What are your most impactful WELLBEING habits (daily/weekly ones)?

I was wondering what would you say is 1-2 of your most important daily/weekly "small" habits, that most contributes to your mental/physical wellbeing?

I am asking because I keep on catching myself in trying to do too many of these small habits, and then they end up obligation/burden instead of positive reinforcers :D

So I am always on the lookout of the best balance in doing positive actions and habits for my wellbeing, yet on taking it easy and being gentle within that process.

Lately I've been experimenting with incorporating one new small (5-10min daily) new habit each month, and so far I quite like how that works out and would like to continue it in 2022.

While I have many ideas on "tiny" habits I could be focusing on (happy to share it if anyone would like to get more ideas), what would be really valuable would be to hear your experiences on which habits were "game-changer" for you, which small consistent things you recognized that they had the biggest impact on your feeling grounded/centered/focused/joyful?

Curious to hear your perspective :)

I love how you're on a mission to becoming an even better person, go you! For me, it's movement and smiling/belly laughing! Everyday, I must either run, go to the gym, or do a long walk to release the endorphins. And I must belly laugh at least once a day on top of smiling.
woohoo, great idea already :) movement is part of my focus too, smiling is not conscious focus but very present, but belly laugh I never thought of putting in focus, and actually I think I am getting a bit too serious lately... thank you for a great idea :)))
Yes!! I promise you belly laugh, it changes everything - I remember you said you have a partner, you should try together it may create a stronger bond in your relationship! :)
For me it was walking once a day, getting myself outside frequently during the week has been the biggest influence on my happiness and well-being.
Movement every day with a minimum baseline of 15 minutes. Meditation every morning with a minimum baseline of 10 minutes. Daily practice of answering these 3 questions every night no matter what: How did I make a difference today? What am I proud of today? What do I appreciate today? These 3 practices are what I call my keystone habits. They literally take 30 minutes. The key is to pick one thing, start small until you make it a habit, then either do it for longer or add another. Don't let that pesky brain of yours tell you it's not enough. It's actually a really good sign that you are on the right track when you hear your brain say that. )
getting outside everyday, even when it is freezing and stretching every day (usually at night before bed or when I'm watching tv/listening to music).
Yes + taking a D3 supplement. Many of us aren't getting enough D3 from sunlight, and it's worse during the winter!
Hi @Mirna! Thanks for posting this question! I'll answer you first with some questions, since you mentioned you wanted to feel grounded, centered, focused and joyful: - What activities make you feel grounded?- What activities make you feel centered?- What activities make you feel focused?- What activities make you feel joyful?When exploring these, think about filtering your answers through your individual personality, lifestyle, schedule, preferences, etc. and then engage in those activities in very small, bite-size pieces. I highly recommend taking advantage of the 2-for-1 specials! Those are my favorite! A great example of a 2-for-1 special: When I want to practice connection AND I want to honor my body with movement, I'll schedule a "walking call", walking outside for 30 minutes or less, while I catch up with a friend or family member on the phone. Connection and movement at the same time. Check and check! 🙌🏾Another example: If I want to practice mindfulness, I'll take a mindfulness walk, where I walk around a park, in a neighborhood, beach, etc. without my headphones and take deep notice of what I'm experiencing through all of my senses. I think about what I'm seeing, hearing, feeling, etc. which then leads to thoughts of gratitude for the gifts I've been given to walk, to see, to hear, to touch, to smell, etc. I'll breathe deeply and connect with my spirit which also brings me an immense feeling of joy! So I guess that example is more of a "4-for-1" with movement, mindfulness, gratitude and spiritual connection! Lastly I will say please make sure to give yourself a little grace! Sometimes we strive so hard for wellness and personal development "habits" we forget about the habit of just BEING. 😉
Hi @Mirna, I'm a big fan of James Clears' Atomic Habits - well worth a read if you haven't come across him. Funnily enough, I've just posted a link to a free 30 day programme he is running which might be helpful for you.You mentioned your habits become burdonsome. He has 4 laws of building habits - Make it Obvious, Make it Attractive, Make it Easy, Make it Satisfying. He also talks about things like habit-stacking, why things may not have worked previously etc. and therefore how to make them work in the future.Personally, I've been doing yoga every day. My problem is that when I perceive things as an indulgence I struggle to justify giving the time. So, I've managed to flip this with yoga. Next in my sights are meditation and a daily walk ( these still feel too much in the 'luxury' box!).Water - I have a big 2L bottle on my desk that I fill every morning. Even if I know I've not drunk it all by the end of the day, at least I'm not kidding myself!I've also got into the habit of identifying 3 things that I want to achieve during the day. I set this either the night before or in the morning. I set 3 achievable things which could be personal, professional or a mix of both and it has worked for me - I've sometimes tried to put them off and then realised how disappointed I'd be at the end of the day and it's made me do it, and I feel great ticking all 3 off. I'll also often write a 'bonus' thing, something that would be a good-to-do but not essential. Often I get this done too, I think it's something to do with setting intentions, writing them down, makes them more likely to happen.Good luck!
