Sometimes, it can seem like we’re all being told everything we should be doing. Eat more cauliflower! Try this new workout that will make your butt look amazing! Meditate every morning! It’s exhausting to be told what to do but never communicated how exactly it will affect our health and our bodies.
Instead, we should be focusing on easy, actionable, healthy habits that actually cause a change in our lives over time. Boosting our sex lives isn’t much different from our overall health — sex isn’t independent of the rest of your mental and physical health. Adopting healthy habits can improve all the areas of your life, sex included. So, when we add these habits into our day-to-day routines, there’s more happening than increased energy and a higher sense of confidence.
So, you want to get healthier and pump up your sex life? We’ve got you covered. Here are our top five habits that will positively impact your overall health and your libido:
1. Keep work out of the bedroom
We’ve all been there. We sit in bed with the laptop catching up on e-mails or scroll through Instagram on our phones. It seems harmless when it’s happening, but over time, you’ll start to notice it’s difficult to turn off the work brain when you’re in the bedroom. Next thing you know, you’re thinking about your to-do list while you’re doing the damn thing!
The easiest way to get out of this mindset is to slowly take technology out of your room — no more writing or replying to Instagram DMs just before bed. Set a designated area of your home to do work and leave the bed for sleeping and other bed-related activities. You don’t need a separate office space to do this either! Simply creating a nook in the corner of your small studio for working or only working on your couch can help keep the work brain out of the bed.
This is a lesson in becoming more present and focused with your partner. When you’re able to let go of work or anything else going on in your life for a little bit of time to enjoy moments with your partner, you can connect on a deeper level, which in turn means getting it on is much more enjoyable. Less stress, better sex — everyone wins here!
Obviously, getting consistent exercise is good for you. We all know that by now. However, exercise (in various capacities) is amazing for your sex life. (Oh, great, another reason we need to be working out!)
Exercise (whether it’s yoga, pilates, kickboxing, weightlifting, running, or whatever you enjoy!) is an amazing way to decrease stress. Not only does it help you cope with current stress, but when all those endorphins release, your body is less likely to build up the same stress and worry from before. Stress can be one of the biggest reasons women lose their libido, so if you’re trying to have better sex, this is a good one to kick to the curb first.
Getting regular exercise is also an amazing way to improve stamina and flexibility, which in turn increase sexual pleasure. Exercise is another great way to boost your confidence, and we all know how it feels to have sex when you’re not really feeling like yourself. When you’re feelin’ yourself, sex is bound to be a great time.
Communication with your partner is more than a simple “how was work?!” every day. It’s important in any relationship to keep learning and growing with your partner. Whether you’re in a LDR or have been together for a long time, keeping the spark alive emotionally can keep up the passion in the bedroom. Go on real dates (which can be especially helpful for those of us who live with our partners!), discover a new hobby you both like, and practice active listening. Making your partner know he or she is heard in the relationship and that their feelings or ideas are validated can go a long way in making you both feel more comfortable and at ease with each other.
Aside from still taking the time to get to know the person, there’s a lot of sexual communication to engage in. You can tell your partner that you want to try something new(a new position, role-playing, or different days or times than your norm are all great ideas) or talk about what you like and don’t like. This could happen before sex (this could make some great foreplay!), during, or after.
Make it a habit to talk to your partner about sex. It can often feel uncomfortable (weird, but true!) to discuss these things, but this can only improve the experience you two have together. Once you start to become more comfortable discussing these things with him or her, it will be easier to actually implement and try out all those new things you’ve discussed with one another.
4. Ask the experts
Don’t be afraid to talk to experts when you have questions about your sex life. OG/GYNs and sex therapists are there to help with whatever questions you may have! No matter how TMI or insignificant they may seem, your questions are valid. Make it a habit to write down (or put them as a note in your phone) any questions or thoughts you have and bring this list to any doctors appointments you have.
While they’re obviously not experts, this also goes for talking to friends or other loved ones. It’s comforting to get second opinions or thoughts and ideas from your girlfriends. Talking to them is generally more comforting than a doctor, and they might have personal experience with the same situation.
5. Get more sleep
Sleep is basically the cure-all to everything — acne, stress, body aches and pains, and yes, good sex. There are many studies saying having more sex can cause better sleep, but there is also evidence that sleep can cause great sex, too! Lack of sleep can increase the levels of cortisol in your body while decreasing sex hormones like estrogen and testosterone. This can cause stress, which we’ve already established is not great if you’re trying to boost your sex drive.
There’s also the simple fact of being too tired. You had a long day a work, came home, cooked dinner, watched an episode of The Handmaid’s Tale, and we’re supposed to still have the energy for sex after that? Not getting the rest you deserve (yes ladies, sleep is a right, not a luxury!) is enough to make any of us go crazy, let alone not want to have sex.
Try changing your bedding, investing in a new mattress (this is for your health, people!), or rearranging your room to be the ultimate calm oasis you’ve always dreamed of. You could also try a weighted blanket, taking melatonin before bed, or keeping your tech out of the bedroom. (See tip #1!)
What habits have improved your sex life? How have you implemented these into your routine? Tell us in the comments!
This article originally appeared on The Everygirl on May 3, 2019.