Let’s just accept the fact that most of us don’t cook healthy meals every night, hit the gym every morning or have the best sleep habits. However, there are some simple ways to start working on healthy habits that don’t require you to have the discipline of a drill sergeant. Pick and choose which of these super simple habits you want to adopt and then work them slowly into your life. Most of them only take a couple minutes, but they are guaranteed to make you feel more positive the rest of the day.
1. NEVER Skip Breakfast: We’ve heard this a million times, but somehow we keep rushing into our day on an empty stomach and some coffee. Research has shown that eating breakfast is positively associated with weight control, cognitive ability and better performance at school and work. From overnight oats and chia puddings to five-minute omelets, there are zero excuses to keep skipping out on breakfast. (via Frontiers in Human Neuroscience)
2. Exercise Doesn’t Have to be a Commitment: Quit feeling guilty that you didn’t make it to the gym today and go for a walk after dinner instead. Research has shown that shorter, more frequent workouts are actually more effective at burning fat and short, intense bouts of exercise can also boost your overall exercise capacity, resulting in more efficient workouts that take a fraction of the time. Say so long to hours on the treadmill. (via Fit Star)
3. Write Down Five Things You’re Grateful for: In a study where psychologists asked people to write down five gratitudes every day, people reported feeling more optimistic, sleeping better and experiencing fewer health problems. Maybe while you’re practicing gratitude you can practice some calligraphy? (via Happier Human)
4. Stash Snacks: Snacking right is a healthy habit to start. Keep nuts, fruit, Greek yogurt or veggies and hummus at work so you won’t feel the need to run out for fast food. Healthy snacks are full of vitamins and fiber that keep you full without adding much to your daily calorie count. (via Mayo Clinic)
5. Try Out the 2/30 Rule: We’re just as guilty as the next girl of binge watching Netflix and enjoying an evening of not-so-healthy snacks. For every two hours of TV you indulge in, try to balance it out with thirty minutes of exercise. If you have a desk job that has you sitting for long periods of time, try a few stretches every couple to keep blood flowing. (via Peak Fitness)
6. Make Little Changes: Changing or adopting a new habit can be intimidating, which is why it’s helpful to break it down into little things you can try every day. Fitbit put out this four-week challenge that has you try a new habit every day, and then at the end of the four weeks you get to pick which ones made you feel healthier. (via Fitbit)
7. Keep Your Change: This may sound silly, but when you collect all the coins that gather in your car and at the bottom of your purse, you’ll be amazed at how much it can add up to. You could even store all your change in some pretty metallic boxes and use them as paperweights. Then cash them in every month or so and treat yourself to something you’ve been saving for. (via Mindful Money)
8. Unplug Before Bed: Not only does scrolling Instagram in bed keep you from falling asleep, it also keeps you from talking to your partner. Try making a habit of turning off all screens 30 minutes before you head to bed and use that time to read a book or journal. (via Economist)
9. Get More Sleep: No, we’re not condoning hitting the snooze button over and over again, but getting an extra hour of sleep per night can make a huge difference in your mood, alertness, productivity and creativity. If you’re having trouble getting those zzzzzz’s, try using a sleep app or experimenting with aromatherapy. (via Gallup)
What healthy habits make you feel happier? Tell us which habits you swear by in the comments below!