Back in February I wrote about the practice of making better habits. It’s so easy to have bad habits but always feels so hard to do the things that are good for you on a regular basis. (You know exactly what I’m talking about, right?)
Well, I’ve been practicing what I started to preach and have found the habits I’ve been able to really hone in on are all related to the things that make me feel better physically. Whether that’s having more energy or sleeping better, the habits outlined below have all had me feeling healthier and more energized than I have felt in years. I no longer am waking up feeling like I can’t get out of bed or walking to work still feeling half asleep.
Of course it’s no shocker that once you start to see the benefits of habit you’re more apt to keep it up. But sometimes it’s just easier said than done and we could all use a little friendly kick in the pants to get good habits underway which is what inspired today’s post. I hope you’ll enjoy (+ share what good-for-you habits you do!)
Skipping the weekday glass of wine
When I visited an acupuncturist earlier this year I was required to keep a food log so I could see any triggers between what I was eating and how I was feeling. After two weeks what came to light in a major way was that the casual glass of wine I had sometimes during the week was causing me to wake up feeling awful. While I would be able to fall asleep, my second half of sleep (about 2-7AM) was a lot of tossing and turning and my chronic headache was more intense and persistent when I awoke. I tested the theory that it was the alcohol (a stimulant) that was causing this a few nights so I could measure how I felt in the morning and sure enough, whenever I had a glass of wine I slept worse and woke up feeling groggy and headach-y. So I’ve been skipping alcohol as much as possible particularly Monday through Thursdays (with dinners out being the exception) and feel so much better for it.
Cutting out sweets Monday-Friday
Woah, was this a biggie for me. It started as my Lenten promise – to give up sweets during the week and then I could have what I wanted Saturday and Sunday. I have a major sweet tooth so this habit is very hard for me. The first week I did it, getting to Saturday I was like an addict in search of the goods. I wanted a cupcake, ice cream, candy – you name it. By weekend #2 I was more tame. And then as the weeks carried on I was feeling better and lighter and healthier overall. I even felt like I started to further see the benefits of my workouts. Now that Lent is over I’m trying to keep this up as much as possible and what I’ve come to realize is that as soon as I have sugar I feel relatively horrible in short order. My stomach hurts, I become moody and groggy. While I still make exceptions and indulge, by saying I won’t have the sugar Monday through Friday it means I won’t buy it because I really eat it. And while I do have nights like last Sunday when we made sugar cookie bars and I ate enough cookie dough to feel sick, the less I cave the less I crave and that’s what I’m aiming for.
Drinking tea nightly
I picked this habit up after my most recent trip to London and then the habit really accelerated when I got an electric tea kettle for Christmas (#thisis30). I also found teas that I love. We’re talking really, really love people. I have 5 different kinds of the teas by Republic of Tea that I’m obsessed with. I like the Get ZZZs for when I’m craving a good night’s sleep and Get Lost to help cut sugar cravings (very helpful given the aforementioned habit.) I make myself a cup every night, get into bed and finish up any last minute work and just wind down. It’s bliss.
Last year I finally started taking vitamins regularly and in the last nine months I’ve added probiotics to my nightly routine. If you’re not familiar, probiotics help to promote a healthy digestive system. They provide more good bacteria to your body and can be particularly great to take when your immune system is at risk (read: traveling, whenever you’re stressed, etc.) Some of this may be in my head but I feel better whenever I’m taking them. (My gynecologist also tells me during every visit to take them and I figure I ought to listen to her…) This is my preferred brand. And Republic of Tea also makes a Get Probiotic tea that I make here and there!
By now you’ve surely heard of foam rolling but if you haven’t yet bought a foam roller to have at home and started using one after your workouts, man are you missing out. Any soreness or tenderness my muscles have after spin classes or barre classes are washed away with a 5-10 minute foam rolling session. It hurts so much but the benefits outweigh the pain you feel in certain spots. I have a mini one for home and keep it tucked under my couch for easy access whenever the day calls for it.
What about you? What healthy habits do you swear by?