This book is my "bible" – so good!
love that book too - obviously need to put it more in practice :)
I second getting outside as many others have said. This is one of my daily habits alongside drinking 8 glasses of water, exercise, etc. It sounds easy/obvious but makes a huge difference to my mood. And it usually leads to a walk around the neighbourhood (which is exercise!). I moved out of a high floor of a high-rise condo last year and don't take being able to go outside easily for granted anymore.
I guess 1 to 2 hours of walking and exercising a day takes the top spot for me. (I have a large dog, so one hour is my daily baseline.)I feel not drinking any alcohol and journaling are a tie for second place. These are both things I go back and forth on and when I'm back on track I feel so much more grounded and energized.
what kind of "exercise partner" do you have? I looove dogs, yet due to intense travel lifestyle, am resisting getting one :) but if you feel like sharing, would love to see pic of your buddy :))
This is Lili. She's a black lab mix and the sweetest soul ever.
ooooh what a cutie, this totally made my day :))) love lab's, had one as a kid, and one of my close friends has a black lab mix (but a boy), I love joining them for walks :) such a great company <3 :)
This is a great question, and right in time for the New Year! For me, I am working on daily self-care (skincare, brushing/flossing teeth, drinking 64 oz water minimum, daily exercise and movement) and actually working on my Duolingo streak (Japanese, Korean, and Spanish) by completing a skill for each day. This makes me feel productive and like I'm genuinely learning something each day that will help me in both my personal and professional life!
wow, love to duolingo idea, I totally got off with duolingo and actually love it and would be a great one to add more to my days! thanks for the motivation and reminder <3
Of course, glad to hear that you like it! I have a 950+ day streak in Duolingo but spent a lot of time just speeding through repetitive practice over the last year and not really "learning" anything. So this is a commitment for me to really invest time into learning! Good luck with it!
wow, well done on that streak :)
Keeping a daily gratefulness journal is by far the most impactful habit for my mental health! I'd strongly recommend The Miracle Morning book by Hal Elrod, it really helped me optimize my mornings by combining several habits (like meditation, visualization, affirmations, etc) to start my day
uf, I am totally on board with daily gratitude, but have to admit I really disliked that book :D found it very overexplained and redundant in comparison to a great, simple idea that is the core of the book...
😂 yeah I can see that. I also find myself skimming some pages, but also rereading some helpful passages. Valid observation though!
I have three things on my habit tracker: meditate, read for 30 minutes, and workout. Checking off those things each day means I have been able nourish my soul, mind and body.
Daily Exercise Daily MeditationDaily JournalingIn different seasons of my life I’ve tried other habits, but these three have always had the most impact.I’m experimenting with breath work exercises right now also, which is low key changing my life lol.
I've also found a breathwork practice to be super transformational, no lie!
What type of breath work exercise you do?
