There are so many little changes you can make in your daily life that can make you feel better emotionally, physically, and mentally. Small changes can influence your way of thinking and how you carry yourself in a way that can help you feel happier and healthier. Changes don’t have to be drastic. Making choices consciously to improve your health and mind will leave you a more confident individual ready to take on the world. Even with a busy schedule, you can use these little changes to take time for yourself and your health every day.
It’s no exaggeration to say that drinking more water will make you feel better. You’ve probably heard that you should drink at least eight cups of water a day, but you should try to drink as much as you can, as it’s pretty difficult to drink too much water. Drinking water is generally very important for your body’s health and ability to function properly. There are many apps you can download that remind you to drink water throughout the day if you often forget, and it can be easier to drink the suggested amount if you carry it all in one, large water bottle for the whole day. Just throw in some fresh lemon or other natural water flavorings and chug away. *Please note that I am not a medical professional, and this is not intended to give medical advice.*
Take the stairs
If you work in a multi-level building, take the stairs. Or maybe you’re running errands, so park further away and walk. It’s very easy to incorporate more movement in your daily life by making these little changes. Just allow an extra few minutes to climb those stairs or walk the parking lot, and you’ll find you’re reaching your step goals even faster than usual. Actively moving throughout the day encourages blood circulation that will boost your mood and energy levels, making you even more productive throughout the day.
Take a walk
If you’re still not hitting your 10,000-step count each day, take a walk after dinner or lunchtime to get yourself moving and improve your digestion. Getting your body moving helps your insides to work properly as well. You’ll find that you won’t feel nearly as bloated after a big meal if you take a quick walk instead of sitting down for more work or your nightly Netflix binge. Taking a brisk walk is an easy way to get a bit of exercise in your routine and is a great way to become accustomed to working out every day if your goal is to start hitting the gym.
Cut out soda
Cutting out soda and other sugary drinks will make a huge difference in your health if you commit to it. The caffeine and sugar in sodas are truly addicting, so it may take time to shift your drinking habits, but stick with it. If you switch out your daily soda with water or unsweetened tea, you’ll find your health, energy, and mood will improve drastically. Sodas are full of empty calories and sugar that don’t substantially contribute to your body’s functions and needs. Instead, hydrate with water and get your caffeine fix from coffee or tea; your body will thank you.
Cut back on sugar
In the same vein as removing soda from your diet, cutting back on added sugars could help you lose weight and avoid cardiovascular disease as well as generally improving your health. It’s not advised to go cold turkey and stop eating all sugar, as your body will likely feel withdrawal symptoms like headaches and fatigue. Instead, slowly remove sources of high amounts of sugar, like processed foods, sugary cereals, sugary coffees and coffee creamers, and candy. The American Heart Association suggests that women eat no more than six teaspoons daily, and this is totally plausible when knocking out the heavy-hitting culprits.
Go to sleep earlier
Getting regular sleep is possibly the most important habit you should maintain to improve your health. The National Sleep Foundation suggests that adults get seven to nine hours of sleep every night in order to be properly rested. Getting enough sleep has a range of benefits, including improved brain function and emotional well-being, physical health, and increased productivity throughout the day. A good night’s sleep encourages learning, decision-making, and creativity throughout your daily life. Without a solid amount of sleep, you’ll find you lack the stamina to perform your typical routine to full capacity. To get that perfect night of sleep, the National Sleep Foundation suggests you stick to a sleep schedule every night, exercise daily, reduce alcohol and caffeine consumption, and turning off your electronics when you want to sleep.
Sure, you’re careful about putting on sunscreen during the summer when you’re relaxing by the pool or at the beach, but what about the rest of the time? Those ultraviolet rays that you protect yourself from in the summer are always there, regardless of the temperature and time of year. Excessive sun exposure without protection will result in advanced aging of your skin and the potential for skin cancer down the road. It’s important to protect your skin on the daily, and it’s as easy as one extra layer of product every morning in your skincare routine. Use it as the final step after other skincare products and before your makeup, and in a few decades, your skin will thank you.
Learn something new
It’s very easy to fall into a routine that is comfortable and not too challenging in order to get through your daily life but consider trying to learn something new every day. Especially if you’ve been in the same career position or role in life for a significant amount of time, it becomes easy for your mind to stagnate and go into auto-pilot in your daily life. Learning a new skill, language, or hobby will keep your mind active and help you become a better worker and a more interesting person. Download Duolingo and learn a new language or challenge yourself by trying the New York Times crossword or attending a trivia night.
Limit social media
While social media serves as a great way to keep you connected with friends and family, it can also have a negative impact on your mental health with excess use. It’s very easy to become sucked up in the lives of influencers and celebrities online and become too trusting of their product and health recommendations. It’s also easy to forget that everyone online is posting the highlights of their lives and leaving out the low moments, making everyone around you look happier and thriving in comparison. Social media is also, simply, a time-wasting hobby that typically doesn’t produce many benefits beyond keeping in touch with others. Try cutting back on the time you spend on social media by setting time limits on the apps through your phone so that you have more time to do things you truly enjoy.
Take time for yourself
Above all, it’s important to take time for yourself every day to improve your health and mental well-being. Whether you decide to use that time to get more sleep, exercise more, or learn something new, taking the time to do something for yourself and taking a break from the daily grind will pay off. This self-care doesn’t always have to be an elaborate show each time, complete with face masks and bath bombs. In fact, reserving time for the betterment of your own well-being can come in many forms, like a cozy night in or reading your favorite book.