A healthier you doesn’t just mean a fitter, stronger body. It also means smiling more, stressing less and being thankful for what you have. So while we’re HUGE fans of meal planning and scheduling time for exercise, we also believe that healthy habits extend beyond numbers on a scale. Here are 6 habits for a happier, healthier you in 2020.
1. But first, water.
Yes, even before coffee! Make it a habit to drink 16 ounces of water right when you wake up. It boosts your metabolism, helps with digestion and helps your body rehydrate after hours without taking in any fluids. You’ll be surprised how quickly you will start to crave this refreshing morning ritual!
2. Make a date with yourself.
Take 20 minutes every day for your very own quiet time, even if this means setting your alarm 25 minutes early each day. We know, making time to do nothing at all can seem impossible, wasteful even. But finding the time to just be helps reduce stress and clears your mind. Take a bath, take a walk, read a book or meditate. (And leave your phone and your smartwatch out of it.)
3. Just breathe.
Sure, you breathe every day. But how often do you actually think about how you’re breathing? Taking a few minutes each day to be aware of how you’re breathing and regulating it can help you reduce your stress, slow your heart rate and lower blood pressure. You can take yoga or tai chi, meditation, or you can just do this quick exercise:
- Get cozy in a chair or stretch out in your bed.
- Close your eyes and place one hand on your belly.
- Take a long deep breath through your nose, feeling your belly rise.
- Then, breathe out slowly through the mouth, focusing your attention on the breath.
4. Let go.
Of a longtime grudge, regrets, clutter and items you no longer need or want. Let go of to-dos that have been on your list for years and years. Instead, focus on the future, the here and now. Healthy habits take root when you realize what is really important.
5. Be present.
In the end, no one will say they wish they spent more time on their phone or social media. So when you’re stuck in traffic, turn up the volume on your favorite song. When your flight is delayed, go enjoy a glass of wine or hot tea. And when you’re out to dinner with friends or at home after a long day at work, be fully there, versus checking your emails or seeing who’s commented on your latest status update. You can find healthy habits in some pretty unlikely places.
6. Be thankful.
Even on bad days, be thankful for the little things. The clothes you’re wearing. The home you get to come home to. A fridge full of food. The people in your life. It’s easy to focus on the negative, but when you shift your perspective to the positive, it’s amazing how it can lift your mood. When you get in bed, before you go to sleep, make a mental list of 3 things you’re thankful for today. Ending your day on a positive note may just help you rest easier.
What are your healthy habits?
What are some of your favorite healthy habits to relieve stress, lift your mood and feel better about yourself? Share with us in the comments!