Last Updated on 18th October 2023 by Sarah Sarsby
Start 2021 off right by introducing these 10 simple but transformative healthy habits into your life to feel better physically and mentally.
A healthy habit is any activity or behaviour that has a positive impact on your physical, emotional or mental well-being. People often view healthy habits as being strictly physical but there are heaps of small behaviours you can introduce into your life that will benefit you in all areas.
Now more than ever, people need motivation. It can be hard to stay motivated and establish a healthy routine when we’re having to stay inside and socially distance.
Don’t worry though, I’ve got your back. These 10 healthy habits will help you feel better, more confident and more energetic in no time, despite the challenging circumstances. Remember: look after yourself and if you need a break, take it!
1. Get some fresh air every day
I mentioned this on Twitter but whilst the COVID-19 pandemic has stripped us of many of our liberties, one thing it’s pushed me to do more is get some fresh air.
Due to working from home and limiting contact as much as possible, I’ve felt hemmed in quite often these past 10 months. However, I’ve been going on lots of walks since the outbreak to get some fresh air and for a change of scenery and it’s been fantastic.
It’s incredible how beneficial getting fresh air can be for you. It helps clear your mind and if you go for a walk, you get some physical activity in too. If you’re feeling down or need a pick-me-up, I’d encourage to go outside for fresh air. You’ll come back feeling much calmer.
2. Drink at least 2 litres of water a day
You should be drinking 2 litres of water a day as a minimum. Drinking water has a heap of health benefits, from staying hydrated and reducing headaches to improving memory and preventing kidney stones, you’ve got to be hitting that 2-litre target.
If you struggle with your water intake, here’s one great method that I picked up when I was bad at drinking lots of water. I made sure I had at least 500ml of water with breakfast, lunch and dinner, and then one more glass in the day. If I finished breakfast and hadn’t drunk the entire cup, I forced myself to down it. This can feel quite hard but it was to ensure I got into good water drinking habits.
Now, I always have at least 2 litres of water a day. I make sure I have a glass with every meal and throughout the day. There are also some cool apps that remind you to drink water throughout the day so you hit your 2-litre target, such as Daily Water Tracker Reminder, Hydro Coach and Water Drink Reminder.
3. Take a break from social media
Another healthy habit to introduce is taking a break from social media. Whether it’s for an evening, a few days or a few weeks, getting away from social media can do so much good for your mental health.
Whilst social media is great for keeping in touch with people and seeing what they’re getting up to, people usually only post the great aspects of their life. There’s also a hell of a lot of people that use Photoshop and face-tuning apps, which presents us with unrealistic beauty standards. This can make us feel very negative about ourselves.
So, if you’re getting caught up with social media or your mental health has taken a hit, take a break. Even if it’s just for a couple of days, it’ll really help. If you don’t want to take a total break, reducing your social media intake to half an hour a day, for instance, could also do a lot for your mental health.
4. Use a daily planner
Using a daily planner might not seem like a healthy habit but it can be great for your mental well-being. Having a daily planner allows you to allocate time to your day to get things done. You could allocate time to chores, work, personal goals and relaxation, which helps you stay focused and motivated throughout the day.
When we smash our daily goals, we feel fantastic. It can be a small step to introduce to your life to help you stay on track and give you something to work towards.
5. Get around 8 hours of sleep every night
Sleep is so important for our health, yet so many of us don’t get enough of it.
Regular poor sleep puts you at risk of serious medical conditions, including obesity, heart disease and diabetes – and it shortens your life expectancy.NHS
As well as regular poor sleep having a negative impact on our health, it can make us feel grouchy, snappy and un-energetic, while making it difficult to concentrate during the day.
Try to get around 8 hours of sleep per night. You might need more or less than 8 hours, depending on the individual, but getting enough sleep is crucial for your health and well-being.
If you struggle to sleep (I often do), there are plenty of things you can try to aid your sleeping pattern.
Find out more about how to sleep better here with 24 excellent tips for people who struggle to get to sleep
6. Exercise consistently throughout the week
When I’ve spoken to people throughout the pandemic, one thing that a lot of people seem to have given up on a bit is regular exercise. If this is you, there’s no need to be hard on yourself. The pandemic has disrupted just about every part of our life, so it can be hard to feel motivated to exercise. But regular exercise is so easy to reintroduce.
Consistent exercise is brilliant for you, both mentally and physically. When we exercise, we feel great. It helps us get stronger and more flexible, all while improving our lung and heart health and getting rid of excess fat. The list of benefits goes on.
Find an exercise that you like and try to do it at least 3 times a week. If you can get up to 5 times a week, that’s even better! You can check out my blog post on 4 free workout programmes that you can try at home for some exercise inspiration. There’s something for everyone in this list, whether you’re younger or older, really into exercise or just starting out.
7. Wear SPF every day
Your skin is the largest organ in your body, so looking after it is super important. Wearing SPF is a brilliant healthy habit to introduce to prevent you from getting skin cancer and sun damage. It also keeps the skin looking healthy while reducing wrinkles and fine lines.
The Fenty Skin Hydra Vizor is a brilliant option for people of all skin tones and it provides lightweight, non-sticky coverage.
8. Eat a healthy breakfast
Eating healthily throughout the entire day is obviously a smart move but having a healthy breakfast is particularly important. Fuelling your body the right way in the morning sets you up for greatness for the day ahead. Having a healthy breakfast will help you stay fuller for longer and more energised.
If I wake up feeling tired for work, when I have a balanced breakfast, it really helps me concentrate during the day. It also means your body gets all the nutrients it needs and can help reduce feelings of hunger throughout the day, meaning you reduce your calorie intake.
9. Remove toxic people from your life
Cutting out toxic people from your life is hugely important for your mental and emotional well-being. If people constantly make you feel bad or pull you down, you need to cut them out of your life. Some people don’t want to see you thrive or don’t have your best interests at heart, so it’s important to stay away from them.
10. Practice yoga
Practicing yoga is wonderful for your physical, mental and emotional health.
Physically, yoga helps improve our balance, increase flexibility and strength, and relieve pain in the body. Improved core strength and flexibility is important for joint health and mobility as we get older. As yoga isn’t high impact, this is a brilliant exercise for relieving pain in the body as you can stretch out and soothe areas with tension.
Mentally, yoga can help us feel calmer. If your job is stressful, spending some time on the mat can help us release tension and let go of the day. When practising in the morning, yoga can give you a clear mind by setting intentions for the day ahead. If you practice in the evening, yoga can help release stress from the day and help you unwind.
Emotionally, yoga teaches us to be kind to ourself. Yoga is all about honouring where you’re at and accepting your body. It’s also great for reducing anxiety through learning breathing techniques to help you feel grounded.
Overall, yoga is a fantastic discipline to introduce into your life and can be beneficial in so many aspects.
Final thoughts on these healthy habits
These 10 healthy habits are super easy to incorporate but will make a big difference. Looking after your physical and mental health is so important and just a few small steps can make you feel great, inside and outside.
I hope you enjoyed reading this post and picked up some healthy habits. Would you like to see more blog posts like this? Let me know in the comments