Life doesn’t come with a handbook; we have to trial-and-error our way to feeling good. But certain everyday habits have proven helpful in protecting our mental well-being. The ten habits we note below are nothing novel. Still, before you roll your eyes, we suggest incorporating some of these into your daily routine if you haven’t done so already and seeing if they make a difference – we can promise you they will.
Make your Bed
This small action probably seems quite trivial, but it is the first small achievement to get your day started in a positive manner. And who doesn’t love getting into a neatly-made bed at nighttime?
Sure, technically, we don’t need to shower every day as far as hygiene is concerned – you can probably miss a day and still smell fine, but showering does not exclusively serve us in the hygiene sense. A nice shower or bath also has psychological benefits. So, whether you’re a morning or an evening shower-er, if you know that you need a shower to either spring you into action on a morning or help you wind down and clean off at the end of a long day, don’t skip it!
The notion that breakfast is an essential meal of the day has no doubt been drilled into us by parental figures since day dot, and for a good reason.
Eating breakfast kicks your metabolism into action, raises your energy levels and boosts your overall health. However, eating the right kind of breakfast is important, too. Ensure your first meal of the day blends protein, fibre and vitamin-rich foods. The ideal breakfast elements include eggs, yoghurt, fruit, nuts and low-sugar cereal.
For centuries, individuals all over the world have vouched for the transformative potential of regularly meditating. Stopping everything to simply breathe and be present in the moment can really show you the power of self discipline, which can lead to stress reduction and a whole other host of mental health benefits. Giving merely five to 10 minutes of your day to this practice is all you need to feel its effects. And thanks to apps like Headspace and Brightmind, you can be easily guided through the process.
Working from home, whilst amazingly convenient, can also be a trap. It can keep you cooped up inside, and by the end of a long day, you find yourself too exhausted to leave the house. Getting outside and being amidst nature is crucial and has been tied to improved mental health. So, make sure you always find time for a walk or a trip to the park to sit on a bench and take in the fresh air and change of scenery from the four walls of your home.
Physical contact is another surprising factor that keeps us mentally afloat. Try to get as many hugs a day as possible to prevent any feelings of loneliness from creeping in.
Have a Conversation
Be it over Zoom with a colleague, a chat with your neighbour or a phone call with a loved one, make sure you have at least one proper conversation every day. Not talking to anyone all day can be a very isolating experience and keep you locked in your own head.
Make time for reading, even ten minutes a day, just before bed. It will broaden your mind, sharpen your focus and memory and even help build your communication skills, among heaps of other benefits.
Journal or Write Down 3 Good Things that Happened
It has been widely recommended to write down three or more things that went well during the day as one of your mini habits. Why? Because it encourages us to look for the good in each day – even if very little has happened. Doing this daily can change our outlook and make us fixate less on the negative.
Go to Bed and Wake Up at a Consistent Time
Consistency is pretty key – especially when it comes to sleep. Get to bed and wake up each day around the same time to strengthen your sleep routine. You will feel better rested, and your mental health will be better for it.
Obvious and mundane as these positive habits may seem, they are surprisingly the very habits that people dismiss from their daily routine, instead opting to prioritise activities that make them feel worse, like scrolling on social media. Investing your efforts to include these simple everyday habits in your routine will create a solid foundation for your peace of mind.