The secrets to staying healthy and happy lie in your daily routine. Here are 77 tiny habits to ensure you better take care of the most important person in your life – you.
How do you stay healthy and happy without trying too hard? Well, it’s bullshit to assume that it won’t require some minimal effort on your part! Because it will. Yes, you’ve heard it. I’ve said it. This is not about climbing Mount Everest, getting into Harvard, or working like a dog for a bigger paycheck.
In fact, it all depends on your willingness to show up for yourself consistently in very little things. Here are 77 tiny daily habits you can check out to better take care of your health and happiness without hurting your wallet.
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MAINTAIN A POSITIVE MENTAL ATTITUDE
1. Laugh as much as you can
Laughing is one of our most effective weapons against stress. When we laugh, endorphins are released in our bodies that make us feel better about everything.
Find ways to laugh as much as you can, whether it’s watching your favourite comedy or indulging in a good joke with friends or your children. Laughter will keep you healthy and happy without you having to try too hard!
2. Avoid drama. Keep it positive
Drama can be a major distraction, so it’s important to maintain a positive attitude even when things don’t go your way. Additionally, to maintain your happiness, keep discussions about sensitive topics such as politics, religion, or sexual orientation to a minimum.
3. Date yourself. Learn to enjoy your own company
Yes, that’s right. Pamper yourself, wear that beautiful outfit you have saved up for a special occasion, and head to your favourite restaurant, musical, theatre all by yourself. To stay healthy and happy, it’s important that you create positive experiences in your “me” time.
4. Celebrate yourself. Be your own cheerleader
Don’t wait until you’ve reached your goal to celebrate yourself. Celebrate every micro win you take toward reaching that goal.
Paint your nails, treat yourself to a massage, sing under your shower, congratulate yourself out loud. Write it in your journal. Call a trusted friend or your mentor to share the good news. Celebrate your inner child.
5. Stop complaining. Appreciate your life more
If you find yourself complaining on a regular basis, stop. You’ll feel happier once you start focusing on what you do have, rather than what you think is missing. When it comes to staying healthy, it pays to be positive!
6. Take time to meditate to calm your mind
Meditation is a great way to help us all stay healthy, happy, and productive. By taking just a few minutes every day for meditation, you can create an instant sense of calm that will continue throughout your day. Meditation isn’t difficult or time-consuming. In fact, it’s easy!
7. Improve the quality of your sleep
It’s hard to be productive or enjoy life when you don’t get enough sleep. There are a few things you can do that will help you catch more Zzzs.
First, make sure your bedroom is conducive to a good night’s rest—no glaring lights, no noisy chats. Next, make it a point not to bring work into bed with you. You’re trying to wind down here!
8. Keep a journal
Keeping a journal can help you stay on top of your mental health. Having a safe space where you can reflect honestly, without self-judgement, is an excellent method for improving your emotional well-being.
Make sure that you keep it somewhere private – not on your phone or computer. At the end of each week, read through your notes to find out how you have navigated life, and what you can do better next.
9. Practice gratitude. Count your blessings
As happiness is a long-term daily pursuit, one of your best bets for happiness is appreciating what you already have. Take a moment daily and give thanks for all that you have – not just your health, but also your family and friends. Expressing gratitude daily will improve both your mood and your physical health by reducing stress levels.
10. Talk to yourself kindly
Countless studies have shown that positive self-talk makes a huge difference in our outlook, so choose your words wisely. Rather than thinking I can’t believe I did that, you could try It was an honest mistake – one I won’t make again.
You might also want to ask yourself: What happened? How can I make sure it doesn’t happen again? What can I learn from it?
11. Be open to healing. Consider therapy
Sometimes, when you are going through very difficult times, seeking help from a therapist, a priest, or a spiritual teacher can help you unpack the paint points you are experiencing.
Going into therapy with an open mind can help your healing process by shifting your perspective about traumatic events to reclaim the power and love within your soul.
