Habits take time to build. As we all know, it's significantly easier to create new habits when life is not as crazy busy. The chaos of the start of school and changes in the new season have come and gone, making fall the perfect time to start new healthy habits. Here are 8 healthy habits to being this autumn season.
Starting a new habit, let alone a healthy habit, can be overwhelming. So, start with one or two habits from this list and strive to become your healthiest self!
Make Sleep A Priority
As sunsets come earlier and dark falls quickly, take this as a sign to reevaluate your sleep schedule. According to the Sleep Foundation, if you are 14-17 years old, you should be getting 8 to 10 hours of sleep. If you are over 18 years old, your body needs 7 to 9 hours of sleep. A good night’s sleep is critical for optimal health, and has been proven time and time again!
With the current state of the world, make the effort to put yourself back on a healthy track. Hop into bed a few hours earlier or even sleep in if time allows. Give your body the energy it needs because if you want to accomplish your goals, you’ll need it!
Eat More Seasonal Veggies
Is anyone else crazy like me and loves veggies? Maybe even over fruit! Fall is a great time to take advantage of what’s in season. Pumpkins, broccoli, cauliflower, potatoes, beans, shall I keep going or are you already on your way to your local fruit market! Just as you would much on a watermelon on a hot summer's day, incorporate fall vegetables into your meals. Not only are they good for you, but veggies provide nutrients, especially potassium and fiber, that your body needs.
If you’re having trouble eating your vegetables, drink them! About six months ago, I found tablets that simply go into my water that will give me all that I need from eating a few servings of vegetables. With a few shakes and the occasional added Crystal Lite, I’m getting all that I need!
Mindfulness means intentionally focusing your attention on the present moment or task. With all of the distractions of your life online, it can be easy to mentally be elsewhere. When you are with your family or friends, be with them and instead of social media. When you are studying or working, put all of your attention into what you are doing, rather than sending a text that can wait. Understand your thoughts, acknowledge them, and then let them go. By practicing mindfulness, you can enjoy living in the moment, keep stress under control, and be more aware of how you are feeling.
Fall Back Into A Fitness Routine
Now that the craziness of September has come and gone, start fresh with a new workout regimen or fall back into a fitness routine. I am guilty - I was doing so well until… I could give you excuse after excuse. Finally, whether you are in a new fall routine at school, work, home, or wherever, get back into feeling good with your body. Wake up 20 minutes early and listen to your favorite podcast while you walk up and down your street. Set aside time during your lunch break to hit the gym or do an at-home workout. There are endless opportunities for you to get back into what you told yourself you would do at the beginning of the year, so reevaluate and start now.
Power Down Your Device Before Bed Time
Biting my tongue as I write this because I’ll be honest, I struggle with this one! I give myself time at night to unwind and stay up to date by mindlessly scrolling through social media. If this is the time your reward yourself with to be on your phone, take it. This being said, power down your device before you are actively trying to fall asleep. The bright light and movement of your electronics actually can suppress your internal clock, making it harder for you to fall asleep.
Knowing this, make it a goal to read, meditate, journal, relax, before your head hits the pillow. Give your eyes and body the break it needs from constantly starting at a screen. I promise, and we’re in this together people, it will benefit you!
When the sun is hot and your body is craving to stay hydrated, it is easy to hit your daily water intake. However, we need to stay just as hydrated in the fall and winter season. Drinking water may actually help you lose weight - benefiting you and that new year’s resolution you made ten months ago.
Strive to meet your recommended water intake, or eight glasses each day. If you’re anything like me, I have trouble getting myself to drink that much plain water. Try a water substitute - Crystal Lite is my favorite! Or, settle for a cup of herbal tea. You can even try a water bottle with hourly reminders on it to keep you motivated through the day.
Move Your Body
Every single one of us is spending more time than we are accustomed to sitting at a screen. Get up and move your body! Fall weather is perfect - the heat is not boiling and frost has just enough time to set in, creating the best environment for a walk. The Help Guide explains that moving your body can improve concentration, motivation, memory, and mood, improving your overall mental health. I don't know about you, but I would do anything to increase my productivity and if this is all it takes, I’m all in! Regardless of the time you have or how long you choose to move, spare minutes through your day to get up and move.
When setting goals for myself, I find that it’s easiest for me to begin at the beginning of something - whether that be at the beginning of a new week, month, or season. Fall is the perfect time to hit your internal reset button, and reevaluate what you are striving to accomplish. Set SMART goals, goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely. By setting goals that you know you can accomplish, you are much more likely to stick by them.
Find what goal setting technique works for you, and routinely check in on yourself and your goals. It might work best for you to create goals to accomplish each week. For me, I set weekly goals as well as daily goals - as simple as finishing this blog post. Get into the groove of setting and accomplishing your goals to create a more productive and healthy routine for yourself.