A few months ago, I decided to pick up a new habit: working on making my mornings less stressful. I had previously found myself in a cycle that was less than ideal – I was waking up a little too late, rushing around getting ready like a crazy person, and barely making my train. I did all of this just so I could get to work an hour earlier than I was supposed to. The idea behind arriving that early was that I would have a bit of time to myself to get work done before the day officially started. This idea failed. I would end up being so tired and frazzled that I didn’t get extra work done. In fact, I often found myself finishing getting ready at work, applying makeup in the bathroom because I didn’t have time to do it at home. It was a waste of time, and I knew I needed to pick up a new morning habit.
So, I did. I forced myself to start waking up earlier, and I also forced myself to stop being so anal about getting to work so early. I compromised: I could take a train that got me in about 40 minutes early, which gave me the best of both worlds. The change seemed really small, but I noticed a difference immediately. My mornings weren’t as hectic. I was no longer racing to the train, and I actually had time to sit down and enjoy a cup of tea or cuddle with my cats. I felt less stressed, less exhausted, and less pressured – I felt happier.
ANYWAY. This post isn’t an essay about my morning routine. It’s about the fact that sometimes we need to adopt new habits into our lifestyles for our own well-being. It’s easy to get stuck in a rut and to feel like you need to do something HUGE and different to feel better. That’s not always true! Sometimes it’s the small changes that can make the biggest difference. I was reminded of this when reading this Ask Reddit thread on easy habits that can make you happier and healthier. Focusing on yourself is so important! If you’ve been feeling super stressed/anxious, try incorporating one of these small habits into your lifestyle, and you might just find yourself smiling a whole lot more.
Change The Way You Word ThingsPerspective is EVERYTHING. You have probably heard this before, and dismissed it soon after, because it sounds corny and, frankly, kind of annoying. It's not super easy to change the way you think about things, so it's hard to imagine it could have that much of an impact. But it does! Changing the way you word things is one step forward. For example, user ThePrince_OfWhales explains, "My therapist suggested to get away from saying things like, "I should..." or, "I need to..." Instead I've been saying more of: "I'm going to..." and "I want to ..." It sounds a little weird but it has greatly helped me to change my perspective on the things I don't always enjoy doing and helps me stay motivated to accomplishing personal goals. I hope it helps someone here too!" Source: iStock
Find One Quick Beauty Tip To Rely OnHaving a steady makeup/beauty routine that you rely on each day can make your life easier. But having just ONE quick tip that you can do even when you're super busy is sometimes more helpful - it can make your life easier and thus, make you happier. User tribblemethis says, "Filling in my eyebrows, I hadn't realized how much that affected my whole look. I can forgo most makeup in my daily life (bit of a waste when there's a 50% chance I'll have pig shit splattered on my face at some point of the day), but I always make sure that my brows are done." Pick something that is easy and fast so that it can become your go-to when you're running late or behind. For example, even if I have zero time to apply makeup, I always feel more confident if I at least have mascara on. Source: iStock
Walk or Bike When PossibleIf you drive and have your own car, then you've probably noticed that you use that car all the time, no matter what. This is fine - driving is obviously very convenient and fast - but it's sometimes worth it to try, you know, walking or biking somewhere. User pillbinge explains: "I consider it a small thing but I typically ride my bike or walk places instead of driving when I can. Instead of driving 5 minutes somewhere I'll walk 20. Unless of course it's time sensitive, but it usually isn't." It's true! I remember I once subbed biking for small errands that were close by, and it felt pretty awesome. It's a good way to connect with nature, get outside, and feel good about life. Source: iStock
Meal PrepIf you find yourself struggling to eat healthier and it's making you feel down, you should try meal prepping - it can make your life a lot easier and more organized, and have the end result of making you feel good. User ladyfaces says, "The most impactful thing I've ever done for my well-being and health is to make 5 sets of lunches and dinners every Sunday. It literally takes maybe an hour at most, and means that I eat well throughout the week and don't have to think about it at all. Because I'm making food that is healthy and low-carb, my energy levels are through the roof and I feel terrific. My skin looks great. When I am consistent with this, I lose 1lb a week without doing anything else. I notice a HUGE difference in how I feel, look, and function when I don't make the meals and have to scramble for whatever is convenient or eat out at lunch and dinner. I've been doing it for about a year now and honestly can't believe what a difference it's made for me." Meal prepping is pretty life changing! I do it most Sundays and it really, really helps. If you're trying to eat better, this is a great thing to do. Source: iStock
Do Daily YogaA lot of people roll their eyes at the suggestion of doing yoga, but seriously, it's not a bad idea. User kmothafucka says, "Yoga. 5-30 minutes a day. I'm so much happier, healthier, and calmer." Doing yoga every day, even if it's just five minutes, relaxes you and makes you feel good. It's hard to explain! You don't need to spend a lot either. I try to do yoga every morning, and I just use YouTube videos. Source: iStock
Wash Your Hair LessOne thing that gets me down sometimes is how much time I spend getting ready to go places - doing my makeup, my hair, getting dressed, etc. Going without shampoo every single day is a good way to make your routine faster, leaving you feeling a little more calm and happy. User effervescentbanana says, "Washing my hair less. I went through an awkward few weeks of greasy hair, but once I got used to only shampooing twice a week my hair because softer and less coarse and frizzy." Source: iStock
Wake Up EarlierIt's worth repeating: giving yourself more time in the morning can really make your whole day better. User Mountain_Woman1 says, "Started waking up 1 hour earlier than I "need" to. Now I have 60 minutes just for myself where I can just sit, slowly drink my coffee, and organize my thoughts for the day/week/moment. I'm a lot less stressed than I used to be!" Source: iStock
Get A Good Skincare Routine DownIt might sound weird, but nailing a great skincare routine can really affect how you feel about yourself. For example, user buffylove says, "Moisturizing. People always comment how great my skin is. I've always looked older for my age, but now its becoming the opposite. I have dry skin but I've always taken care of it. Women my age (late twenties) already wrinkle, yet I have 0." I recently started investing more time and effort into my own skincare routine, and it makes me feel great! The nights I'm too exhausted/lazy to do it, and go to bed without doing it, make me feel weirdly guilty. Even just starting to moisturize more can make a difference. Source: iStock
Improve Your PostureIt might sound like something your grandma would say, but seriously, improving your posture can be so important. User ASongThatsFlawless suggests, "Actively trying to have better posture. I look more confident and feel it too." Source: iStock
Drink More WaterAh, yes, the water tip - can you read any article about health without it being included? No, and it's for a good reason. User Kinky_Kitten_ says, "drinking water. I started carrying a water bottle everywhere I go and it makes me feel less tired, cleared up my skin, and I feel like I eat smaller meals." Source: iStock
Which one of these small habits are you going to try? What is something that makes you happier? Share in the comments.