When creating a daily routine, you’ll want to find what works best for you. A positive daily routine will help prime your day, set a good mindset and include some form of physical exercise, healthy eating habits, and mindful practices.
Yea I know. Exercise, good eating, mental health we’ve all heard it before. But why is it we all struggle with it? From my experience, it’s been difficult to build good habits, unless I enjoy it. I’ve had many unsuccessful gym memberships, tried and failed to meditate regularly and love to cook but don’t always use healthy foods.
Incorporating a small bit of exercise, health, mental wellness into your daily routine can have a great impact on your life. Walking around a single block, one minute of slow breathing or a healthy snack once a week is a step in the right direction.
I finally got into a physical routine once I found something I enjoyed. I didn’t like going to the gym and lifting weights but instead got into running and circuit training at classes like Crossfit. If I committed to a class, I felt more obligated to go. As with a regular gym session, I had no one to hold me accountable.
If you’ve been unsuccessful in the past, try to hire a trainer, join a class or do something that will hold you accountable. Not everyone has to get a work out lifting weights at the gym. Join a Zumba class, soccer league, take up dance, try spinning, swimming, running, yoga, rowing, rock climbing, etc. Move your body and get a sweat on. It’ll be better than sitting on the couch when you were supposed to go to the gym, and there are a ton of benefits.
Starting your day off with some form of exercise gets your blood flowing. Studies have shown that light exercise will increase your energy levels that can be carried out throughout your day. That’s right; exercise will help boost energy levels rather than burn them out.
You don’t have to commit to a full hour work out to feel the benefits. A good walk or light run, a few sets of push-up/sit-ups and some squats can get things going. Depending on your physical fitness level, try different routines to find the best solutions for you.
Morning exercise also enhances your metabolism which in short will help burn the calories you eat for breakfast and possibly lunch rather than storing them as fat. You’ll also feel a sense of accomplishment, which builds momentum for the rest of the day.
Feeling healthier by getting exercise will spill over into other areas of your life, such as eating habits. I’ve noticed the more I workout, the less I feel like eating “junk food” because of the positive feeling I receive from exercise.
Healthy Eating Habits
Healthy eating is a difficult topic to discuss, as there is so much research done on the subject with a lot of different results.
The best advice from my experience is to become self-aware of what you eat, how it makes you feel and what you are putting into your body. Start to think of food as a fuel and source of energy. Understand the effects on your body between carbohydrates, protein, and sugars. Overall stick with foods derived from plants (fresh vegetables, fruit & nuts), lean meats, eggs & legumes. You might be surprised about these meatless protein options as well. Cut down on refined sugars and avoid any highly processed food.
Begin by reading labels of your favorite foods, and you’ll be surprised at how much sugar, carbs, sodium, and fat is in each serving. Understand what you eat and how different foods make you feel. A big bowl of fettuccine at lunch is sure to make you tired throughout the afternoon but might be fine for late dinner.
Lastly, drink lots of water to stay well hydrated throughout your day. Daily drinks contain a surprising amount of carbs and sugars. Replace your juices & soda’s with water and add a little lemon, cucumber or basil for a twist. Wake up every morning and drink an entire glass of water. Your body gets dehydrated throughout your sleep and needs to be replenished.
The digital age has shaped our world more over the past thirty years than in the past three hundred. This has taken a significant toll on our generations mental health. In the United States, 73% of the population experiences psychological symptoms, brought on by stress.
Understanding the importance of practicing mindfulness and understanding mental health is finally becoming recognized. The world is changing so quickly that people have trouble keeping up. This pressure causes anxiety and stress in all area’s of our lives, not just at work.
Taking care of your mental health has become as important as looking after your physical well-being. A positive attitude will make you more agreeable to the people around you. A clear head will allow you to focus when distracted and the right mindset will provide you with greater self-control and emotional intelligence.
You can start by including short meditation sessions in your routine. I’d recommend using Headspace, as a good place to start. I understand if you’ve never meditated before, it may be difficult. It took me a couple of months before I managed to do it regularly and still do it irregularly (although can feel the difference on the days I miss out).
Other mindful practices that might surprise you include:
Journaling – Gratitude/Appreciation journal. Write 3 things that you are grateful for or appreciate once in the morning and again before bed.
Adult Coloring – The nostalgic experience of expressing yourself through art can be very calming and soothing to the mind.
Writing – Something bothering you and don’t have someone to talk to? Pour out your feelings onto the page without being judged.
Enjoying the outdoors – Get connected with natures peacefulness. Walk a trail, take a hike, go camping or even just lie in the grass and observe the clouds
Being thankful – Reminding yourself of all the things you’re thankful for can put in perspective just how lucky you are.
No matter what makes up your daily routine, it’s important to incorporate some type of exercise, healthy eating, and mindfulness. You are only as good as you feel, and on your quest for success, you’ll be faced with lots of challenges to overcome. Start by building a better you, to create the life you want to lead.