I used to attend in-person breathwork circles/classes a couple of times a week pre-pandemic which helped me commit/go deeper into the exercise (like a group exercise class) and tap into the benefits of a community, but these days I practice from home, listening to pre-recorded breathwork meditations from some of my favorite teachers- all based in Pranayama, but different individual styles according to the person leading. If you're looking for some links to recordings, I'd be happy to send!
What type of breath work exercise you do? For me Box breathing is my absolute favorite - tried a lot of other things, but as in general I am more of high energy, the type of breathwork best for me is the one that gets me more grounded/focused - and Box breathing does it sooo efficiently in such a short time :)
Can you describe Box breathing? I’m still a newbie and picking up different techniques. :)
I love laying on an acupressure mat during silent meditation. 🧘🏾‍♀️
Acupressure mats are one of those things that feels like it shouldn't work but it feels so good after a 10 minute meditation.
So true. It’s like ouch ooh yeah...sleep!!! 😂
Movement is one of my daily habits. I resonate with @iynna I must take movements. I love looking at my fitness tracker to see that i crushed my daily movement goals. I also watch funny baby videos on instagram or Youtube. I find they remind me not to take myself too serious all the time. I also take a minute each day to record in my digital gratitude journal something I am grateful for that day. I find that it helps me see the beauty in the small things amidst the chaos of everything happening around
Great question! I have been working in my wellness routine before my winter blues hits. Like so many others have said, movement is a big one for me. I have a walking desk that I use for at least 1 mile a day (during the work week). My other big daily habit is knitting. I like to knit a little bit in the morning before work. For me, knitting is a great mindfulness habit. I get the benefits of meditation and a finished hat, sweater, or socks.
oooh knitting sounds soooo zen :D and great thinking on walking desk! I use standing one, and loving it, real game changer in terms of energy at the end of the day :)
for winter blues, I usually skip it cause I run to sunny places during winter, but as this last 2 winters havent been with that much travelling, I jumped to also use vitamin D
Daily movement & meditationMeditation was a real struggle for me at first. I would always skip it because it didn't feel productive - to stay in bed longer or more often get right to working out or to my work! I'll share what helped me in case it's valuable to anyone else: 1) recognizing that I didn't have to "do it right" to get the benefits 2) learning that the benefits don't come in the moment. For me, the benefits have manifested in feeling more grounded, like my mind simultaneously is working better yet slower, I feel less prone to emotional highs and lows. I feel like I have more of a choice in the matter of how I think, feel, and act. 3) I started small. really small, 2 mins. 4) being aware of how it's benefiting me makes me very unlikely to skip a day now. After not traveling for a long time due to covid, I noticed that I was able to enjoy my travels more and not future-trip so much about where I'm going that night or tomorrow and really ENJOY the moment. 5) I also changed my relationship to what "productive" means for me, recognizing that much of what I've gotten in my life that's been meaningful has not been due to pushing through and going that 11th mile, rather it has come naturally.
