When was the last time you tried to change a habit or incorporate a new one? I bet you stuck with it on pure willpower for a week, a month, or even a few months, and then everyday life got in the way and you slipped right back into your old ways.
Don't feel bad - it's not you! It happens to all of us! Change is HARD. There is a great divide between wanting to be healthy and actually making it a priority. Life is distracting!
2020 in particular has dealt a powerful blow to good intentions. Our routines have been interrupted, the resources we typically have available to us have disappeared or changed, and the stress of living in a time with a global pandemic, social unrest, economic hardship, and blazing wild fires for those in the western U.S. has thrown us off kilter to say the least.
I'm feeling the effects of the roller coaster of emotions on my health with weight gain, emotional eating, and loss of motivation. That's what led me to get the book, Feel Better in 5 by Dr. Rangan Chatterjee. As a holistic wellness coach, I'm always on the lookout for resources that might help my clients, so when I heard about this book on Marie Forleo's podcast, I decided to check it out.
This book challenges the idea that it's hard to be healthy - for example, that a workout is only effective if it's an hour+. Chatterjee suggests you pick three "health snacks" to do for just five minutes each day. The author explains that this method is effective because "it is based on the simple fact that it is the way we choose to live, day in and day out, that mostly defines how healthy we end up being."
The World Health Organization agrees - studies show that the number one determinant for health is lifestyle (51%).
Skeptical that you can transform your health in fifteen minutes per day? I was too. But then Chatterjee gave the example that if you started smoking cigarettes or drinking sugary pop for five minutes every day, you wouldn't be surprised when this started changing your health. Good health works the same way - it's the small, regular, daily steps that have the most long-term effects.
The book provides an index of 36 five minute health snacks, and the author encourages
you to choose one from each category, Mind, Body, and Heart, to do five times per week.
Another suggestion from the book is to connect your "health snack" to a habit that you already have. For example, I decided to dance for five minutes a day. I do this in the kitchen before I eat breakfast. I eat breakfast every day, so it's easy to add this in at that time.
Try it for yourself. What's one thing that you can do for your health that you will enjoy doing for five minutes per day, five days per week? I'd love to hear from you. Comment below with your health snack.