Some behaviors have more impact on health and well-being than others. These habits are almost entirely within your own control. Make sure you are in a good state before looking to solve other problems. Only quit on a good day.
Put on your own oxygen mask before helping others.
This is part of the safety briefing before every flight. It’s also excellent advice for life. Make sure you’ve got a solid foundation to build on.
These are the simple (not easy, but simple) habits I’ve found to be most impactful to my physical and mental health. Solve for physical health first, then for mental health. A healthy body has the spare resources to power a healthy brain. These habits are in priority order, but you don’t need to finish one before starting the next.
- 😴📅 Consistent sleep schedule. Go to bed and get up at the same time every day, 7 days a week. 🔁
- 💦 Stay hydrated. Dehydration results in poor focus, physical discomforts, and myriad other issues. People often confuse thirst for hunger - when craving snacks, start with a glass of water.
- 🥗 Healthy diet. What you eat is the fuel your body has for energy, self repair, and building improvements. Eat enough, but not too much. Great inputs ➡ great outputs.
- 👟 Move your body. It didn’t evolve to sit at a desk all day. Do moderate to high intensity cardio, strength, or flexibility at least 30 minutes/day. 🏃 Running, 🏋️ lifting, and 🧘 yoga are the most direct options. Do at minimum an additional 30-60 minutes of light exercise per day, such as brisk walking.
- 🧠 Quiet the mind, 👂 listen to the body. Meditate for at least 10 minutes daily. Integrate the practice of quieting the mind and enjoying the moment outside of the meditation practice - such as while eating, brushing your teeth, or drinking water.
- ⚖ Choose to be happy. Happiness is a choice. Making that choice is a skill. The more practice you have, the easier it gets.