12. Practice deep breathing
When we’re stressed, our breath gets shallow. Practising deep breathing – belly breathing in particular – has been shown to reduce anxiety. Place one hand on your belly and one on your chest.
Breathe in slowly through your nose while you count four beats, hold it for four beats, then breathe out for four beats. Do five cycles of deep breathing a day, repeating each cycle three times before moving on to another exercise.
13. Practice positive affirmations every day
Positive affirmations are a great way to get your mind on track with what you want. Rather than dwelling on all of your own bad habits, start focusing on all of your positive attributes.
If you’re feeling down about your physical appearance, tell yourself I have an amazing smile; if you always feel like you need to lose weight, try I am proud of my athletic build instead.
14. Spend less time on social media
We spend most of our day on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. While these sites can be fun for a little while, spending more than an hour on them can impact your mental health.
Social media users tend to be less happy than those who don’t use it because they believe that their lives aren’t as good as people’s filtered lifestyles displayed online.
15. Stop comparing your life journey to others
Theodore Roosevelt was right in saying that “comparison is the thief of joy”. Instead of spending time and energy drooling over a celebrity or a business person’s life, focus on defining and going after your own dreams.
Remember that every person has a different path; and your life journey is for you alone to run. Nobody can be a better you than you. So, go after your life and win at it!
16. Learn to let go. Don’t dwell on the past
Dwelling on mistakes and past failures won’t do anything but make you unhappy. Learn from your experiences, forgive yourself, and move on. If you aren’t learning from them, what’s the point?
17. Kiss goodbye to toxic people
Let’s face it. We all have toxic people in our lives—those who drag us down, drain our energy, or cause us stress. Fortunately, with a few tweaks here and there, you can kiss them goodbye for good!
Find ways to spend less time with them. Set healthy boundaries, and make sure you announce and maintain them to preserve your health and wellbeing. No more excuses! Just do it!
CULTIVATE POSITIVE RELATIONSHIPS
18. Listen more than you speak
If you’re looking for happiness, one simple change can help you find it. To stay healthy and happy, make a conscious effort to listen more than you speak, says Kamal Ravikant in his book Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It .
The reason? Our words have an energetic effect on us; the more we speak, the stronger that energy becomes.
19. Spend quality time with friends
Carve out time to build wonderful memories with your closest friends. Share your goals and dreams.
Go to the theatre, enjoy bowling sessions, or karaoke nights together. Have fun together! These happy experiences will strengthen your bond.
20. Organise play dates with your children
Spending quality time bonding with your children, nephews or nieces through plays is one of the easiest ways to stay happy and healthy.
Their infectious positive energy will help reignite the childlike spirit in you and it might encourage you to embrace life with more boldness and courage.
21. Frame and hang your children’s artwork
Frame your children’s artwork and display it in the kitchen, their own bedrooms or the lounge area.
Change them regularly, so that there are always new pictures. For the rest of their paper based artwork, scan them, and send them to an email you have set up for them to access when they are old enough to read emails.
22. Bring a smile on someone else’s face
Pick up your phone and reach out to a loved one you haven’t heard from in a while. Pay a compliment to a colleague at work or a stranger you meet whilst shopping or running errands. The kindness you share with others is a healing balm to humanity’s soul.
23. Learn to say no
Learning how to say no is a crucial skill for staying healthy and happy with yourself and others. In many cases, we overbook ourselves because we want to please everyone else. Good relationships demand that we set, announce, and maintain healthy boundaries with ourselves and others, including our loved ones.
If you don’t learn how to stay firm with your time, though, you’ll always have trouble saying no – and as a result, you may be more prone to stress than ever before. Learning how to say no will allow you more control over your life so that you can stay healthy without trying too hard.
24. Donate food and household products you don’t need
If you have extra food or household products you don’t need, consider donating them instead of throwing them out.
