Easy Wellness Tips To Incorporate
Here at Hope Health Advocacy, we are focused on sustainable wellness in addition to patient advocacy. We’ve all been there before - we want to change our habits, hit the gas hard, and burn out just as quickly as we started. Save yourself from burnout by making small changes every day and recognize that some days will be better than others, and that’s okay! Some of the easiest changes you can make to your lifestyle to promote wellness are:
Swap sugary drinks for water
Move your body every day
Get more sleep
Practice gratitude journaling
Swap sugary drinks for water: Cutting out soda and other sugary drinks is the easiest way to reduce the number of calories you consume! On top of that, you will also be more hydrated. Most sodas contain caffeine, which is a diuretic. With more liquid leaving your body, your kidneys experience stress trying to find hydration. Your doctor would love for you to cut out soda - and so would your dentist! Sugar and acid erodes enamel over time, making teeth more sensitive and susceptible to decay. Overall, the cons of drinking sugary drinks far outweigh the benefits (sweet treat, energy boost). If you’re used to having a soda every day, it may be best to not quit cold turkey. You can make mindful choices each day to bring your weekly number down. If you prefer flavored water, add some fresh fruit!
Move your body every day: Getting some movement in every day is great for our mostly sedentary lifestyle. This doesn’t have to include fancy equipment or a gym membership. It can be as simple as taking a 20 minute walk during your lunch break or throwing a frisbee around with the family after dinner. You can also incorporate more movement during your daily activities. This can include taking the stairs instead of the elevator or parking farther away from the store. Anything is better than sitting all day - we have to celebrate the little wins!
Get more sleep: Sleep is one of the most overlooked factors to overall wellbeing. It is recommended that adults get about 7-8 hours of sleep each night. When we deprive ourselves of “beauty sleep”, we don’t give our cells and proteins enough time to rest. