Healthy Lifestyle Habits to Promote Wellbeing
It’s no secret that most of us want to live a long, healthy, and fulfilling life. Unfortunately, life gets busy and sometimes we may find that we aren’t prioritizing and taking care of ourselves the way we should be. But you shouldn’t have to choose whether to take on life’s tasks or take care of yourself – you can do both if you plan ahead and create healthy lifestyle habits
- Habits can take three months to form, so it is important to be mindful and consistent while trying to form these healthy lifestyle habits.
- Exercising daily is one of the most important habits to form because it helps significantly with both mental and physical health.
- There are so many different healthy lifestyle habits that have the power to change your whole outlook on life.
Even though it may be hard to get started, we all are creatures of habit, so it may be easier than you think. The general rule of thumb is that it takes 3 months - or around 66 days - to form a new habit. But if you are consistent and persistent in making your life better, then you may find yourself forming these habits in a much shorter period of time.
One of the first ways to start forming healthy lifestyle habits would be to start small. Remember to take it piece by piece. This means maybe just pick two or three active choices to start really working on for the next few months, and then when you feel like you have ingrained these habits into your routine, add a few more.
However, the real trick to forming any sort of habit is to do it Every. Single. Day. You will not create a new habit for yourself if you are not consistent with it in the beginning.
Another trick to forming healthy habits is to reward yourself. Rewarding ourselves creates a sense of positive reinforcement, which encourages our brains subconsciously to associate our desired habit with a reward. This could mean buying yourself a fun drink once a week as a reward for prioritizing your exercise or work tasks in the mornings.
9 Healthy lifestyle habits to promote wellbeing
1. Plan ahead
My number one tip to avoid that horrible overwhelmed feeling when life gets busy is to write things down. Having a plan for yourself reduces stress significantly, and works to improve confidence and direction throughout your day.
Go buy yourself a pretty planner or open Google Calendar, and at the beginning of the week write down all your plans, deadlines, and schedule for the next few days. This will keep you feeling more in control of tasks and allow you to complete things before they are due.
2. Daily exercise
Stop with the constant excuse of “I don’t have time to exercise.” It may be difficult, but it’s so important to implement some sort of daily activity into your life. Daily exercise is one of the most crucial healthy lifestyle habits to add to your weeks since it increases endorphins and significantly helps with overall bodily functions.
According to the Mayo Clinic, you should be getting an average of 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week in order for your body to stay healthy. And this does not mean 50 minutes in the gym. Non exercise activity that keeps you from sitting all day is just as effective. Once the routine of exercising daily starts to settle in, you will feel a multitude of benefits that will work to increase your overall quality of life.
3. Healthy eating
You know that saying “you are what you eat”- it’s true. Everything you consume has the power to affect your physical and mental health. If you’re living on fast food or processed food then you probably aren’t going to feel too great trying to complete your tasks throughout the day. It’s important to fuel your body with whole foods that will provide nutrients and protein to make you a high-functioning person.
Obviously, you need to eat for fuel as well as for fun. Healthy eating does refer to various nutrients and seasonal produce, but it is just as vital to make eating an enjoyable experience.
4. Staying hydrated
Drinking two to three glasses of water a day is not enough. The US National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine determined that an adequate amount of fluid intake per day is around 11-15 cups per day depending on both weight and sex (which is not a one size fits all measurement).
So start sippin' because consuming enough water each day is vital for body temperature regulation, preventing infections, delivering nutrients to cells, and keeping organs functioning properly. A good way to incorporate this habit is by buying a nice reusable water bottle and carrying it around all day. If you really struggle with remembering to drink water throughout the day, try setting some reminders on your phone to start the habit.
5. Get enough quality sleep
Quality sleep holds all the power to improve brain performance, mood, and health. Sleep is crucial to your wellbeing. Make it a priority on equal footing with a job or school task.
To form this habit, start by trying to go to bed 30 minutes earlier than you usually do each week until you have hit your desired bedtime. Or, if you already go to sleep at a decent time, try setting your alarm to wake up 10 minutes earlier each week to start creating a habit of waking up earlier. Getting 8 hours of quality sleep per night will give you more energy to power through your busy days.
6. Meditate and stretch
Meditation and stretching promote relaxation, psychological balance, and overall wellbeing. When you’re feeling anxious or tense, it can be hard to go about your day and get quality work done. Incorporating meditation and stretches into your routine can reduce that anxiety or tension in your body or head, and help with anchoring you to the present in order to be your most attentive self.
The best time to complete these two things is either in the morning right when you wake up or as some peace of mind right before you go to sleep. Whenever you do this, make sure to get rid of any distractions around you and dedicate 10-15 minutes to just focusing on your breath and the present. If both seems daunting, start with either daily stretches or some meditation.
This might be one of your holy grail solutions to getting your life together. Clutter has been found to produce extra visual stimuli which trick our brain into thinking we are unproductive and ultimately leads to feeling overwhelmed and guilty. Getting rid of unnecessary items around your home and organizing your space can significantly reduce stress and help you feel happier, calmer, and more in control. Once you go about decluttering your space, make it a habit to keep it clean so that you consistently have a nice place to work in or return to after your long days.
8. Limiting screen time
Obviously, we are so interconnected nowadays that it’s virtually impossible to cut off social media or phones altogether. But being mindful of our screen time and limiting it can be extremely beneficial to our mental and overall health.
Limiting screen time has the power to push you out of depressive or anxious states and make you more engaged with the real world and in-person social interactions. Start by setting a daily average of fewer than two hours of screen time per day (not including work or school-related activities) and really try to be aware of mindless social media scrolling. Creating a healthier relationship with electronic devices and social media will significantly help with mental health issues, eyesight, and the tech neck you get from scrolling.
9. Be nice to yourself
With the competitive world we live in today, it’s easy to become your own worst enemy. However, we have to live with ourselves for the rest of our lives, which means we need to be our own biggest supporter. Stop saying mean things to yourself about how you aren’t good, smart, or productive enough. After all, would you say those things to your best friend?
Find a way of positive reinforcement that works for you. Write messages on sticky notes and place them on your bathroom mirror. Keep a journal and make a point of writing something you are grateful for each day. Or just hold yourself accountable for the thoughts you harbor about yourself.
These healthy lifestyle habits are guaranteed to change your life for the better. Start today and see how you feel less anxious and more in control of your life. Remember that you need to consistently work on learning these changes every single day if you want them to turn into an actual habit.
Written by Emma Carlson
- Photo by Tara Clark on Unsplash