Whether the house needs to be cleaned, work has to get done, dinner needs to be made, or there’s an event to attend, it’s easy to put health on the back burner. I get it, life is busy and there are more important priorities throughout the day than getting your steps in. Therefore, I’ve developed some health and wellness tips to better your health and self when life gets in the way.
As a past college student, full-time employee, and part-time traveler, I’ve placed my health on the sidelines for years. However, after years of feeling stuck, I realized my goals and dreams were unachievable because I didn’t have the time, space, motivation, energy, or clarity to get after them.
Cue a focus on my health and wellness.
After this new realization, I needed to figure out how I could make the time and create the energy for my health and wellness. I knew my life wouldn’t drastically change overnight. I understood that my goals would not be achieved out of thin air. Therefore, I started off by simplifying my health/wellness and making micro adjustments to better my self.
Why should we prioritize our health and wellness and where should we start?
“Wellness is the act of practicing healthy habits on a daily basis to attain better physical and mental health outcomes, so that instead of just surviving, you’re thriving.”
As unique individuals with varying backgrounds, lifestyles, locations, and relationships, the circumstances that bring us to a state of well-being vary as well. I believe there are a handful of general guidelines and tips that can enhance the health and wellness in our lives.
Here are 10 tips to bring more health and wellness into our day-to-day lives:
- Adopt a whole foods diet
- Drink more water
- Find daily movement
- Create and stick with a morning routine
- Socialize with uplifting people
- Get quality sleep
- Keep your environment clean
- Find purpose in work or hobbies
- Seek out joy
Simple right? Now let’s break it down a little further.
Adopt a Whole Foods Diet
Eating whole foods means seeking out, cooking, or consuming foods in their most natural form such as fresh fruits and veggies, raw nuts and seeds, quality animal proteins (pasture-raised, grass-fed, or wild-caught), legumes, whole grains, and non-processed fats or oils.
Adopting a whole foods diet also means reducing the consumption of foods with more than a handful of ingredients such as processed snacks, foods with additives, sugary beverages, baked goods, etc.
Examples of processed foods include: potato chips, cupcakes, candy, boxed cereal, ice cream, boxed rices, pastas, and mac n cheese, and pre-made frozen or refrigerated meals.
Health and Wellness Tips to Start Adopting a Whole Foods Diet:
- Stick to the outer rim of the supermarket: The outer rim of the store is where most food markets keep their whole foods stocked. In comparison, the grocery aisles are where you can find mostly processed foods.
- Try a new fresh fruit or veggie every time you shop at the store: You may find your favorite new staple produce item to incorporate in your everyday meals.
- Experiment with new recipes: More often than not, when I try new recipes, I end up adopting these meals into my weekly diet. New recipes may mean new ingredients you haven’t worked with before. New ingredients means new nutrients for your body!
Drink More Water
With the variety of beverages available in our markets and grocery stores, it’s easy to forget about the most beneficial and natural beverage for your body: WATER! I’m completely guilty of this and tend to reach for more coffee, sparkling water, or tea options instead. Our bodies are made up of 80% water and would greatly benefit from the extra few glasses a day.
Health and Wellness Tips to Drink More Water:
- Keep a bigger and aesthetically pleasing water bottle on-hand: As silly as it sounds, carrying a 32oz water bottle wherever you go will encourage you to drink more water throughout your day + make a cute accessory to your look.
- Infuse your water with fresh fruit or herbs: Imagine yourself at a day spa. The spa workers hand you fresh lemon/mint infused water while you’re soaking in a hot tub. They’re playing relaxing meditation music softly in the background. This fruit/herb infused water really adds to the moment doesn’t it? Not only does this addition to water add a refreshing spin to your beverage, but there are also many nutritional benefits depending on the fruit or herb
Find Daily Movement
The key to keeping a sustainable movement practice is to find an activity that you love doing. Whether that means going to the gym, taking an exercise class, going on a hike, watching a tai chi YouTube class and following along, taking a bike ride, going for a walk, etc. Consider trying something new that you’ve been longing to do. If you prefer physical movement with others around, invite a friend or partner to take a class with you.
