If you’re still in college or a recent grad working with a limited budget, the idea of implementing a healthy lifestyle can seem overwhelming and very expensive. If you aren’t careful, you might find yourself shelling out lots of cash in the name of health—whether you’re overspending on organic produce, designer athleticwear or monthly membership fees for a fancy gym. This can leave you feeling lost and overwhelmed about what a healthy lifestyle means or is worth to you. To prevent an unproductive cycle of spending, here are some tools to help you invest in your health wisely.
While intentional inaction may sound counterproductive, it’s a great first step towards figuring out where your money is best spent. If you don’t figure out what works for you, you end up spending money on groceries and health regimes that aren’t beneficial at all.
Instead of following fad diets, begin to experiment on your own with nutritionally dense food. (A good rule of thumb is bright and bold-colored vegetables.) As you do this, pay attention to how these make you feel. After a meal do you feel energized or depleted? What foods are contributing to this? Increase your personal food knowledge and discover what foods act as fuel for your body and contribute to your overall health. This will help you allocate your budget towards foods that increase your energy and health versus empty calories or foods that deplete your energy. Shop locally to save money on fresh foods—you can often get a much better deal at a local produce stand or farmer’s market than a chain grocery store.
Another important factor of the intentional inaction phase of developing a healthy lifestyle is mindfulness (a.k.a. monitoring your thoughts). Self-talk can be helpful or hurtful to you, and whether it is good or bad self-talk, your body is always listening. The best part? Monitoring your thoughts doesn’t cost anything, and it can actually have healthy benefits! Pay attention to your daily thoughts and take time to analyze them in a way that is effective for you. Whether you prefer meditation, deep breathing or a daily journaling exercise, invest time in discovering how you talk to yourself. Are you standing in your own way, or are you acting as your own advocate? This awareness is the key to making real changes to your habits and your lifestyle.
Find small, low-cost steps to help get you started on your journey to health. You know yourself better than anyone, so it is up to you to decide how you can set yourself up for success. If you don’t know where to start, try some of these tips:
Regardless of what sets yourself up for success, gather some actionable items and write them down. Make these tasks small and manageable enough that they’ll stand up to the test of a busy schedule!
The trick to maintaining a healthy lifestyle is action through knowledge. Once you’ve given thought to what you need to get started, your mind will find more motivation because it now understands the value of doing this action towards a healthy lifestyle. Turn your small actions into habits by understanding the importance of investing in your health and what it truly means to you. Whether it’s a budget-friendly gym membership or a carefully planned Trader Joe’s shopping list, you’ll be equipped with tools to avoid extremes and empty costs by knowing what works for you and your lifestyle.
Catherine Claire is stylist, blogger and reiki practitioner who knows the importance of a healthy lifestyle. Catherine is the co-founder of The Crystal Press and curates content for her own blog, Cathclaire. She also uses her wellness expertise to write for thredUP on everything from yoga tips to budget-friendly workout fashion. Click here to view thredUP’s selection of designer athleticwear, including items from brands like Lululemon, Nike and Adidas.