9 Healthy Habits to Start Now

9 Healthy Habits to Start Now

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, which seems perfectly timed. The global Coronavirus pandemic has rocked our world and daily lives. We’ve all had to find new ways to do things – from our jobs to simple errands like grocery shopping. The stress and anxiety of this have had and will continue to have a huge impact on mental health. Now more than ever, it is important that we find ways to cope. Start a few healthy habits now to continue beyond COVID-19 and make mental health a top priority moving forward.

Practice positive thinking and self-talk. How you think about and perceive yourself can have a powerful effect on how you feel. Check in with yourself regularly, and when you find yourself in a negative mental space,  think about how you can turn it around. Give yourself credit for accomplishments and repeat positive affirmations, find ways to laugh, like watching a funny video or listening to a stand-up routine, and surround yourself with positive people, who can help lift your spirits. All of these tactics will help you stay in a positive mindset.

Show gratitude. Research shows that people who express gratitude daily have more energy, less anxiety, and better physical health. How you do this is up to you. From keeping a gratitude journal to writing a daily gratitude list, or just contemplating what you’re grateful for on a regular basis, focusing on the good and future opportunities can help you disconnect from negative thoughts.

Breathe. It is important to give yourself breaks right now. When it all seems too much, try a breathing exercise. Mindful breathing, where you become aware of your breath and focus on it, is a form of calming meditation and one of the best ways to lower stress in the body.

Get outside. Humans feel more relaxed and at ease in nature. Spending time outdoors has been shown to lower stress, blood pressure, and heart rate. Plus, exposure to sunlight will increase your body’s production of Vitamin D, which boosts your serotonin levels.

Exercise. Working out releases endorphins and is a proven stress-reliever. Aim for 30 minutes of exercise per day to feel the maximum benefit. Start by looking for small ways to incorporate more movement into your day, like taking a short walk or taking the stairs. Explore different online classes and tutorials to find what works best for you and your body.

Eat well. Food fuels your body and mind. Making healthy choices can help keep your energy level and mood stable. A balanced diet should include fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy, lean protein, and limited amounts of sodium, saturated fat, and added sugar. Don’t forget to watch what you’re drinking, too. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water and limit your caffeine and alcohol intake.

Get a good night’s sleep. Sleep doesn’t just help you feel well-rested the following day. It allows your body and brain to function better. While you sleep, your internal organs and processes are hard at work, repairing your muscles, consolidating your memory, releasing hormones, and more. When you’ve gotten adequate sleep, you can think more clearly, focus better, and have quicker reflexes. Essentially, you operate at a higher level.

Focus on an activity you enjoy. There’s a good reason flour and other baking supplies have depleted from grocery store shelves. Focused activities such as baking, cooking, gardening, and reading can occupy your entire body and mind, allowing you to remove your focus from what’s troubling you. Plus, the rewards you gain from these activities, whether a tasty treat or beautiful garden, give you a sense of achievement and pride.

Prioritize relationships. Though we are still physically distancing ourselves from friends and family during this time, it is important to stay socially close and maintain strong connections with others. Don’t ignore your innate need for social support and interaction. It enriches our lives and helps keep us happy and well.


Coldwell Banker Caine hopes you stay safe and well during this time. To learn more about our COVID-19 policies and updates, click here. #CBCaine #HomeTogether #CaineThrive