This year is coming to an end, which means we need to prep for a new start in the new year! I recently went to the chiropractor and discovered a boatload of bad habits that have really misaligned my entire back and spine. I am now a lot more mindful about my health since it’s scary to me that I’m having all these pains and issues at 24 years old. Here are some healthy habits you can start implementing to live your best life!
1. Sleep on your back
All my life, I’ve been a side-sleeper, specifically on my right side. As a consequence, since my torso remains turned and uneven for 30-40% of my life, that contributed to my spine being misaligned and my back pain. The healthiest sleeping position is on your back, which only 8% of people actually do. It allows your head, neck, and spine to rest in a neutral position. Finding the right bed and pillow is also super important, but even those things would be useless if you’re sleeping in a position that could essentially ruin your alignment.
2. Cleanse and moisturize
This is something I recently learned: double cleansing. Double cleansing involves stripping away any makeup or dirt on your face with an oil-based cleanser, and then washing your face with your regular facial cleanser. My roommate Kristine was trying to take a “before” picture of my eyelashes because I was using this serum to help promote lash growth, and we were unsuccessful in taking that picture. What I noticed instead was that I had a really bumpy forehead. It wasn’t riddled with pimples per se, but rather clogged pores. It was not a pretty sight, so I did some research and came upon double cleansing! The oil-based cleanser removes dead skin cells, dirt, debris, and other oils that could be clogging the pores. The one that I bought on Amazon is KOSE SOFTYMO Speedy Cleansing Oil. I use a cotton pad to wipe my face (I don’t typically wear any face makeup) and the pad came out dirty and black. That’s how much gunk was on my face! And then I’d use my usual Bioré Pore Unclogging Scrub that contains salicylic acid. After I wash my face, I typically use my Clinique moisturizing lotion or Sekkisei Herbal Gel.
3. Set an alarm to start winding down
Once I discovered double cleansing and started using a lash serum, I realized that I needed a set nightly routine, and I should set an alarm to start prepping for bed. At 10pm, my alarm will go off to remind me to put away my laptop or whatever it is that I’m doing, and begin taking the steps needed to get myself to bed. Recently, that process has been: Take any meds, take Maddie out one last time, wipe my face with an oil-based cleanser, shower and wash face, moisturize, brush teeth, floss, remove contacts, fill humidifier with water, and get into bed.
4. Track (and limit) your screen time on your iPhone
The new iOS update includes a new function to allow users to see what they have spent their time doing while using their phones. It tells you your screen time for the day, as well as your average in the last week. It also details how much time you’re spending on what apps. You can also choose to limit your screen time, so I chose to limit it to 2 hours and 20 minutes a day, which is down from my daily average of 2 hours and 50 minutes. I plan on decreasing this by 10 minutes each week until I’m at the lowest point possible for my lifestyle. You can also choose a specific time frame in which to wind down, prevent specific apps from being used, and also exempt specific apps that can be accessed during this time (like your call button or messages – apps that you want to still be able to use).
5. Up Your Dental Game
Switch to a soft bristled toothbrush, use less toothpaste, and floss your teeth! A year ago, I switched to soft bristled toothbrushes and I can’t go back. They’re gentler on your teeth and force you to apply less pressure so that you don’t damage your enamel. Also, you don’t need a huge amount of toothpaste to get the job done – toothpaste companies want you to use more so that you’d run out faster and keep buying frequently. And, I only started flossing my teeth regularly this year and after 3 months, I’ve noticed a huge change in my bad breath. Most of the time, bad breath is caused by rotting food stuck between the teeth so flossing solves that problem!
At my first job, I had a standing desk that I never used. I always had it at standing height, but I used a tall chair to sit instead so that was pointless. At my most recent job, I got a doctor’s note to get a convertible standing desk and because of the lengths I went to obtain it, you bet I used it every day until my layoff. I noticed a huge decrease in any back pain and I made sure to stand evenly with my feet at shoulder width apart. Popping a hip is second nature to me so I had to be mindful and force myself to pay attention to my stance. I got my digestion flowing and I generally felt great that I was able to stand all day with some breaks in between, rather than the other way around.
So there you have it! 6 tips to lead a healthier lifestyle. There are so many other ways you can boost the way you live, but these were the ones that stood out to me most and were things I began implementing myself. What are some of your healthy habits? Let me know!