Donating goods that are still good will help reduce your waste, but it can also help less fortunate people stay healthy and happy.
25. Celebrate other people’s successes
A person with a high self-esteem knows how to celebrate others when they do well. They don’t feel resentful or threatened by another person’s achievement.
By celebrating your family members, friends, or colleagues, you send positive energy into the world and you are willing to learn how others level up to improve their lives.
26. Forgive yourself and others
Being in touch with your feelings is one of the keys to staying healthy. Some of us are really hard on ourselves when we don’t make or meet goals. And, it’s important that we forgive ourselves for not always getting things right.
It’s also important that we try not to be too hard on others, including those around us, who may let us down from time to time. Forgiving yourself and others can go a long way towards staying happy and healthy and nurturing healthy relationships!
TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF
27. Invest in your health. Do your annual health checkups
Your health is one of your most important assets for you to live a happy and fulfilling life. Consequently, make sure to attend your annual health checkups whenever they are scheduled.
Pencil in your diary the dates for your mammogram, eye health or gynaecological tests and any other medical appointments you might have during the year.
28. Stop fad diets
Let go of the nonsense that you can hit your ideal weight goals by killing yourself at the gym relentlessly, live on awful salads, and do excessive calorie-counting.
Set yourself realistic healthy lifestyle goals that support your mental and physical health, and your work and family life.
29. Eat more nutritious food
In order to stay healthy, it’s important that you make smart food choices. That means eating whole foods, avoiding processed and prepackaged foods as much as possible.
This doesn’t mean you have to give up your favourite treat, but it does mean that when you do indulge, whether it’s a candy bar or an extra helping of mashed potatoes, savour every bite so that it feels like more than just a quick snack.
30. Eat a little bit of lean meat
Contrary to popular belief, eating small amounts of meat can be good for your health, especially if you’re trying to lose weight. Eating a little bit of lean protein can help stave off hunger pangs and keep you feeling full throughout the day.
31. Eat foods rich in antioxidants
Antioxidants are substances that protect your body against free radicals – molecules that can harm cells and DNA. The best way to get antioxidants is by eating fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, whole grains, and fish.
32. Drink more water throughout the day
Staying hydrated is one of the most important ways to stay healthy. The easiest way to do that is by drinking a glass of water every time you get up from your desk or chair, which will help keep you hydrated during long days at work.
33. Drink your greens
If you can’t eat your veggies, try a green smoothie or a daily green juice. This will help strengthen your immune system, improve your digestive system, and cut down your food cravings. Here are some of my favourite easy-to-make green detox juices to try out.
34. Move your body
You can’t be healthy unless you take care of both your mind and body. Don’t sit on your butt for 12 hours a day playing video games. Go for a run or a walk in nature or climb some stairs at work instead. Do yoga, pilates, cardio or strength training at home courtesy of free YouTube workout videos.
Take regular breaks from work and your phone, go outside, let some fresh air into your lungs. You’ll feel better, have more energy and clear your head.
35. Invest in nice workout clothes
Ditch the safe all-black workout clothes and invest in some colourful breathable lycras and sports trainers that you can even get at discount stores.
This will motivate you to head to the gym if you fancy or enjoy more outdoor workouts more frequently.
36. Wake up early everyday
Waking up early is an excellent way to stay healthy and happy. Many successful people tend to wake up very early to enjoy peace and quiet, organise their day, get a few tasks sorted, exercise, or and calmly commute to work.
If you want to rise early, start slow. Before bedtime, set your alarm 15 minutes earlier than you normally wake up. If you wake up at 6:00 am, set your alarm for 5:45 am.
37. Go for walks outside. Get some fresh air
Going out for walks is an excellent way to boost your energy and relieve stress! The best part about going for walks is that you can go for a walk anytime – no special equipment needed.
If you have dogs, take them along (preferably on a leash) so they too can get their exercise. It’s good exercise for both of you!
