You might be surprised at the how simple it can be to improve your everyday wellness. I was surprised at how much better I have felt in the past few months (sans a disappointing three-week illness, but that was out of the ordinary), thanks to making a few health changes.
Of course, the problem with “simple” tips is that they are often easier to read than to implement, since many of them require you to change your habits. The good news is that you can prevail — as long as you make your changes in baby steps.
1. Eat Healthier Foods
This means more fruits and vegetables and whole grains and less red meat. While I haven’t completely cut red meat from my diet, it’s something that I only have on rare occasions, perhaps once or twice a month. Adding more fruits and vegetables can be a great way to change your diet because these foods fill you up, leaving you feeling more satisfied for a longer period of time.
It’s not always easy to do this, but the good news is that the Internet is awash in healthy recipes and it’s possible to find plenty of cook books that offer healthy recipes. Start planning your meals around healthy options, and little by little replace the junk food in your home with healthier options. You’ll be eating right in a few months.
Any exercise is better than no exercise. Do what you can to get moving each day. Start with 10 minutes and gradually increase the amount until you are at your desired level of physical activity. Make time for exercise, and you’ll find that less important activities drop away. Plus, you’ll have more energy overall.
3. Get Better Sleep
The right amount of sleep can help you make better decisions, feel energetic, and improve your mood. If you have been exercising, you’ll likely tire yourself out enough to sleep better. Try to stick to a sleep schedule that works for you. Develop a routine that involves turning off electronic devices and hour before bed so that your mind winds down. Instead, use the time to write in a journal, getting ideas and worries out of your head so they don’t keep you up at night. If you want more sleep, try going to bed a little earlier each night. Move your bedtime by five or 10 minutes a night until you get the sleep you desire.
4. Take Time for You
Each day, try to take some time for you. It can be as simple as a manicure, massage, 15-minute meditation, or half an hour reading something you enjoy, or 45 minutes of music practice. The important thing is to spend time doing something that brings you fulfillment and enjoyment. You need to relax and unwind. It will help you feel better, re-focus, and improve your mood.
5. Social Interaction
Humans are social beings. Even introverts like me enjoy some social interaction. While you don’t need to go out with friends every night, a little conversation can help. I like to talk with my husband in the evening after we’ve both had time to unwind a bit. We talk about interesting things, and it helps us connect.
I also like to meet with friends every few weeks, going to lunch or for a quick dessert. Small talk can help boost your mood, and social interaction can also help you keep your memory sharp.
Helping others is a great way to feel good. Not only that, but you can kill two birds with one stone since it can provide social interaction. I like helping out with causes I believe in. I’ve enjoyed volunteering at my son’s school, and with a local political organization. You don’t need to do this work every day, but making volunteer work part of your life, even if you only do it for a couple hours each month, can boost your everyday wellness.
7. Drink More Water
Hydration is an important part of feeling good. Adequate hydration can help prevent headaches, as well as keep you from feeling hungry when you’re not. It’s good for your skin, and can help you feel alert and awake. Replace your sodas and other sugary (or sugar substitute) drinks with water. If you like a little flavor, consider adding mint, lime, lemon, crushed watermelon, or cucumber to your water. You get nice flavor, without causing damage.
With a little planning, and small changes, it’s possible re-jigger your life for more health and wellness.
I feel so much healthier when I eat good and get even a little bit of exercise. It’s amazing what a good diet can do =)
I agree! When you get used to eating healthy, you immediately feel it when you get something not-healthy.
I try to do most of those. My daughter asked me last night if we could volunteer at the local animal rescue club. I think it is important to give back to the community when possible.
That’s awesome that your daughter already wants to give back! I agree that it is important to contribute in your community.
Sleep has become such a huge thing for me as I get older. I NEED a solid 8 to function at my best. When I was younger I could get away with less, but I can’t anymore. I grapple with the social interaction though. I would love to go out a lot more, like to dinners with friends, but with a tight budget it CAN sometimes be difficult. I’m glad at least for the most part my beach volleyball is free! Saving grace!
It’s amazing how important sleep becomes as you age. I agree that you do need to find ways to interact without spending a lot of money. The good news is that it’s often possible to do, as long as your friends understand that you need to make memories, not spend money!
These tips are so important! When I eat more fruits and veggies, my skin just seems to have the perfect glow. Also, I think it is important to eat organic as much as possible to reduce the toxic burden on our bodies and the environment.
I need to sleep more…I always seem to be trying to get by on the minimal amount of sleep possible. When I DO actually get a good night’s sleep I feel so much better and function so much more efficiently…..you’d think I’d learn after awhile, huh?
Sometimes it just seems difficult to get to sleep when there’s so much to do! But you’re right that it’s important to just get that sleep. Things go so much better.
Great list. I actually have a process I follow in the morning. I get up and drink a tall glass of water. Then I stretch then meditate. What I do need to work on is the sleep pattern. It’s been off the charts.
What a great way to start the day, Jason! I also like to do a little meditation, in the form of meditative yoga, when I first start the day. It’s a good way to get the body and the mind ready to go.