Posted April 12, 2016
Americans are notorious for packing each day with more activities than they can accomplish. It’s not surprising that as we fall into bed, we feel tired and run down and realize we didn’t have any “me” time. Get out of the rut by following these four healthy habits that can take less than 30 minutes of your time:
1. Sleep – Get at least six to eight hours of sleep every day. People who consistently get inadequate sleep are more likely to experience depression, reports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Also, people who are short on sleep may be more likely to snack on candy and other sweets to help them get through the day.
Stress or worries may keep you from falling asleep. Make a list of things that are on your mind and set it aside for the next day. It also may be helpful to use a white noise app, such as Relax Melodies or Relax and Sleep, to help you get to sleep faster, and stay asleep.
2. Exercise – Make time in your day for 20 to 30 minutes of exercise. If possible, take a walk or run outside to improve your spirits and get a fresh perspective on things. Exercise helps reduce depression and fatigue by releasing pain-killing endorphins, and it improves stamina and energy.
3. Relax – Ease tired muscles and aches with a massage, cool eye mask or soak in an Epsom salt bath. You could also get a wearable massager, such as a pulsating massage patch. The patch sends vibrations to pressure points, reducing muscle tension and increasing blood circulation. According to researchers, massage therapy releases endorphins that soothe muscle tension and improve mental and physical health.
4. Enjoy – Periodically give yourself permission to enjoy a sweet or salty treat. Scientists say that allowing yourself a little reward helps boost healthy habits over the long term. Continually restricting calories may cause the leptin hormone, which tells your brain that you’re full, to decrease production, which can lead to binge eating.