I’m a slightly overweight vegetarian with the occasional bout of adult acne. Being as healthy as possible doesn’t mean living a perfectly healthy life. And we all know that doing everything “right” won’t guarantee perfect outcomes. In fact, striving for perfection can have the opposite effect and make you feel more stressed, which can lead to health issues. As long as you’re eating healthy, exercising, sleeping well and reducing stress, you’re doing great! How exactly do you embrace imperfection, especially if you’re a perfectionist at heart? Let me tell you what I do:
Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
Save your worries for major concerns, but don’t stress about things you can’t change. That just leads to unnecessary anxiety, which won’t help you solve problems or feel healthier. As far as the smaller things, focus on finding solutions instead of dwelling on your problems. I’ve been dealing with minor yet persistent health issues, like nail fungus or acne for as far back as I can remember. But my perfectionist tendencies pushed me to cover up these problems during the day with makeup and nail polish, pretend they didn’t exist in the light of day, and then stress myself out about them each and every night. Take steps toward clearing these little problems up rather than continuing to worry about them. No matter what’s bothering you, you’ll feel much better if you’re actively working toward fixing problems.
Go Easy on Yourself
Committing to eating nutritious, well-rounded meals and working out on a daily basis are noble goals, but don’t be hard on yourself if you don’t stick to them at first. I talked about going vegetarian for 5 years before I actually commited (8 years in and counting). Adopting these healthy (or new) habits can take time, especially if you’re used to eating whatever you want and not exercising regularly. Take small steps to reach your health goals, and realize that you’re not going to be perfect when it comes to achieving them. You’ll have missteps and setbacks along the way, and that’s perfectly fine.
Adjust Your Expectations
If you’re the type who’s used to pushing yourself toward reaching difficult goals, changing your expectations can be a challenge. Instead of trying to turn yourself into whatever you consider a perfect version of yourself, adjust your expectations. Make them more realistic by taking your limitations into consideration, and you’ll be in better shape physically and emotionally in the long run. You don’t have to have a perfect body or be able to run in marathons. Just following the basics of healthy living is more than enough.