5 Uplifting Ways To Re-Frame Healthy Lifestyle Habits

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5 Uplifting Ways To Re-Frame Healthy Lifestyle Habits Title Card. In the background a woman dances freely in the street, enjoying some joyful movement

Hello Lovelies:

Your health is important. That’s no surprise at all. And we all know that exercise, diet and lifestyle are a big deal.

But all of those things can also be a huge drag! Like an avoid-at-all-cost kind of drag. (I’m looking at you unused gym membership!)

Could we be going about things the wrong way?

What if generally accepted views on diet and lifestyle are what’s holding you back? Maybe things could all be a heck of a lot more fun with a few simple changes…

Is it possible to change your approach so that you can joyfully create healthy lifestyle habits that make you feel awesome? Without having to do anything you absolutely abhor?

Of course it is! Let’s talk about it:

Turn Exercise Into Joyful Movement

A woman crouches and runs towards the camera, looking like she's smiling and laughing all the while.

I’m not really pushing the envelope when I say that exercise plays in important role in your well-being. We all get that! But how many of us are guilty of putting it off because it feels like a total chore? (I’m raising my hand, that’s for sure!)

Enter joyful movement!

Focusing on joyful movement really changes the exercise game! It makes it more about finding some form of exercise you love, regardless of what fitness moves are currently trending.

Seriously – sometimes my exercise game is yoga. Sometimes it’s a walk around town. And sometimes it’s dancing around in my underwear whilst lip synching to an imaginary audience. There are no rules – it’s just about what I’m feeling in the moment.

Someone jobs across a bridge towards the mountains, enjoying some joyful moment outside - a great healthy lifestyle habit

Something I absolutely adore about joyful movement is that it encourages you to love and accept your body as it is right this second. There’s no pressure to change your shape or size and no focus on what the darn scale has to say. Because that’s not what actually matters!

The truth is that exercise isn’t one size fits all.

There really isn’t one right way to move that gorgeous booty of yours. The most important thing is that you actually enjoy whatever form of exercise you choose to indulge in. Because you’re more likely to make time for fitness if you enjoy it.

Sounds impossible? Look at it this way:

Remember when you were a kid and every form of movement was fun?

A woman dances freely in the street, enjoying some joyful movement, a wonderful healthy lifestyle habit.

Playing tag. Giggling on the swings. Trying and failing to make it to the end of the monkey bars?

You loved exercise when you were a child because no one told you that it was exercise. And no one forced you to participate in forms of movement you hated (except maybe in gym class… but let’s not count that!)

Exercise wasn’t a chore. You were being spontaneous and having fun. And you never associated it with six packs, skinny jeans or “revenge bodies.”

We all need more of that in our adulthood. And that’s what joyful movement is all about. A renaissance of moving for fun and reaping the rewards, both mentally and physically.

Related: 8 Super Benefits of Exercise and How to Make it Fun

Embrace A Balanced, Healthy Diet

Someone enjoys a platter of different breakfast foods, including crepes, maple syrup and lots of fruit. Creating a healthy, balanced diet is an important healthy lifestyle habit.

We can’t talk about exercise without also talking about diet. Those two terms almost always show up together whenever anyone talks about health. And there’s good reason for it – not only is it important to move your gorgeous body, fueling it with goodness is a big deal too.

But that doesn’t mean that you need to live off of salads and wraps. Because that’s not only super boring, it’s incredibly restrictive and not good for you!

Creating a healthy diet should never be about dieting.

“Diets,” as in the temporary, restrictive programs that are usually aimed at weight loss, typically never come from a place of self-love. And they’re often not fulfilling or sustainable at all.

If anything, diet programs usually feed our insecurities more than they can ever feed us.

Someone holds up a waffle cone with strawberry ice cream. Dessert is an important part of a healthy, balanced diet.

You deserve better than that!

A true healthy diet is very different. It’s a lifestyle. Something that’s flexible, corresponds with your own beautiful, unique wants and needs and grows and changes with you.

Healthy diets don’t make you feel bad if you want to enjoy a cookie. They don’t hold your self-love for ransom until you hit a specific number on the scale. And they don’t force you to worry about calories or stress about your meals.

Instead, a healthy diet should support your mental and physical well-being and feed you with flexibility and kindness.

Essentially, eating healthy is never about eating perfectly. And it’s so important that you know that.

Someone works on cooking a delicious veggie stir fry

There is absolutely no such thing as a perfect diet. And there really shouldn’t be! Eating should be simple, fun and fulfilling and never stress you out.

