Taking care of yourself is one of the most important skills you can learn. When you were little, adults took care of your needs and invested in your future. They made sure you got enough sleep, ate the right foods and developed your mind and emotions. Adults helped you navigate emotional meltdowns and taught you how to communicate well.
After you became an adult, all the responsibility for self-care shifted to your shoulders. Unfortunately, many adults struggle to practice self-care and maintain a healthy level of wellness. Too much work, emotional strain and high stress can lead to mental and physical burnout. By contrast, focusing on wellness can help you stay productive, joyful and present in your life. Here are five wellness tips you need to know.
1. Eat Well, Be Well
If your parents urged you to eat more fruits and vegetables when you were little, they were on to something. Nutrition can play a big factor in staving off chronic disease and promoting mental health. Although Americans have access to a lot of food, much of what they eat is nutritionally bankrupt. A diet rich in vitamins, minerals and essential proteins is the foundation for good health.
If your diet isn’t great right now, you can improve it one step at a time. Start by cutting out processed sugars, white flour and fried foods. Avoid premade items that are full of preservatives, food dyes and other artificial ingredients. Next, up your fruit and veggie intake. Switch to whole grains and vary your diet with the seasons. Don’t forget to drink plenty of water so your body and brain stay hydrated.
2. Avoid Those Toxins
Your body can’t function well if it’s reacting to toxins in your environment. Unfortunately, many everyday care products contain questionable ingredients that can stress out your immune system. For example, most scented candles are sold without a list of ingredients. The beauty industry, which is largely self-regulated, sells products with chemicals that are known hormone disruptors.
Many building materials and even the finish on new furniture can emit toxic fumes into your home over time. Eliminating the number of toxins your body experiences on a daily basis could significantly improve your health. Start reading labels and take action to purify the air, water and personal products inside your home.
3. Practice Life Balance
Balance is a word that often comes up when people talk about wellness. The problem with achieving balance is that life is always changing. This means that your strategies for balance and even what balance means to you will have to change over time. Don’t be discouraged when you find yourself out of balance – take the time to reassess and self-correct.
Many people think of balance in terms of opposites. For example, you might consider how much work you’re doing versus how much rest you’re taking. The goal is to find a mix of rest and work that suits your personality and life circumstances. Strain and exhaustion are signs that something is off-balance. By paying attention and readjusting, you can protect yourself from burnout and stay healthy.
4. Invest In Yourself
People are complex creatures. You may think of your mental and physical health as separate, but they are actually linked. For example, your body might be more prone to anxious thoughts when you don’t get enough sleep or if you drink too much caffeine. Start paying attention to how you feel throughout the day and take steps to improve your health.
Start by taking care of the basics. Are you drinking enough water? Working out? Taking time to rest after a long work day? Getting enough sleep? You should also consider the health of your relationships. People are made for community and too much isolation can aggravate depression and anxiety. Make time for learning, invest in hobbies and do things you enjoy with your friends. Invest in yourself so that you can function well and enjoy your life.
5. Prioritize Having Fun
As an adult, it’s important to be responsible. You likely have bills to pay, mouths to feed and debts to pay down. However, life is meant for more than work. One of the best wellness tips we can share with you is to take time to enjoy yourself, as it is an investment in your overall wellbeing – especially if the way you unwind is healthy in itself. Spending time in nature, baking nutritious food or talking through life with friends are all good ways to have fun and invest in health at the same time.
Research shows that the number of times you laugh each day decreases as you age. This is unfortunate, since laughter is both physically and mentally rejuvenating. It instantly reduces stress, lowering blood pressure and relaxing muscle tension. Over time, laughter can actually strengthen your physical immune system and relieve pain. It’s worthwhile to make time every day for laughter.
Wellness Is A Journey
Your health defines much of your life. The choices you make today will affect your physical and mental state in the future. It can be helpful to think of your choices as bank deposits. Each act of self-care and every good decision you make is an investment toward your future wellness. For example, drinking water instead of soda with dinner means a healthier tomorrow.
Mental and physical wellness are inextricably intertwined. You can follow these five wellness tips to enhance your everyday wellness. Improve your nutrition and cut out any toxins in your daily routine. Practice balance in your activities and make basic self-care like rest and food a must. Finally, don’t forget to make time for fun – work to create a life you love and make sure you laugh every day.