Balanced living starts with developing healthy daily habits. Here's how to get started!
Just as a house can't stand with only one column, our lives need balance to function properly. When everything is going great, it's easy to maintain that sense of equilibrium. However, when the busy, stress or anxiety creeps in, it can be difficult to find the same level of footing. The good news is, there are some simple things we can do every day to bring us back to center and live a more balanced life.
The first step is to develop healthy habits. Just like bad habits can quickly lead to an unhealthy lifestyle, good habits set the foundation for living a healthier life. A routine helps our bodies know when it's time to wind down and relax or when to get pumped up. It's important to establish both physical and mental wellness routines. For our physical health, regular exercise and eating nutritious meals are critical. To nourish our mental well-being, we need practices like meditation or journaling to quiet the mind and refocus our thoughts. Taking in nutrition through food and supplementation is equally important to adding in massages and finding quiet time in our lives.
When we make the commitment to balancing our lives, we set the stage for a more peaceful existence. We can't always control what happens to us, but we can control how we react and take care of ourselves. When anxiety strikes, remember that small steps lead to big changes. And with every healthy habit we create, we move one step closer to a more balanced life.
Here are 7 habits that I have implemented that help me daily.
1. Sleep Hygiene.
Going to bed and waking up around the same time daily and creating habit to do both is sleep hygiene. There are always exceptions for a random wake-up or later-to-bed night, but in general, I stick to my routine. It helps me be more consistent and diligent with my time each day and be able to plan accordingly.
2. Daily wind-down time.
Every night, I stick to my routine of taking a warm shower and allow some down time with reading to settle down. I play binaural beats each night to fall asleep, picking a playlist that matches my need. (Fall asleep fast, calm anxiety, fight insomnia). I suggest calming tones or music as an easy way to help the brain calm at the end of the day. Find what you like and implement it.
3. Family time.
Every day, we eat dinner together. If you aren't eating, you still come sit and hang out in my house. This time is set aside to check in and connect and make sure we see one another regularly and check in on our day. If you live alone or a meal with your family is not an option, I would suggest setting aside a regular time daily to call a friend or family member. Connection is critical.
4. Self Development time.
I have made it a habit to listen to a coach, mentor, speaker, or pastor regularly. If I cannot listen to something, I find something to read that will help me grow, whether the Bible or educational or inspiration. I have a lot of passions and interests so this learning time may be about a skill or education on a service or how someone else is doing business. OR it is personal. Listening to motivation that help ME and my mindset. Mindset is critical to all the things we do!
I am always aiming to be focused on God. When I am not, I know I need to be. Checking in and sharing my thoughts and desires through some form of prayer and/or journaling helps me be more grounded and present in my day. I attempt to start and end every day with a Godly reflection as well as throughout my day as I am able. It helps keep my pride from ruling and my patience from dwindling as fast. ;)
6. Making a Top 3 List.
Making a list of the top 3 things that MUST get done each day helps me to prioritize my day. Some things are always there or can be easily moved from one day to the next. Some things require my attention or focus on a specific day. Maybe it is a bill that needs to be paid by a certain date or a stop that I need to make. Whatever it is, it allows me to better prepare for the day ahead. I personally like to create my list the night before so I can mentally prepare myself for the busy days or plan to do the extras if my day is more slow.
I am a gym nerd BUT that has been low on my priority list these last few years. However, while the gym is not always an option as easily as it used to be, there is always room for movement. Movement might look like dancing around your kitchen while making dinner. Marching while in the shower. Lunges or push-ups. Stretching. Taking a walk around the neighborhood. Riding a bike with the kids. Parking the car at the far end of the parking lot when you go shopping. Whatever you do, adding in more steps and movement to keep your body limber and healthy is a powerful thing. And, of course, lift things whenever you can! Muscle is good. :)
BONUS TIP: My Favorite is GRATITUDE sprinkled in everywhere. Especially in the hard stuff. There is always something to be grateful for. I am constantly feeling grateful for the ways that my body works (even when something else isn't working like I want) and my family that is here (even when there is loss and missing the family that isn't). Gratitude goes a long way in finding joy in our life. And finding joy reduces stress. And routine and habits are easier to implement.
What are your favorites that help you have success in your day? Are there harder ones to implement regularly? Do you have a regular routine or more of the fly by the seat of your pants kinda person? Does it work for you? And how is your GRATITUDE? It comes easily for many but is a very difficult practice for others. Where are you? I wanna know! :)