We all have days when we don’t feel 100%.

Maybe it’s low energy, mood swings, headaches, digestive issues, etc.

How you feel physically makes a huge difference in your overall quality of life, so it’s important to have a couple of tools in your arsenal to address this when things go awry for whatever reason.

It’s all about getting back to the basics.

There are two things I look at when I’m not feeling my best: how well am I eating and how well am I sleeping.

These are two things within your immediate control.

They will likely solve your issues 90% of the time, yet people are still quick to blame other things or turn to drugs or medications instead.

For me, the key is to quantify these things and then take steps to move the needle in the right direction.

Photo by Brooke Lark.

You can measure how well you’re eating by how many servings of fruits and vegetables you’re consuming per day.

Set a target for a minimum of 4 per day. Then, track your intake in a notes app on your phone.

At the end of the week, if you haven’t hit at least 28 servings, you’ve got some work to do.

Yes, there is something to be said for eliminating junk foods as well, but for the sake of simplicity and compliance, I think it’s better to start by trying to add healthy foods rather than cut out bad foods.

This will at least get you a certain level of essential micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) and better food swaps will likely result from prioritizing fruits and vegetables in your diet without explicitly restricting anything.

Photo by NegativeSpace.

You can measure how well you’re sleeping with a sleep tracker if you have one. If not, just use a simple “screen-free time spent in bed” metric.

For example, if you shut off all your electronics, go to bed at 9pm and wake up at 7am, that’s 10 screen-free hours spent in bed.

It doesn’t mean you’re sleeping 10 hours, but chances are the more screen-free time you spend in bed, the more you will sleep.

Most people (myself included) aren’t sleeping enough because they either go to bed too late, use electronics too late into the night, or both.

Starting this week, I’m going to experiment with a strict screen-free policy after a certain cutoff time and see how that goes.

So back to the measure. Just like fruits and veggies, track your screen-free time in bed.

If it usually takes you an hour to fall asleep and you want to sleep for 8 hours a night, set a goal for 63 screen-free hours in bed per week (9 per night on average).

You may find, though, that if you go to bed screen-free you’ll fall asleep much faster.

Thought of the day: Next time you feel like crap, do everything in your power to eat 4 servings of fruit and vegetables and get 9 hours of screen-free time in bed.

Don’t make any excuses. Just do these two things.

Repeat this for several days and you should start to feel noticeably better.

First published on Revue.


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