose weight. Maybe you want to manage your diabetes or reduce your risk for osteoporosis.
8. Manage stress. Stress affects our bodies as well as our emotions. Chronic stress can lead to inflammation which is associated with many conditions, from headaches to heart disease. Find effective ways to relax, like listening to classical music or playing with your dog.
Look forward to growing older. Stop counting your grey hairs and start counting how many positive changes you can make to your daily routines. Turn each birthday into an opportunity to enhance your mental and physical well-being.
Angela Atkinson is a certified trauma counselor and the author of more than 20 books on narcissism, narcissistic abuse recovery, and related topics. A recognized expert on narcissism and narcissistic personality disorder who has studied and written extensively on narcissistic personality disorder and narcissistic abuse in toxic relationships since 2006, she has a popular narcissistic abuse recovery YouTube channel. Atkinson was inspired to begin her work as a result of having survived toxic relationships of her own.
Atkinson offers trauma-informed narcissistic abuse recovery coaching and has certifications in trauma counseling, life coaching, level 2 therapeutic model, CBT coaching, integrative wellness coaching, and NLP. She is a certified trauma support coach and certified family trauma professional. She also has a professional PTSD counseling certification. Her mission is to help those who have experienced the emotional and mental devastation that comes with narcissistic abuse in these incredibly toxic relationships to (re)discover their true selves, stop the gaslighting and manipulation, and move forward into their genuine desires – into a life that is exactly what they choose for themselves.
Along with her solution-focused life coaching experience, Atkinson’s previous career in journalism and research helps her to offer both accurate and understandable information for survivors of abuse in a simple-to-understand way that helps to increase awareness in the narcissistic abuse recovery community. Atkinson founded QueenBeeing.com Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support, the SPANily Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support Groups and the Life Makeover Academy.
She offers individual and group coaching for victims and survivors of narcissistic abuse at NarcissisticAbuseRecovery.Online.