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The past couple of years have likely been disruptive to our normal schedules, either making us busier than ever or suddenly giving us huge pockets of time with nothing on our hands. This might have resulted in some routine changes like sleeping late, snacking on more junk food, moving less, or staying in all the time.
Routines can actually be a great help in boosting and maintaining our physical and mental health. So whatever routine you are in right now, if you want to maximize the health benefits that a proper routine can give you, we’re giving you 8 easy tips to establish a healthy wellness routine that’ll optimize your days!
1. Stick to a sleep schedule
This is not to say that morning people are better people, but science does show that waking up in the morning (as opposed to late in the afternoon) is a boost to our health. Our bodies and brains follow something called the circadian rhythm. For example, in the morning when there is light, our brains fire signals to promote wakefulness and keep us alert.
At night, melatonin, a sleep-promoting hormone, is produced to induce sleepiness and further signals keep us sleeping. To make full use of this natural phenomenon, try to stick to a regular sleep schedule and wake up early even when you don’t have anything planned — you’ll likely feel more alert and productive throughout the day!
If you don’t want to wake the rest of the family up with your new early routine, try using this vibrating alarm wristband watch that won’t make a peep to disturb anyone else.
More vibrating alarm clocks here.
2. Drink water first thing when you wake up
Our bodies can get easily dehydrated without any water intake throughout the night while asleep. Lack of hydration has even been linked to headaches, fatigue, and increased cravings (often unhealthy ones). So before you grab that cup of coffee, drink a full glass of water first. This not only helps your metabolic and digestive systems, but is also excellent for your skin’s hydration!
Get this pretty insulated tumbler, fill it with water and ice before you sleep, and take a sip of the ice-cold water in the morning to wake yourself up fully. It works!
3. Get some sun
It’s so easy to stay home all week now that many people are working from home or are trying to avoid crowds and viruses. While it’s good to practice our social responsibility, it’s also detrimental if you don’t get enough Vitamin D in your body. Vitamin D is essential for developing and maintaining healthy bones, and we need all the help we can get as we age. Make it a point to take a walk outdoors in a nearby park, go on a hike, or simply walk somewhere to get your lunch.
4. Incorporate movement
It’s been proven that exercise has a whole host of health benefits that just cannot be replicated in other ways. Doctors recommend 150 minutes of exercise per week, and preferably spaced out over the days. While we can spend hours on our phones, Netflix, or games, why not take just 30 minutes each day to get our muscles moving? It doesn’t matter what kind of exercise it is, as long as you get physically moving.
Some ideas are cycling, swimming, running, dancing, or even doing chores like vacuuming and cleaning. You can even lift some light weights while watching a show! Get a pair of wrist and ankle weights so that you can add some resistance to your daily routine or workouts without any fuss.
More ankle and wrist weights here.
5. Get more fiber
We all know that vegetables are healthy foods but what do we do if we don’t really like vegetables? Well, with the variety of veggies that are available, it’s possible that you haven’t met one that you liked yet. For example, cauliflower can be prepared in such a way that it tastes nothing like its usual self. Try this Loaded Cauliflower recipe that even kids love.
Increasing your fiber intake doesn’t necessarily mean eating only green leafy vegetables, either. Things like oats, nuts, beans, popcorn (lightly seasoned and not drenched in caramel), apples, berries, and avocados are all high in fiber as well.
If all else fails, try psyllium husk powder and sprinkle it onto your cereal, oatmeal, or drink a tablespoon of it mixed well in a full glass of water. It’s high in fiber and takes less than a minute to prepare each morning!
6. Eat meals and drink water regularly
Besides drinking water first thing in the morning, it’s crucial to keep our bodies hydrated throughout the day as well. Just ask anyone who’s managed to incorporate drinking more water into their routines — you’ll likely hear that it’s the easiest and best change they’ve made for their health and well-being.
Sufficient water intake can boost your energy, alertness, weight loss, detoxification, skin health, digestion, and many more. Try this motivational water bottle that marks out the amount of water you need to drink at each timing throughout the day — it’s foolproof!
Besides drinking more water, you should also try to eat more regularly and not skip any meals. It’s easy to get carried away with work or whatever you’re busy with and push your meals till later. But did you know that you might be setting yourself up for overeating and making poor food choices? By the time you do remember to eat, you’d likely be so hungry that you’d eat anything in sight, like potato chips or ice cream as a meal.
Set time aside for your meals regardless of how busy you are, and you’ll find that it’s a great habit for your mental health, too. You deserve that time to eat!
More motivational water bottles here.
7. Do things that you love
If you are picking up a hobby, don’t pressure yourself into wanting to be an expert at it. Failing is part of the journey! If it gives you joy while you’re doing it, just keep at it. You don’t have to always be good at what you do. It could be crocheting, meditating, painting, journaling, or even physical activities like yoga, bouldering, and parkour. Just enjoy it!
8. Put away your phone
At least one hour before your scheduled bedtime, put your phone and other screens away. The blue light emitted from your phone, tablet, computer or laptop will inhibit your body’s production of melatonin, the sleep-induced hormone mentioned earlier. Besides, we’ve been spending way too much time on our phones and computers when we could be meeting friends and family in real life, cooking tasty vegetables, or exercising.
If you want to lead a healthy lifestyle that boosts both your physical and mental well-being, this is one of the best things you can do for yourself. To help you put that phone down at night and get a restful sleep, check out this lavender aromatherapy eye cushion to ease yourself into a deep sleep.
More aromatherapy eye cushions and pillows here
Establishing a healthy routine doesn’t mean overhauling your entire life all at once. In fact, simple small changes are more sustainable and keep you feeling satisfied with your progress. As these habits will take time and dedication to develop, keep in mind that you are not in a competition. Take as long as you want, and as long as you are mindful of your daily practices and keep at it, you’ll find that doing these 8 things will become so natural and fulfilling to you.