Nature’s Guide to the Best Daily Routines for a Healthy Life

Are you looking for the best daily routines to live a healthy life? Have you ever thought about how nature can provide some insight into this elusive lifestyle?

Interestingly, our best daily routines for a healthy life may already be in front of us – right in the natural world. Animals instinctively know when it’s their time to rest or exercise, and they practice habits that keep them in top condition. With this knowledge in mind, we can create daily routines based on what animals do naturally, adapted for humans.

In this blog post, I’m sharing nature’s guide to the best daily routines for achieving optimal physical health and emotional well-being. Through mindful awareness of your body’s needs, deliberate care practices that honor those needs, and linking with nature every step of the way, you will establish techniques to lead a life with less mental turmoil and more in line with your body’s nature.

Connect with your natural rhythms

Connecting with our natural rhythms is an important part of leading a healthy and balanced life. Animals have the advantage of rising and setting with the sun, but humans need to create morning and night rituals in order to stay connected to nature’s cycle. Awakening in the morning with intention, slowly stretching and setting your intentions for the day can be a great way to start the morning routine.

It’s important to keep away from your phone or other screens first thing in the morning: using the sun and movement to wake up instead of social media. Doing this allows our brain to be less distracted and more mindful. If we start out on social media, we stay distracted.

The end of the day should be just as intentional, acknowledging all that you have accomplished, dimming the lights and screens are some helpful elements. If we stay up late looking at white light screens, our brain still thinks it is daytime, and we throw off our circadian rhythm. This disrupts our rest and makes it harder to accomplish our goals the next day.

As humans, connecting to nature’s timing is critical for leading a balanced life. Calm, reflective mornings and evenings make the rest of our days smoother and more in line with nature.

Take breaks throughout the day

Animals take regular breaks to rest and relax, so should we. We need to find places where we can take a moment for ourselves. Animals aren’t thinking about expectations or obligations. They move when they need to move and rest when they need to rest. Though humans aren’t afforded this simplicity in modern life, we need to listen to our bodies when they’re talking to us.

Our lives have become increasingly more demanding. It can be tempting to push for productivity at any cost, but studies have shown that taking regular breaks throughout the day is essential for both physical and mental health. Animals inherently understand this phenomenon – they rest when they need to and don’t feel overwhelmed with expectations or obligations.

Though humans may not be as lucky, it is still important to take cues from your body and schedule in moments of mindfulness during the day. Search out places of respite or simply take some deep breaths, so that you can overcome stress before it takes control. Taking breaks isn’t a sign of weakness or laziness; it’s medical advice that should be taken seriously in order to reach peak success in all areas of life.

Meet your physical needs

Animals get to drink when they’re thirsty and eat when they’re hungry. We’re always caught up in our days and often forget to stay hydrated or keep our energy up. Our health is one of the most important aspects of our lives yet we often neglect meeting our physical needs by not drinking enough water or eating healthily.

Animals in nature instinctively know when they need to drink or eat, but humans are more prone to getting caught up in their daily routine and forgetting that our bodies need sustenance and hydration in order for us to stay healthy along our journey. Water is especially important for health, so it’s essential to make sure you take regular breaks to rehydrate and pause throughout your day.

Animals have a lot built into simple hydration rituals. They structure their days around watering hole visits, often with hundreds of animals visiting the same spot over the course of the day. Zebras, for example, build their social rituals into their water trips. Our days aren’t structured around that anymore; we structure our days around work. It’s more important than ever to serve our basic needs when we get distracted by our obligations.

Get outdoors – explore nature and appreciate its beauty

Many people spend most or all of their time inside. This runs counter to our needs. Sunlight is very important to us. It helps our mood, gives us Vitamin D, and improves sleep. It is essential for us to take the time to get outdoors, explore nature, and appreciate its beauty by taking walks or hikes.

Too many of us spend an unhealthy majority of our lives indoors, disconnected from nature and missing out on important sunlight benefits. Sunlight helps regulate our moods, supplies a natural source of Vitamin D, and encourages more restful sleep.

