Six Healthy Habits That Make My Life Better
We make plans. We set goals. We do the best we can amidst the chaos of our lives. What I've learned recently is that in the middle of said chaos, it is so important to take time focusing on your physical and mental health. Developing good habits can be really beneficial when you're busy taking care of everyone and everything but yourself.
I compiled a list of healthy habits that have truly had a positive impact on my life. I tried to keep it practical, rather than a feel-good list of phrases like “be positive!” (even though I do believe that perspective is everything). What I mean is that I tried to create a brief list of actionable habits that have made my life better, easier, or more productive. Keep reading if you are interested!
1. Wake up earlier - Hear me out, guys. Getting up about 30-45 minutes before I actually have to get going in the morning has been a game changer for me. It allows me to have time for myself and spend time with the Lord first thing - there's something about cracking open your Bible in the stillness of the early morning that just makes sense. You can journal, meditate, do some yoga, or even just drink your coffee in peace before the rest of the world wakes up. This won't ensure that the rest of your day is always great; but it starts your day off with a positive perspective, and that is more powerful than you might realize.
2. But first, water! - Yes, this is a play on your favorite phrase. While I would never ever tell you to forego coffee in the morning (because I am not a bad person) I do advocate drinking at least 8 oz of water before your morning coffee. This allows your body to wake up with something a little more natural than a jolt of caffeine first thing. We all wake up slightly dehydrated after sleeping for several hours, so what our bodies crave most is water. Sticking to this habit will help your body develop more natural energy when you wake up, and your cup of coffee will taste just as sweet after some good ole H2O. Trust.
3. Get a sweat in. Every. Day. - PSA: this does not necessarily mean you have to go to the gym every day. I just mean you need to take some time to move. While I do believe working out is important and something I love to do, there are tons of ways you can get your heart rate up and get moving that don't involve a trip to the gym. Go for a walk or jog around your neighborhood. Play with your kids or pets. Have a dance party in your kitchen. Go on a bike ride. Just do something every day! Your body will thank you.
4. Prep your snacks - If you're always on the go or work all day and find yourself getting a bag of chips out of the vending machine more often than you'd like to admit, this will save your life. This tip is basically the snack version of meal prepping. For lunch and dinner I am more of a meal "planner" than a "prepper," meaning I plan out our meals for the week but I don't make them ahead of time. Prepping snacks, however, I swear by. After I go to the grocery store for the week, if there are any foods that need to be cut up to snack on, like fruits or veggies, I set them aside and take a few extra minutes after putting up the rest of the food to do so. I'll also portion out the snacks into individual containers. This way, it's a no brainer to grab a quick snack when I need to be out the door quickly! I'll link some of my favorite containers from Amazon here, here, and here.
5. Stretch it out - This is especially important if you work out regularly! Taking 5-10 minutes before bed, right after a workout, or first thing in the morning has so many benefits: increased flexibility and mobility which leads to better performance, improved circulation, better posture, decreased muscle soreness, etc. The list goes on. I know when you're done with a workout or you've just finished your nighttime routine, getting on the floor to fold into a pretzel may seem like the last thing you want to do. However, commit to just a few simple stretches whenever it works for you. Stick to it for a few weeks, and if you're like me, you won't skip it again.
6. Write it down - I made this tip pretty broad because everyone is different in the way you might apply it. The gist is to make a habit of writing down your thoughts. To do this, some people block off a certain time of day specifically for journaling. Others might carry around a notebook to jot down random thoughts. It all depends on your schedule and personality. Getting your thoughts out of your head and on paper can be so therapeutic, even if you think what you’re writing is nonsense. It can also provide a lot of clarity by getting out what’s in the forefront of your mind and giving way to creativity and contemplation. At the very least, it’s way to stay organized if you have a million things going on and need to compartmentalize. Highly recommend.
These are just a few simple habits that I have thrown into my daily/weekly routine, and I am so happy I did. Let me know if you implement any of these tips into your life or if you can attest to any healthy habits that have made your life better!
Lastly, I just want to take a moment to say no matter where you are or what you are doing today, you are loved and seen and valued. Let me tell ya, I have not mastered this "adult" thing yet. However, I trust that there is beauty in the mundane, and there is a God who has a plan for me even when I don't understand my circumstances. I challenge myself every day to be thankful for what He has graciously given me, and trust in His plan for what the future will bring. I challenge you to do the same. Thank you so much for reading, and have a happy Tuesday, beautiful!