By now you’ve probably been told dozens of things that you should do every day—floss, learn something new, do something that scares you—you get the picture. Luckily for you, I’ve prioritized and simplified that long list to just ten. Now, ten half-hour activities add up to five hours, which is not at all doable for many of us considering our busy schedules. The key to successfully completing each of these daily is to find a way to make these activities overlap so that you hit two birds with one stone.
You’re going to be stuck with your body for a long time, hopefully (*knock on wood*). That means you’ve got to take care of it. Medical professionals suggest getting a minimum of 30 minutes of physical activity each day. Not all of us have time to go to the gym, but you do have time to do some morning or evening stretches, walk or to take the stairs instead of the elevator. It doesn’t have to be all at once, just get it done. You won’t regret it in the future.
It almost seems silly to include eating in a list of activities you should be doing every day. Obviously you should feed yourself daily. I included this in the list because what I mean is that you should sit down and eat for at least a half hour each day. Too often are we on the go and we end up skimping on the time we allot ourselves to eat. There are so many health benefits to taking your time while eating. Instead of downing that burger in two minutes, force yourself to take your time and turn that into twenty minutes. Then turn that ten seconds spent on fries into ten minutes and bingo, there’s your thirty minutes of sitting down and eating for at least one meal.
We’re social creatures, though my introverted side tries to convince me otherwise from time to time. That being said, it’s important to speak to people—friends, strangers, coworkers, clients, whatever. Don’t expect to be able to carry out a 30-minute conversation with one other person each day, but it’s easy to have multiple short conversations throughout the day.
4. Listening to Music
Everyone loves music, but would you believe that it’s actually good for you too? It’s been proven to not only cheer you up, but also ease pain, help with focus, elevate workout performance and keep you calm. It’s basically the ultimate stress-combatant. Thirty minutes is only about ten songs. You can easily meet the 30-minute goal (like I do with Spotify) while you get ready in the morning.
I’ve already mentioned how busy our schedules are. America is the most stressed nation in the world, and stress is one of the leading causes of medical problems. You deserve to be able to empty your mind and relax for a little bit every single day. Watch TV, nap or sit on your porch with your cat (cat purring is scientifically proven to be relaxing, FYI).
6. Something Productive
And while it’s okay to relax by being lazy, that doesn’t mean you can get away every day without doing something productive. If somehow you manage to get a day off where you don’t have the responsibilities of work or homework, find something to do anyway. It’ll give you a temporary sense of purpose that will serve as a little self-esteem booster (along with being the most stressed nation, the USA also reports the lowest self-esteem).
7. Cleaning / Organizing
This could double as your “something productive,” really. You’ll feel much better about yourself and your home if you manage to keep it, your car, and your office clean and organized. You’ll find that your life starts to feel much simpler too.
8. Caring for Personal Hygiene
It’s not enough to just clean your home, though. You need to clean yourself too. No, this does not mean you can stand in the shower and contemplate life for thirty minutes and call it a day. You need to actively take care of yourself. Exfoliate, pluck those eyebrows, moisturize, whatever. Make yourself even more beautiful than you already are.
You don’t have to read a novel. All it takes is reading some articles you come across on Facebook (like this one!) to meet that 30-minute mark. It’s even better if you can actually learn something from what you read rather than mere pleasure reading, but anything works.
10. Something You Enjoy
I think this is the most important of all on the list (save the best for last, as the cliché goes, right?). At the end of the day, your life is yours and yours alone. You need to find a way to enjoy it every single day. Most of the time, what you enjoy doing can double up with something else on this list. Maybe you enjoy cleaning or reading or exercising. Or perhaps there’s something else you enjoy doing. Shopping, cooking, partying, rolling yourself up in a blanket like a sushi roll—mix it up; do something different each day!