In fact, becoming fixated with eating “perfectly” really isn’t good for you anyway. Which kind of takes the healthy right out of healthy eating, defeating the whole purpose!

So let’s let go of the pressures of perfection and create a healthy balance that works for us. Yes, fruits and veggies and all that is super important. But there’s room for dessert in there too, I promise!

Related: Are These Healthy Eating Myths Holding You Back?

Kick “Good Vibes Only” To The Curb

A woman stands in front of a colourful wall holding balloons. The happy emoji balloons block her face.

Embracing positive thinking is awesome! But it really doesn’t mean that you’re going to feel positive all the time. And that’s ok.

All of your feelings serve a purpose, including the negative ones. And negative feels are definitely going to pop up sometimes.

Ignoring your feelings or denying yourself the right to work through your feelings simply because they’re negative doesn’t do you any good. It it can even negatively affect your health, potentially increasing your risk of illnesses like heart disease and even cancer. Yea, no thanks! (source)

So, instead of trying to make things positive all the time, it’s better to create a more balanced approach.

A woman holds a piece of paper with a smile symbol on it in front of her mouth, but her eyes are sad and covered in mascara as if she has been crying.

If you want to make positive thinking a healthy lifestyle habit, get ready to accept and work through those negative emotions as they come too. Variety is the spice of life sugar, even emotional variety.

Instead of trying to be positive all the time, work on connecting with yourself, creating a self-care routine that allows your to de-stress and unwind and finding coping strategies that work for you when the negative feels come.

Negative feelings don’t make you a negative person. They just make you human. And when they come it’s important that you know that you’re allowed to feel and work through them. The positive vibes will come back again. I promise. <3

Related: How To Tap Into The Power of Positive Thinking

Prioritize Your Mental Health Too

Two people sit and talk in a therapy session. Acknowledging and working through good and bad emotions is an important healthy lifestyle habit.

When it comes to conversations about health, we often focus on physical well-being. But your mental wellness matters just as much as your physical health. In fact, those two beautiful things are incredibly interconnected! When one falters the other often suffers with it. They absolutely deserve to held at equal importance.

Know that there’s no shame in experiencing a mental health concern.

Not convinced? Let’s look at it this way:

You’ve experienced indigestion at some point in your life, right? It’s 100% normal to have an off day.

Two woman lean on each other, enjoying a hug and a nice, quiet moment together.

And some of us experience more extreme digestive health issues. Sometimes they come and go, sometimes they last a lifetime and sometimes they require dietary restrictions, frequent medical intervention and even medication to help manage things.

And all of that is ok, right? No one would judge someone for having digestive issues of any kind, even if they needed some medical assistant to help manage things. Because you deserve to feel well and shouldn’t be held back by preventable tummy troubles.

Well, your brain, my sweet friend, is an organ too. And it deserves the same respect, care and love as your digestive system and the rest of that gorgeous body of yours. Whether you experience an off day, a mental health concern that comes and goes or something that sticks around and needs extra support.

Someone sits at a table with a journal open, ready to write.

Embrace whatever healthy lifestyle habits that help to support your mental well-being. Be it self-care activities like a weekly ‘you day’, regular meditation, walks in the woods… or doctor’s visits, therapy and/or medication. It’s all self-care. And it’s all valid.

Your mental health deserves just as much time, love and care as your physical health. And is always an important thing to consider when it comes to building a lifestyle that makes you feel awesome.

Related: This Is What Happens When You Prioritize Your Mental Health

Don’t Be Afraid To Do Your Thing

A woman enjoys a moment on the swings. In the background the sun is setting.

What works for me isn’t going to work for you. Be it diet, exercise, self-care, self-connection activities, whatever… everyone is so different. And a copy and paste approach to creating healthy lifestyle habits simply doesn’t work.

Try whatever recipes, fitness techniques, self-care ideas and more that interest you. But if it doesn’t feel right, toss that to the side sweet friend! And know that just because something is good in general doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s good for you.

No one is more connected to your beautiful self than you are! You have the complete inside scoop on all things you. And you know when something feels right and when it doesn’t. Trust yourself and listen to your gut.

This is your life and you have the divine right to make it your own. Whatever you create should feel good! Don’t settle for anything less.

Related: 5 Self-Care Tips You Need To Hear Right Now

Final Thoughts

Sara of mshealthesteem.com holds onto a mug that says "I love you" and smiles at the camera

(Pssst. Hi! It’s me! With what I think is the most adorable mug ever! <3)

At the end of the day, what matters is that you take care of yourself. But it should typically come from a place of love and respect for yourself and make you feel good!