38. Watch the sunset or sunrise
There is something very therapeutic about watching a sunset or sunrise, as it can increase your happiness and well-being level. Whenever you can, take 5 minutes out of your morning to enjoy some fresh air and the sunrise.
39. Try a new hairstyle
Be a bit more adventurous than usual with your hairstyle. Get a fresh new haircut, dye your hair in a vibrant hue if it takes your fancy.
Shave your hair, get a funky wig, clip-in hair extensions, or try a new braid pattern. A fresh new hairstyle can help boost your spirit, self-esteem, and self-confidence.
40. Update your wardrobe
Get rid of the unflattering jeans, tops, and dresses that are stuffing your wardrobe. Invest in the very best clothes that you can afford to look well put together wherever you go.
When you take time to dress well as part of your self-care routine, you exude health and self-confidence.
41. Cook your favourite meal
Cooking your favourite meal is a guaranteed way to stay happy. Not only does cooking your own food allow you to avoid unhealthy restaurant meals, but it also provides a very therapeutic activity.
If you’re feeling down, or need a distraction from everyday stressors, pick up some fresh ingredients and try one of your favourite recipes. Enjoy!
42. Make yourself a warm drink
A warm glass of water or a cup of herbal tea are little pick-me-ups that can definitely help you stay healthy and happy effortlessly by improving your digestive system.
Many herbal teas are packed with all sorts of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals and do smell incredible! Every time I make myself a cup of chai tea, I feel like a badass. And really: what better way is there to start your day?
43. Dance like no one is watching
When was the last time you danced for fun? Did you stop dancing once people started pointing and laughing at your moves? If so, it’s time to shake off that self-consciousness.
Dance like no one is watching because you choose not to care.
And, don’t worry if you make a fool of yourself; get up, dance some more, and remind yourself that your health and happiness are far more important than anyone else’s opinion of you.
MAKE ROOM FOR PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT
44. Define and protect your positive values and beliefs
Part of living a healthy, happy life is being true to yourself. This can be challenging when you’re pulled in different directions by a society that favours convenience over creativity, activity over reflection, pleasure over purpose.
To stay healthy and happy, take some time every day as part of your morning routine to define who you are and what matters most to you. Revisit these beliefs on a regular basis; they’ll guide you through any challenges life throws your way.
45. Embrace loneliness. Reinvent yourself in the process
If you’re going through a hard time, it can be easy to start isolating yourself, and that isolation will only deepen your feelings of loneliness. Instead, embrace loneliness by using it as an opportunity for personal growth and reinvention.
Take some time alone to think about what went wrong in your last relationship or in a previous career move. Find out who you are without these people or pursuits by your side.
46. Set and commit to a twelve-month goal plan
Goal-setting is an important part of staying happy, healthy, and well. Set a realistic twelve-month goal plan that will give you a vision of a few key areas you want to improve in your life.
Break them down into monthly goals with clear action points that will help you track and measure progress. For example, if your goal is to improve your health by going for a run 3 nights a week, don’t miss those nights because you didn’t feel like going. Be consistent, because it will pay off in the medium to long-term.
47. Read an uplifting book for 20 minutes each day
There are tons of interesting books out there that teach you how to get motivated, stay positive, think positively, and be happy.
Here’s an idea: grab a book or two from your local library or bookstore. Read a few pages per day. Do it for thirty days in a row; that’s only one chapter per day!
48. Listen to interesting podcasts
Podcasts are a great way to find unique content that you’re unlikely to hear elsewhere. The best part is that listening doesn’t require much work on your part.
Just download a podcast app, like Spotify or Stitcher, so you can listen at your convenience when you get ready in the morning, during your exercise, or down time.
49. Get rid of your TV and set internet controls
Watching too much TV can make us more lethargic, cause us to overeat and make it difficult for us to find time for other things. If you’re struggling with any of these issues, then cutting back on your viewing might be a good idea.
