In this crazy modern world that we live in, we have to do lists as long as our arms and even less free time to do them all in! So how do you know which ones to prioritise to get the best out of every day? I’ve put together a list of 8 daily habits which will change your outlook on your day and in turn change your life. Remember, it takes 28 days to make a habit so give yourself some time to start seeing and feeling the benefits.
Make your bed
You may think, oh but why I’m going to be getting back into it later, it doesn’t matter. Let me tell you, it does! Making your bed as soon you hop out in the morning will set the tone of your day by giving you a mindful exercise before you start the day. It’s also a nice quick check in a box for your daily to-do list.
Keeping a tidy bed will also give you more incentive to keep your entire bedroom cleaner and tidier and it will be much more satisfying to crawl into a nicely made bed at the end of the day rather than having to haphazardly throw the covers back on just before you get in. Take the extra 2 minutes it will take you and get it done, no excuses.
Once you’re up and out of bed (and it’s made of course) it’s time to set aside a few minutes of your morning to some meditation. Meditation has been proven to reduce anxiety, promote better mental health, improves memory and focus and reduces overthinking. It’s also been scientifically proven to lengthen your attention span, which you’ll be able to reap the benefits of throughout the day as well as reducing age-related mental health, which your future self will be grateful for.
Try this 2-minute meditation to start your day off:
- Take a deep breath and begin to close your eyes
- Focus your mind on your breathing and imagine yourself becoming more calm and focused
- If your mind wanders to thoughts of the day ahead, keep bringing the focus back onto your breath
- With every out breath, imagine all of your worries and stresses leaving your body
- Take a few more deep, considered breaths and start to bring your attention back to your surroundings
- Finally, open your eyes and take a few moments
Get Up and Dressed
While I was doing research for the blog and topics to talk about, I stumbled upon a movement titled the #GetDressedEveryDayChallenge. Now, if you’re getting up and leaving the house every day, you’ll be able to get this one down easily, it’s not yet 100% acceptable to leave the house in nightwear! But if you don’t have to be out of the door what’s the point in getting dressed, surely you can sit around in your pyjamas all day!
If you stay in your pyjamas for the entire day, you’re more inclined to cuddle up for an afternoon snooze or lounge on the sofa watching Netflix. But if you get dressed, you’ll be switching your mind from ‘sleepy you’ to ‘I’m going to be productive you’. Even if you’re just changing out of your bedclothes and into some comfy leggings or joggers, it’s a few minutes that you can add to your self-care routine.
Eat a Healthy Breakfast
As if you didn’t know this one already. After a long night of sleeping, you literally need to break that fast to fuel your body for the day ahead. You’re also less likely to consume as many calories throughout the day if you’ve had a healthy breakfast before heading out of the door because you won’t feel as hungry (who doesn’t get that 11-sies snack craving when they’ve been running on empty all morning).
Eating a healthy breakfast can also improve your concentration and improve your memory. Both of which will help you to be more productive and more energetic.
That’s great, but what should I eat, I don’t have time to eat breakfast? If you’re short on time, grab a granola yoghurt or fruit like a banana or apple. If you’ve got a bit more time, try and have some wholegrain toast or a veggie omelette.
Drink Plenty of Water
According to the National Health Service “in climates such as the UK’s, we should drink about 1.2 litres (six to eight glasses) of fluid every day to stop us getting dehydrated”.
Even mild dehydration has been proven to impair your concentration, increase headaches and induce fatigue. Keeping hydrated can help you to lose weight, make your skin brighter and increase your alertness by helping to flush out all of the toxins in our body and improving your digestive system.
Try starting the day with a hot lemon water or herbal tea and ensure that you’re drinking enough throughout the day to stay hydrated.
Spend Time Outdoors
Being outside and spending time in nature can be a great meditative exercise. Getting outdoors has proven health benefits from improving your mood to increasing your fitness to helping you sleep and increasing your energy levels, even if it’s a relatively short stroll around the block to the local store.
If you’ve got a 4 legged friend, make sure you’re taking them out for an appropriate amount of exercise, they’ll also be healthier and happier for it.
Write a Daily Journal
If you’ve never tried it before, I’d urge you to start writing a daily journal. It doesn’t have to be something fancy, just a place where you can jot down your thoughts from the day. Journaling seems to have fallen out of favour in the last decade due to all of the technology we now have access to and less and less people are writing down their thoughts.
While it’s not mandatory to put pen to paper, a tablet or smartphone will do just as well, putting your thoughts from the day down really helps you process through your feelings and get some of your worries off of your mind. Journaling can be a little like having a therapist that you can tell all of your deepest feelings and emotions to without fear of judgement.
Once you start writing a daily journal, you might find that you are able to solve your problems much more effectively as you’re not just mentally weighing your options and pros and cons, you’re committing to writing them down and trying to come up with some solutions, even if they are still a jumbled mess. It’s better to have a messy page than a messy mind!
Spend Time Laughing
You know what they say ‘laughter is the best medicine’ and it truly is a great daily habit to add to your list. Even if you don’t feel happy, research has shown that by mimicking the outward signs of being happy (laughing, smiling) will actually boost your mood. So watch that comedy, pick up the phone to a friend or hang out with someone who is hilarious and you’ll be laughing all the way to the (health) bank.