loving this list! And totally agree on #3 (that was a gamechanger for me too, that and vipassana retreat) and #5 (that is one I am still trying to work on hihi continuous work :)) - thanks for sharing :)
Listening to music, hydrating more, and exercising! Watching stand up comedy helps too 🙂
Drinkg a litre of warm water with (or without) honey after waking up. Hydrates well, and that's a good start to the day! :)
Hey hey, so many great comments, thank you all for sharing :) with all the wonderful ideas, I think for me the one that most "hits home" for me is @charityyoungblood saying "Lastly I will say please make sure to give yourself a little grace! Sometimes we strive so hard for wellness and personal development "habits" we forget about the habit of just BEING." :) My current habits include a daily stretch (and most of the days movement and getting outside - this is THE most grounding activity for me, and also one of the most important mood boosters), meditation (20' of vipassana type of meditation or 5 min box breathing, depending on the day), setting intention for a day (what is one things that i wanna gently pay attention to in that day? eg for some days it might be breathing more, self-checkins, getting centered more often, ) and choosing 3 main priorities for that day (while intention is more general "theme"/value I wanna keep in mind that day, 3 priorities are action oriented goals/things I wanna ensure I get done), and short evening journaling (not every day, and for this one i switch according to period in my life - sometimes is gratitude practice, sometimes just reflection and clearing my thoughts, sometimes +/-/? a feedback method to asses how was my day and what do I wanna keep/improve in the next days).Now, habits that I still wanna develop (and am getting a bit stuck, mostly because my days are extremely diverse, also cause of a lot of travelling, but cause also my work days/hours are very diverse so there is no "habitual schedule") is doing more stretching/movement roughly ever hour that I spend on laptop (just a quick 2min stretch), eating healthier (the part where I get stuck with this is actually planning and making the right kind of food available), breathing more (I tend to forget to breath when I am in "action mode", delivering workshops or typing :D), etc. Now, one thing I am recognizing is also what @charityyoungblood pointed out so well - and that is what is the line between good habits and "habit perfectionism"? :D I dont suffer from perfectionism in other areas on my life, but I do have a habit of having too high pace, very active lifestyle and looove doing things - which often gets me into place where I forget to enjoy more "to give myself a little grace" (wooohooo, love that expression) :)thank you all for sharing your thoughts, I find them very valuable, and I also hope that others found value in this exchange of ideas and practices
I do something called PEPing (stands for Personal Emergence Process) but all it really means is that when I'm feeling big feelings or stuckness or even a lot of joy, I PEP it out - I speak out what's happening in my body, what feelings I'm feeling, and I let them out. Sometimes I do this to a plant, sometimes to my dog, sometimes to my husband, and sometimes to a small WhatsApp group I have with two other people that is designed just for this purpose. It's amazing how much getting stuff out helps me move through it and be present to what's actually going on with me.
wow, such a good reminder - and love the idea with plant and dog :) thanks for sharing, I will test this out :)))
Personally, I start out EVERY DAY with a meditation. I use an app but have also not used apps too- just set a timer for 10 min and practice mindful breaths, body scans, visualizations, etc... I've meditated every day while sitting upright in bed for nearly 2 years straight. It has TRANSFORMED my mornings, my energy, and my stress management for work. It's a really lovely ritual.
Making time to connect with friends who "fill up your cup" (I define this as they leave you feeling more energized, lighter, and happier). My best friend and I live in different cities so we'll call one another to catch up while we're doing a task we've been putting off, or something that makes life easier (doing the dishes, walking somewhere, driving somewhere, folding laundry, etc.). Works best when you skip the small talk and talk as if no time has elapsed at all. Hope this helps!
I turn off most if not all messaging notifications and set aside intentional time for when I reply to them. The closest ones in my life know that if it's something urgent they can call me. :) I also always take a walk after having breakfast/once the coffee starts to kick-in regardless of whether I plan to workout that day.
yessssssss!!! i love this notification thing, I am trying to do it lately, and am doing it on many days for couple of h, but do have A Lot of space to do it more, and indeed I think that would be an absolute game changer! thanks for sharing, such a great motivation :)
A consistent bedtime and wake up time! I achieve it by setting the bedtime reminder on my phone (one time for weekdays, and 1 hour later on weekends) so that I maintain a very stable circadian rhythm. On weekdays I do 22:30 asleep (getting ready for bed by 22:15) and 5:45 wake up because my personal sleep need is 7h a night (I wear a Fitbit to bed to track my sleep and this timing is what consistently means I hit my 7h target). Adjust to what works for you of course! I find that means I don’t really even need the alarm in the morning, although I also use a wake up lamp in the winter - I live in the Netherlands and it’s dark until around 8am here in the winter! On weekends I shift everything back 1h, although to be honest sometimes I so tired by 11pm that I don’t make it to 11:30. My alarm goes off at 7:30am on weekends but honestly I wake up without it by 7am most mornings! Makes the world of difference for me! 😴
oh talk to me about wake up lamp! I am thinking of buying one, as I am veeery driven by light and most of alarms feel a bit too stressful for me.... I was postponing buying it as i was spending most of my days travelling, but as in the last year I am home for big part of time, this might be the right time to go for it :DWhich one do you have, any recommendations on what to pay attention to when buying one?I was looking into couple of Philips models and was thinking to go with one of the cheaper ones, but was afraid to make a mistake in choosing the right model...
