Reese Witherspoon's healthy habits list – is it achievable for the average person?

·Lifestyle Writer, Yahoo Life UK
·4 min read
Reese Witherspoon at the 6th annual InStyle awards (Getty Images)
Reese Witherspoon aims to read for up to an hour everyday and go to bed by 10pm (Getty Images)

Reese Witherspoon has shared a list of some healthy habits she's working on, which has sparked mixed reactions.

The actor, producer and entrepreneur, 45, posted a video on Instagram saying she's been thinking "a lot about habits recently," inspired by the book Atomic Habits by James Clear.

"It's really interesting because it's about how the habits that you do every single day, really can change your life. So if you're doing something that's 1% better for you everyday, you're going to get 1% better everyday, if you're doing something that's 1% worse for you everyday, you're going to get 1% worse everyday," she explained while filming herself and dog, Major, before a walk.

The habits on Witherspoon's list include spending 30-60 minutes reading without distraction everyday, and being in bed by 10pm to try and get 8 hours of rest – without watching TV late.

Her caption reads: "Let's talk about habits! Are there any that have improved your daily life? Here are some I'm working towards.

"1. Start the day with a big glass of water.

"2. Get 10 mins of outdoor light.

"3. Spend 30-60 mins reading without distraction everyday.

"4. In bed by 10pm. *no late night TV binges. Try to get 8 hours of rest!"

Read more: I felt more depressed than I'd ever felt': Reese Witherspoon opens up about postnatal depression

Reese Witherspoon arrives to the Oscars red carpet for the 93rd Academy Awards in Los Angeles, California, U.S., April 25, 2021. Chris Pizzello/Pool via REUTERS
Witherspoon was inspired to share here healthy habits list after reading book Atomic Habits by James Clear (REUTERS)

While her well-intended tips and opening up of the conversation sparked many more sharing their own goals and tips, it's fair to say not everyone has the luxury of being able to go to bed by 10pm each night, let alone have time to read for an hour a day.

Acknowledging this in a more light-hearted and humorous way, friend and fellow star, Ina Garten, shared her own goal's list, highlighting the realities of life.

The 73-year-old author and TV host commented on Witherspoon's post, "To quote @reesewitherspoon - that sounds great but I'm probably not doing any of those things! LOL!! My formula is easier to follow:

"1. Drink more large cosmos 2. Stay up late watching addictive streaming series, 3. Stay in bed in the morning playing Sudoko instead of reading a good book. 4. Spend more time (safely) with the people you love. In a pandemic, I do what I can!"

Read more: A weekend lie-in almost halves the risk of depression, study finds

UNSPECIFIED - JUNE 25: In this screenshot released on June 25, Ina Garten accepts the award for Outstanding Culinary Host for Barefoot Contessa: Cook Like a Pro during the 48th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards broadcast on June 25, 2021. (Photo by Daytime Emmy Awards 2021 via Getty Images)
Ina Garten won the award for Outstanding Culinary Host for Barefoot Contessa: Cook Like a Pro during the Emmys on June 25, 2021. (Daytime Emmy Awards 2021/Getty Images)

It seems the point Garten is trying to make is that balance is key – while she may "drink more large cosmos" and stay up late watching "addictive streaming series" (failing Witherspoon's "no late night TV binges", she will also try to spend more time with the people she loves.

Garten's list is perhaps a little more relatable, as although the likes of binge watching isn't conventionally healthy, people across the globe have leaned on these types of activities to help get them through the past couple of years during the pandemic.

These subtle mental health tricks could make your life better

So, what are some healthy habits that are a little more achievable for the average person (who may be working a 9-5, or two jobs, while balancing childcare and dealing with the rest of life's long list of to-dos)?

Other than Witherspoon's first two goals, which are slightly more realistic (though even leaving the house for 10 mins a day isn't always guaranteed these days), there are some steps you can take that you can fit in to your existing schedule.

A free guided meditation for just 10 mins a day, or even five, which can be done wherever you are – at your desk, while you make a cup of tea, or while the baby's napping – is a great start. Headspace offer a free guided 10-min medication, which it says will 'cultivate focus, compassion, and a more relaxed mind'.

Video: 2 mindfulness tips for sharing a small living space

The NHS' 5 steps to mental wellbeing are, '1. Connect with other people', '2. Be physically active', '3 Learn new skills', '4 Give to others', and '5. Pay attention to the present moment (mindfulness)'.

Mental health charity Mind highlights that these can be things as simple as 'talking to someone instead of sending an email', 'taking the stairs not the lift', 'getting a plant for your workspace' or even 'do a crossword or Sudoku' – it seems Garten's no.3 goal on her list isn't as bad as she might have thought.

Read more: Teacher endures freezing temperatures to go wild swimming every day for a year

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