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How to change your habits to prioritize your health and wellness

How to change your habits to prioritize your health and wellness

Prioritizing wellness now can aid your health and wealth down the road

Think we're full of sheet? Let’s dive a little deeper into a few of the many reasons that habits can directly impact your health and future wealth.

At some point in your life, you’ve likely heard the phrase, “without your health, you have nothing.” While not entirely accurate (healthy or not, you'll always have a pile of laundry to do), there is some truth to the statement.

It’s likely you lean towards one end of the spectrum—either taking good health for granted or spending time complaining about small issues that really aren’t that serious (e.g. "where are all these ear hairs coming from?"). Let’s be honest, health gets put on the back burner when life gets hectic, and we only start to notice our less favorable habits when it impacts our ability to live the way we want.  

Stress, burnout, weight loss or weight gain, mood or energy fluctuations, emotional swings, oversleeping, sleep deprivation, and the list goes on. By keeping your health in check and making a point to stick to your routines even when life gets crazy, you can set yourself up for a healthier future with fewer medical bills, more savings, intentional planning, and an overall better quality of life.

dog in bed with a white comforter and purple pillow

"My life advice? Skip this whole post and be a dog."

1. Fail to plan, plan to fail

It’s no secret that being organized and planning can help you reach your goals faster. Do you find it’s easier to just wing it and see where your day takes you assuming you will get everything done (aka, the Fly By the Seat of One's Pants strategy)? Although this might seem easier in the moment, being disorganized can lead to personal and professional issues. Even more importantly, living this way can overwhelm and stress you out which takes a toll on the ol' ticker (amongst other essential organs).

What to consider: Start creating a plan for your day, whatever that means to you. Using your iPhone or Google calendar or an old-school rock and chisel agenda, schedule to-dos ahead of time. You’d be surprised how easy it is to reduce stress and increase freedom by simply blocking out times you are unavailable ("Can't talk, putting on a duvet cover from 12-4"), saving the rest of your time for other things. Instead of feeling guilty, you'll have a better idea of your day and will know if you can fit something else in or need to pass.

2. Establish a morning routine

This is your morning routine: your alarm goes off, you hit snooze 32 times, eventually you roll out of bed, take a quick shower, get dressed, grab a protein (candy) bar, and head to work. Sound about right? Leaving the house in a rush, without leaving a single moment to yourself can spike your cortisol levels and cause unnecessary stress before you even arrive at work.

What to consider: Try to start your day with positive morning habits such as, waking up a little earlier, making your bed, and tidying up so you can come home to a clean, relaxing environment. Allowing yourself to do something you enjoy in the morning, whether that is yoga, meditation, staring at the ceiling or journaling can help prepare your mind for the day. Setting aside some extra time is a good idea if you want a smooth transition into your day. And, yes, waking up earlier means reducing the Bridgerton binge and winding down your evening a little earlier—you’ll be glad you did.  

3. Creating an evening ritual is just as important

If you are not getting adequate sleep at night, there is nothing that can help energize you throughout the day to replace a good night’s rest. Not a coffee, an energy drink, or even a workout (although, doing lines in the bedroom may help). Many people are not getting enough quality sleep or work shifts that don’t allow them to follow natural circadian rhythms. Whether you work days, nights, long hours, or wake up early in the morning, the same truth holds: 7-9 hours of sleep is absolutely essential.

What to consider: Even if you work an atypical schedule, you can take some steps to get more deep sleep each time your head hits the pillow. Committing to putting your phone down an hour or more before bedtime, cutting caffeine at least 8 hours before bedtime, and consuming a healthy diet can improve your quality of deep sleep, helping you feel ready to take on the day.

4. Can money really buy happiness?

It’s important to identify what your strengths and weaknesses are when it comes to financial management. Strength: making money. Weakness: spending it all. If you have not yet started your journey of financial planning for the future, now is a great time.

Does money buy happiness or does it just make it a lot easier to enjoy everything life has to offer? Either way, starting to save as early as you can will help you reduce stress later on and allow you to live the way you’ve always wanted with no strings attached. (No offense to marionettes.) 

What to consider: Determine your goals for the short and long term. Do you want to travel, own a eucalyptus bedding business, change jobs, or start a family? Either way, you should be setting yourself up for the twists and turns that are involved in any of these life transitions. By setting aside money and investing in the right areas, you can have the proper financial support to reach your goals.

5. Your daily habits can impact your insurance rates

As you may know, unhealthy habits such as smoking, which increases cancer risk, or excess drinking, which can lead to liver disease, can negatively impact your ability to get affordable life insurance rates.

Equally at risk for high life insurance premiums are those who are overweight or obese and are therefore more susceptible to diseases and risk factors that come along with not maintaining a healthy weight for their body.

According to a Harvard study, one out of every 3 U.S. adults is obese, which is about 36% of the population. Although everyone, no matter their health status, should secure life insurance coverage, it might not be as affordable if you are at a higher health risk.

What to consider: Start making incremental changes to your diet or lifestyle that can help you become a healthier version of yourself. Swap out that late-night entire cheesecake for some fruit or try taking a walk on your lunch break instead of scrolling through cat TikToks (KitToks?). These small acts can make a bigger difference than you realize and allow you to protect your future without putting a large dent in your savings account.

6. Establishing healthy boundaries to align with your vision

Another overlooked aspect of being healthy is establishing boundaries that align with your life goals ("No thanks, I don't do the milk crate challenge anymore.")

Establishing boundaries doesn’t need to affect your relationships in a negative way. Instead, ask yourself if what you’re doing supports your financial goals and lifestyle. If not, you’re allowed to take a break. If you’re worried about hurting someone’s feelings, suggest doing something else that supports the lifestyle you are striving for ("Hey, let's eat quinoa instead of Tide Pods.").

What to consider: When it comes to setting boundaries, don’t be afraid to say no. Even if you don’t have other plans but you’d rather catch up on that pile of laundry, redecorate your bedroom, or take a walk in nature. Being direct is a great way to reduce decision-related anxiety and allows you to be more productive. Don’t be afraid to suggest an alternative option that better aligns with your lifestyle and supports your budget. Doing so can help you achieve your goals and help you avoid feeling guilty about spending money when you don’t want to.

Society at large has gotten into the habit of overlooking the basics of health and wellness to help us be the best version of ourselves. Oftentimes, the answers are in simplifying your life, establishing healthy routines, and preparing financially for the years ahead. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle makes life easier and requires less financial support. By making some small, yet necessary changes we can better promote wellness and establish a lifetime of wealth.

 dog in bed looking at the camera

"Trust me, this is easier."

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