Healthy Habits to Work Into Your Home Life

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Healthy Habits to Work Into Your Home Life

Cassie Damewood · Dec 4, 2018

A young woman eating a delicious salad in the comfort of her kitchen.

While habits are often portrayed in a negative light, good habits like bathing, brushing your teeth, and feeding your goldfish can also be established. The best part is, incorporating patterns into your daily life that boost your physical and mental health is easy — especially if you ease into them and allow them to bloom naturally.

Try these practices one or two at a time, and before long you’ll find yourself feeling happier and healthier than before.

Eat Well

Even though this is an easy habit to establish, many people make it into a chore. On top of that, eating healthy makes you feel better and think more clearly.

Start by limiting your fast food intake to a once-a-week (or less) treat. That doesn’t mean you have to have a bowl of kale every day, but you should do your best to load up on healthy foods you actually like. Embrace healthy homemade sandwiches made with a little lean meat, flavor enhancers like lettuce, tomato, bell peppers, and onions, and a schmear of mustard. Instead of eating a bucket of chicken, try oven-roasting a whole chicken. That’s a dinner or two (with a hearty side of vegetables and your favorite steamed grain) plus leftovers for sandwiches or a lunch salad. If you have a sweet tooth, reach for pineapple, grapes, and peaches instead of chocolate and cookies, both of which are easier to avoid if there are none on hand.

Get Rid of Clutter

It’s natural to be comforted by familiarity. Family pictures, your Little League catcher’s mitt, and mom’s recipe cards all warm the heart and deserve to be cherished. Nonetheless, you can’t excuse plain old clutter.

Start with your bedroom. Many studies have shown that sleeping in an uncluttered room means falling asleep quicker and staying asleep through the night. Plus, your overall mental state is improved by coming home to a place that’s in order. Beyond physical disorder, paring your to-do lists down to one or two and throwing out your old mail and magazines will help you think more clearly and inspire far more peace of mind than a disheveled environment.

The Sanctity of Sleep

One of the most vital components of healthy living is sleep. Not everyone needs eight hours a night, but anything less than six is courting problems. Develop a routine and start thinking of golden slumber as a treat to your psyche and your body: a time dedicated to regenerating the physical and mental energy you’ll need to start your days off right. Turn down your bed and fluff the pillows an hour or so ahead of bedtime. Wash your face, brush your teeth, moisturize your skin, and crawl under the covers with a good book or crossword puzzle. Turn on some soft music in the background, and next thing you know, you’ll be waking up full of energy and looking forward to the day ahead.

Quiet Introspection

Commonly called meditation, this age-old practice isn’t just for aging hippies or reserved for specific religions. It’s not the easiest habit to develop, however, because it requires you to dedicate 10 or 15 minutes of time to looking at yourself without a mirror. You can repeat a mantra, strike a yogic pose, burn candles, or simply sit quietly and concentrate on the positive things in your life. Sure, at times that seems impossible, but even if it takes visualizing puppies or rainbows, it does wonders for your inner peace, daily attitude, and maybe even your blood pressure. Don’t forget the deep breathing, and you’ll start feeling constructive results almost immediately.

Jot It Down in Your Journal

Keeping a journal — somehow “diary” conjures up images of lovelorn teenage girls — is an easy way to keep your mind clear and your heart on track. Don’t get bogged down by style or subject matter. You’re not writing the great American novel, after all. This is your story about your life meant for your self-enrichment. Start off with your proudest accomplishment or a recent event that made you happy, and then write about something challenging that you’d like to overcome. Let your thoughts flow, both good and bad, and be as objective as possible. Devote yourself to at least one entry a day, no matter how short or long they might be. Soon you’ll see how you were able to work through things in the past and learn how to apply those same steps for more peace of mind in the future.

Exercise on a Regular Basis

A young man performing a side plank on a yoga mat in his living room.

This is the most difficult habit to establish for many people. Why? Because most people hate exercise, regardless of its magnificent benefits. For that reason, you should experiment with different types of exercise until you find one or two you can tolerate. Whether you work out at a gym, bicycle, walk, join a fun dance/exercise class, or just sweat it out in your living room, staying active is vital to good health and longevity. Not only does your body benefit from exerting itself, but your stress levels also decline as your natural energy starts to climb. Sometimes it helps if you reward yourself for the commitment by chilling out in front of the TV or soaking in a bubble-filled tub with a good book after. Whatever it takes, you’ll definitely want to figure out a way to incorporate exercise into your daily routine.

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