You collapse onto the couch after a long day at work, ready for a little rest and relaxation. But then there are the dishes. And the laundry. And the kids’ homework. Suddenly, you come to the realization that you are burning out – and fast. The good news? You can take several steps on a daily basis to prevent yourself from experiencing both physical and emotional burnout. Here are our favorite tips for simple everyday habits you can adopt for a healthier and happier life, starting today.
This is an extremely critical step for maintaining your physical and mental wellbeing and health. So, what exactly does self-care look like? It’s usually a pre-planned activity or chunk of time reserved just for you in your busy schedule. For example, you can practice meditation or learn how to do yoga. It could also be as simple as setting aside a little time each day to read a chapter of your favourite book. No matter what activity you decide on, be sure to fully commit to it.
Go to Bed
Getting enough sleep is essential to your health. So, try to address anything that will keep you from getting those Zzzzzz’s on a nightly basis. For instance, it may be tempting to scroll through social media in bed, but it tends to be a stimulating and time consuming activity, and the emittance of blue light also has negative effects when you’re trying to fall asleep. If possible, remove technology from the bedroom, and do something relaxing instead, like lighting a candle each night before you hit the hay.
Research shows that if you spend a lot of time sitting, this can lead to many health issues. In fact, if you sit for more than eight hours a day, your risk of dying is equivalent to that associated with smoking or obesity. On top of this, too much sitting can result in aches and pains. So, try to move for a minimum of 30 minutes each day for optimal health.
Perhaps you can start stretching prior to hitting the sack at night, or if you work long hours in front of the computer, set periodic reminders to encourage you to take a quick stretch break. Or, maybe you could take the stairs rather than taking the elevator. Decide on a way to add some more movement to your life on a daily basis.
Drink Plenty of Water
Do you find yourself feeling fatigued by the afternoon? This may be a sign that you are dehydrated. To combat this issue, it’s important to keep consuming water throughout the day. You may want to simply keep a reusable water bottle at the office or in your vehicle so that you are always prepared. If you’re not a fan of the taste of water, try getting creative with your beverages. Add some fresh seasonal fruit to your water pitcher (blueberries and lemons are great options!), or try some fresh mint or basil. These days, there are also a number of apps that can easily help you keep track of your daily water intake.
Do What You Love
An important part of living a healthy life is taking time to do activities you’re passionate about, that bring you joy. For instance, if you love writing or dancing, be sure to add time for these creative activities in your schedule. It’s also never too late to discover new hobbies and passions – if you’ve always been interested in pottery, try taking a class during the weekend. Gather a couple of friends to try out an activity you’ve never done before. Who knows, you may discover a new interest or talent in the process!
Give yourself some daily “quiet time”- a moment when you can calm down from the hustle and bustle of the day. This may include taking a quick but relaxing walk while you’re on your lunch break, or taking time to call a family member or friend. Choose a method you know is great at calming you down every time.
Eat More Veggies
We all know of the importance and benefits of getting our daily servings of greens, but like many busy people today, you may find it difficult to squeeze plenty of vegetables into your everyday diet. Try some fun, out-of-the-box ways to add veggies to your diet, like adding spinach to your morning smoothie, or replacing your chips of candy bar with hummus and carrots for your midday snack. It’s all about finding the foods you love, and creatively incorporating that into your routine.
Enjoy a Healthier Life Today!
The more you take care of yourself both physically and emotionally, the more effectively you can pour yourself into your job, your family, and your other daily commitments. Follow the steps above to start building habits for a healthier life this year!
Tess DiNapoli is a freelance writer and advocate for clean, healthy and balanced lifestyles. She writes about developments in health and wellness, along with natural skincare and beauty products.