Little things can add up over time to improve the quality of your life. Here are 12 things that, done on a regular basis, can make you smarter, healthier, and happier.
Drink two glasses of water as soon as you wake up
Studies have shown that doing this daily improves your mental sharpness and focus. It will help you start your day a little more alert and alive as well as get your body’s fluid balance right. Keep a tall glass of water on your bedside table to drink before you get out of bed and then head to the kitchen to get a refill.
Skip coffee, have green tea
If you are a regular early morning coffee drinker, consider swapping it for herbal or green tea instead. Caffeine in coffee robs you of energy and increases stress response in your body and damages overall health. If you must start your day with coffee, use a smaller cup and try to cut down over time.
Make the bed
This simple act of making the bed can be so life affirming and make you feel really good about yourself. There’s something so uplifting about coming back home to a clean room that it just instantly puts you at ease and releases all the tension of the day. Take five minutes in the morning to plump up the pillows and cushions and straighten out the comforter or duvet.
Exercise for 30 minutes, if not stretch
Working out in the morning not only energizes and invigorates your body, it also frees up your daytime hours for other important things. If you find you don’t have the energy to exercise in the morning (say, during your periods or when you have a cold), make it a habit to at least stretch a little. You can put on a song you like and do little stretches for the duration of it.
Read the newspaper
It’s a universal truth that reading makes you smarter. If you have a million chores to attend to throughout the day that keeps you from reading a book, try picking up the newspaper instead. Keeping up with world events will stimulate your mind and help you gain new perspectives. Start by reading the headlines of the newspaper you get at home and then get into comprehensive reading.
Listen to podcasts or audiobooks while commuting
Today, all sorts of books and information are readily available at the touch of button. There can really be no better way to gain new ideas and insight than listening to podcasts and audiobooks. You will improve your listening skills as well as broaden your horizon this way. Download a podcast app like Castbox or Google Podcast and you can listen to anything that catches your fancy, and for free.
Sign up for an online course
Learning new things is great but you might not have the time to join a language class or pursue a diploma in graphic designing. Thanks to the internet, you can learn several new things without having to leave your home. Sign up for an online course and learn something new at your own pace. This can also be a great way to rack up some skills.
Have fruits and vegetables daily
A healthy mind resides in a healthy body so make sure you keep yourself fit and fabulous. When you aren’t getting the required nutrients and thus not nourishing your body, it craves instant gratification aka junk food. So to steer clear of it, have at least two to three servings of fruit every single day. It will keep hunger pangs at bay by keeping you full for longer.
Give yourself at least two phone-free hours a day
All of us are always hooked onto our phones and social media, we all know, can be a time suck. Try setting aside your phone for an hour or two every day and do something that gets your brain muscles working. Read, do a crossword or jigsaw puzzle, or simply listen to music and do breathing exercises. The idea is to do a little digital detox session every day.
Meditate for five minutes
Meditation can increase happiness, meaning in life, social support and attention span while reducing anger, anxiety, depression and fatigue. Along similar lines, praying can make you feel better, even if you’re not religious. If you find that you can’t sit still for long, start by meditating for five minutes every day and then take it from there.
You don’t have to always say it out loud but feeling grateful and thinking of all the things you are thankful for can improve your mood, make you happy, and even help you tackle difficult situations with a positive mindset. Every day, write down three things you are grateful for and, whenever you can, do something nice for someone without expecting anything in return.
Get enough sleep
Make sure you get eight hours of sleep every single day. Everything is more difficult and stressful when you’re tired so try to get a head start on this and make sure you are refreshed for a productive and fun day. Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time each day. You could also take a warm bath before you head to bed to sleep better.