1. Clean your cell phone screen! It’s dirtier than you think.
2. Check up on friends who are going through depression, heartbreak, financial issues, family issues, and job issues. It doesn’t take much time with phones nowadays and it can mean the world to them.
3. Just take a couple of minutes to appreciate your pets. Give your dog a bear hug. Kiss your cat’s forehead. Heck, even just give your lizard an extra couple of crickets! Pets need to be appreciated more, and when you realize how amazing these little balls of love are, you’ll see an impact in your mental health, too. My pupper got me through some rough times this year, and sometimes nonverbal support can be the best.
4. Especially for people with low self esteem. Take 30 seconds, 3 times a day, to unapologetically and wholeheartedly allow yourself to think something positive about yourself. As simple as ‘I finished my book today and I’m proud of that’ or ‘I did a good deed’ or ‘I did well at work today’. In my experience it greatly helps in breaking negative self-talking habits.
5. Wash your face. Guys, even if it’s just a rinse!
6. Doing a few pushups every single day. It may seem insignificant but over time it really adds up.
7. Applying sunscreen. Your skin and body will thank you years later.
8. Look into the distance once in a while so your eyes won’t go bad sooner than necessary. (For people who sit in front of the PC or are on their phone a lot.)
9. Write a short summary of your daily thoughts in a diary.
10. May seem a little obvious but have breakfast. Even if it’s a piece of fruit or some toast, just to get your body going and give you some energy. Always surprises me when I hear how many people don’t bother with breakfast
11. High intensity interval training (HIIT). All it takes is 5 minutes before your shower. Videos are available on YouTube as short or long as you wish. No excuse to skip exercise!
12. Be informed. Read an article on a current event that is not on FB or IG or… Twitter. And not fucking television.
Understand the article. Ask yourself what pieces of information you are missing in order to understand the article. Also what pieces of information you need to fact-check the article. What might the author be misrepresenting, or assuming, or omitting. Look up what you need to determine if this is an article you would send to a friend or colleague so it doesn’t bite you in the ass when you do, or when your friend or colleague brings it up to you first.
That’s five minutes.
13. Doing gargles with salty water. It will keep your gums as strong as stone. Make it a habit so you won’t have to suffer from weak gums!
14. Mend clothes – socks in particular. Doing five minutes for a small mend will save you the much more time-consuming later mend, also it will make you stop buying junk and focus on quality.
15. Take a multivitamin. So many of us don’t get the nutrition we actually need on a daily basis from the food we eat. I’ve noticed a pretty big difference in my mental and physical state since habitually taking a good multi.
16. Make your bed! I work 12 hour night shifts and let me tell ya… Best part of my day is snuggling into my nest of pillows and blankets.
17. Text “good morning” to your mum and dad.
18. Duolingo (or any other method of learning a new language). Sure, 5 minutes a day might not be much, but it really adds up and learning a second or third language, or even having a base-level familiarity with it can be helpful in an increasingly global world. Plus, it’s always pretty good to have on a resume.
19. There’s an app I use called Daylio where you rate how you’re feeling and log what activities you’re doing. I’m coming up on a 600-day streak, and it’s helped me understand a lot of things in my life better– how much worse I feel when I procrastinate or skip meals, that my job I thought I loved was actually making me feel on average much worse than usual, etc.
20. Meditation. I tell a lot of people that this is great for anxiety but people don’t take me seriously.
21. Show your SO you’re happy about them being back home every day after work.
22. Set dishes in the sink or put in the dishwasher (if you have one). Clear trash, maybe take trash out. Just care for the basics.
23. Stop and just notice what’s happening around you — what do you hear, see, smell, taste, feel. It’s like pausing your own movie and putting yourself in perspective.
24. Clean your bellybutton, I feel like people forget about it more than flossing and it can smell really bad after not cleaning for a while.
25. Flossing – I can’t stress that enough. If you spend a good minute on the tops, a good minute on the bottom and mouthwash for another minute (sometimes I do two) your oral health will thank you. I didn’t know to floss properly until this last year and I floss like three times a day, I love it.
26. Drink a glass of water right after getting up.
27. Just sit down, drop your shoulders, unclench your jaw, take a deep breath and just think about stuff. This honestly helps a lot with being anxious about something since you take time out of your day to think and slowly process it.
28. Stretches! It feels great and improves your range of motion, which your body will appreciate when you get older.
29. Brush your teeth. That’s important for your health and also it is a kind of an investment, because you won’t need any teeth treating as you get older.
30. OK, this will sound useless if you are young, but could easily change your life as you age. My mom used to empty a box of 30 paperclips on the floor as she waited for her coffee to brew and then she would do 30 bodyweight squats to pick them up. Turns out one of the main reasons people have to go to rest homes is they cant properly use the toilet because of leg strength (also balance comes into play). At 89 she could easily do 30 squats and lived in a walk up second floor apartment. She would carry her laundry and groceries upstairs no worries.