• Courtney Ustrzycki

35 Life Tips that Everyone can Benefit From

1. Start fresh every single day.

It might sound a little cheesy, but every day could—and should—be considered a fresh start. Had a fight with someone yesterday and didn’t resolve it? Had an awful day at work that you went to bed thinking about? Today’s a new day, and you should use it to approach the problem with fresh eyes and commit to either resolving the issue if it’s important, or move on completely if it’s something small or petty. You’d be surprised how insignificant problems might look once you put a few hours of distance between you.


2. Understand that exercise doesn’t have to be a big time commitment.

I don’t have to tell you that the biggest healthy habit everyone should have is regular exercise, although so many of us say we simply don’t have time. Sorry, but that’s not really an excuse. There's so much research and evidence proving that short but frequent bouts of exercise can yield some major health benefits. And no, all those little articles you've been reading lately on Facebook saying that a glass of wine is better than exercise for health, it's all crap. Doesn't work like that.


3. Drink a glass of water first thing every morning.

You just went a long time (hopefully about 6-8 hours) without anything, no water no food, and your body is dehydrated! The best thing you can do in the early AM is to grab a glass of water. One term I've heard being used a lot is "hydrate before you caffeinate," so make sure that first sip is of water, not coffee.


4. Cut back on processed sugar.

Although I don't push or promote food restrictions or dietary eliminations, I do believe that some foods really just don't need to be consumed often; processed sugars being one of them. If you cut anything , make it sugar. Processed sugar has no nutrients, no protein, no healthy fats, and no enzymes, making it empty calories that have negative effects on our health.


5. Don’t try to keep up with the Jonses.

Never try to keep up with that one friend who always has the new ‘it’ item—it’s a dangerous game to play, one that not only can harm your wallet, but can also wreak havoc on your self-worth, if you let it.


6. Count to 10 when you’re pissed off.

This healthy habit is one we all can adopt: before reacting, take a breath (or 10.) You’d be surprised at how much perspective you can gain in 10 seconds, as opposed to irrationally firing off an email, or confronting someone out of sheer anger before collecting your thoughts.


7. Put. Down. The. Cell. Phone.

Not only is it incredibly rude and predictable to always be on your phone, but obsessively stalking your cell can have serious health effects. Staring at your screen at bedtime causes people to take longer to reach the deeper stages of sleep and to spend less time in them. Bad news, as deep sleep is essential for your body to rejuvenate cells and repair damage suffered during the day. Seriously, Instagram can wait until morning.


8. Stop beating yourself up.

About every little thing that happens at home, at work, or socially. If you’re really regretful or unhappy about something specific (snapping at your boss, not calling your family enough, drinking too much at a friend’s party and doing something silly) address it head-on, otherwise move on. Harping on things can only add extra anxiety to your life.


9. Don’t do drugs.

It might sound funny when put so succinctly, but you’re never going to save any cash with bad habits. Plus, not quite the 'healthy habit' to adopt if you're trying to live a more balanced lifestyle.


10. Likewise, don’t smoke.

Between exorbitant cigarette prices and health bills down the line, it’s so not worth it.


11. Take care of your clothes.

Wash them properly, hang them up, and fold them instead of tossing them on the floor, and get things repaired if needed.


12. Consolidate and pay off debt as soon as possible.

If you have debt, make it a point to consolidate it to a lower interest and paying it off ASAP. Money paid in interest is money thrown away. This is something I've done recently and it's been an incredible feeling to pay off debt!


13. Don’t snack if you’re not hungry.

Mindless eating can lead to weight gain and general unfulfillment, so be sure to eat—and enjoy—when your body tells you it’s physically craving food, not when you’re bored, stressed, or upset. If you're not sure if you're hungry, my go-to is to chug a glass of relatively cool (not cold) water, wait 15 minutes, and then if I'm actually hungry, eat a nutrient-packed meal.


14. Practice the 20/20/20 rule.

If you stare at a computer all day with no breaks (we’re totally guilty), try practicing the 20/20/20 rule, which doctors say reduces eye strain and redness: take 20 seconds to look at something 20 feet away every 20 minutes. Or (and!) invest in a pair of blue light glasses. I got mine from the Klassy Network online!


15. Don’t rely on pills to sleep.

Try experimenting with other methods first, like exercise, natural sleep aids, magnesium, and proven relaxation techniques.


16. Consider taking liquid chlorophyll.

Chlorophyll is the dark green pigment found in plants, but it also has amazing benefits for humans. It has a similar molecular structure to hemoglobin (the substance that’s responsible for transporting oxygen around the body), and just one tablespoon a day can boost red blood cells, improve oxygen, increase energy, help body odor, protect from cancer,  help regulate bowel movements, and increase  magnesium, vitamins, folic acid, iron, calcium and protein.


17. Eat whole foods as much as you can.

Processed foods and sugar have been proven to cause inflammation and drops in mood and energy. Instead, it’s key to eat plenty of leafy greens, lean protein, good fats, and complex carbs, as these nutrients help keep our blood sugar levels in check. Plus, good fats like olive oil or avocado, as well as complex carbs like brown rice also help to create feel-good serotonin.


