As human beings, we all strive to be great. We want to be as beautiful, healthy, wealthy and wise as we can possibly be. Unfortunately, because of our human nature of selfishness, laziness, aging and lack of self-control, so often we struggle to attain those ideals we have set for ourselves.
While we will never be perfect, there is something to be said for maintaining healthy habits throughout our lives. Doing something good for a few weeks isn’t going to do anything for you. The only way you will see permanent benefits is when you make and keep habits for the long-term.
Everyone has different ideas of what should be prioritized in our life, but from my perspective, these are some things that have really made an impact on me. I put these things into my regular schedule so that I don’t forget, and over time they have created habits that not only feel really good, but that I look forward to!
- Go to sleep and wake up at consistent times, and make sure you get enough sleep. I’m going to really honest with you guys and say that I am terrible with this. I always have been! I stay up until 11:30 one night when I have to wake up early, then the next night I go to sleep at 8:30 because I’m so exhausted. Next thing you know, I’ve slept so much that I have insomnia the next night and fall asleep until 3! It’s a vicious cycle. Of course, I don’t back out of an activity because it goes too late in the evening, and sometimes life requires you to get up earlier than normal. BUT: for the most part, I really make an effort to keep to the same times. What works for my lifestyle is going to sleep around 10 and waking up around 7. This gives me 2-3 hours to spend with my hubby after my son goes to sleep, 9 hours of sleep, and about 45 minutes to drink coffee and read my Bible in the morning before he wakes up.
- Drink more water! I can just about guarantee you that no of us drink enough water. I have a giant, insulated water bottle that I carry around with me at all times (day and night) full of yummy, lemon-y ice water and I STILL do not drink enough. Get yourself a water bottle and sip that baby all day long. There are endless benefits to drinking enough water: low blood pressure, clear skin, energy, less toxins, better brain function, lowered risk of UTI’s, better digestion, weight loss, more oxygen delivered to your body, regulates body temperature, helps your body get nutrients from your food, and I could go on and on… basically water makes your entire body function properly. If you aren’t drinking enough, you are regularly decreasing your body’s ability to function properly. Drink up: it’s worth it!
- Move every day. If you have a job that requires you to sit all day, you especially need to cultivate this habit. As a stay-at-home mom, my rule of thumb is that I have to do something active every day. I don’t track any steps, time myself, or have any specific activities I force myself to do (I’m not someone who likes to exercise!). If I cleaned the house, I count that. If I went to the park and ran around with my kid, I count that. If we went grocery shopping, I count that. The only time I specifically whip out a workout video is when I haven’t done anything else active in the day.
- Take time off of social media. All of our lives are different. If you have a job that requires you to be on a screen all day, you will definitely want to get off of it when you get home and spend time with your family or activities away from your screen. If you have a job where you are up on your feet, engaging with others and moving about, you may need some time when you get home to lounge with your face in front of a screen. Personally, I spend a lot of time on my phone/computer. I write for a hobby/”job” and there are many times during the day where I am bored and sit on the phone. I make an effort to stay off of my phone from 8PM-8AM and on the weekends when my husband is home. I notice such a decrease in anxiety and stress, as well as a much more intimate time with my family.
- Embrace minimalism. Mess = stress. There’s no way around it. Having excess stuff and not being in control of your surroundings directly affects the stress and anxiety we feel in our daily life. Living a minimalist lifestyle can look many different ways. But what it really means is living as simply as you can and having only what you need. Take the time to really go through your belongings and choose what makes you feel joy. Get rid of things you don’t need. Simplify your home. Keep things clean and tidy, and I promise you that you will feel much better.