Health and Wellness Tips to Finding Daily Movement:
- Make a list of all the physical activities that spark an interest in your mind: This could be yoga, rock climbing, swimming, dance, hula hooping, running, etc. Now give yourself a goal to try one of these new activities a week and see how you enjoy it. Like I said before, the key to a sustainable movement practice is finding movement that you love. This act of physical movement transforms from something you HAVE to do, to something you WANT to do.
- Park further away from the store, work, or the gym: Many of us have the habit of always trying to find that spot closest to the building. Why not add in an extra few steps to your daily routine?
- Download a podcast or audiobook and go for a walk: I love listening to podcasts but rarely find the opportunity to tune in. Taking a walk while listening to that much anticipated book or podcast is the perfect way to kill two birds with one stone.
Create and Stick with a Morning Routine
Morning routines are your opportunity to start the day off intentionally. I personally feel better when I’m consistent with a morning routine that allows me to ground down before a busy day ahead. My routine varies but typically consists of journaling, meditating, yoga, and solo dance sessions. Here are some grounding activities you can add to your morning routine today!
Health and Wellness Tips to Starting a Morning Routine:
- Start small and expand with time: It’s easy to brush aside your morning routine if you wake up a little later than anticipated and are short for time. Decide on 1-2 activities you can take up each morning that won’t take up a lot of time. Whether that means journaling for 5-10 minutes or taking up a short meditation practice. Seek out an activity that allows you to ground yourself even when you are short for time.
- Add some fun to your routine: Sometimes a morning routine sounds like a drag and it’s the last thing you want to do when you first wake up, so why not include an activity that brings a smile to your face? This may mean dancing to a favorite song, reading an enjoyable book, or taking up a creative activity such as painting.
Socialize with Uplifting People
Surround yourself with people who build you up and inspire you to do/be better. You know that saying, you’re the sum of the 5 people you hang with the most. Are these friends, coworkers, peers, family, an inspiration to your personal health, happiness, and growth? Or are they people who drag you down.
Health and Wellness Tips to Surrounding Yourself With Uplifting Individuals:
- Set boundaries and stick with them: This is a scary one for us people pleasers. Relationships should be mutually beneficial for both parties. If you have any relationships that strictly involve the other person always coming to you when they need something or you have to be the one to reach out to plan something, the relationship dynamic is off and it’s time to talk it out and create healthy boundaries.
- Remove toxic people from your life: I learned this hard lesson in my late 20’s. If you have any people in your life that constantly make you feel bad about yourself, are seemingly bad influences, are constantly talking negatively, etc., it’s time to start evaluating these relationships and decide if you really need them in your life.
- Seek out communities who share similar passions with you: There’s bound to be a community in your town that shares similar passions as you such as rock climbing, yoga, photography, etc. Find these communities on Facebook, local events, gyms, or local establishments.
Relaxing often gets tossed to the side when life gets busy. Just like physical movement, relaxing can look different for everyone too. The goal to relaxation is to tap into the parasympathetic nervous system so your body can come back to a stabilized, homeostasis state.
Health and Wellness Tips to Relax More:
- Sit in hot water: Draw a bath, soak in a hot tub, or seek out some hot springs. Hot or warm water will calm the organs in the endocrine system, allowing for a more relaxed state in the body.
- Adopt a breath work practice: When you’re in a nervous or high stress state, your heart starts beating faster, blood pressure raises, and cortisol rushes through the body. A relaxed breathing practice will reduce these high stress reactions and calm the nervous system.
- Take a walk in nature: Whether you live close to a trail system or have access to a park, seek out trees, flowers, or a body of water to walk among or sit next to. Leave leave the technology at home or turn your phone on airplane mode. Between the fresh air and sounds of nature, your body connects back to the parasympathetic nervous system or the “rest and digest” state of being.
Get Quality Sleep
Do you wake up feeling energized or do you find that you rely on caffeine to help you get through the day. How many hours of sleep does it take for you to maintain a naturally energized state? Do you struggle to fall asleep at a decent hour or toss and turn throughout the night? Some reasons you may struggle to fall asleep – or stay asleep – are that you drink too much caffeine throughout the day, drink caffeine too late, don’t drink enough water throughout the day, stare at a screen too late, or don’t have a way to alleviate or manage stress.
