15 Small Habits That Are Improving My Health
As I approach my 30s, I have learned to be more conscious of my health. I began this journey by assessing my daily routines, eating habits, as well as my physical and mental state. At the beginning of this year, I was in complete denial of any detrimental habits. I still remember telling my partner, “Honestly, I might be one of the healthiest persons I have known.” Fortunately, I did not stop there. It was difficult to accept that tiny habits that were remarkably ingrained into my routines were harmful.
As I have mentioned in previous writings, I started to improve my health earlier this year, by quitting all added/harmful substances that I used to use to cover up negative emotions. Those things were easy to spot. But I knew deep down that other habits needed to change as well; I just could not tackle them with ease. I began to journal, and track my mood/energy with hopes to improve my self-awareness.
After a few months of introspection, I realized that I lacked contact with my spirituality, adequate sleep, and calmness. I began to target those deficiencies by adding to 5–7 min of meditation in the morning and going to bed before midnight. In the meantime, I continued to believe my diet and everything else was marvelous, though I could tell there were adverse symptoms I was experiencing in my stomach, energy levels, and mood.
I resolved to go to the doctor, and there it was; some of my lab results came back abnormal. Especially my cholesterol and vitamin D. The results blew my mind! They were not atrocious at all, but I expected a “perfect report.” I thought to myself, “How could I have abnormal labs, when I am so healthy?”. For a few minutes, I even blamed it on the doctor. He relayed some recommendations about exercise and diet changes. My answer to him was
“I do all of that and more… I exercise 7 days/week, eat a high protein diet, and eat out 2 x week max, that should be more than enough to be healthy… (right?)”.
Once I finished with my inner tantrum of denial and dissonance, I told myself it was time to make real changes in my life.
These are the 15 habits I have been trying to incorporate in my life.
I would be dishonest if I were to say that I engage in these activities every single day, but I do complete them most days. Certainly, since I started these habits my stomach health, energy level, and mood have been splendid!
- Avoiding phone use in the mornings
- Post-hygiene routine: Fully body (and face) stretch
- Meditating for 4–7 min (so important)
- Simplifying my morning coffee (abstain from added sugars and dairy)
- Listening to happy/refreshing music in the morning
- Eating an apple 1 x week
- Eating 1–2 greens/vegetables a day
- Reducing red meat (1 x week max)
- Including super-foods and vitamins in my diet (Magnesium helps me relax at night)
- Drinking 1 gallon of water a day (it surprisingly helps my anxiety)
- Exercising/Moving every day for at least 20 min
- Going to bed before 12 AM
- Limiting alcohol consumption
- Journaling and planning my days ahead
- Practicing positive affirmations
Please note that I am not a doctor or a medical provider. I am a simple human, stating the things that are causing a positive impact on my life.
My recommendation for you is to STUDY YOURSELF. Observe your routines and habits. Ask someone you trust for their opinion on your habits. Be critical about the things you do every day and know that there is always room for improvement. Go to a doctor for your physical check-up. Talk to people that engage in healthy practices and learn from them (also question them). Make “new habits” a fun challenge by tracking your progress and trying new things.
Daniela Marin, MS
Creator of HealingRight
This blog post was original created for my Medium website