Do you remember what your resolution was for this year? As January faded and the months kept coming, you may have found it hard to keep up with your resolution or to even remember that you made one. Many people choose to be healthier, to quit a bad habit, to be successful, or to find love. These abstract goals can be hard to achieve in just one year, and you usually give up on them. If you are losing steam trying to become a better you this year, try some of these tips that you can easily incorporate in your day-to-day life to be happier and healthier.
1. Take the stairs.
The elevator isn’t the only way up! Go out of your way a little bit every day to take the stairs, even if it’s just one flight. Climbing up and going down stairs strengthens the muscles in our legs and can even improve posture. It can get your blood flowing and lead to more productivity and energy as the day progresses. If you are trying to be healthier or lose some pounds this year, taking the stairs is a sneaky way to add a little extra exercise to your day.
2. Eat breakfast every day.
It is the most important meal of the day, and unfortunately the one many people skip. Eating breakfast helps kickstart your metabolism and can set the mood for your day. If you find yourself moody, irritated, or lethargic well before your lunch break, think about what you ate that morning. Even a piece of fruit and a glass of water are better than nothing. Try to incorporate a healthy, fiber-filled breakfast into your morning. Fiber will help keep you full for longer and can postpone or eliminate mid-afternoon cravings. You also just spent eight hours without water, so make sure to rehydrate your body after waking up.
3. Stay connected with the ones who matter.
When was the last time you talked to your grandmother? Or called up your high school best friend? Between work, class, and staying on top of your responsibilities, communication might slip from your mind. Take a few minutes this week to write an email to an old friend. Ask a co-worker if he or she would like to grab a bite after work. Call your sibling. These are small ways to let the people in your life know you are thinking about them and care even when you are super busy. The connection with them will help boost your mood which will, in turn, make you a happier person overall.
4. Put down the phone.
There is so much negativity and extra stress that your phone likes to frequently alert you to. Between social and political news articles, reminders of upcoming deadlines, and messages from an ex “just checking in,” it can be a lot to handle. Of course, respond to what’s important (like that work email from your boss), but remember to unplug once in awhile. Plus, staring at our phones causes eye strain and headaches and the overall exposure to negativity can impact our own thoughts and perspectives on a daily basis.
5. Carry a bottle of water.
How much water should you drink in a day? Way more than you think, but it’s not always easily accessible. Bottled water can be expensive and puts strain on our environment. If you invest in a reusable water bottle, you will have necessary hydration tool right at your fingertips (or in your purse, backpack, or car). If you carry a bottle every day (and remember to keep filling it up!) you will be more hydrated, which can lead to fewer headaches, more energy, and clearer skin.
6. Be mindful.
Being mindful encompasses the idea of being present. Are you really paying attention to your friend if you are texting while she’s talking? Did you taste your food last night when you ate while watching TV? Many people move through the day from one task to the next without really thinking about what they are doing. This can lead to confusion and restlessness when it’s time to unwind, usually resulting in trouble getting to sleep. If you focus on each task or event in the present moment, you have less time to dwell on the past or worry about the future. You can be more open to enjoying each day moment by moment.
7. Start a journal.
Writing in a journal doesn’t have be some big project that results in an extensive, detailed account of your day. Many people make lists or small notes to themselves about positive things that happened or things they are worried about to better deal with life. Noting the positives can help put things into perspective and remind you of all the good things that happen every day. While putting the things you are worried about on paper can help you manage them in small ways by mapping out your plan of action to solve any problem.
8. Let some things go.
Is it necessary to hold a grudge? While it might make you feel good momentarily to allow your anger some space, it can also weigh you down and keep you from moving on. Many times, the person you are upset with doesn’t even know why or what can be done to solve the issue. Talking about problems can relieve stress, strengthen your communication and relationship skills, and can help make sure the same problems don’t pop up again in the future.
9. Take walks.
Whether it’s just around the block or to run errands, walking can provide many health benefits. It keeps your cardiovascular system in check and can supplement weight loss routines. Both your respiratory and nervous system can benefit from only thirty minutes of exercise a day! If you have an active mind and find yourself stressing, a walk can help you focus your thoughts and give you space to think. You will even feel that powerful sense of accomplishment when you get home and can get back to work with a clear head.
10. Listen to your body.
Sometimes it’s not as easy as it sounds to know what is best for your body. You know it better than anyone else, and you can listen to it better than anyone else. If you are feeling stressed, consider your heart rate. Your heart is probably racing, triggering other parts of your body to join it in panic. Taking some calming, deep breaths can help slow you heart beats back to normal. If you feel exhausted and drained throughout your day, consider how much sleep you’ve been getting. You will continue to feel this way until your body is able to recharge and get that necessary rest at night. If you feel tense and your muscles are in tight knots, try stretching or gently massaging these areas. By acknowledging your body’s needs, you can begin to think about possible ways to feel better. You are the only one with the power to realize what your body needs, and you are the one in control of your body’s health.