On this blog in the past I’ve talked a lot about habits, happiness and how certain habits lead to happiness. For me, healthy habits in particular help me feel happier, more energized and better all around and there are a few things I try my best to do on a very regular basis to benefit both my physical and mental health. I’d absolutely love to hear a little bit more about the things you do in your day-to-day life that you think help you live a happier, healthier life. Please let me know in the comments section of this post!
Increasing My Health and Happiness with 5 Simple Habits
- Spending Time Outside
Hooray for warmer weather! Now that the temperatures are heating up again and it officially feels like spring in Charlotte, the pull of the springtime sunshine is somethin’ serious and I find that when I take some time to spend even as little as 10 minutes outside, I feel happier. Vitamin D is good for the body and my soul! Park play dates are one of my favorite ways to get outside, especially since Chase absolutely lights up the minute we head outdoors, but even when I had a desk job, I loved sneaking away in the middle of the day to eat my lunch outside. And taking Sadie for a walk is always a great way to spend time outside and make our favorite furry lady happy, too!
- Exercising / Moving My Body
This one is HUGE not only for my physical health but for my mental health as well. On the days that I take the time to exercise, I feel more energetic, positive, productive, motivated… the list goes on and on. While the physical benefits of working up a sweat or taking the time to move my body in some way are obvious, the boost I feel on the inside is truly what keeps me consistent in my workout regimen. Though the intensity of my day-to-day workouts may vary quite a bit, whether I take myself through a HIIT workout or simply go on a walk, exercise is an immediate mood-booster for me.
- Unplugged Family Time
I know this may seem crazy for someone who blogs and shares so much of her life online, but I have a serious love-hate relationship with my phone. (I could easily dedicate an entire blog post to how much I miss the days when blogging was just blogging and all of the sharing and social media stuff wasn’t a part of any of it.) Other than keeping in touch with family and friends and snapping pictures of Chase and Sadie throughout the day, I kind of wish the whole smart phone thing would go away because it seemed way easier for people to live in the moment and enjoy the present when everyone wasn’t so obsessed with sharing everything and seeing what everyone else was up to all the time.
While I’ll admittedly share a picture or short video of our family in the moment on Instagram Stories from time to time, for the most part, I prefer to keep my phone tucked away at the end of the day (and much of the time Chase is awake) or share things slightly delayed because I am happiest when my phone isn’t glued to my hip and I’m just living and enjoying my family. Sometimes it’s easy for me to feel the pressure to share everything all the time because blogging and sharing my life is a part of my job, but I try to be very cognizant of living my life rather than living my life to share it and that often means days go by when I don’t share a single thing. And I’m totally okay with that.
- Taking the Time to Meal Plan
Meal planning has admittedly ebbed and flowed around here this year, but once my pregnancy-related nausea began to dissipate a bit and I could stomach the thought of vegetables and protein other than yogurt again, meal planning came back into my life and I realized, yet again, how much easier it makes my life. Not only does meal planning alleviate stress throughout the week, it also helps our family eat healthier and motivates me to try new nutritious recipes. When I take the time to meal plan and, better yet, prep some food on Sundays, it’s 10 times easier for me to eat healthy all week long since I have healthy options readily available.
While I really try to be consistent with meal planning and healthy eating, it’s not always in the cards and so I also try my best to fill in nutritional gaps on a daily basis with the help of vitamins.
I’ve been taking a prenatal vitamin for years and while that’s the only vitamin I’ve taken consistently for so long, I recently began upping my vitamin game with a few more safe and healthy options. After taking a short quiz online through Care/of, a well-respected vitamin and supplement company, I began adding Calcium Plus and Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil to my vitamin regimen to help with bone and heart health.
Care/of makes its own line of vitamins and supplements – all from high-quality ingredients and reputable sources (for example, their fish oil is from Wild Alaskan salmon and their herbal supplements are sustainably sourced) – and personalizes their vitamin and supplement recommendations for every customer. After I took a short 5-minute quiz through Care/of and answered questions about my health, history, health goals, dietary restrictions, etc., I received my vitamin recommendations and thought the whole process was so interesting!
I have a feeling my vitamin recommendations catered a lot to prenatal health and steered clear of too many herbal supplements just to be cautious, but I’m curious to take the quiz again after birth/breastfeeding to see how things might change. I’m very intrigued by natural supplements Care/of offers like ashwagandha and rhodiola for energy and stress.
If you’d like to see what kind of vitamins and supplements Care/of recommends for you, check out their short quiz to learn more about the vitamins Care/of recommends for your health goals! You may also receive 25% off your first month of vitamins with the code PBFINGERS. Big bonus: A portion of every Care/of sale goes toward the Good+ Foundation to help mothers in need receive prenatal vitamins to ensure that their child receives the critical nutrients he or she needs while they’re still developing and during the early months after birth. Woop!
- Reading Before Bed
I’ve long professed my love for reading on this blog (check out the Books page on my blog to see some of my continually-updated favorite reads) but reading, along with exercise, is one of the top things I try do consistently do for myself. It makes me so happy and feels like a great way to take some time for myself when I feel like so much of my day is wrapped up in mom life and trying to squeeze in some work whenever I have a spare minute. Reading is a little different than anything else for me because it relaxes me, allows me to escape to different places and almost feels like an indulgence. While it was hard for me to read for pleasure for a while after Chase was born (I’d pass out the minute my head hit the pillow or pretty much only read parenting/baby books), when he started sleeping better, I realized how much I missed reading before bed and began to carve out time to try to read almost every night. Plus, it makes it 10,000 times easier to fall asleep at night… assuming I’m not reading a crazy suspenseful novel.
ADDITIONAL HAPPINESS RELATED POSTS
- Little Indulgences = Big Happiness
- Creating Habits That Lead to Happiness
- Abstainers vs. Moderators
- The Happiness Project Review + Takeaways
Question of the Day
What is one thing you do in your day-to-day life that you think contributes in a big way to your overall health and happiness?