18. Drink water.

It’s not rocket science: if plants—which are living things—wilt without water, we will too. Try keeping a large water bottle at your desk throughout the day and refilling it each time you’re done. Water hydrates our organs and our brain, so we’ll not only feel more awake, but look it, too. Dehydration has been shown to cause agitation, fatigue, and general unpleasantness. If you’re freezing and craving something hot, drink green tea, which is packed with antioxidants due to its high content of flavonoids.


19. Practice safe sex.

Unless you’re trying to have a kid, why would you sleep with someone without protection? Exactly. Use what you prefer, but don’t always rely on your partner to have it covered (no punh intended); that’s a dated mentality.


20. Make your home a place you want to be.

Spending a little time and money tweaking your crib to make it feel more comfortable is key to your well-being, and small things can can make a huge difference.


21. Keep the change.

Drop your loose change into the same jar at the end of every day. Once a month, take it to the bank and get cold, hard cash!


22. Cook (a little) more.

It’s almost unrealistic these days to expect busy people to cook every meal, but it really does make a difference in your overall health. A realistic way to go about it: replace one weekend dinner out with a nice meal made at home, and one takeout meal during the week with a healthy, easy dinner recipe.


23. Stand up for yourself.

One of the most unhealthy habits we can have? Not speaking up for fear it’s too aggressive.  Not happy with the way a meeting went at work? Schedule some time with your boss immediately and be clear about why you’re feeling the way you do. Don’t complain, but be concise and firm. Same goes for personal matters—friends and family aren’t mind-readers.


24. Read labels.

On everything, from food to cosmetics to shampoo. It’s important to take ownership of what you put in and on your body.


25. Don’t skimp on sleep.

Sleep is absolutely essential to our health—both physical and mental—and not getting enough can have some pretty major effects. Research points out that irritability and moodiness are some of the first signs a person experiences from lack of sleep. If a sleep-deprived person doesn’t sleep after the initial signs, they may start to experience apathy, slowed speech and flattened emotional responses, impaired memory and an inability to multitask. Adults should aim for six to eight hours a night.


26. Listen to your body.

You know what they say: pain is your body’s way of telling you something’s wrong. That doesn’t mean every little ache is serious—most aren’t—but be attuned to your own body. On the same note, if you really feel that something isn’t right, don’t be scared to go to a doctor—isn’t it better to have piece of mind right away, than constantly worry?


27. Always, always, always wear a seatbelt—even in a taxi.

This one should be self-explanatory.


28. Wash your hands often.

It sounds obvious,  but washing your hands really is the best way to avoid getting sick. We all carry millions of microbes on our hands (um, yuck.) While most are harmless, we can pick up some that cause illnesses, such as colds, flu, and diarrhea. When we forget to wash our hands, or don’t wash them properly, we can spread these germs to others, or give them to ourselves by touching our eyes, mouths, noses or cuts on our bodies. The best way to wash? Use soap and water for about 15 seconds (or the time it takes to sing “Happy Birthday.")


29. Go on a social media diet.

This is a big one. Dependence on social media usually means we’re more lonely, narcissistic, and depressed than ever before. Which is why limiting your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest intake could lessen anxiety and boost your self-esteem. Plus, it’s key to remember that all this stuff is ultimately making us less connected. Texting and tweeting are two of the most impersonal ways of communicating—it’s low intensity, and it requires low commitment on the part of both parties—while Facebook just makes us nosy, not social.


30. Floss!

Annoying but true: flossing really matters! It isn’t so much about removing food debris as it is about removing dental plaque, the complex bacterial ecosystem that forms on tooth surfaces between cleanings. Plaque is what causes tooth decay, inflamed gums (gingivitis), periodontal disease, and eventually tooth loss. Flossing or using an interdental cleaner is the only effective way to remove plaque between teeth.


31. Sneeze into your arm, not your palm.

We’re told as kids to cover our mouth when we sneeze, but it’s actually way more sanitary to sneeze into your sleeve, which lessens the amount of spreadable germs.


32. Stash snacks.

Keep healthy snacks like nuts, protein powders or bars, or veggies and hummus at work so you won’t feel the need to run to Starbucks at 3pm for a Venti one-way ticket to Calorieville. Remember, keep track of the intake though!


33. Shop on a full stomach.

Never go grocery shopping when you’re super-hungry. Why? Because everything looks good, so you’ll undoubtedly start throwing in items you normally would never buy.


34. Learn to take constructive criticism.

Obviously, petty criticism shouldn’t be tolerated, but if someone’s taking the time to try to tell you that what you’re doing could be more effective, let them. Lessening your defenses is a healthy habit that’ll pay off in the long run at work, at home, and in relationships.


35. Never let Google diagnose you.

Guess what? Google may be a genius, but it’s not a doctor, and therefore has no power to accurately diagnose you. Do yourself a favor and see an IRL physician before you convince yourself you have scurvy or Scarlet Fever when you really have a tiny cold.

© 2019 by Courtney Ustrzycki. Photos credit of Georges Schemagin (video) & Workout Magazine Mexico. All rights reserved.