The things we do and the thoughts that pass through our mind every day have the power to directly influence the quality of our lives. By getting into the swing of regularly living a certain way and practicing specific behaviors, you can change your mood, mindset, and overall well-being. I wrote a post titled 3 Positive Habits That Will Change Your Life back in February 2017, but I want to elaborate and share more habits I’ve picked up since that time.
So what are some things you can do to improve the quality of your life?
Here are 12 everyday habits that will help you to live better, happier, and healthier:
1. Set and follow a strict sleep schedule.
If you can find a way to follow a strict sleep schedule or sleep for a set number of hours every night, including weekends, you’ll wake up each morning feeling refreshed and ready to take on the day. I enjoy going to bed late and waking up early so I’m still struggling with this one, but sleeping at least 7 hours/night or setting my alarm for no later than 9AM every day (even if I don’t have anything to do the next day) helps to keep me in line.
2. Exercise at some point throughout the day.
Some studies suggest that it’s beneficial to exercise in the morning to jumpstart your day and feel more energetic, but that’s not always possible when you work a full-time job or have a weird schedule. I personally prefer to work out at night. I train Brazilian jiu-jitsu three nights/week and ride my bike, go for a walk, or stretch on the other four days.
No matter what you do or what time works for you, try to get active and move at some point throughout the day, especially if you sit at a desk for 8 hours. Even if you go for a short walk or do some yoga poses, you’ll notice a difference in how you feel physically, mentally, and emotionally.
3. Drink more (clean, alkaline) water.
I never knew the importance of drinking 64 oz of water a day until I met Brooke, one of my best friends who works at Phountain. Drinking alkaline water helps to neutralize the acidity in your body’s PH, and drinking enough water throughout the day hydrates your skin, improves your circulation, curbs your appetite, AND kicks cravings to the curb. I could go on and on. Just drink more water.
4. Keep up with your health and appointments.
Whether you notice any changes or not, it’s essential to keep up with your health and doctor visits. Need to schedule that appointment? Stop putting it off. Feeling well? Still go to your yearly physical. Notice a loss in your hearing? Talk to a specialist and learn more about hearing aid options (*cough* dad *cough*).
The longer you leave a health issue unchecked or untreated, the worse it can get and the worse you’ll feel as a result. Your health is what keeps you going. Maintain it and don’t let things slip on by.
5. Count your blessings and practice gratitude.
Gratitude is a practice that will absolutely 100% impact and improve the quality of your everyday life. Counting your blessings inspires you to take note of the good in your life, rather than constantly dwelling on or talking about the bad like most people do. Positivity attracts more positivity, just as negativity attracts more negativity.
Get into the habit of acknowledging and being grateful for the things you may be taking for granted. A simple “thank you” when you wake up in the morning and before you go to bed is a great start. I promise you that this slight change in your perspective will make a noticeable difference.
6. Make your bed every morning.
According to NAVY Seal Admiral William H. McRaven, “if you make your bed in the morning, you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride, and it will encourage you to do another task, and another, and another.” Plus, after a long day and at the end of the night, it feels so nice to get home, shower, and crawl into a nicely made bed.
7. Set time aside to do something that you love every day.
Set a little time aside each day to do something you love. Whether you enjoy painting, reading, running, or watching a series on Netflix, find a way to incorporate it into your daily routine. It’ll boost your mood, promote productivity, reduce stress, and make you smile, even if only for a little while.
8. Stop gossiping and judging others.
Gossiping and judging others are two toxic behaviors that don’t benefit anybody involved — plus it makes you look bad. What you judge people for tends to be what you’re self-conscious about doing yourself. Pay attention to the negative traits you notice in others and think about whether you’re actually guilty of or insecure about that thing instead.
Also avoid getting into negative conversations with people. If/when they pop up, make an effort to change the subject or react neutrally. Don’t feed into the toxicity. No one trusts or likes befriending a gossipy, judgmental bitch… not even the one gossiping him/herself. 😉
9. See the people you love as often as possible.
Make more of an effort to see the people you love on a regular basis. Try to arrange lunch/dinner dates, coffee breaks, or drives around town or down to the water. Stay close to the people that matter. Tell them that they matter to you. Spending time with the ones you love is way more uplifting than shooting them a text or call.
10. Eat healthy whole meals.
It’s easy to substitute real meals for snacks during busy days. But if you’re like me, not getting the proper nutrition eventually leads to binging and eating unhealthy foods like dark chocolate peanut butter cups or veggie chips.
Eating right makes you feel good and helps you think clearly. Try your best to eat healthy, whole meals throughout the day, even if that means taking the time to prep your breakfast, lunch, and dinner in the beginning of the week.
Related Post: How To Make Healthy Fried Rice (Recipe With Video)
11. Start journaling or writing.
Writing is my favorite creative and therapeutic outlet (clearly, since you’re on my blog right now). I understand that everyone isn’t a writer, but something as simple as jotting down thoughts or journaling what you do throughout the day can help to relieve stress and vent in a personal safe space (especially if you want to gossip or judge someone… and if you do, refer back to #7).
12. Get outside every day.
Make the effort to step outside every day for fresh air, sunshine, and Vitamin D. This Business Insider article lists many of the reasons why going outside is great for your health, including improved short-term memory, restored mental energy, better vision, and even possible anti-cancer effects. If the sun isn’t shining, consider investing in a SAD lamp to make sure you’re getting the number of lumens that will lift your mood and bring you those important benefits of being outside.
I hope you’ll try or pick up one or more of these 12 habits that will improve your quality of life. If they can work for me, I bet they’ll work for you too. 🙂
Thanks for reading! If you have any other suggestions, please let me know in the comments below.