Health and happiness mean something different to everyone – it’s ‘bio-individual’ as we call it. And so, to tap into this idea, I reached out to some wonderful women in my life, to find out what simple healthy habits they use to keep them feeling healthier, happier or more balanced.
This was such a lovely post to create. Apart from learning about their healthy habits, it also reminded me of two important things:
Firstly, we are all unique. Each and every one of us has our own needs and preferences. And while there are a few common healthy habits that make us all feel good – like eating healthy foods, moving our bodies and drinking water – our journey to health and happiness is a personal one. We all need to trust ourselves more and nourish ourselves in ways that feel right for us at this moment in time.
Secondly, we can learn so much from one another. While we do have our own unique needs, connecting with one another reminds us of other ways to nourish ourselves and gives us inspiration. And so, while we’re all on our own journey, we can still find common ground and keep each other inspired along the way.
Asking these wonderful women in my life the question “What’s one simple healthy habit that you’ve applied to your life, that has helped you find better balance, health and/or happiness?” got some great answers. I hope they inspire you on your journey as much as they’ve inspired me on mine.
Embracing a variety of healthy fats and fermented foods.
“One of the best dietary changes I ever made was cutting out low-fat foods, reducing high carb and/or sugary foods, and embracing an abundance of healthy fats from various sources. Not only do the higher fat foods satisfy me more and for longer but my energy is more stable. I also believe that my skin and hair benefits from these foods. And, much research proves the benefits healthy fats have on hormone and gut health. My favourite fatty foods include AVO!!, nuts, nut butter, seeds, coconut oil and cream, grass-fed organic butter, and eggs. I use these abundantly on salads, in cooked meals, on oats, out the jar, and even in my coffee.
This brings me to another healthy dietary habit and that is eating cultured or fermented foods. I love kefir and natural yoghurts (both organic dairy or coconut varieties), as well as sauerkraut, which I have on most cooked or fresh meals. It’s great to pair with a high protein dish as it assists in breaking it down in the gut. The gut flora adores fermented foods and a healthy gut = a healthy mind and mood…”
Going on daily walks and finding a healthy balance with food.
“I’ve found that exercise, however moderate, always helps me to get out of a funk. Not only does it make me feel better physically, but it’s especially good for my mental health. Even just a quick, daily walk around the block helps to get the blood flowing and clears the mind. It’s an all-round winner!
I also don’t believe in fad diets. For me, it’s all about maintaining a healthy balance when it comes to food. I find is more sustainable in the long run. Plus, life is too short not to enjoy a glass of wine, or a good piece of chocolate now and then!”
Calming and clearing the mind with meditation.
“Meditation makes me feel happy and healthy. It puts me in a headspace where I must slow down and let go and not think about to-do lists or the random thoughts continually rattling around in my head. I immediately feel my mind clear and my stress levels lower when I focus solely on my breath, on a mantra or words during a guided meditation. It can be difficult for a variety of reasons, but I never regret my time spent meditating.
Now, if only I could lose weight while sitting on my cushion!”
Making a pledge to connect with nature.
“Living in a city means I am constantly surrounded by people, traffic, pollution, buildings and a lot of noise. Noticing the positive effect spending time in nature has on me, I have made an internal pledge to make the most of my spare time to connect with nature. From spending my vacation hiking around the Azores for a week to making the most of the weekends to escape to the countryside or even as simple as visiting my local park one afternoon. It all contributes to my sense of peace, happiness and freedom.”
Getting up an hour earlier than necessary.
“A habit that I’ve started in the past year or so is getting up an hour earlier than necessary. This was (and sometimes still is) a struggle when that alarm clock starts chiming, but it makes it so much easier to have a complete day. This is different for every person, but I need my “me” time with a relaxing coffee, some pump-up jams, and a fueling breakfast to start the day.
An important part of keeping up this habit is meal-prepping lunch ahead of time so all I have to do in the morning is take my lunch out of the fridge and put it in my bag. This gives me less to do in the morning and more time for myself.
Now, this is my healthy and happy habit on an ideal day. While most of the time it does happen, there are days when the heaviness of my eyes win and I end up being rushed in the morning. But, the difference in my day proves how critical this one hour of “me” is. If I don’t have the time for a filling breakfast, for example, I end up wasting money on breakfast pastries and snacks throughout the day that don’t satisfy my mind or body. So, rise and shine with a morning routine!”
Starting my day with a big glass of water.
“One super simple habit that I have been practising for the past few years is that I always start my day by drinking a big glass of water. Sure, it may sound super simple, but it actually plays a huge role in both my physical and mental health. It helps remind me to start the day on a healthy note and to be grateful for the fact that I am fortunate enough to actually have access to clean drinking water (ever since watching the new Netflix documentary on Bill Gates, this has been huge for me). It gives me a sense of control over how I start my day (in a super simple way!) and also encourages me to make healthier decisions in general and to continue drinking water throughout the day.
Now I rarely leave the house without throwing a water bottle in my bag and it’s almost always my drink of choice when eating out. There are a whole lot of things we can’t control in life, but loving our body by supplying it with one of its most basic needs is something that we definitely can.”
Keeping healthy and balanced with bullet journaling.
“My habit for this year that I have applied is bullet journaling. I have set up a journal to keep track of my tasks, ideas and dreams. It’s got a simple layout and I have personalised it according to my needs. It is a great way to write down all the things I need to do, my plans, exercise routine and meals I had during the day. Basically, anything I want to keep track of. I also created a section to add things I want to check out like exhibitions, movies, books. I love it as I have everything in one place. This journal helps me keep up a healthy routine and feel more balanced.“
Taking my exercise outside so that I can benefit from the fresh air.
“To find a healthy balance, I try to do at least some of my exercise outdoors. These days we are so trapped in our houses, offices and cars that we don’t get the full benefit of the sunshine and fresh air. I now jog with my dogs at least three times a week just to be outside and enjoy doing a Sunday yoga class in the park… breathing in that fresh air during my flow routines makes all the difference to obtaining the maximum benefit out of yoga breathing exercises!”
Nourishing my mind and never skipping breakfast.
“One of my healthy habits is about mental nourishment. I try to do something I love every day. That could be reading my favourite book or spending quality time with my loved ones.
I also try not to take things personally, like any negativity that sometimes comes from the others. I try to remember that they are only human and most probably have their own personal things going on. So I just breathe and think about it that way.
Another healthy habit I have is that I never skip breakfast. Most of the time I have a salty breakfast, which helps me not to have cravings until lunchtime.“
Are you feeling inspired take on any new healthy habits?
After getting these contributions for this blog post, I was so inspired. It was wonderful to get a sneak-peek into each of their health journeys and to learn more about what makes each of them feel nourished. And, even though I’m constantly working on myself, these wonderful women have deeply inspired me in so many ways.
After reading this post, what healthy habits are you going to work on so that you feel more nourished? Leave a comment or send me a DM on Instagram and let me know.
Keep building those healthy habits one at a time, and you’ll set yourself on a truly sustainable path to health and happiness.