Practicing good habits can have a significant and positive impact on your daily life. But how can you improve or develop these habits? Transforming your day-to-day does not necessarily require big changes, rather adjustments to your foundational habits. Improvement starts with small, sustainable actions that add up over time. These simple tricks and habits can help you feel happier, more productive, and more connected to those around you.
- Establish a morning routine. Having a consistent morning routine can jump start your productivity for the day! Breakdown your morning tasks – this will help you know what activities you’ll do after waking up. Tasks may include making your bed, stretching for 5 minutes, selecting your clothes for the day, having a cup of coffee while you make breakfast. Starting the day by checking off tasks provides a sense of confidence and accomplishment without the stress. The structure of a consistent morning routine will also help limit decision-fatigue throughout the day.
- Prepare nutritious meals in advance. A healthy, well-balanced diet high in vegetables and fruits, low-fat dairy, lean proteins, and whole grains is needed for optimal energy and nutrient levels. Preparing meals each day, and knowing exactly what is going into your food, provides control over your health. Eating food made at home helps limit take out costs, overindulging, and saves time in the long-run because you’ve already prepared everything you need for that day. Meal prepping also helps you learn how to put together a balanced, nutritional meal.
- Get enough sleep. The sleep cycle is the body’s chance to rest and recharge. Getting 7-8 hours of sleep each night is critical for your mental and physical well-being. Being well rested increases your alertness and performance, enhances learning abilities, and improves decision making capabilities. The quality of your sleep is equally as important as the quantity. Avoid using cell phones, computers, and tablets at night, as the blue light can interrupt your circadian rhythm. Try putting the electronics away at least 30 minutes before heading to bed. Minimize noise – close all windows and doors to reduce unnecessary noises throughout the night that may interrupt your sleep cycle. According to the Sleep Foundation, the ideal sleeping temperature is around 65 degrees Fahrenheit – so keep it cool for improved sleep quality.
- Drink more water. It is well known that about 60% of the adult human body consists of water. But did you know that 70% of Americans are chronically dehydrated? This is largely because of the immediate access to unhealthy drink options such as sugary sodas, teas, and coffees. Simply increasing your water intake can significantly improve your mind and body functions. The general rule of thumb is to drink at least 64 ounces, or eight 8-ounce glasses, of water per day. Try carrying a reusable water bottle with you at all times to hit that 64-ounce mark. You can always add fruit for infused, flavorful water!
- Incorporate movement and get outside. Exercising for at least 20 – 30 minute a day can have enormous health benefits. It releases stress and tension – improving your mood, regulates sleep patterns and energy levels, and maintains cardiovascular, muscle, and bone health. Fulfilling the body’s need to move will help it work more efficiently throughout the day. Movement can range from a well-paced walk or lightly-strenuous exercise to circuit training. Walking outside at least five times per week is a great way to stay active, get fresh air, and secure a daily dose of Vitamin D.
- Be social. A Harvard study showed that human connection keeps people happy. Face-to-face contact releases oxytocin and dopamine. Positive daily interactions can also improve memory formation and recall abilities. Socialization can lead to lower levels of depression, increase empathy and trust for others, foster cooperation, and improve self-esteem. With that said, make time for family and friends during the week. This may be as simple as having a family meal at the table together or calling to chat with a friend after work.
- Find screen-free activities. In 2023, it’s no surprise the people spend a large portion of their day interacting with a phone, computer, or television. With technology being an ever-present element, it is important to remind yourself to disconnect from time to time and engage in activities that don’t involve a screen. There are plenty of mentally stimulation or creatively fulfilling activities for you to try such as reading books, painting, or playing an instrument. Puzzles like sudoku and crosswords are great options to challenge your brain while giving your eyes a break.
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The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.