5 Habits You'll Be Happy You Started Today
Picking up a new habit can seem daunting, and when you think about committing to something over and over again until it becomes a routine behavior, well, that can honestly seem impossible. But here’s the truth: so much of how we spend our days is made up of habits. Eat the same thing for breakfast every morning? Scroll through your phone for an hour in bed before falling asleep? Is there a default workout that you choose over and over again? It doesn’t matter if the behavior is subjectively deemed good or bad—if it’s an ingrained pattern, it’s a habit.
The good news? You have the power to shift and change which habits and practices you choose to bring into your life. And as we’re reconnecting with our social selves and spending more time with loved ones, friends, and yes, even strangers, cultivating healthy habits is necessary for keeping us grounded and feeling supported.
So if you’re on the hunt for routines that’ll set you up for success this summer and beyond, look no further. We’ve got ideas for habits to help you navigate this new terrain with grace and self-compassion, all while continuing to address your needs and connecting with the daily practice of pouring into yourself each day.
Gone are the days of spending long hours tethered to the treadmill or pushing through a painful workout in the name of #gains. If you can’t stand more than 30 minutes at the gym (or, more relevant to the past year, in an at-home workout), you’re going to love the concept of exercise snacking.
Exercise snacking, or short bursts of movement done throughout the day, is supported by research as a sustainable and effective way to make sure you’re packing physical activity into your dailly schedule. Modeled after high-intensity interval training (workout sessions composed of short periods of high-exertion activity paired with short periods of rest), exercise snacking makes it easy to develop a daily movement practice. Matthew Stork, a Post-Doctoral Fellow in the School of Health and Exercise Sciences at the University of British Columbia Okanagan says it best: “You’re not restructuring your day around exercise. You’re restructuring exercise into your day.”
Ready to transform your relationship to fitness and start snacking on exercise? The New York Times called 2021 the year of the exercise snack and has plenty of resources to help kick-start your journey. Try this 7-Minute Standing Workout and get all their tips for finding opportunities for movement throughout your day right here.
Oh, and we’d be remiss not to mention the benefits of exercise snacking that we love the most: Workouts can be done anytime, from anywhere—and you don’t even have to put on leggings. How’s that for a no-excuse workout routine?
Oil pulling is a practice that deserves a spot in your healthy habits arsenal. An ancient Ayurvedic tradition, oil pulling has been practiced for thousands of years as a means of promoting not only oral health, addressing such conditions as gingivitis and tooth decay, but also as a powerful detoxifying technique. Ayurveda encourages oil pulling to purify the body’s systems, believing that each section of the tongue is connected to different organs such as the kidneys, lungs, liver, colon, and heart, a commonly held belief in other medicinal practices such as reflexology and TCM.
Reaping the benefits of oil-pulling couldn’t be simpler. Make it a part of your morning routine by swishing a tablespoon of liquified Conscious Coconut Oil in your mouth for 15 to 20 minutes. Don’t think you can last that long? Fortunately, when it comes to oil pulling, multi-tasking is encouraged, and you can lessen the load of bacteria in your mouth while taking your morning shower, prepping breakfast, getting dressed, or taking things slowly first thing with a book in hand. Whiter teeth and fresher breath all before you start your day? That’s the beauty of an oil pulling practice.
DIY Hair Masks
While at-home haircuts are thankfully no longer a necessity, there are still plenty of ways you can give some love to your locks without leaving your living room. Hair masks are the DIY beauty treatment that we can’t get enough of, and there are so many ways you can customize your recipe with natural ingredients for a mask that addresses your hair’s unique composition.
An aloe mask provides some much-needed attention to an overlooked part of your hair: your scalp! Because aloe boasts anti-inflammatory properties, it’s an effective way to treat and moisturize a dry and itchy scalp. Make your own mask by mixing aloe vera gel with coconut oil to boost strength, tame frizzy strands, and promote soft and shiny hair. For step-by-step instructions and the full recipe, head here.
We love making things easy, simple, and streamlined, and our beauty treatments are no exception. If you’re looking for a no-fuss way to give your hair a healthy dose of shine, forgo the aloe and opt for a coconut oil-only mask. Scoop out a little CoCo and comb evenly through your hair, secure with a clip, cover with a towel, and pair with something relaxing and restorative for 30 to 60 minutes. Once your time is up, wash out the oil and enjoy the glow.
We know, we know: journaling isn’t anything new, and it can seem like wellness influencers have been promoting the practice for years. While the constant stream of posts pushing the benefits of the habit can feel like a bit much, if you’re a regular journaler, you know they’re 100% justified. And if you haven’t put pen to paper yet, now’s the time to get started. Keeping a journal and committing yourself to write down your feelings, fears, joys, and anything else that pops into your brain gives you the space to slow down, organize the clutter of thoughts, and cultivate a greater sense of calm.
Trust us, when it comes to developing a consistent and committed journaling habit, getting started is the hardest part, but there are a few simple steps you can take that will help set you up for continued success. First, find yourself a journal that’ll help you feel energized, excited, and inspired when you sit down to write. While aesthetics aren’t everything, having paper and a writing implement that you look forward to using can provide a beneficial boost of motivation that’ll support your practice.
Second, identify a period during the day when you’ll have 15 to 30 minutes of uninterrupted time to yourself. Whether it’s the morning, evening, or sometime in between, clear your calendar, set your phone to airplane mode (or, better yet, place it in a different room), and sit down to your journal prepped and ready to connect with yourself.
Speaking of connection, the pandemic showed us just how important time spent with others is to our well-being. All the FaceTimes with our families, virtual hangouts with friends, and, despite being short-lived, the Zoom happy hours with co-workers, pointed to our innate need to connect with others.
And while we may be enthusiastically brunching every weekend, eagerly responding “YES!!!” to all the invites, and RSVP’ing to every party between now and 2022, it’s also possible (and even likely) that going from zero to 60 in terms of our social lives will lead to burnout.
If that’s the case, get your daily dose of connection in smaller, more manageable ways. Send a little love note via text to your bestie just because, give your mom a catch-up call, or schedule a walk with your work wife. Remember to be honest with yourself about what feels like too much, too soon. With any habit, practice, or routine that you introduce into your life, baby steps are a tried-and-true way to let yourself thrive.
At Conscious Coconut, we believe that it’s the small things done daily that lead to a rich and vibrant life. Cultivate healthy wellness and beauty routines and shop all our options for coconut oil, hair care, dry brushing, and more.