Your wellbeing includes every part of your life, from your physical health to your happiness levels, and your level of comfort. Too often, people focus on one area when it comes to life improvement. Chances are that you have goals for your work, your financial fitness, and maybe even family goals, as well as habits to help you achieve those goals.
But your health and wellness go deeper than that. That’s why, when you want to improve your wellbeing, you have to make changes in every aspect of your life.
This might sound overwhelming, but the key to making good habits is to start small. And you can begin with these 5 things you can do everyday for your wellbeing.
1. Drink more water
This is an obvious way to improve your health and wellness, and it’s a tip that you’ll find everywhere. But that doesn’t diminish its importance. In Australia, it’s estimated that 80 percent of adults suffer from chronic dehydration. This is a huge number and it’s one of the worst in the developed world.
Even mild levels of dehydration can cause issues like:
- Mental impairment
- Concentration problems
So, how much water is enough? 2 litres a day is the daily recommendation, but this can vary wildly depending on your diet, age, levels of physical activity, and even what climate you live in.
If you’re struggling to drink more water, here are some ideas to make it easier:
- Don’t drink milk, soft drinks, or coffee as replacements
- Add slices of fresh fruit or vegetable to water for a tasty kick
- Keep a jug of water nearby when you work and get in the habit of sipping frequently
- Use an app to track your water intake
- Filter your water to make it taste better
- Drink herbal teas to increase your water intake
- Drink a glass of water before every meal
2. Move around
Modern life is extremely sedentary, which is why this health and wellness tip is so important. You can’t make up for sitting in your chair for 8 hours a day by working out at the gym three times a week. This is especially true if you hate working out at the gym, because your sessions will only add to your stress levels.
Instead, try to find a form of exercise that you actually enjoy. This could be anything from swimming to dancing. Enjoying your exercise routine will go a long way towards improving your overall wellbeing.
You also need to try to move more often on a day-to-day basis. The best way to do this is by walking. Walking has mostly been forgotten as an exercise routine and yet the benefits of it are incredible. Walking regularly will:
- Reduce body fat
- Increase your heart and lung health
- Strengthen your bones
- Improve your balance
- Strengthen your muscles
- Reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, and diabetes
And you don’t have to go far. Even 30 minutes a day will improve your wellbeing. And if you can’t do 30 minutes all at once, then try to break it up into 10-minute mini-walks. Best of all, it will get you outdoors, in the sun, so you can bask in all the benefits of being in nature.
3. Keep learning
The old adage about using it or losing it applies to your brain as much as it does to your body. Your brain has the ability to grow and improve throughout your life. But this only works if you’re using it in a variety of ways.
Learning new things helps encourage the growth of new brain cells. It boosts your mood and self-esteem and keeps you relevant in an ever-changing world. It may even help prevent dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, two serious problems that affect older people.
Not every kind of task has these benefits though. The new task or knowledge needs to be challenging and you need to practice it regularly and actively. This means that sitting on the couch watching a documentary about a new technology doesn’t count!
Here are some ways to keep learning, no matter what age you are:
- Try brain game apps
- Learn small things like how to use chopsticks or writing with your non-dominant hand
- Learn to play an instrument
- Learn to speak a foreign language
- Take up a creative hobby like photography, drawing, or painting
The key to choosing the right activity for your health and wellness is you. Don’t try to learn something that you find boring. It will only stress you out, lower your mood, and won’t have any benefits for your brain.
4. Help someone else
It’s easy to get caught up in your own life and its problems. Dwelling on your issues doesn’t help to solve them and it often makes you feel worse in every way possible. Instead, get out of your own head and try helping someone else.
Helping others makes you feel more connected, boosts your mood, and gives you a sense of perspective. Once you’ve seen some of the problems in the world, your own can seem much smaller and more manageable. Helping others also makes the world a better place, and that helps everyone.
Make a commitment to help someone else every day. You can do this formally, by volunteering, or informally, by chatting with an elderly neighbourhood who needs company. Here are some more ideas for helping others that you can do every day:
- Remember to chat with a friend who’s having a hard time
- Get involved in local community projects
- Tell someone that you love them
- Teach a friend a new skill that they need
- Smile at a stranger
- Pay for someone’s meal
- Give money to a homeless person or buy them a meal
- Donate goods or money to charity
- Make plans to exercise with someone who needs to move more
- Send a thank you email
- Create a care package for a sick friend
- Join a cause and try to improve the world
- Babysit for parents who need a break
5. Learn to deal with stress
Stress is chronic in the modern world, and everyone suffers from it. Your sources of stress may be your work duties, your relationships, your poor diet, lack of sleep, or the demands of being a parent.
And then, of course, you probably add to your stress by adopting habits that help you get through your stressed days. These can include mainlining coffee, having a few drinks at the end of the day, smoking, staring mindlessly at the TV all night, or even shouting at your loved ones.
These habits may seem like they’re reducing your stress levels and they might, in the short term. But in the long term they will just cause more stress and damage your wellbeing even further.
Stress is one of the biggest threats to health and wellness in the modern world. It’s linked to heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, certain types of cancer, diabetes, and mental disorders like depression and anxiety.
So, it’s time to do something, every day, to reduce your stress levels. Here are some ideas to try:
- Recognise when you’re stressed and take steps to alleviate it
- Try relaxation practices like yoga or meditation
- Talk to friends or family
- Talk to a professional
- Take mini breaks throughout the day to breathe and relax
- Create a work of art
- Hug someone you love
- Express your gratitude for the good things in your life
- Exercise everyday
- Eat a healthy, nutritious diet that includes plenty of greens
- Cut out one bad habit that adds to your stress
- Burn some aromatherapy oils
- Journal about what’s causing you stress
- Listen to soothing music
- Practice deep breathing exercises
Being happy and healthy doesn’t come naturally, you have to work at it. And it changes all the time too, as your life and the world around you changes. That’s why you need to be aware of changes in your wellbeing and take action early, before it declines to a dangerous point.
A good way to help with that is by adopting some or all of these ideas and making them into everyday habits. This will give you a strong basis on which to make further changes as needed.