Try getting rid of your TV altogether, setting internet controls or limiting your screen time at home so that you aren’t glued to the internet all day. There are plenty of ways to stay healthy without spending hours working out.
50. Take time to learn a new skill
Learning a new skill, whether it’s how to use Canva Pro, paint, or how to salsa dance, can be incredibly rewarding. Not only will you gain a new expertise, but you’ll also have something interesting to talk about at parties.
If you don’t know where to start, just research what makes people happy. You may find that learning a new skill or a hobby is exactly what you need.
51. Have specific work hours. Block time for key tasks
Each week, block out time for your tasks. Plan on working 2-3 hours a day, 6 days a week during peak business times.
You’ll need to plan accordingly if you can’t work with these hours. It’s important that you schedule work time that is specific, to avoid saying things like work on my business all day Saturday.
52. Write your to-do list before bedtime
Plan your to-do list for the following day at the end of your working day. This will help you recap what you have actually achieved for the day, what to prioritise the following day.
Once you start , focus on completing the most important item on your to-do-list first thing each day.
53. Fail forward. Learn from every mistake you make
Failure is a crucial component of success, as it allows you to learn what works for you, what doesn’t work for you, and how you can do better in future endeavours.
Don’t let failure get you down: pick yourself up off your bum, analyse why things didn’t go your way, dust yourself off, try again with a new tactic or strategy, fail forward toward success.
54. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Reach out
Have the strength and humility to seek out help when you want to improve your life. To level up, tap into online and offline resources, support networks, or books of more experienced people who have gone through a similar journey than yours.
Explore how they navigate life. This approach will definitely enrich your life perspective and open the door to new life opportunities.
55. Travel to or visit a new place
Yes, it’s great to board a plane to an exotic or far away destination like Bali, Pukhet, or Marrakech to explore the world. It broadens your life vision and opportunities.
However, not everyone can afford to do it. How about exploring a new city or neighbourhood not far from where you live? Start where you are and build from there.
LEVEL UP YOUR HEALTH AND BEAUTY HABITS
56. Check the expiration dates of your health and beauty products
When it comes to your health, you shouldn’t be taking any chances. So, check expiration dates on makeup, deodorant, toothpaste, etc.. Make sure that you’re using up or throwing out anything past its prime.
If expiration dates are hard for you to remember (who can keep track of all that?) try putting a sticky note on each product with a reminder about when it should be thrown out.
57. Wash your hands before washing your face
By washing your hands before washing your face, you can reduce any germs on your hands from being spread to your face. This little trick will help keep you feeling healthy and happy.
58. Wash your face as soon as you get home for the day
Your face is exposed to a lot of contaminants throughout your day, whether you’re commuting or walking down a busy city street.
To wash them off at night, simply wash your face with cold or lukewarm water when you get home from work.
59. Use a pimple patch instead of popping your pimples
If you’re prone to getting pimples, you can apply a pimple patch at night. These patches contain salicylic acid which help eliminate acne-causing bacteria. By eliminating these bacteria, pimples are less likely to appear.
60. Use Lukewarm water for your face and body
Lukewarm water has natural anti-inflammatory properties, reducing swelling while cleaning impurities from your pores. It’s a great way to stay healthy without trying too hard!
61. Keep your skincare simple
A full skincare routine may sound appealing, but if you’re trying to stay healthy and happy without trying too hard, it’s best to stick with a few basic steps.
62. Use adaptive skincare
Your skincare needs evolve throughout the year based on many factors such your health, environmental stressors, or your hormonal cycle.
Use an adaptive skincare routine that flexibly responds to your changing skincare needs to prevent acne, inflammation, and any other skin allergic reactions.
63. Wash your beauty tools regularly
Beauty tools, from hairbrushes to combs and curling irons, are more likely than you might think to collect bacteria. That’s because they’re often used on multiple people without being cleaned regularly.
