Updated: Aug 16, 2020
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Let's talk about some small habits you can instill in your days to be totally awesome. To change your habits, you'll need to set up an environment and daily schedules for success. I absolutely guarantee that, even if you only begin doing the first five of these the large majority of your days, they will totally and completely change your life. Incorporating all of these habits into your daily life will make you a superhero so much faster!
Exercise most days
Meditate most days
Drink plenty of water
Eat plenty of produce
Get enough sleep
Express gratitude often
Pick up clutter in your home daily
Surround your home and life with color and things that bring you joy
Take advantage of opportunities for generosity
Watch less TV
I’m big on energy - we need it to run our days, and the more energetic we feel, the more we’re able to have a superhero life. We get energy from a few different sources; some top ones are exercise, sleep, hydration, and clean eating. A healthy lifestyle helps our body work better, which leads to feeling energized, motivated, and awake.
High-intensity exercise, at the point when it becomes hard to talk, provides us with a natural high. Squeeze in 15-30 minutes of high-intensity cardio (I love MadFit on Youtube or just going for a run outside) to release brain chemicals called endocannabinoids. These make us feel good and increase our energy. Definitely add walks, yoga, and slower routines into your life, but a high-intensity workout provides way more endocannabinoids. When you first start out, it’s likely going to be tough, but as you work up a sweat, you’ll begin to feel stronger, your blood will pump faster, and you’ll remember that you’re just in training to become a superhero. You got this!
Exercise can give you SUCH a boost. It is one of those incredible things that benefits mind, body, spirit, and future habits. If you want to make the most of exercise, you can start your day with a quick morning cardio boost to get your heart pumping and wake you up, then do a quick workout again after work. You can go for a hike, do some hot yoga, or even just complete another YouTube video.
Meditation is life-changing; it makes your days so much better in ways you don't even anticipate. Meditation makes a huge difference mentally - it helps you focus and concentrate, it increases self-awareness and confidence, it helps decrease stress, and it can increase love and kindness. It’s like a superhero of its own against anxiety and stress, helping you slow your thoughts down, focus on the positive over the negative, and remain calm. It also has great physical benefits - it can increase pain tolerance, fight addition, lower blood pressure, and decrease symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Meditation is actually super easy and definitely worth doing every single day. You won’t be perfect at first. We know that meditation is a practice, but every single time you practice, you grow and become stronger and more confident and powerful. All it takes is 10-30 minutes (start small and grow over time, just like exercise).
Find a place in your house you can sit, uninterrupted, on a cushion or in a chair. You should be comfortable but still alert. Find a meditation online (guided or just music), close your eyes, and breathe. Focus on your breathing as it goes in and out or the feeling on the tip of your nose as it does so. Acknowledge your thoughts, say hello, let them pass on by, and return to your breath. Just keep returning your thoughts to your focal point, be patient and gentle, and accept what comes.
Water is amazing. It helps oxygen flow through your body, it's great for your skin, it helps the digestive system work correctly and flush waste, and it boosts performance. Hydrating flushes toxins and helps nutrients get to your cells. It minimizes irritation and can make you feel so much better if you have a headache or allergies.
Drinking water is also great for weight loss. Every time you choose to drink water over soda, juice, or alcohol, you are making a small choice to reduce sugar and unnecessary calories and prioritize your health. Additionally, drinking a glass of water before eating has been proven to result in significant weight loss over time. So, yeah, drink lots of water.
Get a water bottle you absolutely love and bring it with you everywhere. Every day, drink at least 64oz of water (more when you exercise) early in your day.
Always have a full glass of water:
Right when you wake up, before you drink tea or coffee or anything else
Before each meal to help prevent overeating and support weight loss/management
Before bed when you’ve been drinking (normally I would not suggest water right before bed, but your sleep is going to be wonky anyways and this water will give you a much better chance of not waking up and feeling awful)
Nutrition for energy is all about eating the right mix of fuel. This typically means meals made up of about 50 percent colorful produce, 25 percent whole grains, 25 percent protein (animal or plant-based), and a bit of healthy fat. Keep this breakdown in mind as you craft meals to become an energy powerhouse. Produce adds tons of nutrients to your diet, and it can help you live longer, stay cancer and illness free, and maintain a positive mood.
