21 Additional Healthy Habits for a Better Life
21 More Healthy Habits for a Better Life
Hopefully, you’ve had some time between all of life’s happenings to peruse my blog from last week and, hopefully again, you found it helpful and even interesting. As a child, so many things were done and provided for me, and I, like most, took it for granted. Now, as an adult, things are a tad more difficult and I’m constantly on the lookout for amy tips and advice to make for smoother sailing. As an advocate of such things, I appreciate sharing the information I’ve picked up along the way so that I can help those around me, because helping is what I do. So, without further ado, here is another collection of morning habits to help make your days of adulting a lot easier.
1. Drink 16 oz of Water – Est. Time: 2 Min.
One of the best things you can do in the morning is drink water. After having slept six-eight hours, your body becomes dehydrated, and needs fluids to operate properly. Drinking 16 ounces of water first thing in the morning has a myriad of benefits, including: boosting your metabolism (studies show that drinking a large, cool glass of water, can fire up your metabolism by a whopping 24% for 90 minutes); water aids your body’s ability to flush out toxins and promotes better organ function throughout the day; it supports brain function, (brain tissue is 75% water and if you’re not adequately hydrated, your brain is forced to operate with less “fuel” causing you to feel fatigued and drained leading to mood fluctuations).
2. Stretch It Out – Est. Time: 3 Min.
Most of us know the advantages of stretching before and after a workout, but do you know the perks of stretching in the morning? Here are few reasons why you should: stretching before climbing out of bed helps to reduce, and even prevent, back pain by reducing tension in your spine and muscles; regularly stretching in the morning relaxes and lengthens your muscles keeping your back in better shape and increasing flexibility, both of which aid your posture; and it improves circulation and increases your energy levels by accelerating the blood flow to your muscles, and your brain, equating to more energy and better concentration.
3. Wake Up Really Early – Est. Time: N/A
Surely you know how invaluable time is, but did you know that nearly all the Fortune 500 leaders wake up super early? Yep, highly successful people take things up a notch by waking up at 5:30 am, 5:00 am, or even as early as 4:00 am, allowing them more control over their time and giving them more opportunities to do things that are important to them. My suggestion? Start with baby steps, try waking up just 15 minutes earlier and then gradually adjust. (Just remember to go to bed earlier too!)
4. Burn Some Calories – Est. Time: 10-60 Min.
You don’t necessarily need to devote an entire hour, or even 45 minutes, to some crazy, intense exercise regimen. Here are a few suggestions to get your energy flowing: try playing a quick game of basketball, taking a brisk jaunt around the block, or partaking in some dancing while your coffee’s brewing. No matter what you choose, getting your body moving in the morning helps you get energized quickly and naturally; it increases endorphins making you happier and healthier; improves your productivity and clarity; and can even help you sleep better.
5. Ask Yourself This Important Question – Est. Time: 1 Min.
“If today was my last day on earth, would I still want to do what I'm about to do today?” Posing this compelling question early in the day might be a bit much for some, but if you can manage it, give it a go. If you find that your answer is regularly a “no”, then go out there and change something.
6. Connect with Your Partner – Est. Time: 5 Min.
Therapists and counselors alike recognize how important it is to set aside some time for your personal relationship. Discuss your plans for the future, the hobbies you enjoy, or make plans for the upcoming weekend. Extremely successful people know that connecting with their partner in the morning can boost energy and promote focus. So, enjoy a ten-minute sit-down with your spouse over breakfast or coffee, or join them for a dash around the block, before heading out into the big bad world.
7. Create Something – Est. Time: 10 Min.
Before you start absorbing the loads of information we take in over the course of the day – reading emails, attending meetings, listening to the news on the way to work, and so on – create something. This can be anything you’d like: make a not-so-gourmet breakfast; draw something or color; write a blog post; maybe try out that new hairstyle you’ve been thinking about for a while. Start your day by creating something and let your creativity flow!
8. Create, and Maintain, a Gratitude Journal – Est. Time: 5 Min.
At the risk of sounding cliché, I believe that happiness is about appreciating that which you already have. Making a habit of enumerating your blessings helps you to become more open to optimism and inspiration, and can improve your outlook on life overall. Every day, write down at least one thing that you’re grateful for, and remember that even the little accomplishments count as wins.
9. Brush Your Mouth – Est. Time: 2 Min.
Most of us were taught to brush our teeth twice a day, once after breakfast, and again before bed. But you may be surprised to learn that it’s actually healthier to brush your teeth first thing after waking up in the morning. The film of bacteria built up in your mouth while you sleep is called plaque and removing it as soon as you wake up lends to fresher breath, stronger immunity, a healthier mouth, and even makes food taste better. Don’t just brush those teeth, though, brush your gums and the inside of your cheeks, and scrape your tongue too, as those areas can also have loads of bacteria built up.
10. Smile - Est. Time: 30 sec.
As soon as that alarm sounds, smile! Scientist have discovered the following benefits of smiling: smiling releases dopamine and endorphins, both these neurotransmitters make you feel good; smiling releases serotonin, another neurotransmitter, which is responsible for a multitude of happenings, affecting your mood and social behavior, appetite and digestion, sleep, memory, and even sexual desire and your body’s ability to function in a sexual manner; smiling also strengthens your immune system helping to ward off illness. Can’t find a reason to smile? Force it. Yep, here are a couple advantages of forcing it: A forced smile changes your brain activity causing you to feel happier (otherwise known as a “Duchenne smile”); smiling while stressed can lessen the intensity of your body’s stress response, resulting in a lower heart rate; additionally, smiling leads to a broader cognitive state, increasing your ability to see the “light at the end of the tunnel”.
