Lifestyle

Healthy Habits That Support Wellness

May 25, 2022

You can start with small changes and take it one day at a time; even something as simple as drinking a large glass of water as soon as you wake up every day is taking a step towards improving your health and well-being.

We’ve polled our coaches and registered professionals. Here are the top 6 clinically proven habits aside from exercise and nutrition to reduce stress, promote positive social interactions and achieve optimal wellness.

1. Gratitude and Journaling

Practicing gratitude each day has been shown to increase happiness, reduce depression and anxiety, strengthen relationships, and lead to stronger self-control and better life satisfaction. 

Here are a few ways you can practice Gratitude:

  • Starting a gratitude journal and writing down thoughts at the beginning or end of each day
  • Pay it forward with an act of kindness, or let someone know that you are grateful for them.

 

You don’t have to write things down, and you don’t need to spend a lot of time on gratitude. Even just taking a moment to think about something you are grateful for puts a positive spin on the day. I like to do this while I brush my teeth.

2. Meditation

Meditation is the process of training your mind to focus and redirect your thoughts. 

Meditation is something everyone can do to improve their mental and emotional health. There’s a great variety of styles, each with different strengths and benefits.

It can be done anywhere, any time, and it can only take you a few minutes to do it each day. You’ll get better at it with practice and consistency. Start with short guided meditations found in many apps, including GFIT. As you become more comfortable, you can increase the time or try it without a guide.

Some benefits include reduced stress and anxiety, better quality sleep, a calmer and more positive mood, the ability to process more information, organize your thoughts and increase focus and productivity. And lastly, you’ll notice that you have more willpower and self-control.

3. Reading and Podcasts

The benefits of reading and listening to podcasts go far beyond what you might think. They are easy, convenient and affordable ways to challenge your mind and educate, inspire or entertain yourself.

Suppose you are ever going through a challenging time. In that case, reading can take care of your internal thoughts in a healthy way, compared to electronics or mobile devices, which often increases stress and anxiety. Like gratitude or meditation, you’ll notice reduced stress and anxiety and improved sleep. It opens your mind to other perspectives, and you’ll have more to offer in conversations.

I often listen to a podcast while driving or going for my morning walk and read before bed to relax my mind before I sleep.

4. Limiting Social Media

Social media is a great way to stay connected with others and can even be an effective business tool. However, it can become very time-consuming and may come with some drawbacks.

Studies show that the average person spends around 4hrs on social media each day. Not only is this a massive distraction from other daily tasks, but it can impact relationships, cause insecurities, increase stress and anxiety, cut into your sleep, lead to obesity and, affect the overall quality of your life. 

Four tips you can use to cut down your screen time are:

  1. Keep apps out of sight, or turn off your notifications.
  2. Enjoy meals without your phone.
  3. Leave your phone outside the bedroom/limit screen time before bed
  4. Limit your social media consumption by tracking it on your phone. There is a Weekly screen time feature in your settings, and you can set app time limits.

 

Take more time to be present “in the moment,” put your phone away and appreciate what’s right in front of you!

5.  Taking Breaks and Vacations

When we have a lot on our plate, stress can quickly add up. Work demands, meeting deadlines, extracurriculars, family responsibilities, and social events can become very overwhelming. 

As you go through your day or week, you may feel distracted, irritated, or anxious, leading to poor choices and potential mental burnout. Research shows that scheduling breaks into your routine, whether at work, school or home, allowing your mind to reset. This can increase productivity, relieve stress, boost your mood, and improve your daily focus. 

Here are a few examples of things to do in a quick 5-10 minute break:

  1. Go for a short walk, preferably outside, so you can soak up some vitamin D. 
  2. Deep breathing exercises
  3. Stretching
  4. Quick workout with bands to boost your endorphins
  5. Listen to a podcast or your favorite relaxing song.

Another great tip is making sure you go on vacation or even a stay-cation 1-2 times a year to disconnect and take some well deserved time to recharge and rest - mentally, emotionally and physically. 

6. Schedule Organization 

Every week brings stressors and tasks that need to be accomplished. Cleaning, work, grocery shopping, meal prep, exercise, and social life are part of our everyday life.

We can sometimes get overwhelmed or anxious when we have a lot on our plate. Having a weekly and daily checklist is a great way to accomplish and help prioritize everything that needs to get done. 

Here are some ideas to help you stay organized and in control of your week:

  • Write out your schedule in a day planner. Having a visual of your week helps to see it more clearly.
  • Determine the highest priority to your lowest priority and schedule them accordingly.
  • Writing out specific times for specific tasks
  • Give yourself 4-5 things to do in a day versus trying to cram your weekly tasks all into 1-2 days.
  • Make sure you give yourself those scheduled ‘breaks’ or time off.

Doing this helps keep us productive, focused and feel accomplished at the end of the day!

There are many forms of wellness. You don’t need to incorporate them all at once. Pick one area to focus on and build it into your routine. Once that habit becomes regular, you can look at incorporating more.

Along with nutrition and exercise, these habits can help you round out your health and fitness journey so that instead of just surviving, you’re thriving.

Book a call with our Wellness Coordinator to learn more