Often we find ourselves caught up in the rush of everyday life—taking the kids to soccer practice, scrolling through social media, going to work—and we forget to live purposefully. It’s time to become cognizant of the things we do and why we do them. Here are my top ten, vital habits that easily incorporate into any routine. Live a happier, healthier and more productive life that enables you to accomplish your goals and live out your dreams!
Fresh Air & Sunlight
It would be great if we could all take a 23-hour walk each day and bask in the sun and become children of the earth. We can’t do that, but still important to get fresh air and sunlight whenever possible. Open a window while you’re getting ready, enjoy your morning coffee on the porch or take a short stroll on your lunch break.
Even just a 20 minute walk will release endorphins and boost your mood. You’ll feel less tired, happier, sleep better, and your body won’t be as sore and creaky. Wake up half an hour earlier and squeeze in a speedy yoga sesh. Try unwinding after work with a casual walk around the neighborhood with your love. If you're more of a gym bunny that's cool too! It's truly amazing how many positive effects a little bit of physical activity can have on your mind, mood, and body.
“To Do” List Item
You know that “To Do” list you have that’s 56 items long? Well no more! Aim to accomplish one, manageable task each day. The keyword here is manageable. If you have a task that’ll take five hours, but you don’t have five hours, break it into small pieces and do one each day. It is soooo cathartic to check off that thing you've been meaning to do for six months.
A Selfless Act
Be a nice person today and every day! Hold the door for the person behind you, give your co-worker a compliment, or let someone go in front of you while in traffic or in the grocery store line. Simple acts of kindness take nothing from you but may mean the world to someone else. My fav act of kindness it to buy the drink of the person behind me in the Starbucks drive-thru.
What makes you happy? Try to do one thing each day that genuinely puts a smile on your face. Perhaps you need five minutes to scroll through social media. Or maybe you'd like to give yourself a mani. I love to bake a cheeky little treat or sit on the couch and veg to Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone for the 665th time. Don't feel bad about having a few minutes (or more) to yourself. Remember you need to take care of you before you can take care of anyone else!
Take care of yourself by eating right. Nourish your body and your mind with whole, unprocessed food. Cooking is such a special way to show love and appreciation--even for yourself. Set aside a few minutes every day to whip up something delicious for yourself and the people you love. And make sure to drink water!
I read at least 70 books a year. And yet I work 40 hours a week, attend school full time, maintain this blog (yay!), care for my family, and manage to see my friends occasionally. You may wonder how I have time to read at all! I have two secret tricks. Listen to audiobooks and read every day. My commute is around an hour and a half each day. During this time I listen to audiobooks in the car. That's seven and a half hours a week, which is a whole book! Also, I make sure to physically read one chapter each day. I often read in bed to relax my body before sleep, but you could also read in the morning or on your lunch break. Reading is nourishment for the mind and the soul. I truly believe if you don't like to read it's not because you don't enjoy it, but rather because you haven't found the right book! Experiment with various genres and styles maybe autobiographies, graphic novels or travel guides. I'm a sucker for a good cozy mystery and I also love craft, DIY, and cooking books.
Tidy Up It doesn't matter if your home is filled with luxury goods from Crate and Barrel or second-hand knock offs from the thrift shop. Treat your home and belongings with love and care. Train yourself to put things away when you are done with them. This sounds so simple, but how many of us actually do it?! When you take your shoes off, immediately put them away. If you spill something on the floor, sweep it up. If you learn to keep your area clean, you’ll spend less time cleaning later. Do a quick once-over before bed. Wipe your counters, load the dishes, briefly run the vacuum, and ensure you set yourself up to prosper the next day.
Meditate & Breathe
With our busy lives, it can be hard to find a minute to breathe. Make it a priority to set aside five minutes for meditation. Set a timer and focus on deep breathing until the timer goes off. When your thought stray, gently refocus on your breath. I do this before bed and I feel so much calmer, my body and mind feel quieter and I rest easier.
Practice & Show Gratitude
This is the most important habit you can start. Have an “attitude of gratitude”! Take a minute to reflect on the wonderful things you have in your life. Maybe you are thankful for several things today, or just one thing in particular. Regardless of the current problems you are facing, there is always something you can find to be grateful for.
Along with this, make sure to appreciate all of the wonderful people in your life. And let them know you love them! You don’t need a huge display of affection, either. Surprise your S.O. with flowers, call your sister, or even just shoot a quick “Thinking of you today. Hope you’re well!” text. I love sending a cute card to my friends or making an extra batch of banana bread for my neighbors. Don’t forget about your furry creatures! They’d love an extra cuddle too.
Add these into your daily routine and eventually, they'll become habitual. P.S. Don't forget to floss too, friends!
Lots of Love,