11. Form One Business Connection - Est. 5 Min.
You’re probably familiar with the expression, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know”. Cliché or not, it’s true, especially concerning your career. Here are some resources you can use to get started: LinkedIn is the best social media site for forming business connections and allows you to profile your knowledge, skill, and area(s) of proficiency; Beyond is another social media site for professionals and boasts over 50 million members; Facebook is one of the best resources for finding people who share the same interests as you, and with millions of people and groups to join, it’s exceptionally easy to find something you’ll like.
12. Discover, and Familiarize Yourself with, Your Personality Type – Est. Time: 10 Min.
While people have multiple personality types, the one that best defines you is your dominant personality – Social, Emotional, Practical, or Action. Researching your personality type can determine the best kind of routine for you. For example, social types generally function better with a daily routine that revolves around people; emotional people tend to be more sensitive and introverted than the other types, and typically operate better when their routine allows for more quiet time and reflection; a person with a practical personality type usually thrives in a highly structured routine; then there are those whose dominant personality trait is action and they perform better with more variety in their daily routine. (Remember to adhere to the routine that works best for your personality!)
13. Employ the Coach.Me App – Est. Time: 5 Min.
The coach.me app is a fantastic tool for helping to maintain and commit to new habits. It’s like having a personal coach in your pocket, which is mostly a great thing. This app holds you accountable for your actions and goals by helping you to: visualize your goals and progress; receive coaching for specific habits/goals; and get encouragement from friends and strangers alike. Added bonus: It’s FREE!
14. Track Your Steps – Est. Time: 1 Min.
Utilizing a step-tracking device, like a Fitbit, can do wonders for your physical fitness. Step trackers are usually watches, or similar types of devices, that keep track of the steps you take on a daily basis. Believe it or not, seeing how much you walk throughout the day can lift your spirits and inspire you to take even more steps, leading to a healthier life overall.
15. Eat That Frog – Est. Time: 5 Min.
Mark Twain famously said that if the first thing you do in the morning is eat a live frog, you can go through the rest of your day knowing that the worst is behind you. Your “frog” is your most important, or worst, task, and the one you’re most likely to procrastinate on. This, my friends, is a great way to begin your day. Complete whatever your “frog” is first thing, and know that no matter what the day has in store for you, you’ve accomplished the worst task on your to-do list, so whatever tasks may follow can’t be all that bad.
16. Yoga – Est. Time: 10 Min.
If you’re not yet sold on meditation (don’t worry, I’m not either), try giving yoga a try instead. The basis is similar to meditation, but yoga is a much more active approach. It’s been around for a millennium, and with that kind of staying power, it has to be something good. Some of the benefits are: it increases your lung capacity; assists with memory; can help lower your risk of heart disease; and provides anxiety relief. Need some help to get started? Check out A Beginner’s Guide to Yoga.
17. Learn About a Topic That Interests You – Est. Time: 5 Min.
Life is the teacher and we are the students. There are tons of resources that provide ways to efficiently learn new skills. A couple of strategies I’ve come across are scheduling time for practice and scheduling additional time to research what you’d like to learn. Typically, five minutes won’t be enough time for deliberate practice – but, it’s more than adequate for researching at least one skill-related topic or a challenge you may be faced with. Furthering your education is imperative for growth, and practicing and researching subject matter that interests you is a perfect task to do in your down-time. So, whether you’re a fan of reading blogs or books, or you prefer listening to podcasts, make sure to take advantage of all the information available and invest in furthering your knowledge for a better life.
18. “Rebounding” – Est. Time: 3 Min.
Rebounding is a new exercise routine that is changing how people get a kick-start on their day. One of the best things about rebounding is that you don’t need a lot of space - all you need is a small trampoline. As for the benefits of rebounding: it helps to clear your sinus passageways; strengthens your lymphatic system; increases creativity; and tones your muscles. To learn how, check out this Rebounding Exercise Video.
19. Stay Unplugged – Est. Time: N/A
If the first thing you do when you wake up is use your phone to scroll through Facebook or check your email, you’re doing yourself a disservice. Doing this cultivates a reactive mindset, instead of a proactive one, causing you to begin your day in a defensive mode, rather than from a place of peace and mindfulness. Try remaining detached from technology for at least the first hour after waking so that you can start your day with more awareness and positivity.
20. Take Care of Yourself – Est. Time: 5-60 Min.
Taking pride in your appearance helps with building self-confidence. Putting yourself together in the morning is one of the few things that you can control in life. So, take some time to shower or wash your face, brush and floss those teeth, brush or comb that bedhead, and dress to impress. To help with the time constraints we all seem to contend with in the mornings, try preparing your clothes and whatnot the night before, and do whatever you need to do to make you feel like the best version of you.
21. Spend Time with Your Kids – Est. Time: 10 Min.
Obviously, this mainly applies to those of you who have children, but you can also do this with your fur babies - because why not?. Most parents, despite their best efforts, end up being the type of parents who say, “Oh, my kid(s) grew up way too fast! My, how time flies!” I’d suggest, before your day really kicks off, making a point to spend time with your children in the morning. Make them breakfast, help them pick out and dress for their day, or just ask them to tell you about their dreams from the night before. Don’t let life get in the way of family – after all, they’re a priority!
In just 30 minutes a day, you can be on your way to a healthier, happier, and better life. With countless ways to start your day off on the right foot, it’s easy to find a few habits to suit your lifestyle. Don’t forget, the hardest part of a morning routine is starting one, but once you see the difference, there’s no going back!
Thanks for reading!