It’s been a hard two years, with global pandemic disrupting our lives and weather being unpredictable. Add personal matters to that mix and you have quite a handful to think about and worry about. Regardless of how hard things are, you should put yourself first by taking care of your mental and physical health. While the following daily activities to maintain it may not solve your problems, they will give you strength and resolve to take charge of your life.
1. Quit bad habits one at the time
Bad habits indeed take more than a day to quit, but it’s daily activities that make it possible. For example, if you are a smoker and have cigarette cravings, you can beat that with daily steps. Try meditation or yoga to relieve stress, eat fruits for snacks instead of junk food, and drink plenty of water.
The same principle applies to any other habit you want to change that comes hard to you, like being more physically active. The key is to take one step at a time and repeat it every day until it becomes a normal part of your daily life. This way you will feel proud of your accomplishments, boost your self-confidence, and have a healthier body.
2. Move around and exercise
The sedentary position is one of the most warned about problems of the modern world. Even though you have to sit for eight hours or more for work, you still have some options to preserve your health. First of all, stand up from time to time to move around and stretch. This will bring back circulation in your legs, rest your eyes, and help you think more clearly.
In the morning, do a short exercise when you wake up to boost your energy levels. It would be best to have a full exercise plan, but if you can’t go to the gym every day, have some workout at home. Walking in place, HIIT, yoga, and calisthenics usually don’t require any equipment or lots of room. In addition, physical activity is not only good for the body but also can lower cortisol levels and increase the production of feel-good hormones.
3. Adopt a pet
Nothing can bring routine in your life like a pet. Owning a pet is a great option if you suffer from anxiety and depression because they keep you engaged at the moment and give purpose. For example, dogs are the best choice if you want to increase daily physical activity since they require regular walks at least twice a day, preferably three times.
However, choose a pet that best suits your schedule. While you will change some aspects of your life to fit the pet’s needs, like getting out more, you still need to have time to care for them properly.
4. Embrace the nature
Lockdown or not, then chances are you have already spent too much time indoors. But taking a break and stepping out into nature may be just what your body and mind need to recharge inexpensively. For example, find adult and kids bikes for sale and take the whole family to a national park where you will cycle, hike, and camp for the weekend.
Set your phone to receive calls only from emergency contacts and immerse yourself into the de-stressing power of landscapes. It has benefits for mood and creativity but also is good for your muscles, bones, heart, and brain. Even taking a walk in the local park or by the water can calm you down and give you a new perspective on things.
5. Work on your sleep habits
Based on the National Sleep Foundation guidelines, you should have 7–9 hours of sleep every day, preferably at night. Although you may be tempted to postpone sleep or sacrifice a few hours of it, that is not good for your mental and physical health. During sleep, hormones and proteins are released, cells get restored, and the brain stores memories of the day.
Furthermore, the waste clearance system removes toxins that accumulated in the central nervous system which is important for the brain to function properly when you wake up. Sleep also has benefits for the heart, being one of the important factors for the prevention of high blood pressure, weight gain, and inflammation. A piece of advice to have a quality sleep: remove the electronic device from the bedroom, draw the curtains over the windows, and eliminate noises as much as possible.
6. Stay socially active
Being socially active is not the same as posting a lot on social media. It’s about having a quality and fun time with people you love, as well as gaining new friends and acquaintances. A pandemic may have shifted in-person relations to socializing over the screens, but it’s still not the same as interacting on social media. For example, video calls allow you to have dinner with another person without being physically in the same room.
Family time, coffee with your BFFs, or attending an event, are all types of socializing and bonding with others. It can stimulate the production of serotonin and oxytocin — feel-good hormones, making you feel happier and in positive spirits.
7. Learn to decline things
It’s not unusual to say “yes” to please someone, but doing it all the time can harm your mental health. This is especially the case when you agree to do something that makes you unhappy or dissatisfied. Since everything is possible with practice, give yourself a task to decline one thing you would usually accept to do.
Turning this into a daily activity will help you regain control over your time and life. Not to mention that you will feel less stress-out and more confident in yourself.
8. Redesign your diet
Changing a diet is not (only) about weight loss, but about maintaining a healthy and nourished body and mind. Going on diets that have you starving or not eating enough may bring results, but this type of rigorous lifestyle can have consequences for your health. For a diet to be good for you, it needs to be specifically tailored to your needs by your physician and a dietician.
The first step should be not skipping breakfast even though you are in the hurry to go to work or not feeling hungry when you get up. Try to make food preparation more fun and encourage yourself to eat healthily with new recipes and ingredients. Remember that your body needs all three macronutrients, just some in fewer quantities than the others.
Quitting a bad habit, getting out of your comfort zone, or just doing something for the first time, are all challenging experiences for a person. Nonetheless, you have to maintain these daily activities for the sake of your mental and physical health. Beginnings are hardly easy, even the pleasant ones, but your resolve will teach you how much your body and mind can benefit if you give them your full attention.