Little Habits I Made to Improve My Overall Wellness
When you think of improving your overall wellness, some of the first things to come to mind may be yoga classes, massages, or juice cleanses. These can all help you to better your own wellness, but they are also all pretty pricey and can add up quick. When it comes to improving your overall wellness, you can start by creating small changes in your everyday life—and if you’re consistent with them, they’ll quickly become a part of your daily routine. I didn’t used to care so much about wellness until a few years ago; now, it’s the little things I do everyday that make me feel great. Changing a few of your daily habits can help you achieve a better sense of well-being. These are some tips that you can try adding to your everyday life.
Waking up earlier
I know this isn’t what you want to hear, but waking up early doesn’t have to be as bad as you think. Waking up 30 minutes earlier than usual can give you some alone time to start your day on the right foot. Try spending this time journaling, meditating, or making a hearty, healthy breakfast to keep you full until lunch.
Replacing snack bars with fruit and vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are nature’s fast food. A lot of times, we reach for a protein bar rather than a piece of fruit. Although those bars may keep you full for a short time, the processed ingredients may also cause your energy levels to suddenly plummet, leaving you less energized than you started. Fruits and vegetables are full of fiber which will fill you up and keep you focused longer than that protein bar with ingredients you can’t even pronounce.
We’ve all heard it: get AT LEAST 7-8 hours of sleep every night. But how many people actually think it makes a difference in their lives? Prioritizing a full night’s sleep helps the body fully recover and makes you more productive at work and everyday life.
Eat only when you are hungry and stop when you are full: a concept that’s definitely easier said than done, and it certainly can take practice. In a culture where food has increasingly become the enemy, we’ve been subconsciously trained to follow certain “rules” of eating because they’ve become the norm. This could lead to a restriction or diet mentality. Essentially, intuitive eating ditches the diet culture our society has created. It teaches you to become in tune to your body and honor your hunger and respect your fullness.
Start each morning with a walk
This is something my father has done every morning for as long as I could remember, but I never really understood why until I tried it for myself. Getting your body moving first thing in the morning is a great way to wake you up and put you in a good mood. It gives you time to collect your thoughts and set intentions for the day ahead.
Drink a glass of water as soon as you wake up
When you’re asleep, you’re not drinking any water for anywhere from 7-8 hours of the day. This means that your body is naturally dehydrated first thing in the morning. One small glass of water can wake up your body, kick start digestion, and get your metabolism going for the day ahead.
Alright, let’s be honest, how many people actually take the time to stretch after a workout or after a long day? Stretching has countless benefits beyond physical health and the majority of people tend to neglect it. But guess what? Stretching and recovering your body is just as important as moving it. When we live in a world where we’ve all become more sedentary—whether we like it or not—it’s affecting our health. When I notice I’ve been sitting for a while, I take a short break just to walk around, move my body, and stretch to get the blood pumping again.
Drinking water with a straw
I started drinking water through a straw years ago, and it has made a world of difference in my water consumption. Sipping through a straw takes so much less effort and energy that you won’t even realize how much you’re drinking. I put a straw in a one liter reusable bottle and bring it with me everywhere. If I’m driving, walking through the streets, or on my computer, you can catch me drinking water from that straw (sometimes more than one gallon a day).
Move your body in ways that make you feel good
I am a competitive lightweight rower, so I am given workouts that I have to follow no matter how I feel that day. If it’s a bad day, then it’s a bad day, and I move on. But during the summertime I have the freedom to do other workouts I enjoy in a totally stress-free setting. If I feel like biking one day? I’ll go for it. If I feel like a light yoga flow? Sure. If I feel super ambitious and decide I want to (for some reason) do a series of sprints on the rowing machine? I will (try) to do it. Point is, I listen to my body and how I am feeling that day. There is no one-size-fits-all for working out. Do whatever makes YOUR body feel good.
Monitoring your phone use
I will be the first to say that I definitely spend too much time on my phone. I find myself checking it for no good reason, even though I know there’s nothing different there than there was 5 minutes ago. I’ve been starting to become more aware of my phone use by keeping it in a separate room a lot of the time— out of sight, out of mind. It’s also important to practice good phone “etiquette,” meaning keeping it off with friends and family, while eating, or watching TV or a movie. There are so many occasions when you’re probably checking your cell phone when you should be savoring the moment you are in instead of being sucked into useless social media.