September has been designated as Self Improvement Month, a time in which individuals are encouraged to take some time to work on themselves. Whether you’re ready to give your life a complete 180 or you’d just like to add some more healthy habits into your routine, now’s the time to get inspired to make some worthwhile changes. If you’re looking for a place to get started, don’t fret – we’ve provided five helpful tips to get you started on prioritizing your personal well-being during Self Improvement Month.
- Try Meditating
These days, stress seems to have become a staple in everyone’s life. Whether you’re a driven worker or full-time parent, you’re constantly on the go and piled with endless responsibilities. In our hectic lives, it’s important to take a few minutes to yourself every day to relax and unwind. Meditation can put you in just the right mindset you need to get through your busy day. If you’ve tried meditating before, you may have seen the wonders it can do for your mental well-being.
If you’ve never tried meditating, you might be skeptical. It might take you awhile to get on board with the idea of meditating and the idea of taking a few minutes that could otherwise go toward checking items off your endless to-do list. But you’ll soon realize that the rejuvenating feeling you can get from meditating makes it worth taking the time to yourself. Start small, meditating for only three minutes a day, focusing on your breathing and the flow of your body, then gradually work your way up to five minutes. Then keep going, increasing the amount of time you’ll spend meditating each day.
- Add Some Color to Your Plate
Startling research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that only one in 10 American adults is consuming the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables. The CDC reports that adults should eat between 1 ½ and two cups of fruit and two to three cups of vegetables every day. If this sounds like a lot to you, it might be time to think of some creative ways to get some vitamins and minerals.
Some people work to get their recommended amount of fruits and vegetables by knocking them out in one meal. For instance, they might have an apple and two clementines for breakfast and a huge bowl of spinach, cucumbers, sweet potatoes and other veggies in a salad for lunch. If you’re not ready to quit your favorite egg breakfast and a sandwich for lunch, you might think about getting more creative. Instead of eggs and bacon for breakfast, why not try an omelet with ham and a cup of diced vegetables? Then at lunch, add some lettuce, onions and tomatoes to your basic turkey and cheese sandwich. Even the smallest changes can do wonders for your health.
- Set Small Goals
You probably have a number of goals that you’d like to meet in the foreseeable future. Maybe you’ve set a goal for yourself to get a promotion at work, or perhaps you’re trying to chip away at the novel you’ve wanted to write. It’s great to have big goals like these, but it can also be beneficial to your own sense of confidence to set smaller, more achievable goals that you can accomplish regularly.
What exactly are small goals? They’re the ones that you have to work toward but don’t necessarily require weeks or months of hard work and dedication to achieve. In addition to setting a goal to go down two dress sizes, go even smaller with what you hope to achieve. While it may take four months for you to reach your desired size, it might take you just one week to see a difference on the scale. Rather than rewarding your success only once during this four-month period, celebrate the smaller victories too, like losing two pounds or saying no to cake at a work event. Small goals are the building blocks that add up to large feats; don’t ignore these little accomplishments.
- Challenge Your Bad Sleeping Habits
Getting enough sleep – and doing it at consistent times – is key to practicing wellness. Practically everything – from your happiness and health to your productivity levels – revolves around the amount of sleep you’re getting and the snooze schedule you’ve maintained. It’s healthy to get enough sleep – or catch up on it over the weekend – but the key to maintaining a consistent sleep schedule isn’t by snoozing late into the morning. The best way to start (and stick to) a regular wake-up routine is by making sure you’re going to bed at a reasonable hour.
Try to avoid technology an hour before bed, foregoing scrolling and Netflix binging for reading or meditating. Try to avoid using sleep aids, substituting them instead for natural remedies, like lavender and tea tree essential oils. You might even find that using a sound machine helps you doze off. Don’t drop these habits over the weekend. If something special comes up – you’re going to an evening wedding or your old friends are in town for the weekend – you might want to stay out later than you should. Even though you’ll need to sleep in the next morning, don’t beat yourself up over these slip-ups; it’s important to live your life.
- Spruce Up Your Living Space
If you’re a neat, type-A individual, the tidiness and state of your home directly impacts your mental health and activity levels. When your house is cluttered or generally looking dull, you may not feel as motivated as you would when it’s spotless and bright. You’ve probably encountered this situation: Your dishes have piled up after a packed few days and instead of cooking (and adding to this mess) you order a pizza instead. It happens to the best of us.
Keeping your home tidy and well-decorated can improve your mood and motivation. If you’ve had the same decorations for a long time, you might have started to get used to their existence on your tabletops and walls. Give yourself a mood lifter, something new that uplifts your spirits. A gorgeous bouquet of flowers can be a great addition to your living space, giving you a nice pop of color and fresh scent. Whether you’re looking for something small and sweet or big and blossoming, you can add some color and joy to your home.