The world is changing fast.
For many people, there is a cloud of uncertainty hanging over them – whether that is financial, health, career related or all of these things. Pandemics, wars, global warming, and a rise in the cost of living, all have the power to alter the world as we know it.
Whilst there are many things we cannot control, or even hugely influence, there are lots of things that we can. In this article I will suggest a few ways that you can ‘future proof’ your life.
At the risk of you rolling your eyes, I’m starting here with the basics – hydration! What you drink and how much matters, it matters a great deal. I can literally feel the difference in my body when I’ve drunk more water. I’m less stiff and my body just feels like it’s working better. Our bodies consist of around 60% of water, but we’re continually losing it through our sweat and urine. We need to consume it in adequate amounts to prevent dehydration and its consequences, such as fatigue, frequent illness, constipation, and headaches.
People find different ways to consume water during the day. Many swear by water bottles which they sip throughout the day, some people set reminders on their phones for them to drink, some constantly sip water and others glug down a pint each time they enter the kitchen. You do whatever works best for YOU. It’s certainly not a one size fits all approach and you may find that over time as your circumstances change you have to adapt your approach.
I found drinking water the biggest challenge during the stage of COVID-19 when schools and after school activities had opened up but many places hadn’t opened their public toilets. I mean just practically this was a nightmare as I found myself deliberately not drinking water because I new I’d need the loo and not be able to go until I got home 3 hours later. I also find it an issue if I drink a lot of water late in the evening when exercising, as this often means I will get up in the night and then not be able to get back to sleep.
Whilst other drinks do count towards hydration levels, nothing is a substitute for plain water. If you do struggle with plain water, add a dash of lemon juice in, as this not only makes it easier to drink but it also has a detoxing effect. An added benefit of drinking lots of water is the positive effect it has on boosting your immunity. Drinking water helps keep you healthy by helping your body naturally rid itself of bacteria and other toxins, therefore future-proofing your body.
Keep your skill set updated
So many of the jobs that exist today will not in 10 years. No longer do people set out on a career path at 18 and stick with it for life. The world is changing rapidly and we need to make sure we remain employable.
COVID-19 alone has taught us all that we have to be a little sharper about how we do our jobs and see around corners to stay ahead of what’s next. There were significant transitions made across the world as everything went virtual and we all had to adapt quickly to change. whilst this may have been challenging, it’s also demonstrated what’s possible in a short space of time. Pre-COVID if you’d said to me that parents evenings and job interviews and kids gymnastics classes would all be online in the next month I’d have laughed – but now we know that all this a way much more can be achieved virtually.
No doubt you eliminated, reduced, added, or changed a bunch of things amid the pandemic, but now ask yourself if you’re doing the best things, for you, your family and your career. The world of work and business looks very different these days – how can you adapt to continue to be current and keep up with the fast paced changes?
Think about your work now, think about what you might want to do in the future and think about how relevant both of those things may or may not be as time goes by. How likely is it that someone with your set of skills will become obsolete, what can you do to remain current and valuable?
Instead of thinking about this as being daunting, which, let’s face it, it absolutely can be, try to think about it as an exciting adventure or challenge.
Consider revising your insurance plans
Not one of us really knows what’s in store for us in the coming years. whilst we can’t predict the future, we can put plans in place to assist us, should we find ourselves in a challenging situation. Future Proof your life and that of your family by taking out an insurance policy now, to protect you in the future. Here, I’m talking mainly about life, critical illness and income protection policies.
I always find the process of doing these hard but ALWAYS feel so much better and like a weight has been lifted once they are in place. Take your time finding the best policy for your needs, many are more affordable than you might think.
This is something I’ve struggled with for years. For many years my lack of sleep or broken sleep was a result of having children waking up in the night. Although even now this sometimes happens it’s not the cause of my poor sleep these days. I’m pretty convinced that since my parents died I’ve processed the bulk of my grief during the night. I sleep badly most nights, either dreaming or waking and rarely feel refreshed.
I’ve also always felt that sleeping was somehow a waste of time, that there were other things I could or should be doing. However, I’ve committed to changing this have read some shocking research recently on the toll that sleep deprivation puts on your body. Inadequate sleep can literally take years off your life and I’m really not OK with that.
If you, like me struggle to get at least a good quality 7 hours, take this as your que to change that! Sleeping is a basic human need, just like breathing, drinking, and eating. It is vital for maintaining our physical and mental well-being throughout our lives.
No matter how old you are, being active is essential both for your physical and mental well-being. Being active on a regular basis can reduce the amount of illness you have in your life, keep you healthy and increase your life expectancy. We all know this, I’m not telling you anything new here – but if we all know this, why don’t we take this more seriously? Why don’t we prioritise it?
We can future proof ourselves by committing to regular exercise now, not in the future, NOW. The best way to do this is to find something you enjoy AND something you can stick to and build from there. Personally I love walking, running and lifting kettle bells, but you need to find what works best for you.
Focus on gut health
As we age, we experience more bloating and indigestion. This is because, our stomach becomes less capable of digesting some foods. When we are under stress, or, if we have a long history of antibiotic use, this can be worse.
Numerous studies show the importance of our gut to our overall health, including links between the stomach and a sound immune system, mood, autoimmune diseases, mental health, skin conditions, cancer, and more. Good gut health is vital to our overall well-being.
You can help to improve the health of your gut in a number of ways, for example: eating a rainbow of fruits and vegetables and plenty of whole grains; brushing and flossing your teeth regularly; eating fermented foods; eating dark chocolate; including spices such as turmeric, garlic and ginger in your diet; and taking a good quality probiotic supplement like Optibac.
In challenging circumstances like COVID-19, a highly possible response is to freeze in fear, to standstill, unsure of which direction to take. It’s time to shake that off. Think about the future, get excited for it and future proof it!