As humans, we are creatures of habit. Whether they are good or bad our habits become part of who we are. When bad habits are picked up, they are hard to break. Good habits can be hard to keep up as well, but with persistence and perseverance, it can be accomplished.
You may not necessarily be breaking your bad habits. If you incorporate enough good habits, some may start to diminish and fall away. Some bad habits might even be replaced by your good habits. Here are a few you might be able to incorporate that won’t be hard to fit into your daily life.
1. Pack a healthy lunch
There are many ways that you can start off this habit. It can seem daunting to add packing a lunch every morning to your things to do. You might want to just go and get a microwavable meal and have it done with, but that defeats the purpose. You are not 100% sure what chemicals are put in those meals, the salt content is usually through the roof, they rarely look like they are advertised, and the flavors just aren’t worth the cost.
You can pre-pack your meals for the week on one of your days off and freeze them to be ready for the day you want them. There are many recipes you can find online through Pinterest or a quick Google search. Not only do you control the flavor and portion size of what you are eating, your wallet and your waistline will thank you.
2. Cook dinner
When you leave your den of responsibility and return home it seems that all you want to do is meld into your furniture. So, you either get to a drive through or pick up the phone for delivery, someone else can take care of that responsibility while you relax. What you are missing out on, cooking is relaxing! It may seem frustrating when you first pull out the food to prepare, but once you get in the motions it is meditative.
When you prepare a meal for yourself, you become entranced in the motions of preparing the meal. It means more to you when your hands are the ones forming it. You choose better ingredients because you are not feeding faceless masses, you might even take the time to make your plate artistically pleasing. Then when eating the meal, you will take your time to savor the meal because of the time you put into preparing it. Instead, of it just being sustenance, it becomes an occasion.
3. Take breaks
Responsibility means keeping your nose to the grindstone and being productive. When you have projects and deadlines mounting, you forget about your needs and the responsibilities take over. After a while, your work starts to suffer. To keep your abilities fresh, you need to find regular stopping points to step back and pause. If even for a moment, it could be all you need to refresh yourself. You can stand up and take a restroom break, get a drink or just take a quick walk. You will find your mental faculties more clear and can focus easier on your task when you return.
4. Drink more water
You may hear this all the time, but it doesn’t make it any less true. Water is essential to life. Just remember to keep your regular intake of water and not get dehydrated. Per a journal released by D’Anci, Popkin, and Rosenberg through the NIH, dehydration has many detrimental effects on physical and cognitive performance. It can impair your short-term memory and cause you to be easily confused and irritable. It also causes you to become more easily fatigued and less motivated to continue the activity.
5. Get moving
Unless you are in an occupation where you are constantly moving, your day is spent sitting. When your day is finished, you are mentally drained. You could go home and veg out in front of the TV, but who does that benefit? Why not bring your pair of shoes and hit the gym or do some exercises at home?
Then you will feel refreshed, you will sleep better, you be naturally happy, and you will be energized for the next day.
6. Make plans
You work hard and your time is very important, so it is allocated accordingly for only the most important things. You probably say to yourself all the time, “I need a vacation!” Do you ever take one? At least not for one that involves reunions, funerals or weddings? Well, maybe it is time to pull out your calendar and mark your date to go on your vacation! Look up where you want to go. See how much it costs to get there. See if there are any vacation package deals and start saving!
7. Get out of your comfort zone
As you are a creature of habit, new situations are intimidating. You tend not to seek them out. You see things you want to get involved in or people that seem interesting, but you don’t engage because they might not want to be bothered or there might not be room for you.
Assumptions are a huge hindrance. Try to get yourself out of your bubble and engage with something or someone new. If you are walking around a bookstore and you see someone looking at your favorite book, tell them about it. If anything, you might help them decide whether to read it or not. You might make a new friend to discuss the book with once they are done.
8. Set goals
Goals can be set for anything. If you have an achievement you want to reach, you can set a goal for it. WebMD states that if you set a goal, start with small goals. When you achieve a goal the satisfaction of accomplishment will help you push forward to the next. You will also feel more confident in your achievements.
9. Seek out perspective
You are independent and a force to be reckoned with, but not even you have all the answers. Life will take a sharp curve and you will need that person or people that you know is in your corner and will give you clear perception. Not a “yes man,” but someone who is not afraid to tell you that you have spinach in your teeth or those jeans make your butt look huge. They aren’t looking to see you fail, in fact, they’re looking out for you, because do you really want to go out in those jeans and have people looking at the spinach in your teeth when you talk?
10. Remove clutter from your space
Yes, this is exactly what it means. A cluttered space can create stress. In fact, a journal released by the AANA (American Association of Nurse Anesthetists) says that it can also lead to weight gain and physical risks from an unhealthy setting. If you set aside some time to clear and organize your space, you will find that the act will be freeing. It is almost symbolic, letting go of things that were weighing you down.
Hopefully you can add some of these habits into your daily routine to feel better and healthier all the time!