These 5 Micro Habits Can Change Your Life

These habits are a great way to start your self-care journey.

Sep 14, 2020

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Are you Looking to improve your physical, mental, and emotional health? Micro habits are the perfect way to begin your self-care journey. 

Micro habits are small actions that can help you establish sustainable, healthier behavior patterns that will last a lifetime. The principle behind micro habits is that the best way to make a major life change is by starting off small, ingraining new habits via baby steps. 

While you likely won’t see instant results, continuing to practice micro habits will result in a significant improvement in the long run.  Think “slow and steady wins the race.” Check out these five micro habits that can serve as a solid starting point to change your life.

Mini meditation sessions

Practicing mini meditation regularly can have a huge positive impact on mental health. Meditation provides tons of benefits, including lower stress levels according to a systematic review published in JAMA Internal Medicine. There’s no need to commit an entire afternoon to meditation - just a brief period where you focus on quieting your mind is a great starting point. 

One of the most amazing things about meditation is that it can be practiced at any time, in any setting - no incense stick or fussy set-up required!  Whether it’s during the morning commute or waiting in line at the grocery store, everyone can indulge in a mini meditation session when they have a few minutes of downtime. 

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Unplug and power off for an hour

The average American adult spends a whopping 11 hours a day looking at a screen according to Market Watch. Between scrolling on social media, watching television, or working on a laptop, it’s easy to spend most of your waking hours engaging with an electronic device. It’s critical to unplug and power off on a regular basis to let your mind rest and recharge, free of electronic distractions. Devoting just one hour each day to screen-free living is a great starting point.

Gael Blanchemain, a wellness blogger, wrote about the positive impact of cutting down on screen time when he’s relaxing with his girlfriend on Growing.com. “We take walks and we have lunch outside. I can’t say how much better our weekends feel,” he said. “Shut machines down. You don’t need them as much as they need you.”

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Sip water throughout the day

It’s common knowledge that drinking water has a tremendous positive impact on the body, but many people struggle with consuming enough on a daily basis. The good news is that you can reap the health benefits of upping your water intake without needing to gulp down gallons of water every day. 

Start off by deciding that every time you want to drink juice, coffee, or your non-water drink of choice, you’ll have a sip of cold water beforehand. This may sound like a small change, but in the long term it can affect what you crave when you’re thirsty. In time, you may end up trading the non-water beverage for a refreshing glass of water.

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Always take a pause before replying

In today’s super-connected world, many people feel the pressure to be “on” at all times and instantly reply when others reach out to us, especially when it’s through text message or email. But in both electronic communications and face-to-face interactions, it’s critical to remember that you always have the right to take a pause before responding - especially when emotions are running high. Try committing to a one-minute break before shooting off an email or text.

Taking a pause is a crucial step that helps you ground yourself, set intentions, and clarify exactly what message you want to communicate. There’s a reason why taking a pause is considered a fundamental anger and stress management technique according to the Mayo Clinic. 

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Take a daily walk

With companies adopting work-from-home policies for the foreseeable future, millions of people are spending more time at home than ever before. Without a physical office that requires a commute, it’s easy to slip into couch potato mode.

For people who’ve been mostly sedentary the past few months, the thought of resuming physical activity can be overwhelming. But there’s no need to run to the nearest gym - committing to taking a walk every day is a small change that goes a long way. 

Walking regularly is beneficial for physical health, according to Harvard Health Publishing, because it boosts the immune system and eases joint pain. The practice can also help you regain focus during a long work day. A 10-minute walk each day can help build stamina, get the body used to moving again, and may lead to an organic desire for more exercise. 

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LAUREN MARCUS, CONTRIBUTOR
Fascinated by storytelling since childhood, Lauren is passionate about the written word. She’s a freelance writer who has covered everything from the latest developments in tech to geopolitics. When she’s not writing, Lauren is interested in genealogical research and family folklore.