Many of us have experienced the struggle of trying to live healthier lives. We experiment with unreasonably strict diets, harsh workout routines and loads of other unrealistic expectations. But this all-or-nothing attitude has never been effective. In fact, trying to change too many of your habits too quickly may decrease your chances of sticking to a new routine.
Instead of driving yourself crazy, take things slowly and focus on the basics. Try these two healthy everyday habits. They are small changes that can make for a smoother transition to healthier living.
Healthy Everyday Habits to Get Into
Stop using social media before bed
Most of us can’t help ourselves. Right before bed, we grab our cell phones off the nightstand and do one last social media sweep, checking Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and beyond. But the problem is that “one last look” can turn into an hour of scrolling and swiping. Why is that an issue? Heavy social media users are losing sleep.
One study showed that people who reported frequently checking their social media throughout the week, had three times the likelihood of sleep disturbances. But whether it’s trouble sleeping that causes late-night social media surfing or social media surfing that triggers trouble sleeping, has yet to be determined. Still, the implications are something to strongly consider. Stopping your electronics at least an hour before bed could help you catch up on some much-needed Z’s.
While some of our sleeping habits naturally gravitate towards night owl, that’s no excuse to use social media right before you shut your eyes for the night. There are plenty of more positive and constructive ways to pass the time. Instead of staring at more screens like the TV, your tablet or cell phone, try reading or listen to some calming music while you stretch.
Stretching before bed is one of the healthy everyday habits we recommend most. It offers a wide range of benefits, such as helping to loosen your muscles, relax your body into the evening, relieve tension and ultimately lead to a more restful sleep. If you’re particularly restless, try a calming cup of tea or some aromatherapy. But those are just a few ways to get better night’s sleep.
Wake up earlier
While many will groan at the prospect of having to wake up earlier, the truth is that early rising is a healthy everyday habit that has one major advantage over sleeping in: quiet time. Unless you live alone, it’s almost impossible to get some peace and quiet. Social media and cellphones give people access to you everywhere you go. At home, you probably share the space with kids, a significant other, a lovable (but needy) pet or maybe even all of the above. And at the office, things are no different.
But what’s so special about quiet time? Well, that one- to two-hour window before the household rises and the demands of the world come rushing in is your time to do things just for you. You can brew the perfect cup of coffee with your favorite tunes serenading you in the background or sit by the window with a cup of tea and read the paper or a new book. And for planners, this time is the perfect opportunity to make a to-do list and start planning out the day, maybe even the week. This is where stretching comes in again. A good morning stretch routine can lead to fewer aches and pains, increased blood flow and higher energy throughout the day.
Any change to your daily routine will take some getting used to. And these two healthy everyday habits are no different. However, these small changes can make a big impact on your life. You’ll find yourself more in tune with your own needs and more willing to focus on making life relaxing. Sometimes, you just have to start small to go big!
What are some healthy everyday habits that keep you energized and relaxed? Let us know in the comments below.