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Include on Your Journey to Healthy Living That Aren’t Diet or Exercise

 Whenever you hear or read anything about healthy living, diet and exercise are always the first topics to be discussed. But what about the other layers of your life that deserve that same attention? Diet and exercise are important, crucial even, but it is important to remember that your life is layered, thus your journey to healthy living should be as well. Think about your life as a game of dominos and always keep in mind how each piece holds its own weight but also matters as one element needed to achieve overall success.

Financial Literacy

Money troubles and a lack of financial literacy in general are two of the leading causes of stress. When your money management is either non-existent or spirals out of control, that creates an unhealthy balance in your life. Although money is not everything, you need it to live. Even the most minimalistic individuals still need to be proficient in money management. Debt is common, and unfortunately so is mismanaged debt. You can have a sizeable income but still be riddled with debt if you don’t understand how to pay it off, and why you need to prioritize doing so.

Credit card debt, home loans, and student debt are among the most common sources. A mortgage is considered good debt because once it is paid off you have something tangible to show for it not to mention additional equity if you are lucky. Credit card debt can be quite toxic if you are using plastic to spend money that you simply don’t have, and interest rates can absolutely crush you. Student loans typically come with repayment terms that you sign off on years before you begin repaying the lenders, so it’s worth investigating where you can make some beneficial changes.

You can refinance your existing student loans into a new loan as a way of lowering your monthly expenses. Now, you have some found money that you are already used to dolling out, so you can use that cash on hand to support your overall financial health. Be that paying down other debts, saving for a down payment for a home, or reducing your need to pay with plastic. When you refinance student loans you are also giving yourself an opportunity to lower your debt-to-income ratio which is something that future lenders are going to look at when you need to borrow money down the road.

Consistent Sleep Routine

A good day starts with a good night’s rest, but what exactly constitutes a good night’s rest? You have likely heard that eight hours a night is the sweet spot and while that is not false, it is not the only thing that matters. Quality is just as critical as quantity, and there are ways to improve your sleep that are simple to implement but will make a big impact. Think about the hours before you hit the sheets, what are you doing? Consuming things like sugar and caffeine are not going to support a restful experience even if you consume them hours before you go to bed. The environment in which you sleep also matters.

When is the last time you got a new mattress? What you sleep on from your mattress to your pillows, to your sheets should be carefully curated to provide maximum relaxation. The amount of light in a room as well as the temperature can also cause you to toss and turn even if you initially fall asleep quickly. The key here is to research different elements of healthy sleep hygiene and adopt the habits that work for you. Some find it helpful to do a digital detox one hour before they go to bed, while for others that is not necessary. Over time you will have a routine that suits your lifestyle and sleep needs, and one that feels natural. The last thing you want to do is sabotage a good night’s rest by stressing out about filling an essential oil diffuser that doesn’t even help you personally.

Relationship Management

Who we let into our lives contributes a great deal to our mental health. When you have interpersonal relationships that are toxic, that can spread like wildfire. Be careful not to count people out that are important to you, but also keep in mind that creating boundaries with people is healthy, necessary, and not at all selfish or unkind. Pay attention to all areas of your life when you are evaluating how your relationships affect you. A confrontational neighbor can be just as draining as a demanding boss or an on-again-off-again romantic partner.

Learning what triggers you in terms of your relationships will help you develop the boundaries that you need. There are plenty of resources like books, therapy, support groups, and even meditation that can all aid you in creating healthy relationships that serve you. Learning skills like how to respectfully disagree, when to walk away from a relationship, and how to nurture the bonds that are important to you will all add up to a healthy relational mindset. 

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