Making changes to live a healthier life are often made in small daily decisions. When do we wake up? What will we eat for breakfast? Am I ready for work? Then before you know it, you are laying in bed remembering all things you meant to do and feeling a little frustrated with how you spent your time. If you can relate, it’s time to start thinking about small changes you can make to have a healthier lifestyle.
To help you get started, here are three steps to try this week.
1. Get up early
I know, I know. (Insert groan here). Now, I have never been a morning person or an early riser. Actually, I am the complete opposite. I tend to be most creative and alert at night, a habit that did not change when I became a momma. But when you have three boys to get ready for school starting at 6 am, staying up late to get up early just doesn’t mix well and can lead to one cranky momma.
Waking up earlier can give you more time to get things done without feeling rushed and getting stressed out. Some things to do when you get up earlier are:
- Spend time in prayer/worship
- Eat a healthy breakfast
- Time to journal
- Do something you love
I could go into the scientific evidence for the health benefits of waking up early (and there’s plenty out there), instead I challenge you to try it out. Give yourself 21 days of getting up early, even if it is just 30 minutes earlier than your regular schedule. Push yourself out of bed and get started with your day.
2. Get moving
This seems like a simple one, but it is amazing just how much the average person spends sitting each day. Whether sitting working at your desk or laying around binge watching your favorite show, sitting for long periods of time is not good for your heart or your butt.
If you get lost catching up with your homework or working on that project for your job, there are several resources to help you get moving. Start small. Set up a reminder to get up and walk around for 5-10 minutes each hour. Technology like the Apple Watch, FitBit, or other smart watches have reminders to help you get moving. (Plus, they can help you keep track of your progress.) Don’t have any other those things, using a timer can help as well.
A few suggestions to help you get moving are:
- Park your car farther from the entrance of the building.
- Get up and walk in place during commercial breaks.
- Dance to your favorite song
The important step is to interrupt your sitting time as much as you can. Get up and get moving.
3. Unplug from your phone
Anyone else ever feel like you are always on your phone? I mean, I don’t leave the house without it. As a military wife, I especially been guilty of being sucked into my phone constantly checking for emails, hoping not to miss a call, and checking social media updates. But even when my hubby is home, I use my phone for recipes, driving directions, and keeping in touch with family and friends. With so much grabbing for our attention, spending time checking email, texting, and being on social media can eat up more of our time that we realize. I mean, I am guilty of talking to my kids while being face down in my phone or just mindlessly picking up my phone because I am bored.
Spending time away from our phone requires intentionality and practice. Pay attention to how you are using your phone. The boundaries you set for yourself can help to ensure you are spending quality time building relationships with people who matter most in your life.
Some suggestions to help you unplug from your phone are:
- Give your phone a specific bedtime: Constantly being on the phone can rob us of the closeness we could be experiencing by being present. Choose a time that you will limit use of your phone. This could be shutting down checking emails, viewing social media, or text messages.
- Create no tech time for the family: Choose specific times during the day you and your family will not use technology. This may be during dinner time or as a part of your bedtime routine with the kids. Whatever it is, think about how you want to use your time.
- Use time management: Be aware of how much time you are spending getting lost on your phone. Decide how often and when you will respond to emails or engage in social media and stick to it