I am not health-conscious whatsoever. I rarely work out, and when it comes to groceries, I usually only buy whatever is convenient rather than what is healthy. I’m always on the go, and my main priorities are my career and social life. Adopting healthier habits can improve your life significantly, and I’ve personally made five changes to my routine that help me every day. Mentally, physically, and emotionally, these healthy lifestyle tips have had a tremendous impact on my overall health – and I promise even the busiest career women can make time for them too.

1. Eat breakfast within the first hour of waking up.

    We are constantly being told how essential it is to have a nutritious breakfast every morning. I made it a habitual practice to always eat something within the first hour after waking up, and now my body cannot start the day without food.

    I don’t enjoy cooking or grocery shopping, so I always have instant oatmeal at home; it never goes bad and you just add some water, microwave, and done! If I’m in a big hurry, I’ll take a ThinkThin bar with me. With 0 grams of sugar and 20 grams of protein

    2. Stretch!

      It can be tough to resist the urge to wake up and immediately start checking e-mail, Instagram, and last night’s texts. I know how difficult it is from personal experience! I start my day off right by spending a few minutes each morning stretching, taking deep breaths, and visualizing my perfect day. This helps me overcome the urge to constantly check my phone throughout the day. Stretching invigorates you by stimulating blood flow and waking up the senses–allowing you to have increased energy levels that last throughout the day.

      3. Take the stairs.

        I don’t always make working out a priority, but I try to get some exercise in whenever possible by taking the stairs. Hiking up the stairs while wearing heels and carrying a purse is considered a workout in my book!

        4. Make to-do lists the night before.

          To ease my mind before sleep and have a productive night, I make my to-do list for tomorrow the evening prior. When I have a plan of attack written down, the next day’s stress and anticipation melt away. Plus, knowing that I’ve got a plan helps me go to bed feeling like I’ve already accomplished something. Without a doubt, the advantages of planning allow me to stay concentrated and on schedule for the next day; I feel in command and confident all day. It’s an immense psychological relief.

          5. End the day with gratitude.

            It’s only human to think we lack what we need or want. After everything we accomplish in a day, it’s easy to focus on the things that went wrong or what we don’t have. When I take the time to think about what I’m grateful for, it helps refocus my feelings from negative to positive. At first, I have to admit that I was skeptical of this practice. Surely there are more sophisticated ways to cope with negative emotions than recounting blessings like a second-grader on Thanksgiving? But gratitude works wonders in reorienting one’s perspective. At first, I was only looking for things to be grateful for so that I would have something to write down at the end of each day. However, I gradually realized that this train of thought wasn’t just limited to the end of the day–I was practicing it all day long! Constantly training your brain to look for positive aspects will result in a much happier and more peaceful life. That’s an offer I’ll take!

            How do you keep yourself in good health? Share your steps to a healthy lifestyle down below!

            Want to stay healthy like Jaime Petkanics? Here’s her secret!

            Photo: Thinkstock

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