Additionally, feel free to eat throughout the day. Keeping healthy energy-inducing snacks around like berries, veggies and hummus, apples with nut butter, popcorn, and greek yogurt can make sure you’re afforded lasting energy through the day. Keep in mind that lean protein and complex carbs (like fruit and whole grains) are awesome tools for a sustained energy release.
We know that getting proper sleep makes a big difference in our days. A quality night of sleep is essentially a ‘reset’ for your body so you can jump back in rested and ready to take on a new day. It helps our heart, provides energy, and recharges our muscles and mind. This is more than just about getting eight hours of sleep though. You have to also set up your day and environment for quality sleep.
Don’t eat or drink after 8pm
Don’t watch TV, play on your phone, or spend time on a screen after 8pm
Keep your room as dark as you can
Use a noise machine if it helps to soothe you to sleep (or use earplugs)
Get lavender spray or diffuse essential oils to prepare your body for bed
If you want to be a superhero, you can’t just fix your physical and mental health. You must also invigorate and challenge your mind. Keep it active by trying to spend as much of your free time productively as you can. Read great books, learn more about your career or industry, and educate yourself by reading blogs and articles online, watching documentaries, and listening to podcasts.
Downtime during your commute or while you make dinner can be used for good if you listen to a podcast or an audiobook while driving/working. Of course, you also need time to relax and not challenge your mind. When you can, though, choose to grow and learn and be proud and confident in yourself.
Practicing gratitude does wonders for your life. I work to at least start and end each day with a few things I am grateful for (fruit, my family, the lush trees outside), but I really try to fully live in the moments I’m in and express gratitude for life always. Being in this state of gratitude more often allows you to be more aware of and appreciate the incredible things in your life. We are constantly surrounded by nature, beauty, love, and miracles; we just have to learn how to value and cherish them instead of taking them for granted.
Expressing gratitude often will raise your overall frequency and allow you to connect with something bigger than yourself. This helps you be more generous and compassionate, and it allows you to manifest more awesome things for your life and those around you. Being grateful often makes you so much more positive because you see how wonderful your life is, and you tell the universe that you are loving life and you deserve even more good. One of my favorite things to express gratitude for is the ability and opportunity to continue growing and become more of a superhero each and every day.
Pick up Clutter
My home is often not my first priority. I am out here living my best life; why would I spend too much time on cleaning? It’s this very thought, though, that keeps my house looking good. I don’t want to waste time on it; I don’t want to be late to work because I've lost my keys, or stressed out about the dishes, or dissatisfied with the state of my coffee table. I want to be in a constant state of joy, and having a clean and orderly house helps get me there.
Two big things help this cause: have less stuff and put it away immediately. Make these your clutter mottos. Get rid of as much as you can, especially things you don’t absolutely love, so there’s less in your house to deal with and to stress you out. Then, make it a habit to always put things away right away. The plate goes straight into the dishwasher, the pen goes back in its cup, the device goes back in its dock. These small moves will keep your home feeling lighter, more open, and free for you and your passions.
Color and Things that Bring you Joy
Aesthetics matter. Pretty early on, we’re taught that neutrals are more ‘refined’ and ‘sophisticated’ and bright vibrant colors are for toys and children. It’s silly. Some of the most beautiful and exciting places in the world are bright - rows of colorful houses, lush forests, turquoise beaches, sunny afternoons. Colors are awesome and they make our lives so much more vibrant and joyful.
Ever since I realized this, I try to use colors, crystals, imagery, and aesthetics in my favor to make my life more joyful and fun. I adore Society6 for its vibrant tapestries and prints (and the fact that my purchases support creative artists around the world). My suggestions for colors that create joy are bright yellow, orange, turquoise, and lime green. Fill your home with these and see the difference they can make.
