9 HEALTHY HABITS TO START IN 2021 (WHEN YOU HAVE NO OR LITTLE TIME)
In this article, I am sharing my 9 simple everyday habits that I feel are important to take up in 2021 to support our physical and mental health. These habits are simple but compounded in a year will make a massive difference in your life.
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I know that advice like drink more water, eat more vegetables or exercise can be a bit daunting because you already know that you need to do all of these to be healthier and happier and so me talking about this won’t benefit you much. So, I will be super specific to the 9 things that I think will make a difference in your life and that made and continue making a difference in my life, especially during the last year which was super intense for everyone.
Drink 500ml of water first thing in the morning
So I know that I said I will not mention drinking more water but because I am really bad at drinking water throughout the day, what I do as soon as I make my bed is to drink 500ml of water. It’s a lot and I take my time but the thing is I am so into my work that I forget about it even if water is right there! I tried many things and initially they all worked but at some point I slid back to not drinking much throughout the day. My theory is that I love so much what I do that I forget about everything else!
Stretch & work on your posture
Last year, just before the whole world went into quarantine, I used to be super fit. I was sweating every single day, I was running and was very energised. During the first quarantine I tried to do home workouts but I was not enjoying them and then I moved in with my boyfriend, then we bought a house and moved again and life got super busy, and I got overwhelmed. All I wanted is to sleep and cuddle. So, I slowly stopped exercising. It went so much against everything I was used to and I felt so guilty but I went with the flow. What I felt I needed instead was stretching. I felt so tensed and so I started working on my posture and stretching and suddenly all the tension resided and I felt more energised again. So, I highly recommend that you include stretching and posture exercises. They make a whole difference for me.
Take vitamin D or spend time under the sun
I actually have a video on the benefits of vitamin D so you can check it out.
Vitamin D helps with better calcium absorption from our bones keeping them healthy, it helps us fight infection by keeping our immune system strong, it has anti-cancer effects, helps us with the seasonal depression and keeps our brain healthy. So, the deficiency of vitamin D can have the opposite effects. We are more prone to illness, seasonal depression, brain related diseases and bone related issues. In the last 4 years, I have been taking Vitamin D between September and April for sure and sometimes during the summer days when my exposure to the sun is low and I am much much better because of it. I feel stronger, and I haven’t had the seasonal blues since then.
Cook in bulk
Do you cook? Great! Cook three portions per person in your household. I recommend this to anyone pretty much because I have saved so much time and money because of it. I started this habit while I was living in London and I continued it ever since. I always say that if it works, keep it up and I am! I have also written an article on this that was published on Medium which you can read.
When I was much younger I did not value sleep as much as I do now. Now there are times, I am even going to bed at 9 o’clock starting my downshifting practice and by 10 or 10.30 I am already asleep. I am always more productive the next day when my evenings are screen-free and my dinner was an early one. I actually try to eat my dinner between 3 to 4 hours before bedtime. This year, I got blue light blocking glasses as a Christmas gift and I am enjoying wearing them as well. They are super beautiful and stylish, don’t you think? I never had issues falling asleep quickly but I have less headaches and my eyes hurt less as a result of wearing them.
Write down your thoughts
I started journaling in the last 6 months and at the end of every month I write down my thoughts, what went well, what did not and how I felt. Mostly focusing on how I felt. I found it therapeutic and I really enjoy doing it. If you do not like writing you can draw, maybe you can draw a picture that summarises your month. I actually support very much the practice of the monthly overview. I think it allows you to see how you are doing and the difficulties you are facing and through writing it all, it helps you realise what you can do next time better, or gives you the opportunity to congratulate yourself for overcoming difficulties or feel compassion and empathy for yourself. Whatever that is for you :).
Declutter and get organised
When your space is decluttered and organised, you feel lighter and you enjoy it, you enjoy spending time in the kitchen, in your bedroom, in your living room. In 2020 I decluttered a couple of times my space and to avoid clutter in general, my fiance and I always ask ourselves when we want to buy something if we are buying it because we need it or is it just an impulse thing and if it is an impulse thing that we do not need, we do not buy it. As a result of this, I haven’t spent anything on clothes, shoes or accessories in 2020 because I barely wore anything with the exception of my everyday clothes and at the same time I have been taking good care of them. So nothing needed replacement. For organising I actually follow Marie Kondo’s organising method which has made a massive difference for us as we managed to fit many things in small spaces. I am planning to do a video on how we organise our kitchen and wardrobe in the following videos. What do you think? Would you like to see this type of content from me? Comment below letting me know ;) I also wanted to share a personal experience with organising. As I mentioned earlier I got so unmotivated to exercise in 2020 and did not think much of it as I was doing stretching and one weekend after having organised my kitchen, I suddenly felt like drinking more herbal teas than I usually do and in some cases replacing my morning coffee. Following that, I started craving yoga and once I started doing yoga, then one day I felt like doing something more aerobic and now I am back working out and doing home workouts as well….all of it happened just as soon as I organised my kitchen. I am not sure how that triggered my exercising but I am happy that it did. I am not saying that as soon as you organise your kitchen or wardrobe or bathroom you will start exercising but you never know what you will trigger after you have an organised and declutter space. But aren’t you just a little curious what decluttering your space may open up for you?
Take up a therapeutic hobby
A therapeutic hobby can be something that helps you relax and release stress, example drawing, painting, meditation, exercise, I find cooking therapeutic and meditative. You can search for stress-relief activities and experiment with finding the one or the ones that bring you joy. I think a therapeutic hobby is more important in 2021 than watching television and that is because it will make you feel better about yourself, you will become more confident, you will feel restful and less tired, you will feel your day full and productive and trust me on that one.
Spend time solving puzzles / quizzes
I started solving puzzles and quizzes in the beginning of 2020. We buy the printed magazines and when we go to bed early, we spend time solving the quizzes and puzzles and we laugh with answers we think fit and end up not fitting. This practice also helps us keep our minds sharp and it is one of the best ways to stay away from screens. You will be tempted to look for answers on your mobile but avoid doing it, there are always answers at the back, if needs be ;). So I highly recommend that you give these a go!
And those were my 9 healthy habits to start in 2021 when you have little time. So, drink 500ml of water first thing in the morning, stretch and work on your posture, take vitamin D supplements or spend more time under the sun, cook in bulk, sleep adequately, write down your thoughts, declutter and get organised, take up a therapeutic hobby and spend time solving puzzles and quizzes. Hopefully, you found this helpful. If you enjoyed this video hit the like button, comment and subscribe to be notified when I upload new content.