Over the last several years, I’ve started to realize just what an impact a habit can make on our daily life and health (both physical and mental!) While I was in school, my passion for nutrition led me to think that all I had to do to be healthy was to eat healthy. Okay, so I knew exercise was important. But the mental/emotional part of health? I didn’t have time for that! Not to mention, my personality gets way too wrapped up in details and has a hard time calming down.
However, I’ve come to realize health is comprised of so much more than just diet. It includes free time, exercise, hobbies, relationships, and more! So, I decided to summarize some of my favorite habits that have helped me to develop a healthy lifestyle, as well as a few I really need to work on! Nothing helps accountability like posting online for anyone to see! 😉 Trust me, these are habits that can change your life.
Healthy Habits that Have Changed Me
1. Eat greens everyday.
Ok, I know I had the big speech up above about health being more than nutrition. But, you didn’t think I was going to completely leave nutrition out of this, did you? My main food habit is simple: try to eat greens (whether in a salad or green smoothie) every day. I vary my greens by the week/day to allow for a variety of nutrients, and of course I try to include plenty of other vegetables throughout the day as well.
2. Don’t rush out the door.
I’ve been so intentional to change this one in the past year. I used to rush out the door in a hurry every morning. Even though I wasn’t running late and my arrival time is almost always flexible, I still felt rushed. Then one day I realized I’m probably saving myself 5-10 minutes a day by rushing around. I try to take time to talk to Casey in the morning, and in doing so I feel so much better heading out the door and ready for my day.
3. No cell phones in the bedroom.
Again, this one we implemented in the past year and it has made a huge difference in encouraging me to get to sleep instead of looking at “just one more thing” before bed. Not to mention, I’m not interrupted by texts and messages that can wait.
4. Make active time a part of every day.
Physical activity has been a big part of my day for a few years now. However, there are certainly days I miss a workout (I’m already seeing tomorrow where I have a 10-12 hour workday planned.) What has made a huge difference is still doing something active on my rest day or the days I miss a workout. It can be as simple as a walk around the neighborhood. But, I try to make sure I’m doing something everyday. Also, if I find myself being especially stationary on a given day, I make sure to make time to be active and get outside for some sunshine and fresh air.
5. Always bring a water bottle.
I don’t go anywhere without my water bottle. And if I do, it’s by accident and leaves me feeling lost! If I’m well hydrated I feel great and I’ve found a huge component to staying well hydrated is bringing a water bottle (or two!) along with me. When I’m running errands in the heat of the summer I find the vacuum insulated bottles work great to keep your water cool when you get back to your hot car!
6. Get in some extra steps when possible.
Park in the back; take the stairs; or take an extra lap around the office when picking up something you printed. There are so many different ways throughout the day that you can get a few extra steps in and believe it or not…they add up! Resist the urge to have your husband let you off at the door (unless it’s storming of course 😉!)
7. Listen to podcasts while traveling or doing house chores.
I started this a year or so ago. It’s a great way to fuel your brain while you do necessary daily tasks that involve little brain work! I truly believe there are podcasts for everyone, no matter what your interests and goals are!
Healthy Habits I’m Still Working On
Perhaps a healthy habit in and of itself could be that the perfectionist in me is trying to not get bent out of shape because I don’t have all of these healthy habits perfectly mastered yet. Beauty is in the process, and here is what I’m working on right now!
1. Get 8 hours of sleep every night.
Will this forever be at the top of my list? While I might do better at this through certain seasons, it seems like I eventually find myself drifting back into old habits of staying up way too late on weeknights. This leaves me tired and functioning less than my best the next day! However, I’m definitely improving and will continue to work on it. Sleep is so important for mental wellbeing, hormone function, and our overall health.
2. Make time for hobbies and self.
I’ve heard that I should go as far as to schedule time for myself each day and block it out on my calendar. Then if a social activity, work event, or something else comes up I can state “I’m busy.” For some reason, even though I know hobbies and personal time are super important, they are the first thing to go if life gets too busy. I’m sure that’s true for many of us, but the mental benefits they offer make it an important part of healthy living.
3. Express gratitude.
Last week I wrote a post on choosing gratitude. I am trying to make it a priority to express gratitude through not only my actions and words to others, but in my own thoughts as well.
4. Plan out my clothes the night before.
In my Pinterest dream world, I would line up my clothes for the week in my closet ready to go on Sunday night. In reality, I’m choosing my clothes in the morning each day before work. It probably ends up costing me extra time because I’m sleepy and things don’t look right in the morning when you are sleepy. If I could start laying out my clothes the night before I’m sure it would make my mornings run smoother. (As a side note, anyone successfully using a capsule wardrobe? I would love to invest some time in this, but haven’t yet.)
5. Connect and spread love.
I can get in the mind frame that I don’t have time to spend with someone (even my husband!) if I’m feeling pushed for time. It’s important to connect with others. I believe this connection is an integral part of refilling our cup.
Healthy Habits Create a Healthy Life
Just like one cupcake won’t make you fat, one kale salad isn’t going to make you healthy – it’s the culmination of healthy habits over long periods of time that come together to create a healthy life – mind, body, and spirit. What we put into our bodies is important in creating a healthy life and leaving a positive impact on the world around us. Start today by feeding your brain with good thoughts and forming habits that can change your life and serve the world around you. I would love to hear about your favorite habits that have helped change your life and mold you into who you are!
“Watch your thoughts, they become words.
Watch your words, they become actions.
Watch your actions, they become habits.
Watch your habits, they become your character.
Watch your character, it becomes your destiny.”
Chinese Proverb, Author unknown