Design your life (every day) with healthy habits for a vibrant and spectacular you. This piece focuses on 10 simple healthy habits you can do every day for a happier and healthier, more vibrant you.
Do you think you need a complete and total overhaul to transform your life? Trust me, you don’t. Chances are that there are many good things working in your life so there’s no need for a complete overhaul, simple tweaks or easy makeovers will do the trick to score healthy habits.
Just like a fresh can of paint can easily makeover a room, you can easily makeover your life (and days) with simple tweaks. Take simple and small actions every day to design a life that brings you joy. Tiny actions can have a big impact on your health and wellbeing. Use these 10 simple healthy habits to design your life.
Design your days with healthy habits: #Take15Minutes for a happier and healthier you.
We lead busy lives and we’re busy trying to juggle so many things, which can be stressful. We need time to unwind and focus on ourselves so we can revitalize our lives. Using a small pocket of time each day can reap big rewards. Try these 10 simple healthy habits to design your life, #Take15Minutes every day just for you.
Decide in which part of the day you would like to #Take15Minutes. Will it be early in the morning before your day begins? Maybe you would like a midday restorative break or one later in the evening. You need to decide which part of the day those 15 minutes work best for you. Spending this valuable “me” time each day may help you live a little bit happier and healthier.
Spend this time alone without any distractions to disconnect, clear your mind, enjoy the stillness, and then take another 15 for #mealprep and to get moving.
Once you’ve established which part of the day works best for you, decide how you would like to spend your 15 minutes. Taking this time is like finding your bliss. Here are a few ideas to inspire you to take time just for you.
Here are 10 Simple Healthy Habits to Design Your Life:
Read a book
Simply read for enjoyment. According to Forbes, one of the five things successful people do before they go to bed is to read a book. Reading for enjoyment is the key to relaxing. Here are some suggestions to get you started. I’m reading Brooklyn by Colm Toibin, re-reading Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell and next up, Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes, Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow, Opening Belle by Maureen Sherry and The Need for Seeds by Jane Drummer, RD. Remember, read what you love.
Listen to your favorite joyful soothing music
Research shows that listening to joyful music is good for your health. Research has found that listening to soothing music can decrease blood pressure and anxiety levels in patients with certain heart conditions. Research from the University of Maryland Medical Center found that listening to joyful music can have a healthy effect on blood vessel function, and most of the participants in the study stated that country music is their favorite type of music that evokes joy. Here are “5 Ways Music Improves Our Health” from Huffington Post. I love all different music genres, but my favorite is country music and some of my fave country music artists include: Sam Hunt, Zac Brown Band, Carrie Underwood, Rascal Flatts, Florida Georgia Line, Keith Urban, Lee Brice, Luke Bryan, Little Big Town, The Band Perry, Lady Antebellum, Blake Shelton, and Tanya Marie Harris; just to name a few. (Side note, I do love Adele.)
Meditation can help bring you a sense a calm and decrease negative emotions and help you manage stress. Meditation produces a deep state of relaxation and a tranquil mind, and while you can practice mediation anywhere, having your own little cocoon nook, can make it very calming. Meditation can help enhance your physical and emotional wellbeing. During meditation, focus your attention and eliminate the stream of jumbled and chaotic thoughts that may be crowding your mind and causing stress. Spending even a few minutes in mediation can restore your calm, wipe away stress and bring inner peace. Research shows that meditation may reduce blood pressure as well as symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. While you can truly mediate anywhere, these meditation pods I found on Dwell are pretty cool. (Meditation pods by Headspace.)
Write in a gratitude journal or bliss journal
Every day, write down things you are grateful for. Write down things that bring you pleasure. Write down things you love. Focus on the positive things in your life, and write them in your gratitude journal or what I like to call a bliss journal. I like to say bliss journal because research shows expressing gratitude can foster happiness. “In positive psychology research, gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.”
Go outside for a hike or calming walk and observe the beauty for a happier and healthier you. Take a nature walk and be mindful of the beauty that is right in front of you. Here’s a great site I came upon (American Trails) that lists trails throughout the United States. Just click on your state and find trails in your area.
Take a warm bath
Soak and let the stillness of the water and the silence of the room bring you inner peace and tranquility. A hot bath can relax muscles and counteract the physical symptoms of stress. (Quick tip: Before you get into the bathtub, test the water with your hand. The Burn Foundation recommends that you move your hand rapidly through the water for several seconds to make sure it’s not too hot before getting in. And the temperature should not exceed 100º F/39º C.)
Pause and practice mindfulness
Appreciate the moments. Mindfulness can help you deal with emotions in a positive way. Here are a few ways to practice mindfulness (YouTube Barbara Ficarra).
Find your cocoon
Find a little special space in your home that’s your cocoon, your oasis, to relish the simple things, and sometimes, to do nothing.
Take another 15 minutes and do these quick makeovers…
Prep meals for the next day
Trust me, ask a great Chef and they’ll tell you prepping is key. #Take15Minutes to prep your breakfast, lunch and dinner. Chop and store your meals in advance. For example, if you know you’re making a healthy stir-fry for dinner, prep the night before. #Take15Minutes and chop all the fresh veggies–peppers, broccoli, red onion, carrots or whatever veggies you choose. Prep your lunch for the week. Make a healthy power salad (recipe and pic to come). Find inspiration from your favorite sites. Love these #mealprep ideas from POPSUGAR Food. Take a look at the inspirational slide show.
And, here’s some Instagram meal prep love that might inspire you. Also, spending time in the kitchen can be very relaxing to some people—so prep away.
Walk, run, dance, hike, cycle-just keep moving. To reap big rewards here, when it comes to physical activity, #Take15Minutes two times a day, 5 times a week. That’ll give you the 30 minutes of physical activity that’s recommended by the experts. [The World Health Organization recommends for adults ages 18-64 years old, “30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity 5 times per week.” My colleagues at Sharecare offer some great fitness tips.
How do you design your health and happiness? I would love to hear your thoughts in the conversation section below. Do you use these 10 simple healthy habits to design your life? As always, thank you for your time.
Thanks for being part of the Healthy Design Community at BarbaraFicarra.com. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me here.
Healthy Design Element: Harmony and Balance
Healthy Design Action: Design ways to achieve happiness with these 10 simple healthy habits. Why not start your own design journal and add these 10 simple healthy habits as a reminder that it’s the simple things in life that can bring great joy.
10 Simple Healthy Habits to Design Your Life:
______ Read a book
______ Listen to your favorite joyful soothing music
______ Write in a gratitude journal or bliss journal
______ Go outdoors
______ Take a warm bath
______ Pause and practice mindfulness
______ Find your cocoon
______ Prep meals for the next day
______ Just move
Design Your Healthy Life™
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So you see, you don’t need a major overhaul. Healthy habits can be easy. Small simple healthy design actions can reap big rewards. Small steps=Big impact.
Do you design your days? Do you #Take15Minutes every day? I’d love to hear from you. Please share your thoughts and comments in the conversation section below. Thanks.
[Adapted from original post published on The Huffington Post, Design Your Days: Take 15 Minutes for a Happier and Healthier You by Barbara Ficarra, RN, BSN, MPA.]
Design a Life that Brings you Joy!
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