If you really want to be a superhero, you’ve got to remember that IT’S NOT ALL ABOUT YOU. So much of this blog is about self-love and physical/mental health, and it is awesome if you are working on becoming a better, stronger version of yourself. The more successful you are, the more money you can make, the more time you can free for yourself, and the more you can contribute to the world and play a role in making it a better place.
Just like expressing gratitude connects you to the universe and gives you power to manifest awesome things, being generous makes you better in so many ways. You tell the world that you are here to live an abundant life and help others do the same. Put positive energy out into the world as often as you can - express gratitude, think in an abundant way, and be compassionate and generous. What you put out into the world comes back to you in spades, and helping others makes you feel freaking awesome about yourself (especially when you can make people feel great about themselves too).
Watch Less TV
I love TV. I think it’s awesome. I love binging my favorite sitcoms and adding laughter while I do other things like cook and clean. At one point, I tried not having a TV at all and it just didn’t work for me. I learned, though, that TV can be a pleasure when we use it as such; it shouldn’t be an all-day-every-day thing. Many shows these days are filled with negativity, they create unrealistic expectations for life, and all of that time in front of the TV can degrade your self-control and discipline.
TV is a huge waste of time and keeps you from spending your valuable free time in other productive ways - quality time with family and friends, volunteering and giving back, and learning and growing. Watch TV, just don’t do it all the time. Instead, use as much time as you can to educate yourself - watch documentaries, read books, and feel great about the intelligent and strong person you are becoming. If you know you need to relax, practice yoga, meditate, spend time with friends, or listen to uplifting music.
Our lives now are more sedentary than they’ve ever been before. We sit at a desk for our entire workday, we go home and sit down in front of the TV, then we move to sit at the table for dinner (maybe). Unfortunately, this is really awful for us. The electrical activity in our muscles stops when we’re sitting, and research has linked sitting for long periods of time with obesity, increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat, and abnormal cholesterol levels. Sitting too much may also increase the risk of death from cardiovascular disease and cancer. It can shorten your life, increase the chances of getting dementia and diabetes, increase your anxiety, and undo all the awesome work you’ve accomplished through exercise.
You don’t have to change your entire lifestyle, just see if you can fit a bunch more standing time into the day you already have planned. Ask your work if they will allow you to have a standing desk and/or balance ball chair, walk around sometimes while you’re reading, and squeeze in exercise while watching TV. This time is already available; use as many opportunities as you can to get off your butt and move around.
Alcohol is a depressant. We know that, right? Yes, I know that it can sometimes make you feel better when you’re down, but that’s just in the moment. A few hours later, the next day, and even sometimes for days later, you feel pretty awful. I used to drink all the time. I really enjoy cocktails and wine and beer, and so I kept them around and had them most days. When I began really working on my mental health, though, I started noticing the majorly negative impact I got after drinking, and it sucked. I wanted to feel joyful and energetic and awesome, and what I felt after drinking was literally the opposite of all of the above.
Cut way down on your drinking and you’ll see a ton of benefits. It’s better for your heart and liver, you’ll lose weight faster, decrease your risk of getting cancer, and your relationships and sleep will likely improve. Keep your house stocked with sparkling water, tea, coffee, and kombucha, and pay attention to your mood when you don’t drink for a few days and then again when you do. It seems hard the first few days, but the benefits absolutely outweigh the costs. Reserve drinks for occasions, and really enjoy and savor them when you do have them. If you think there’s a chance you or someone you love has a problem with drinking, reach out to SAMHSA’s National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP.
To increase energy, alertness, and joy, use essential oils throughout your day.
Peppermint provides an invigorating scent that helps you feel more alert, lemon, bergamot, and citrus bring joy, and rosemary and eucalyptus can stimulate the brain and aid with focus and memory. Diffuse essential oils throughout the day or rub them on your feet/neck/temples with some coconut oil to make the most of these benefits.
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Do you have any other habit suggestions? I'd love to hear what works for you or your thoughts after giving these a try!