by Elizabeth Pullman for LiveLovely.com
You wake up, roll out of bed (sometimes literally), brush your teeth and go about your day. That's your routine -- you've done it for years and it just feels normal. But like any routine, it can put you in a rut.
Sometimes, revamping your habits and introducing something new into the minutia of your daily schedule is a good thing. In the case of certain habits, it's a great thing! In fact, here are seven things you should do every day (if you aren't already):
1. Make Your Bed
Your mom probably bugged you about your messy bed when you lived at home, so once you left, you let the thing go wild. Besides, you're just going to mess it up again come bedtime anyway!
While we can sympathize with your logic, the fact is that making your bed is an overall good habit.
It takes a mere minute, and it starts off your day with organization and cleanliness (that's a good tone to wake up to). What's more, because making the bed doesn't require conscious effort, your mind can wander and relax- it's a Zen activity.
If having a calm mind and a clean room don't convince you, think about it this way: You bring a date home and things are going well, then you enter an untidy bedroom. Deal-breaker.
You may think, "I brush my teeth twice a day and I never have cavities, so I don't need to floss," but you'd be wrong. Flossing may get rid of food stuck between your teeth, but it does much more than just that.
In fact, the whole point of flossing is to remove plaque. These bacteria are responsible for causing issues such as cavities and gum disease, because they create acid that eats away at protective enamel.
And while brushing your teeth helps, it doesn't get the hard-to-reach areas flossing does. So, to keep your pearly whites intact and prevent the need for fillings (not a pleasant experience), add flossing to your daily routine.
3. Go Outside
It's tempting to fall into the Netflix rabbit hole, especially on weekends when you don't have any commitments, but break from the binge to get outside. Even 10 minutes of outdoor exposure ensures you'll get an adequate amount of vitamin D, a vitamin your body can only make with sunlight.
While fortified foods have vitamin D, the edible kind isn't as potent as the vitamin D you get from daylight. In fact, the National Institutes of Health recommends everyone get at least 600 IUs of vitamin D a day, and going outside can help you achieve this.
4. Make Physical Contact
Not a touchy-feely person? You may be depriving yourself of happiness and stress relief. Research has shown that making physical contact with another person can reduce cortisol levels and blood pressure, helping you calm down.
And you don't just need a hug, handshake, or pat on the back when you've had a rough day-- seek contact every day! Of course, you shouldn't go around grabbing your nearest co-workers. Seek more affection from the people you trust, such as partners, friends, and family.
Communicate that you'd like a little more physical contact- most people are happy to help you feel better.
5. Have Quiet Time
When was the last time you turned off your smartphone? Consider making the next time you do this, today. In this fast-paced world, finding time to sit still and enjoy silence is tricky, but it is beneficial. Getting away from it all lets your mind relax or solve problems you've been putting off. Basically, it gets you in touch with yourself.
You don't have to meditate if you don't want to, but try to get at least five minutes of quiet time a day. You can peer out the window, enjoy a cup of coffee or tea in silence, or review your day.
6. Do Something Fun
It's easy to get caught up with all the things you have to do in your day, from staying late at work, to planning your budget, to picking up groceries. Why not add something fun to your to-do list? Taking time to do something that makes you happy can do a lot for your mental and emotional health.
You don't even have to spend too much time doing that task! Read for half an hour. Watch one episode of your favorite show. Call your best friend. You have plenty of options that don't require too much of a sacrifice.
7. Be Active
No, you don't have to have a hardcore workout every day, but you should be active. That could mean going for a walk on the days you don't make it to the gym, or doing some sun salutations before work.
Or, if you want to get intense, take a class! Yoga, martial arts, Zumba: You name it, there's probably a class for it!
Adding a few more habits (yes, it's doable) to your daily routine can improve your mental, emotional, and physical health, not to mention make a good impression on your dates. Give these things a try tomorrow and you may be doing them every day before long.