4 Healthy Habits to Start Practicing for a New You
Between busy schedules, long days at work, and taking care of kids, pets, and your home, taking time for yourself can be difficult—but it’s important! Developing healthy lifestyle habits and implementing a self-care routine has been clinically proven to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression while also increasing happiness, energy, and more. If you want to significantly enhance your lifestyle, the results speak for themselves.
Keep in mind that healthy lifestyle habits that work for one may not work for another. It’s all about finding what works well for your individual routine and flow. So with that, we’ve provided some of our favorite healthy habits to start to help you begin your wellness journey.
Riding a bike, lifting weights, or heading out for a walk with your pet can all be a form of mindful meditation, designed to help you check in with your body and get moving in a way that feels right to you. It’s good for you, too; after all, engaging in a movement practice can help you lower stress, release negative energy, and strengthen your mind-body connection, all while providing for your physical and mental well-being along the way.
Choose from activities that bring you joy, whatever that looks like for you. If you like a relaxing yoga practice, book a class. Similarly, schedule some time for breathing exercises. If you prefer a run or jog, go for it. Bring your full awareness to the act of your feet hitting the pavement. There are tons of healthy exercise habits to start. The goal is simply to use these healthy lifestyle habits to be more in tune with your body, rather than simply burning calories.
Avoiding your phone, iPad, or other smart device can be a difficult task in our modern world. But reducing your screen time is important for both your physical and mental health. In fact, studies show that excessive screen time is linked to fatigue, obesity, and feelings of dissatisfaction, anxiety, and depression.
To stop using your phone so much, identify what you want your relationship with your favorite screens to look like. Get specific so that you have a tangible goal you can work towards and help keep yourself accountable. Next, identify some specific things you’d like to do with your reclaimed time, whether that’s incorporating more healthy lifestyle habits or spending time with family and friends. This will give you something to look forward to, so the time away from your screen doesn’t feel so difficult as you start this healthy habit.
Besides improving your memory and boosting your cognitive ability, reading is one of the best healthy habits to start. (This is especially so for those wanting a calming activity that comes with a variety of mental health benefits.) If you’re wondering how to incorporate a reading practice into your busy lifestyle, consider setting aside short blocks of time throughout the day. Whether that’s the last 15 minutes of your lunch break or just a half hour before bed, you’ll find that reading makes you feel more calm, helps you alleviate stress, and even sleep better.
This is also a great opportunity to delve into new topics and read up on subjects that interest you. Take a trip to your local library or your favorite bookstore and browse the aisles—you might be surprised at what you’ll find! Explore new picks from your favorite authors, take some time to reread your favorites, and enjoy a new healthy lifestyle habit along the way.
Start a Gratitude Practice
Some days, it feels like everything is going wrong. And it’s during those times that reflecting on what you’re most grateful for can make all the difference. Gratitude, in all its forms, has been clinically proven to boost your immune system, improve your mental health, and increase your overall optimism. These incredible benefits make gratitude one of the most powerful healthy habits to start.
There are a couple different types of gratitude practices to celebrate your growth and happy days. But the most important thing is that it feels right to you. One of our favorite ways to practice gratitude is by gratitude journaling, which involves keeping a journal of all the things you’re grateful for that day. You can also experiment with gratitude jars, which is a simple way to put this healthy lifestyle habit into practice. Whenever something good happens to you, or you’re simply feeling thankful, write it down and place it in a jar. The next time you’re feeling down or experiencing other negative emotions, give the jar a shake and remind yourself of a time you were feeling at your best.