Making life-long changes doesn’t have to feel like flipping your entire life upside down. Introducing new positive habits can have the effect of eliminating negative ones without much effort. By making room for the good, there is simply less room for the bad. With cooling rains and extra doses of sun, summer is one of the best times to pick up new healthy habits that can last. Since these tips might not be one size fits all, feel free to take these ideas and work with them until they feel tailor-made for you.

Re-establish an evening routine

Use your awake time as a way to unwind and prepare for the next day. Try turning off the TV or getting off of your phone an hour earlier than usual and bust out a game of Jenga with the family. Get out a coloring book for grown ups and feed your creativity. Make getting ready for bed a ritual that gives you the opportunity to relax instead of treating it like a chore. Try lighting a candle, putting on soothing music or wearing a face mask while you brush your teeth. Use your new evening ritual as a way to make your mornings easier by laying out clothes, prepping breakfast or lunch and setting essential items by the door.

Try a new fitness class

Fitness centers and studios love offering summer deals. Get a friend to sign up with you for a trial and then meet up together right after work. Break a sweat and then enjoy getting home before dark. Or, venture off on your own so you can finally take that dance class you’ve been secretly dying to try.

See also: A new study: Unhealthy lifestyle possibly leads to unhappy future

Take a midday break

Think about how you reboot. Step away from your desk and take a walk. You can even bring your headphones to listen to your favorite tunes, catch up on a podcast or call someone you’ve been missing. There’s also the option to leave the phone behind altogether and find somewhere quiet to sit, even if it’s in your car. You can read a book or rest your eyes. Think about taking deep, rhythmic breaths.

Add fresh, seasonal foods to your diet

A healthy diet is all about eating foods that are wholesome, nourishing and tasty. Make a visit to one of Louisville’s farmers markets on the weekend and see what you can pick up. Bring home local honey for your morning tea, fresh baked bread or locally grown veggies for a stir fry.

Buy yourself gifts

Treating yourself doesn’t have to cost a small fortune. Go out to your favorite coffee shop, buy a bouquet of flowers for your bedroom, go back for that cute shirt at the boutique, download an audiobook or get that double scoop of ice cream or the blackberries from the grocery. It’s not about how much you spend, it’s about how much value it adds to your week.

See also: Must try: Quick and easy summer exercises


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