Pursuing health is a marathon, not a sprint. This is why it is so hard to keep a New Year’s resolution to go to the gym more or eat healthier for the next 365 days. The first month or two are exciting because you have energy and motivation. However, if the results are not happening quickly enough, that motivation can quickly fade, and you resort back to your routines.
Also, even if you do stick with your goal for the whole year, will you have the motivation to continue for the next year to maintain your health? Once you reach your goal, you need to keep pushing or all your progress could be lost.
Getting into a health slump is very common and is no grounds for feeling shame. People stumble in their wellness journeys all the time. You almost have to expect times of failure in pursuing your health goals simply because life gets in the way. When you do get into a health slump, there are a few ways to help you get out of it.
Limit Screen Usage
Although devices can be great tools for connecting with others or accomplishing professional goals, they can also suck the life out of us if we let them. Constantly perusing social media can lead to comparison, which often results in depression or a lack of motivation. Constantly occupying the mind with meaningless entertainment or news that doesn’t affect you is not benefitting your mental health, nor is it good for your body’s condition. Limiting your screen time when it is not necessary forces you to find other ways to engage your mind. Maybe it will give you the motivation to go outside and enjoy the fresh air while on a walk. Perhaps you can use that time to read a book for pleasure. When your mind is not distracted, you can create space for pursuing your health goals.
Your brain’s thought processes play a huge role in your health. Managing your stream of consciousness can be the first step in getting back on track with your wellness journey. Engaging in mindfulness practices can also get you out of a depression slump as well as a physical health slump. Such practices include yoga, tai chi, meditation, or nature experiences. When you focus on simple tasks like breathing or a certain stretch, it can clear your mind. This action makes it easier to reduce stress and come out of the experience feeling renewed, often providing enough motivation to get back on track with your wellness.
Getting out of a slump can be challenging. Sometimes the best way to get out of it is to start with a small action that supports better health. One easy step you can take is adding supplements to a healthy diet. If you are already getting a good balance of nutrients from your food, then supplements can provide a further boost to your supply of vitamins and minerals. For example, say you want to get back on track with your bone health. A small step that can get you motivated to take other actions would be investing in calcium supplements and taking them with your meals. Then, you can take the next step to do small exercises that promote bone health. It all started with the simple practice of taking supplements.
Find a Buddy for Support
Motivation may be hard to come by when life gets busy, and you are stuck in a health slump. Sometimes, it needs to come from an outside source. That source could be a person who has similar health goals. When you have a buddy that you plan to work out with or eat healthier alongside, it becomes easier to get motivated. They can encourage you to get back on track by making plans together and holding each other accountable for your goals. The key is to find the right buddy that suits your personality. If you are someone who needs a kick in the butt every once in a while, pick a partner who will be more assertive. If you respond better to positive encouragement, then choose a workout partner that fits that profile.
A Slump is Not a Failure
When you get off-track with your health goals, it is easy to feel shame or guilt. Often, these negative emotions contribute to the cycle, making it even harder to find the motivation again. Understanding that a slump can be temporary and is not evidence of you being a failure is crucial. Everyone misses out on their objectives at some point. If you have the right perspective, recognizing that a slump is not a failure, then you can encourage yourself to get back on track by taking some of the actions mentioned above.