Health and Wellness Tips to Sleep Better:
- Adopt a nighttime routine that helps you unwind for bed: Some relaxing nighttime activities I enjoy doing includes taking a hot bath, unwinding with yin yoga, listening to relaxing music, and drinking a warm cup of tea.
- Take a “sleepy supplement:” My favorite things to take to induce the sleepy vibes includes CBD oil, sleepy time tea, and a GABA supplement. Another supplemental option is melatonin but I personally find this particular supplement to be too strong and carries over the next day.
- Shut off the screen at least an hour before bed: Screens such as your computer, television, and phone emit a blue light which interferes with the natural production of melatonin in your body making it harder to fall asleep.
Keep Your Environment Clean
How clean or organized is your personal, work, or commute space? A cluttered space equals a cluttered mind. If you’re the type of person who can function in a messy space, I challenge you to set aside some time to clean up/organize your space and keep it clean for a week. See if your productivity increases when your space is clear and organized.
Health and Wellness Tips to Keep Your Environment Clean:
- Set aside time at the end of your day to clean up your personal space: If you can dedicate 10-15 minutes to clean up your bedroom, office, and/or kitchen at the end of each day, your future self will be thanking you the next morning.
- Purchase or make your own non-toxic cleaning products: Most cleaning products on the market are full of chemicals and toxic materials. While using these products, there’s a good chance you are either inhaling the toxic fumes or touching these chemicals with your bare skin. An investment in toxic-free cleaning products keeps the chemicals away from your physical environment and self.
Find Purpose in Work or Hobbies
Where do you find purpose in life? Does it feel like there’s meaning behind the work you do and does it align with your soul? Or do you just work for the paycheck? If you’re working a job just to pay the bills, is there a way to find meaning in the work you do?
Health and Wellness Tips to Cultivate More Purpose in Life:
- Find purpose in the work you already do: I’ve worked a variety of jobs in my lifetime. Some to simply pay the bills and others I thought would be suitable as a career but still left me feeling a bit purposeless. However, within that work I have found ways to make my means to an end feel more meaningful. If the work you do feels a bit purposeless, how can you make it a little more meaningful each time you clock in or step into the office? Set the intention to put a smile on the face of every individual you interact with. Ask your boss if you can plan a special event for work Create a green program for your company to develop a more sustainable process. When it comes to developing purpose in your work, the options are endless.
- Start each day with an intention: I like to start most mornings off with a journal session. Within this session I often craft an intention for my day such as “connect with more people, find joy in the little moments, turn a stranger into a friend, etc.” What intentions can you set today that will create more purpose to your day?
Seek Out Joy
It’s easy to get caught in the busy work grind and leave joy for the weekends only. How can you seek joy on a day-to-day basis. What brings you joy? Is it your dog, your family, home cooking, watching butterflies float on by, snuggling up with a good book?
Health and Wellness Tips to Seek Out More Joy:
- Take a pause for 5 minutes and observe your environment: What are 3 things within your sensory surroundings that bring a smile to your face? This could be a butterfly passing by, the color of a flower outside, the smile on your coworker’s face, a simple interaction between two individuals, the words of a song you’re listening to, etc.
- At the end of each day, list out 3 things, big or small, that brought joy to your day: Try this out for a week, naming something different each and everyday. This will encourage you to cultivate more awareness throughout your day and pick up on more simple joys in your day-to-day life.
- View your routine drive with a set of new eyes: Do you have a routine route the you take to work, the store, the gym, etc.? Next time you take this drive, I challenge you to view route with a curious childlike perspective. What can you notice that is new, different, or enjoyable on this routine drive?
Well there you have it, 10 tips to simplify your health and add more wellness in to your day-to-day life!
Do you find yourself putting health and wellness on the back burner as well?
Do you struggle to achieve your big goals or dreams?
After a few days of eating poorly, neglecting exercise, drinking too much, or binging on Netflix, how do you invite health and wellness back into your life?
We’ve all been there, believe me. My goal for this article is to help simplify health for busy individuals like you and encourage you to make those micro adjustments better yourself and achieve your big dreams!
Let me know in the comments below what your favorite health and wellness tip is!