August is National Wellness Month, making it the perfect time to try new things to create a better lifestyle. However, it can be daunting to start living healthier, whether it be physically or mentally, and it’s even harder to try and keep up those habits. Between simple self-care tricks to stress management, sometimes it’s hard to find the habit that will stick.
Thankfully, there are a few easy things you can try to make August a bit better this year. No matter your schedule, there are several small things you can do to improve your lifestyle throughout the day. Whether it’s life-altering routines to small steps towards a better tomorrow, here are the best tasks you can start to honor National Wellness Month.
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15. Drink More Water
Such a simple addition to your everyday life can bring huge benefits. While there’s nothing wrong with morning coffees or energy drink, adding in some more water to your daily routine can do wonders for your body. Due to your body losing water throughout the day, it’s crucial to keep up with the loss to prevent dehydration.
The recommended daily amount for biological males is 15.5 cups, or about 3.7 liters. For biological females is 11.5 cups, or 2.7 liters. While this is the recommended amount, any additional amount of water can be a huge help. So, for those who only have a couple of cups, try incorporating a few more to start, and then try to work up to the recommended amount. Remember, small steps are still steps!
A few benefits from drinking water include staying hydrated, maximized physical performance, having clearer skin, and overall helps your mood.
14. Create a Skincare Routine
Our skin is incredibly important, as it’s the main shield from our environment and what’s keeping us going inside, which is why keeping it healthy is crucial. While most might read this and imagine the long list of skin care products and shudder at how long it could take, that isn’t necessarily needed. While having a tedious skin care routine could be beneficial for some, as it’s a form of self-care, you can help your skin by doing a few things.
Some suggested products to start with can be a cleanser, toner, moisturizer, sunscreen, exfoliation, and some serums. The main objective for your skincare routine can be thought about as a morning routine and an evening routine.
In the morning, you’ll want to prevent and protect, so rinsing your skin with warm water and then applying moisturizer and sunscreen would be perfect. However, for your evening routine, you should wash your face with a cleanser to remove all the dirt from the day, and then you can use your toner, exfoliant and serums if you want to help repair.
This routine can be beneficial by having healthier looking skin, prevent the show of aging, improve self-esteem and mental health.
13. Go on Daily Walks
Working out can be hard to keep up with, as it can be rigorous training that takes a lot of time out of each day. But there are some workouts that aren’t are difficult. One such example is walking. The phenomenon of “hot girl walks” have exploded across social media over the years, thanks to Covid, and have since stuck. People everywhere have taken to daily walks to get some fresh air after working a long day.
There is also a number of people who purchase walking pads alongside standing desks to get their steps in while working from home. This simple task is a great way to move the body. Not only can this help lose weight for those interested, but it’s also an incredible mood booster. Walking can help with endurance, stamina, joints and strengthen muscles.
12. Try Meditation
Stress and anxiety have become a consistent part of everyone’s lives these days, and it can be hard to perform your best in life when there’s a constant nagging in your brain. Thankfully, there are several ways to push through this and improve. One big way is by deep breathing, or meditation.
Meditation is a mindfulness activity that focuses on how your breath. While most will let their mind wander, the main goal is to stay rooted at the focus of breathing. When doing this, you are learning to stay in the present moment instead of overthinking, getting anxious or stressed. Anchoring yourself to the “here and now” is extremely important. While this may seem like a simple task, it can be a complicated process staying centered.
If you start to practice this amazing activity, some other benefits besides reducing stress and anxiety include boosting mental health, enhance self-awareness, helps attention span, improve memory, improve sleep and help with pain.
11. Change Out Your Snacks
Since quarantine, food has become a loved hobby for most. From baking bread to Blackstone dinners, food has sparked joy in so many. But this also means snacking has become more frequent. While this is not to say that you should watch what you eat at all times and to change out every snack, there are some benefits to changing some of your favorite snacks to some that are a bit healthier.
Some great examples are protein bars. Instead of breakfast bars or cereal, choosing an easy protein bar can not only fill you up more for the day, but give you a bit more nutrition than what your other breakfast might be giving you. And instead of potato chips, picking up some Veggie Straws or Quest protein chips could be a simple way to feel a bit better for the day. Another great replacement is with your ice cream. While Haagen-Dazs is hard to beat, picking up a couple of Halo Top ice cream can be a huge benefit.
10. Do Some Daily Stretching
Does your back ache when you wake up? Or maybe your shoulder is hard to move from laying on it all night? There are several things that could help with your body, but the main one can be stretching. Whether in the morning or before bed, there are a lot of reasons why having a stretching routine can be extremely beneficial.
From neck rolling, shoulder rolling, to yoga poses like downward dog and child’s pose, stretching can ease up the tightness of your muscles, improve your flexibility, improve poster, calm your body and mind and decrease your chances of injuries.
9. Add More Fruits and Veggies
This might be an obvious addition, but still one that is greatly needed. Diets are one of the best ways to improve your mental and physical health. By adding some greens into your dinner, and some fresh fruit into your lunch, you can help your body in several ways. Granted, it can be hard to keep this routine up as not everything is in season all year round, but still trying your best to include some ingredients into your meals is important.
A big trend is infusing fruit into your water. While it might be a bit better to bite into them, it still has its benefits. From making you feel full, to help preventing the flue, join pain and heart disease, it’s a simple way of not only getting vitamins but helping you drink your water!
Some great benefits for incorporating fruit and vegetables in your diet are lowering your blood pressure, reducing risk of heart disease or stroke, providing vitamins and minerals to your body, preventing some cancers, and a lot more.
