10 Simple Everyday Wellness Habits You Need To Start Doing Now
Let’s face it—adulting is extremely difficult. Gone were the days when we could just live carefree lives, stay up late all night, or munch on as much pizza as we can without a care in the world. When we’re dealing with work, relationships, and the real world in general, it’s hard to fight off the stress, much less keep self-care a priority in our lives.
But taking care of ourselves is the one thing we should never neglect—not if we want to live a long, full, and healthy life for years and years to come. Here are just a few simple wellness habits that you can incorporate into your daily life—because it’s time you gave yourself some well-deserved TLC.
1. Get off your butt.
Yes, a lot of us spend most of our days sitting down, whether in front of the computer or driving through the congested bowels of traffic that is Metro Manila. The problem with sitting down for long periods of time is that it increases triglycerides, decreases good cholesterol, and causes our bodies to become inflamed—and when that happens, we’re in a much more dangerous position for heart attack risk.
If you can’t help but sit down all the time, always be conscious of your posture. Sit up straight to keep those aches and pains at bay. Or better yet, have a standing table so that you can stand up while working on your laptop, and try walking to work to reduce your risk of diabetes and high blood pressure. Walk around during your lunch hour, or hoof it down to the nearby convenience store when you’re on a quick break.
2. Read, read, read.
Studies show that unhealthy levels of stress can be significantly reduced by a good read. Anxiety can be kept at a minimum if you immerse yourself in a good story, and you can even listen to some music while you’re at it to drop down your stress levels to up to 67 percent. Bookworms, rejoice!
3. Laugh out loud.
They say that laughter is the best medicine, and yes, it’s the best form of therapy indeed. Read funny comics, share amusing stories, and watch those hilarious YouTube videos everyone’s going crazy about. Laugh as often as you can, and surround yourself with sunny, positive people. Every time something lifts your spirits, you release some feel-good hormones such as dopamine and endorphins, effectively reducing your stress and giving you your much-needed energy boost.
4. Make sure the kitchen is closed after hours.
After 7 p.m., hang up a metaphorical “Closed” sign on your kitchen door. Midnight snacks can be quite tempting, but this unhealthy snacking can keep your body from repairing metabolic functions—the task it needs to do at night when you’re done eating. Disrupting this can make your blood sugar, blood fats, and inflammation levels rise, not to mention you’re often tempted to snack on the unhealthiest things ranging from potato chips to the late-night chocolate chip cookie.
5. Let the air in.
Every so often, open those windows inside your home to let some fresh air in. The air inside your house can be as polluted as can be when you don’t let the air circulate, as indoor air contains fumes from candles, hairspray, chemicals, cooking, and so much more. Make sure you open your windows when the weather is good, and use a fan to help circulate the air indoors.
6. Drink milk every day.
Remember those milk moustaches you used to laugh about when you were a kid? Keep at it. A glass of milk helps stunt arthritis, especially in the knee. Just remember to choose the low-fat or fat-free kind, and lay off the cheese as the saturated fat in this can trigger some unwanted inflammation.
And while you’re at it, drink plenty of water every day too. Eight glasses or two liters of water a day keeps you hydrated, energized, and focused. Always keep a water bottle on your desk at work, or have a pitcher inside your room so you can refill your glass as needed.
8. Rethink your exercise.
It’s all in the mind. When it comes to exercise, don’t think of it as a chore that you’re being forced to do—think of it as a fun activity that helps you take a break from all the stress that’s weighing down your day. Don’t think that you SHOULD exercise. Think about how at peace you will feel after a good workout. A simple change in mindset can make a big difference, as the positive feelings you have right after a workout will keep you happier, more satisfied, and less likely to binge-eat those snacks after exercising.
As an added bonus, try to breathe deeply for three minutes (inhale for four seconds, then exhale for six) when you feel stressed. This can be a pretty simple workout too, and it’ll help you feel so much better after.
9. Unplug before bed.
If you don’t ditch the electronic devices right before bed, it will take you longer to fall asleep after, and the blue light emitted from these mobile devices can cause negative effects on your body. It’s a good idea to unplug every once in a while. Try to keep yourself from scrolling through your phone for about half an hour each day, and start increasing that time as the days go on. Make it a habit that’s a normal as brushing your teeth or taking a shower. Pretty soon, you’ll find that you won’t need to check your phone as much, and that you’re more inclined to do something more productive with the time you used to spend burying your nose into your phone.
10. Listen to your body.
Are your eyelids dropping from all the stress and all the staring at your computer screen? Give it a rest. Do you desperately need to pee? Don’t hold it in. Is your stomach growling like it’s the end of the world? Go grab something to eat, for goodness’ sake. Your body has its own ways of telling you what’s wrong, and it’s about time that you started listening to it. Paying close attention to how your body responds to the unhealthy habits you cultivate every day will set you on the path to self-care straight away. After all, health is wealth, and there’s no better time to start caring for yourself than right now!