If your routine has you feeling bummed out or you’re completely over it when it comes to health trends, switch things up!

Sometimes approaching things from a different angle makes all the difference. Especially if that new angle is more flexible and built on a lovely foundation of self-love. It’s what you deserve!

You should feel safe and empowered to do whatever you need to do to feel well. And, whatever that may be, it absolutely shouldn’t be a drag! You deserve to regularly indulge in healthy lifestyle habits you constantly look forward to. Wouldn’t you agree?

Your turn – have you ever felt frustrated by current health trends? How do you make sure that your healthy lifestyle habits live up to your own needs and don’t bum you out? Let me know in the comments below!

Health and love,


Thought of the day: You deserve a lifestyle that makes you feel awesome. Period.

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Sara | Ms. Health-Esteem

Sara Flanagan is a wellness writer and the creator of www.mshealthesteem.com, where she shares her story of being diagnosed with Graves Disease, a chronic autoimmune disease, and empowering herself to do everything she can to thrive in spite of her diagnosis. She writes articles on self-love, acceptance, wellness and nutrition. Join the Health-Esteem Family today and share in the journey.


  1. Reply


    November 4, 2019

    I Love your approach to making exercise fun and not dull! I’d much rather go about it that way, especially with my kids, so they can get in on all the fun!

  2. Reply


    November 4, 2019

    I love reading about healthy lifestyle tips. It’s hard to remember to take care of yourself when you have to take care of others.

  3. Reply

    Ben Butler

    November 4, 2019

    This is fully awesome. The best part in this entire post is calling out the fact that you won’t always feel awesome and positive and like you’re on top of the world. Which is totally okay.

  4. Reply


    November 4, 2019

    Self care is so important! It’s so need for your mental health!

  5. Reply

    Emily Zielinski

    November 4, 2019

    Great post thanks for sharing. I especially like your points about healthy eating and exercise. It always helps me feel balanced.

  6. Reply

    Ntensibe Edgar Michael

    November 5, 2019

    Hihi….I remember those days. We were so free and dancing in the rain like nothing mattered. I was so happy then. These days, I am forced to re-think everything I do!

  7. Reply

    Kelly Martin

    November 5, 2019

    Love this! I especially like the term joyful movement instead of exercise!

  8. Reply


    November 5, 2019

    A very thorough run down of all of the elements needed for a healthy lifestyle. Thanks for sharing!

  9. Reply

    Ruth I

    November 5, 2019

    These are good takeaways living a better life. I like how you look at the fun side of exercising. These are pretty nice tips.

  10. Reply


    November 5, 2019

    Some great tips here! I always see exercise as a chore, love the idea of making it fun!

  11. Reply

    Angelica Sereda

    November 5, 2019

    I always overwhelm myself with needing to exercise but when I just start walking it encourages me to move more.

  12. Reply


    November 6, 2019

    I love your ideas..! I find it really hard to work out but making it fun kinda sound exciting.. ?

  13. Reply

    Cha Esper

    November 6, 2019

    these are all great tips. which most of us completely forget of doing. i guess we need to have self-checks to know if we are still healthy on the inside and outside. thats a good start of forming these good habits. 🙂
    Cha at Little MisadvenCHA

  14. Reply


    November 6, 2019

    It’s so amazing how activities and exercises can lead to a great feeling of well being. It’s so good not only for our health but also our mind.

  15. Reply


    November 6, 2019

    It’s nice to have a balance. Great to exercise, cook and so on and so forth. It balances your life and also promotes work-life balance and good for mental health.

  16. Reply


    November 6, 2019

    This is such a good guide and a really healthy approach to keeping fit and healthy.xx

  17. Reply

    Sarah M

    November 6, 2019

    This is a brilliant piece of writing. Thanks for reminding us how to improve our lifestyle.

  18. Reply

    Angela Ricardo Bethea

    November 6, 2019

    Those are some great tips and it’s nice to approach exercise in a fun way so you won’t get tired of doing it routinely. Definitely agree with you on having balance in our life.

  19. Reply

    Eileen M Loya

    November 6, 2019

    For me there is no perfect life, but what we have is the power to adapt to changes in a positive way. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and advice. It is truly helpful especially when you are struggling to make sense of what is going on in life. Eat healthy, move that body, smile more, give thanks, and embrace life!

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