Who else has seen those posts that rave about the powerful effects of building healthy habits into your everyday? I'm talking about the ones being presented by an impeccably groomed woman who's standing in a spotless house looking well rested and down-right zen. I mean, who is she and where did she hide the kids?! These posts seem great in theory, but as you attempt to implement them into your very real life, sometimes the habits fizzle out in the matter of days or weeks. Why?
Well, perhaps you just can't stomach the green juice (same) or maybe your environment is actually preventing these habits from sticking. This is why I came up with ten ways to update your home or office space to make these small, yet impactful healthy habits actually doable--maybe even enjoyable!
Pick up a pretty pitcher. We all know we should drink more water, but the days seem to fly by and before we know it it's 5 o'clock and we've had maybe 8oz of water. Try this simple fix: find a really pretty pitcher or carafe and fill it up at the start of your day, throw some sliced citrus in, and place in a spot where you won't miss it. Every time you pass it or your glass empties, refill!
Simplify your entryway. Fresh air can do wonders, but it has to be easy to get out for that walk around the block. Add a hook near the door for each family member (furry friends count!) and put just what they need there. One jacket, one pair of shoes, the leash, whatever it is. Just be sure to make it quick, easy, and painless to get yourself outside.
Prep for daily 10-minute tidy ups. It is unbelievable how much you can get done in 10 minutes but you first need. to get the clutter under control. Take a weekend afternoon and do a deep clean and declutter of your spaces. If you have too much stuff, you'll always feel anxious and overwhelmed. Once you have it under control, then find a time each day to set a timer for 10 minutes and tidy up. Put items away, wipe counters, do the dishes, whatever needs doing. By not letting things get out of control, you're never faced with a mountain of mess and the stress that comes with it.
Dedicate space for family meals. Connecting with loved ones is incredibly important for our mental health. Before you can make family meals a habit in your home, you'll need a dedicated dining area that's a no-fly zone for everyday clutter. This can be your kitchen island, a dining room, or a breakfast nook. If things tend to clutter up this area, first identify what those items are (mail, homework, Amazon packages) and then find another place for them to land. If you have a clear spot for your meals, you are much more likely to cook and less likely to default to dinner in front of the TV.
Create a zen oasis. If you don't have a space in your home that feels relaxing and zen, then you might not be inclined to do your daily downdogs. First check out tip three above and get any messes under control, then pick a corner of your home. Bedrooms can work well since they don't catch daily clutter, so add a pretty floor pillow and a tall basket to house your yoga mat. If the space for your daily me-time looks inviting, you're much more likely to actually use it.
Rethink your kitchen organization. The junk food tastes so good, but if you can't see it you might not eat it (as often). Opt for easy-to-see containers for healthy snacks, like a wood bowl on the counter for fruit or clear bins in the pantry for the trail mix. Less healthy options can be tucked into closed cabinets and on high shelves. This is a great way to get your kids into healthy eating habits too!
Design a nighttime retreat. I've certainly been guilty of binge watching a show right up until I'm so tired that I just roll myself into bed. Not the best way to kick off your sleep session! Instead, make your bedtime routine a treat you look forward to at the end of the day. Try candles, or lamps on dimmers, soft music, plush bedding, pretty canisters for your bathroom essentials, and maybe some yummy smelling lotion for a night time foot massage. Bonus points if you can get someone else to rub your feet!
Display your books. Speaking of evening routines, why not work in some reading--for fun! Books make beautiful decor, so stack 2-3 from your reading list on your nightstand and plan to read for 15-20 minutes before turning out the light. If you have the luxury, it's also lovely to have some morning reading time over a hot cup of tea or coffee. If you're feeling a little "extra" and like your coffee in bed, add a small one-cup coffee maker to the top of your bedroom dresser for the perfect, relaxing start to the day!
Pick up a tech lock box. Start by finding a decorative box large enough to fit all your devices and place it on a convenient shelf in your living space. Then decide on a time when the whole household will be screen free. This could be durning dinner, or maybe you have a family game night every Saturday. Once the time comes, collect devices and remotes and place them in the box. For reluctant teens it may be helpful to place a timer on top of the box so they know when it chimes that the time is up. Start by doing this for just a half hour and see if you can work up to a few hours.
Add simple, visual reminders. Many of us take shallow breathes throughout the day, so it's good to have reminders to stop and just breathe. Find a small object that will easily fit on a narrow ledge or shelf and that you can get multiples of. Think seashells, stones, small ceramic tchotchkes, or even paperclips. Now place them around your space in areas that you see often. Near the kitchen sink, on your desk, next to your toothbrush, by the front door...you get the idea. Now, every time you see one of these objects, stop for just a moment and take one deep inhale and a slow exhale. Ahhh, don't you feel better already!
I hope you'll take a few of these ideas and bring them into your home. There is no time like the present to kick-start a new healthy habit at home!