Riley’s Rainforest: Change for the Better
When you learned to ride a bike, did you wobble and crash a few times? Eventually, you figured out what you needed to do physically and mentally to keep your balance. Then you formed good habits to cruise along safely.
From breakfast to saying bedtime prayers, our daily habits can have a powerful impact. One study found that about 45% of what we do each day is habitual. Habits save us time and energy because we don’t have to wrestle with decisions. But if we slip into unhealthy habits, like not getting enough sleep or exercise, they can do more harm than good.
The good news is that we can change our habits and create new ones. One way is to set up your surroundings so it’s easy to do the things you want to do. For example, if you want to drink more water, put a glass of water by your bed so you remember it first thing in the morning.
Another trick is to attach a new habit to an old one. If you already practice the piano after school, try going for a walk afterward. Pretty soon your brain will connect the two activities. And make your new habit fun—bring along music you love.
To break a habit, like eating sweets after dinner, replace it with a different one, like eating fruit. Give yourself a reward, too—play a game with a sibling or relax with a good book.
Pay attention to what you do each day, and look for ways to make healthier choices. Habits are powerful—and you have the power to change them for the better.
Explore & Soar: Healthy Habits
When it comes to habits, small changes can make a big difference. Here are little things you can try to be healthier.
- Use a timer to keep screen time under control.
- Make time to meditate, even for a few minutes every day.
- Each day, write down three things you’re thankful for in a journal.
- Spend time reading a book to wind down before bed.
- Take a reusable water bottle with you when you leave the house.
- Move whenever you can. Run, bike, jump, walk, skate—even do a silly dance!
Did you know? Do you use a phone, tablet, TV, or computer before bed? The blue light from screens mimics sunlight, making your brain think it’s daytime even when it’s dark. That can mess with your sleep if it’s too close to bedtime. Experts suggest avoiding screens for an hour or two before bed for a healthier, more restful snooze.
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