To stay healthy, wash your hairbrush at least once a week or so. Make sure all beauty tools are cleaned thoroughly with antibacterial soap—and stored properly after each use! You can also follow a few other simple steps to help prevent illness.
64. Keep your beauty buying habits under control
There are lots of things we think we need but really don’t. When you go shopping, consider how often you use a product before tossing it. If it’s not used very often, why buy it?
65. Frequently wash your pillowcases and sheets
Dirty pillowcases and sheets aren’t just embarrassing, they can make you sick. Staphylococcus aureus (Staph) is a bacterium that can thrive in warm, moist places like pillows, sheets, and bath towels. Change your pillowcases at least once a week!
66. Sleep on a silk pillowcase
When you sleep on a silk pillowcase, your skin doesn’t get as dry. Since there’s no friction between your skin and your pillow, you don’t have to worry about rubbing away all of your natural oils.
67. Sleep near a humidifier
Dry air irritates sinuses, causing coughing and sneezing. A humidifier helps remedy dry air by adding moisture back into your home’s atmosphere.
It also helps reduce transepidermal water loss that causes your skin to lose its moisture whilst you are sleeping.
68. Enjoy a face mask
If you want to pamper yourself, try an at-home face mask 2 to 3 times weekly! There are so many different kinds of masks that there’s bound to be one that appeals to your personal preferences.
69. Drop the use of makeup wipes
Makeup wipes do more harm than good. Not only are they full of chemicals, but they strip your skin of natural oils that keep it healthy and protected.
If you want to stay healthy and happy for a long time, try double cleansing or a micellar water instead.
70. Reapply sunscreen through the day
Because we tend to burn more easily in hot weather, it’s a good idea to apply sunscreen (with at least SPF 30) frequently throughout your day, especially if you’re outside for long periods of time regardless of what the weather looks like. Your skin will thank you for it.
MAINTAIN A WELCOMING HOME ENVIRONMENT
71. Declutter your home. Clean the energy of your space
Make time to deep clean and organise each room of your home on a regular basis. Enlist help from family, friends, and professionals if necessary.
A clean and welcoming home environment is necessary to support your positive health and wellbeing.
72. Add indoor plants and flowers into your living spaces
Bring the outdoors in by regularly changing indoor plants and flowers in your living spaces.
If you can’t keep plants or flowers alive, dried flowers and plants such as pampas grass are great options to consider. Alternatively, go for realistically looking fake plants and flowers.
73. Swap your home furnishings throughout the year
Move some of your picture frames and small paintings around your home every semester.
Swap cushions, throws, and decor accessories seasonally to refresh the atmosphere of your home.
74. Organise your wardrobe
Have you ever gone into your closet to get dressed, only to stare at your clothes thinking, I have nothing to wear? Clothes are generally easier than they seem.
The first step is actually organising your wardrobe so that everything you own fits in it. After you organise, go through each item and eliminate anything that doesn’t fit, isn’t flattering or isn’t really necessary for everyday life.
75. Glam up your work-from-home workspace
To maximise your productivity whilst working from home, create a welcoming home office environment that stimulates your focus and creativity.
Choose a colour palette, a chair, a table, a comfortable rug, art and great technology tools that bring you joy and peace. Throw in a sofa if you have a large study room.
76. Create a calming retreat in your bedroom
Living in a calming home is very important for our happiness, health and wellbeing. And, your bedroom should be the spa-like retreat you go to recharge your batteries.
Make sure you turn off all technology devices before bed time. A comfortable mattress, elegant bed sheets, duvet, and pillows are a must for you to make the most of your rest time.
77. Indulge in some DIY home activities
Create a feature wall in one of your rooms. Paint some terracotta or glass pots for your kitchen or porch. Upcycle old furniture pieces for your sun room or a bedroom.
Having creative pieces you have made all by yourself will boost your sense of accomplishment and carry great sentimental value to you.
Above all, remember to be you and do you unapologetically, because your health and happiness are your birthrights!