If 2020 taught us anything, it would be the importance of intentional rest and healthy habits. Just because we’re all stuck at home, doesn’t mean we don’t get exhausted. We’ve learned the hard way that work-from-home stress is real, that quick but consistent workouts are totally possible, and that sanitation is a no-brainer if we want to avoid getting sick at all costs.
Pandemic or no pandemic, we want to stay healthy this 2021. If you’ve fallen off the track before with your New Year’s Resolutions, it’s never too late! Turn your goals into small, doable, healthy habits — eventually, you’ll find yourself where you dream to be.
10 healthy habits for 2021
1. Drink a glass of water upon waking up
You don’t need any more reminding of the benefits of drinking enough water. What you need to know is how to actually remind yourself to sustain this habit. An easier way to practise this is by drinking water right after you wake up.
There are many beliefs surrounding the practice of drinking water in the morning: Some studies claim it reduces your calorie intake and promotes weight loss. Others say it boosts your mental performance. Regardless (as there are no established pieces of evidence yet), developing the habit of drinking water first thing in the morning paves the way to a more hydrated day.
Keep a water bottle on your bedside table to remind yourself to stay hydrated. Take it a step further and lug the bottle around all day: Chances are, you’ll be drinking enough water even if you just refill your bottle twice.
2. Take your vitamins every day
COVID-19 has led to higher sales in multivitamins, for obvious reasons. Stay healthy and take your immune-boosting vitamins religiously! Consult with your doctor for the best vitamins for you.
Take in as many vitamins as you can from food, too. Dietary supplements are called what they are for a reason — they only increase your nutrients, but they can’t replace a healthy diet. Eat more citrus fruits and leafy greens, as these are known natural providers of vitamins C and E.
3. Eat with mindfulness
Many of us turned towards stress-eating last year; however, most of us realised sooner than later that constantly eating our feelings do us more harm than good. This year, try to eat food that will provide the nutrients that you need and avoid food that makes you feel sluggish or stressed.
To practise mindful eating, avoid multitasking during meal times. Pay attention to your plate — not the TV! — and take note of when you feel satisfied. A good rule of thumb to remember: Don’t eat until you’re full — eat until you’re no longer hungry.
4. Work out at least 15 minutes a day
Now that we rarely go out, home workouts are more feasible. If you haven’t joined the trend of at-home Barre, HIIT, Pilates, or yoga, it’s not too late! Resolve to work out consistently — especially if you’re normally sitting behind a desk. Soon, you’ll reap the benefits of having an active body.
If you have enough space and the right resources, you can also consider jogging, biking, or even going on leisurely walks in your spare time.
5. Stretch during breaks
If you live a relatively stationary lifestyle, make it a habit to stretch every now and then. Say, you work online 9-to-5. It’s important to take breaks to keep the body aches away. Maybe try incorporating stretches every time you finish a task — this way, it becomes easier for you to remember to move your limbs.
6. Fix your sleeping habits
Most of us found our sleeping schedules wrecked by the pandemic; but as most of us know, having enough sleep strengthens our immune system. Now is the time to get back on track — schedule your sleep so that you have a regular bedtime.
If you have to condition yourself to sleep at the proper time, try turning off the lights and drinking warm milk or decaffeinated tea an hour before bedtime.
7. Practise proper breathing techniques
When life gets too overwhelming, take a step back and breathe. This is a healthy habit we all need, especially now that we’re facing life in the new normal.
Experts advise that deep breathing must be done in a comfortable position: Lie on your back or sit with your back supported. Breathe in through your nose for five seconds, then exhale through your mouth for another five seconds.
8. Keep a gratitude journal
You need a healthy mind for a healthy body, so keep your outlook positive with gratitude. Even in the darkest of times, you can surely find blessings if you look close enough. And when writing down things you are thankful for, blessings become more apparent to you.
9. Go on social media breaks
Social media can truly become addicting; at the same time, it can also exhaust as mentally. Don’t hesitate to go on a social media detox when you need to.
Unless it’s your job to stay on Facebook or Instagram, enjoy the luxury of being free from the endless wormhole of bad news. If you can’t possibly let go of your accounts, practise unfollowing toxic pages instead.
10. Save for the rainy day
As 2020 torturously reminded us, we have to prepare for the worst. We never know when we’ll need extra cash to sustain ourselves; so this 2021, make sure you pay yourself first.
Before going on unnecessary shopping splurges, put aside money for your savings or investment fund. Having financial freedom will allow you to live with less stress and grant you more time to enjoy life.
Take this list of healthy habits as a guide for your 2021 goals. We’re looking forward to seeing a stronger and better version of yourself by the end of this year!