Who says you need a new year to make resolutions? I’ve often found myself waiting for January 1st to reprioritize my health and well-being (only for those goals to end up being short-lived), but the start of a new season can have the same impact. Something about moving into fall has inspired a shift in my healthy-living mindset—and I’m leaning in.
If you’re also looking for a few easy ways to be your best self this season, I’ve outlined 10 lifestyle changes I’m making to improve my health. From a new morning routine to taking more workday breaks, here are the ways I’m focusing on myself moving forward. Read on for more!
After years of “winging it” for dinner night after night, I finally started planning our weeknight meals—and it has been a game-changer. But, for some reason, that skill has yet to translate into planned weekday lunches for myself, which usually leaves me scrambling to make something quickly when my mid-day hunger hits during busy work hours.
The no-brainer solution? Territory Foods, a healthy meal delivery service that brings chef-crafted and delicious prepared meals right to my doorstep. With a rotating weekly menu of 50+ meal options, Territory Foods offers allergy-friendly dishes that can be prepared in just two minutes, which is perfect for my workday lunch break. Plus, with meals starting at just $10.95, my credit card bill is spared those expensive takeout meals I often end up ordering at the last minute.
Not only are Territory Food‘s prepared meals the freshest and fastest way to eat clean, but the company promotes local businesses and thoughtfully sources dishes to have a minimal impact on the environment. And they’re even more committed to giving back by partnering with Feeding America to donate meals to those in need in your local community.
2. Follow a Morning Routine
Right now, my typical morning routine consists of waking up and jumping right into the business of my day. In an effort to take a little space for myself and be more intentional with my time, I’ve added an easy routine into my mornings and, so far, it’s really changed my outlook on the day ahead.
Now, I set my alarm an hour earlier (made easier by my newly-minted nighttime routine—more on that below!) to get ready, leisurely make and enjoy a morning cup of coffee (or two), check emails, and look at my schedule. Building in this little bit of extra time for myself definitely helps start me off on the right foot for a productive and healthy day instead of one feeling crazed and busy from the start.
3. Practice Mindfulness
Some benefits of practicing mindfulness include stress reduction, a boost to your working memory, increased focus, and less emotional reactivity. And evidence also suggests mindfulness meditation might even increase immune functioning. From meditation to yoga to practicing self-compassion, mindfulness can be found in many ways throughout a busy day and lead to many positive health shifts for both mind and body. I’m working this into my morning coffee ritual, by taking a short walk without listening to a podcast or music, and by meditating as part of my nighttime routine.
4. Wear SPF Every Day
I know this seems like a no-brainer, but how often do you actually do it? Buying the right product(s) and building an SPF application step into my morning skincare routine has allowed me to check this healthy habit off my to-do list each day. I highly recommend Supergoop!’s Glowscreen to not only give you sun protection but to also give your skin a glowy, hydrated look that will last all day long.
6. Move My Body
I’ve always had a hard time building a consistent workout schedule into my days or weeks, so this season, I’ve giving myself some grace and instead committing to simply moving my body at least once a day. This can be as easy as taking the stairs instead of my building’s elevator, going for a quick walk around the block at lunchtime to get some fresh air, or ending my day with a 20-minute yoga class. Do whatever works for you and just know that doing anything you can to get up and get moving is a big step towards a healthier lifestyle.
7. Keep Up with Doctor’s Appointments
The pandemic really threw a wrench in my yearly doctor’s appointments. And while things still aren’t totally back to normal, I know getting regular doctors visits back into my schedule is a health priority I really need to make for myself. If you haven’t already, start with making plans to visit your primary care physician, OBGYN, and dentist. I’m sure you’re not letting your kids skip doctor’s appointments, so be sure to give the same care to yourself, mama.
5. Drink More Water
Increasing my daily water intake has been a New Year’s resolution of mine for more years than I’d like to admit, and I’ve yet to make it a habit—until now. I recently purchased a pretty, new water bottle to help with my drinking goals hour by hour and it’s really encouraging me stay on track. Staying hydrated has already helped relieve my usual screen-induced headaches and keeps me feeling energized and focused throughout the workday.
8. Prioritize Work Breaks
I’ll sadly admit that I used to work through lunches and rarely take work breaks in hopes of not interrupting my productivity streaks. But instead of keeping me focused, working for too long without taking breaks ultimately led to me zoning out and crashing due to tiredness and too much screen time by the end of the day. I’ve now realized the healthier route is allowing myself to take short pauses between meetings and projects to stretch, meditate, or just simply step away from my computer.
A study once showed the most productive people clock 52 minutes of work for every 17 break minutes. If you work an eight-hour day, that can be about seven breaks. That seems like a lot, I know, but even taking a few minutes here and there to refocus has done wonders for my mind and body and will be a healthy habit I’m keeping from here on out.
9. Develop of a Nighttime Routine
Similar to introducing a morning routine into my schedule, I’ve also started prioritizing a nighttime routine during my evenings to help me wind-down and really get a good night’s sleep. Instead of just zonking out in front of the TV late at night, I’m now mindfully setting aside the remote (and my phone) to get into my PJs, brush my teeth and do my nighttime skincare regimen, and climb into bed with a book. When I’m done reading, I’ve been using the Headspace app to do a few minutes of a sleep meditation to focus on slow breathing and get ready for a restful night.
10. Take Time for Myself
This healthy habit basically encompasses many of the things I’ve outlined above, but it’s so important. From prioritizing work breaks and developing a solid morning and nighttime routine, to practicing mindfulness and scheduling regular doctor’s appointments, all of these things contribute to much-needed “me time” after a long year. And don’t forget to indulge in other things that fill your cup as well. Reconnecting with a friend, having a glass of wine or watching a guilty-pleasure TV show all count as much-needed self-care. We’re often so busy taking care of kids and partners that we forget about ourselves—but consider this the permission you need to take care of yourself, too.
This post was in partnership with Territory Foods but all of the opinions within are those of The Everymom editorial board. We only recommend products we genuinely love.