7 Ways to Get Into a Healthy Routine

As we are nearing the midyear mark, I often reflect on my goals for the year. For many people including myself, these goals generally include health and fitness-related aspirations. I am always looking for ways to improve my overall health and lifestyle. One of the key components of creating a healthy wholesome lifestyle is developing a beneficial daily routine that works for you. Everyone’s lifestyle is different, so your daily routine needs to be suited to your lifestyle. Here are my seven tips to get into a healthy routine that can fit into any lifestyle.

1. Define Your Desired Lifestyle and Identify Steps Needed to Achieve It

When defining what lifestyle you are aspiring to have, make sure it is realistic with your current situation. If I said I want to run 5 miles three times a week and I haven’t even run a mile in over a month, this is not a realistic goal for me to start with. I likely wouldn’t even be able to finish the first run could make me feel like a failure and hinder my motivation for making the desired changes. Instead, try to find goals that are adding something as opposed to being restrictive. For example, if I were to say I can’t eat refined sugars, I would naturally focus on all of the foods that contained refined sugars and what I can no longer eat as opposed to the foods I can eat. So if you want to improve your diet, you may want to focus on incorporating more fruits and vegetables into your meals throughout the day as opposed to cutting out all refined sugars from your diet. This way every time you add a serving of fruits or vegetables to a meal you feel a small success which creates positive feedback and a small sense of gratification. These small successes lead to more small successes which with time bring you closer to the goals you have set for yourself and your lifestyle.

2. Create a Schedule

As a healthcare worker, my schedule is not always consistent, but I have a general structure for my mornings and evening regardless of my work schedule. My morning generally starts with cuddles with my dogs in bed while making notes of things I want to achieve for the day, drinking a glass of water while feeding the dogs, drinking coffee while getting ready for work/the day, 10 minutes of reading (doesn’t always happen, but the intention is there), and lastly one brief session of fetch before heading to work or getting on with my day. My evening routine generally includes at least one hour of not using my phone before bed, light reading, washing my face/skin routine, and reflecting on things or moments I was grateful for that day. This is just an example of my routine and what I have found works for me. I highly recommend creating a schedule or if nothing else a routine so that you can accomplish your daily tasks while limiting your stress levels.

3. Create Good Sleep Habits

As we have all probably been told countless times, it is recommended for adults to get 7 or more hours of sleep a night. I often find that I wake up early regardless of the time I go to bed, so it is important for me to go to bed at a reasonable hour. I also have found that reading or journaling before I go to bed opposed to scrolling on my phone provides much better sleep. I especially recommend journaling before bed if you find that your mind races when you are going to be as I have found it helps to quiet your thoughts by putting them to paper.

4. Practice Self Care

Self-care is very beneficial when it is proactive as opposed to passive. I often see people claiming self-indulgent activities as self-care, which it can be, but I don’t personally believe self-care should be primarily focused on the self-indulgent aspects. For me, self-care includes eating mindfully and making balanced meals, creating and managing a budget for finances, and moving my body daily in some capacity. These activities are rather unfabulous in comparison to indulgent behaviors like binge-watching a tv series or going on a shopping spree, but ultimately they will contribute to a more wholesome lifestyle. Don’t get me wrong though, there is a time and a place for “treating yourself,” but it shouldn’t be an unhealthy coping mechanism disguised as self-care.

5. Eat mindfully and wholesomely

Mindful eating is an approach that focuses on the entire experience of eating as opposed to the caloric content of the food. So often in our busy society, we do not take the time to sit down at a table and eat our food, much less pay attention to the taste or texture of the food and our surroundings while eating. Meals have become increasingly less of conscious activity, especially with the availability of fast foods. Make time to enjoy the food you are eating and your surroundings.

Additionally, it is important to do your best to focus on creating nutrient dense/colorful meals. A good rule of thumb is that the more color your meal is comprised of, the more varied the vitamins and minerals provided. This generally means your meal contains a variety of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and spices.

6. Read and journal

Reading has long been known to help improve your focus, memory, empathy, vocabulary, and overall communication skills in addition to expanding your knowledge base. I also personally have found that reading has greatly improved my stress levels and sleep. Much like reading, journaling has the ability to help improve your memory and empathy as well as create awareness, gratitude, and emotional well-being. Journaling before bed or whenever I feel the need to helps me to be grateful for the day and better understand my thoughts, emotions, dreams, fears, and so much more. I have been journaling since I was in elementary school and it is also incredibly fun to go back and read what you were experiencing years ago and recall memories you may have otherwise forgotten.

7. Move Your Body Daily

If you are like most adults, we spend a good chunk of each day sitting for at least 6+ hours. Living a sedentary lifestyle is a risk factor for many diseases. So moving your body for at least 15 minutes a day such as a walk around the block or up your street is a great place to start. I love using part of my lunch break for a quick walk outside if the weather is adequate as it is such a mood boost. Moving your body is also linked to improved memory, increased energy, better sleep, and better mood all of which I can attest to. So get moving! Take a walk, stretch your muscles, do an at-home workout, or find a gym or fitness class near you.

I hope you found these tips helpful! I would love to know your thoughts if you try them out. I hope you have a lovely day!

~ Madison Eran ~

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