Everyone nowadays is super busy, and it can be hard to remember to be healthy all the time when you have a million things to accomplish. I am constantly rushing to class or other commitments myself, so I can relate to people who feel like they have no time for anything. Despite our busy work lives, there are habits we can do each day that take less than five minutes each. They are super simple, but a little goes a long way. I guarantee if you start doing these things each day you will begin to feel better both physically and mentally. When I forget to do these things, I feel sluggish and not my best. Everyone has at least five minutes in their day, so give them a try.
- Open your window!!! As soon as you wake up, you should expose yourself to natural sunlight. The light tells your brain that it’s time to wake up, and it also helps regulate your circadian rhythm. You should try to get at least ten minutes of sun exposure each day to get enough Vitamin D, and starting right in the morning is the best time. If it’s winter or you live in a dark, rainy climate, you should invest in one of these: Vitamin D Lamp. These lamps mimic the suns natural light and ten minutes in the morning each day is all you need.
- Write down your intentions for the day. This may sound simple, but it is so effective in helping you become a more productive and happy person. I recently have invested in this:
It’s called the Five Minute Journal, and it’s just that. Only five minutes each day, but it’s super effective. You write down your intentions for that day, and also self-affirmations. At night, you write down what you are grateful for. There have been studies showing that people who express gratitude each day tend to be happier and more fulfilled. This study from Harvard is one example. You don’t need this journal to do it, simply get some pen and paper and write down what you want to happen that day and also remind yourself that you are loved.
- Try to get active: Even if you only have five minutes, there are still quick ways to get in a great workout. For example, you can do some sun salutations, or you can do a quick circuit. 30sec each move: Jumping Jacks, Burpees, Pushups, Plank up/downs, High knees, Mountain Climbers, Squat jumps, Butt kickers, Lunge jumps, Crunch pulses. If you don’t have any time at all, it’s okay! Just try to take the stairs more often and move your body as much as possible throughout the day. For example, park far away from the office, or walk around during your phone call.
- Bring a reusable bottle and fill it…often: We underestimate how much water we need to drink each day. Our bodies are made up of water, every cell in our body runs on water, and yet, most of us are dehydrated. Bring a reusable water bottle everywhere you go. The night before, fill up a water bottle with fresh, purified water and some lemon slices. When you wake up, you will immediately grab the water without even thinking. Make sure to fill up your bottle often throughout the day.
- Power down: Shut off your phone at least half an hour before bed. I know it can be tempting, but staring at your phone right before bed is very detrimental to your health. Blue light actually has the opposite effect of sunshine in the morning; it throws off your circadian rhythm and tells your brain to wake up rather than relax. If you simply cannot resist your phone, consider investing in some light blocking glasses. My roommate uses her phone late at night, so I use a sleep mask when I go to bed to avoid any light. A pitch black room is the most facilitating to good quality sleep.
By implementing these habits, you will see a good effect on your health but you must stay consistent to see results. Like Aristotle once said, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit”