When you don’t look or feel your best, the idea of working hard and waiting weeks (if not months) to make some decent progress can seem daunting, if not downright impossible. Sadly, this can cause you to give up on yourself before you even start.
But here’s the good news: there are a few things you can do starting today that are capable of providing almost instantaneous results.
At a minimum, these results can give you the push you need to make positive changes that will stick around for a lifetime. Perhaps better yet, these actions are also tools you can use pretty much anytime you need a little pick-me-up.
But what actions are these? Here are three to consider.
Schedule Regular Posture Checks
Poor posture can impact you negatively in a few different ways.
Physically, it can cause you to have more headaches, puts you at risk of back and neck pain, and gives you poorer balance according to Harvard Medical School. It can also result in troubles with incontinence, constipation, heartburn, and slower-than-normal digestion.
U.S. News & World Report adds that bad posture has mental repercussions as well. Among them are an increased risk of depression, lower self-esteem, and poorer mood.
To combat these, three or four times a day, stop and ask yourself whether your posture is making you feel better or worse. If it’s the former, great! Keep it up. Yet, if it’s the latter, it’s time to make a few adjustments.
For instance, if you’re standing, the American Chiropractic Association says to make sure your knees are slightly bent, feet shoulder-width apart, stomach tucked in, and your shoulders are pulled back.
If you’re sitting, uncross your legs, keep your knees at or below hip-height, relax your shoulders, and use your chair’s backrest to better support your lower and middle back.
A 2018 survey found that more than three in four working Americans (77 percent) report that they’re not drinking enough water each day to meet their most basic health needs.
Though everyone’s necessary water intake is different, this survey further reported that a healthy amount is typically somewhere around 64 ounces per day, or the equivalent of eight 8-ounce glasses.
If this is you, you may notice that you’re tired all of the time. That’s because your body doesn’t have the water it needs to function at 100 percent, leaving it in a dehydrated state.
To increase your water intake—and, therefore, your energy levels—always have a glass of water handy so you can sip on it whenever you get thirsty.
In addition, have a full glass right when you get up and at each meal. This will help you meet your minimum daily requirements, and give you the energy you need to make it through the day.
Set a Goal (or Two)
Sometimes feeling bad about yourself is a result of not feeling like you’re working toward something of purpose. You don’t feel like you’re achieving your full potential, so you struggle with a lack of motivation.
One way to rectify this is to set a goal (or two), an action that can inspire you to keep making progress. Ideally, this goal should be one that excites you because it feels lofty, yet still reasonable to achieve. Write it down and keep it in front of you for times when you feel down, reminding yourself that better days lie ahead.
Also, track your progress so you can see your results along the way. Make a graph or give yourself some other visual cue to help you remember that, even if it feels like you have a long way to go, you’ve already taken positive steps toward looking and feeling your absolute best. This means that it’s only a matter of time before you’re there.