8. Give Yourself Affirmations
While this was a popular trend during quarantine, it’s still a valid routine that include in your everyday life. Affirmations are not just silly sentences to tell yourself in the mirror every morning, but confidence boosters that make you feel powerful. From improving confidence, mental health, and mood, affirmations are the perfect way to get your started for your day.
Giving yourself affirmations can definitely feel a bit silly at first, but after a few times, you’ll start to feel a difference. You’ll probably feel more attractive, and worry less about others’ opinions, and not feel so anxious when dealing with the world around you.
To do affirmations, you should look in the mirror, say them out loud, and use the present tense. Try not to point out negatives and choose meaningful ones that feel powerful for you. A few affirmations that you can try are “I am full of love”, “I am strong and capable”, and “I am fine just the way I am”.
7. Take Care of Your Sleep Schedule
Sleep can be so hard to come by, for some more than others. But for National Wellness Month, it might be the perfect time to work on creating a better sleep schedule. Instead of staying up until midnight or later and waking up at sunrise, try changing your routine so you get a few more hours.
Starting the day with such a lack of sleep can be daunting, and usually starts people in a bad mood. No amount of coffee can be made to improve what sleep could do for you. The recommended amount of sleep for adults is at least seven hours.
Some great way to improve your sleep schedule is by turning off screens an hour before bed, avoid heavy dinners and caffeinated drinks during the evening, create a soothing environment like limited light and calming activities, and try to limit naps during the day so you can stick to a regular schedule. While tossing and turning will always be an issue, there are great ways to improve your sleep.
6. Spend Time Away from Screens
Getting away from screens is close to impossible these days. Social media is addicting, people need to watch shows when eating food, and up to 16% of Americans have office jobs where they’re glued to desks. That being said, it’s crucial to get away from the screens at some point in the day.
It’s recommended that you spend between 3-4 hours a day away from screens. And the best time is before bed, that way you can sleep a bit better, as mentioned above. But how can you do this when it’s so hard? Breaking this up throughout the day might be easier than not looking at your phone three hours before you fall asleep.
The best way is to put shut the screens off at least one hour before you fall asleep. And then adding in the 20-20-20 rule to prevent eye strain throughout your daily life can be huge. To do this, every 20 minutes you spend on the screen, you should take a moment to look at something 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds. This could be a life, or eye savior for those staring at screens all day.
5. Try New Workout Routines
Working out can be hard, especially if you’re getting bored with it. There are only so many times you can do the same exercise. So, take this National Wellness Month as a sign to change up your routine.
Some great workouts to try at home would be yoga to improve flexibility and balance. Gym workouts could include rowing for good upper body strength and cardio. There are classes that becoming more common that utilize the rowing machine. Pilates is also a great workout to do either at home watching YouTube or during gym classes. For those that want a full body workout, try swimming. For those that want a bit more thrilling workout, indoor rock climbing could be a great chance to test your skills.
Whatever your level or interest, there are countless activities to do that could improve and extend your workout to become even more beneficial.
4. You Deserve Breaks Too
On the complete opposite spectrum of working out, this self-care task is still as important and meaningful than the others. Taking a break is needed in order to stay afloat during hard times. Whether you’re stressed, anxious, depressed or a bit of everything, taking a break can make a world of difference. Whether this means canceling weekend plans to stay in or taking a sick day at work that you’ve collected but haven’t used yet, try taking some time for you.
Life is chaotic, but nothing is worse than working tirelessly until you’re burnt-out. Working yourself until you’ve hit a wall will make you less aware, causing slip ups at work, and can even make you less tolerant, irritable, and less patient. Whatever the case is, take National Wellness Month as a sign to relax, and take a day or two off.
3. Try Some Hobbies
It can be hard to find some time to yourself, and when you do have the time, you might see yourself laying on the couch or bed scrolling through social media decompressing. While that’s a valid form of relaxation for some, others might want to do something more with their free time. For National Wellness Month, it might be helpful to try out some new hobbies.
TikTok has a plethora of ideas for crafters that want to try out trends like painting or crocheting. There are even helpful tips and tricks to get started. Whether you want to try your luck at being a professional streamer, start journaling, or maybe try your hand at baking and cooking new meals, there are several hobbies that can be found to work your mind and be more creative.
Not only does this improve your mental health, but it can help you learn new skills, become more focused and inspired, as well as motivate you throughout the day.
2. Eat More Throughout the Day
With how busy life is, and maybe due to some old habits back in school, most people don’t manage all three meals a day. Whether skipping breakfast and only drinking a coffee, or bypassing lunch and waiting until dinner, there are ample reasons why eating all meals can be a challenge.
Breakfast is a common meal to skip though, at almost 25% of Americans skipping it, which can lead to some negative side effects. Not only does this start your day with no fuel in your system, but it also puts a negative effect on your mood.
Skipping a meal can cause more damage than good. While eating less is very common for calorie deficit diets and fasting, eating enough to fuel your body is still needed. Not only does eating at least three meals, or snacking throughout the day, beneficial to give your body energy to burn calories, but it also boosts your mood if you eat right.
1. Create a Healthy Life and Work Balance
Work is exhausting. There are so many jobs that just don’t motivate you to wake up and bringing that energy into your home is terrible. Your mental health would appreciate it if you kept work at work, and not have it bleed into your personal life.
The new generation has had enough with how toxic the work environment can be, with some companies not paying a livable wage all the while expecting you to work overtime. It’s important to not let work overrun your life, so creating a healthy work and life balance is crucial. There is not enough time in the day to get everything you might want done, and overworking yourself is only going to cause less time for you in the future.
Creating this clean break between the two parts of your life will not only help boost your mood but reduce the stress and anxiety you have. It will make life more enjoyable, and creating healthy boundaries will make you feel more confident and aware of what you need and want in life.