“You can boost your mood just by walking in nature, even in urban nature. And the sense of connection you have with the natural world seems to contribute to happiness even when you’re not physically immersed in nature.” –Dr. Lisa Nisbet

This highlights how just spending time outdoors can lead to health benefits and improved happiness — it all begins with consciously taking advantage of nature’s beauty. Humans are animals, too, after all. We need the same things that they need. Being outside allows you to reset your mind and connect with a time in human history that was less crowded with obligations and work.

Of course, the unfortunate reality of life is that we don’t all always have this chance. A lot of urban environments have very little green to them and getting to the nearest natural space might be difficult or impossible. You can supplement this with houseplants or a sunlamp, but ultimately all we can do is our best with our circumstances. Getting as much sunlight as we can and connecting with nature when we can helps mitigate the stress of modern life.

Practice mindfulness

Animals live in the present, and so should we. Meditation, yoga, or other things can center us. It is easy to get wrapped up in what has happened and worry about the future, but animals only know how to live in the present. We too should strive for this mentality, as it can reduce stress, anxiety, and even physical pain. Mindfulness techniques such as yoga, meditating, or simply taking time to focus on our breath can help us center ourselves and become more cognizant of our surroundings. Practicing mindfulness each day offers myriad benefits that can profoundly improve our lives — putting us closer to the same state of contentment experienced by animals. It’s not that animals don’t experience stress or become upset, but that they can more easily move on from stressful emotional states. We carry a lot of our emotions around with us without even realizing it.

“Researchers have shown that the act of mindful meditation fosters better brain health, including rewiring our brain to improve our ability to regulate our thoughts, behaviors, and emotions within as little as eleven hours of meditation over time.” – Caitlin O’Connell, Wild Rituals. 158

Animals, as O’Connell points out, do this naturally. Animals that migrate reset themselves and locate themselves in the present moment. Hibernation fulfills a similar function in bears. Animals don’t carry as much baggage as we do. Humans walk around thinking of our regrets and our fears, our past and our future.

Thinking of the hibernating bear or the migrating geese can help us here: every day is a chance to practice mindfulness and reset our minds to a state of calm so that we can continue forward in a more positive and comfortable way.

Do physical activity

Do some movement to get connected to the body and mind. Animals are physical beings and are present in their bodies. By staying in touch with our bodies, we can help our mindfulness journey.

Staying physically active is an important part of remaining in touch with our bodies and developing a mindfulness practice. When we take the time to move, it helps us get present with how we are feeling inside and how our body is responding to different situations. Animals move instinctively, connecting to their senses and natural rhythms, living in tune with their environment.

We can learn from animals how to better pay attention to our own physical movement, whether through yoga and stretching or dancing, running, or other forms of exercise. Through movement and mindful awareness, we can tap into a deeper awareness of ourselves and the world.

This won’t all happen overnight. Doing something every day is very effective, but also very challenging. Animals have a major advantage over us: they don’t need to fight their own willpower. Animals act quickly and instinctually. Humans have to overcome our daily challenges of everyday life to recover.

But over time, we can use the momentum of changing our daily habits to do amazing things, and one of the best things we can do for ourselves is to connect with our bodies and with nature. We want to reach the point where we’re doing things automatically, with no willpower required.

“It takes an average of 66 days for a behavior to become automatic (a habit), but for some people it can take as long as 8 1/2 months. Don’t give up!” –Mental Health America

We all have so much to learn from animals and their habits. Animals show us that we need to develop rituals to connect with our own natural rhythms, find places to take breaks during the day, meet physical needs, appreciate the beauty of nature by getting outdoors, practice mindfulness and meditation, and get connected to the body and mind.

Considering these tips can help us align our lives with nature. Doing this won’t only benefit us but also will provide an opportunity for greater connection with our environment. If living more intuitively is your goal, then looking at animal’s daily behavior can unlock key insight. Getting closer to how animals live might bring more understanding about yourself.

Keeping it simple, just like the animals do, is vital. By following simple routines that work best for you, taking care of yourself will become second nature. If you want to dive deeper into daily routines, then watch Andrew’s episode Best Daily Routines for a Healthy Life: The Power of Cycles, where he outlines the power of daily routines and how they can work for you—or against.

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