Honestly, I got a rather cheap, no-name brand one (it’s called Uply) and I find it does the trick. I like that it has 2 alarms you can program so that I can set my weekday wake-up and my weekend wake-up times separately. It has just enough settings you can adjust (brightness, how long it takes to light up, alarm sounds, etc) And it’s small, which I also like. Maybe the only thing that would be nice would have been ( if I had been willing to spend more on it before trying it out) if I could program days of the week instead of having to manually remember to switch it Friday and Sunday nights. But then again, I haven’t forgotten yet.
sounds great, thanks for sharing! Could I please ask just one more question - does it have alarm that is fairly gentle and that starts very gradually? I find most of alarms too startling hehe
It’s not incremental, but it has some really gentle sounds you can use instead of a jarring traditional “alarm”. I personally find the songbirds one quite unobtrusive, especially since I’m basically already awake by the time the alarm sounds. It has other nature sounds to choose from as well. Again it’s all pretty low tech since it’s not an expensive one, but I’m happy with it for the last 4 months I’ve been using it.
I know this isn't "tiny", but it has been a game-changer: joining F45 (group High Intensity Interval Training franchise) I was super against group classes like F45, Barry's, Orange Theory, etc. before COVID and I got burnt out working out by myself with my dumbbells & jump rope at home so I decided to join late last year after a $35 trial. It's more expensive than a membership to Equinox, but I go more frequently than I would go to gym and I definitely push myself a lot harder than if I were to work out by myself at a gym or any other class offered by a gym. I've noticed a huge difference in my physique, but most importantly, my mental and emotional health. I'm happier, more positive, and less anxious all around...even my partner has mentioned this every day for the last month or so. To be transparent, before COVID, I used to wake up at 5:30am to get to the gym before starting my work day at 7:30am on weekdays. COVID hit and I lost all of my physical routines (didn't even walk outside for at least three months and would wake up 3 minutes before my first meeting) and slowly built it back up. I started with 30 min walks, then 1 hour walks, then 15 min jogs, to 30 minute jogs, and so on and so's been a real journey getting to 4 to 5 classes of HIIT a week, but it's been insanely helpful.
this is so valuable @jjYu thank you for sharing :) I've been "solo workout/sports" person for most of my life, and lately I am also noticing that my motivation is slowing down a bit so I was looking to schedule more sporty activities with friends and was actually thinking that going back to an occasional class might be a good idea for a while. Your post totally reminded me to put it in practice - thank you :)
I recently wrote about experimenting with a new gratitude practice. I know the benefits of incorporating positive energy and intention into your daily life but have struggled to be consistent with it. Check out some of our learnings from this experiment with my cofounder.
- taking slack / email off my phone- walking outside at least 20 minutes a day- not looking at my phone before bed / first thing in the AM (this one is hard!)I'm fully remote now so it has allowed me a lot of flexibility but at times also makes me feel like I never leave work? I had to add some separation by putting in some controls with my phone. Also since I'm remote (& live in Boston) it was easy to not go outside, especially when it's cold and I do think in the end that was negatively affecting me as well.
@kellygebo such an important boundaries, I am in phase when I want to re-do "not looking at my phone before bed / first thing in the AM (this one is hard!)" as I got a bit sidetracked with it, thanks for the reminder how important it is <3 :)
I do ~10 min of meditation with Headspace (or shorter when really pressed for time) and morning pages (Julie Cameron style). I'm working on trying to regain an exercise habit. I just always do better with that one if it's either a group thing or I know I have someone waiting for me like a trainer.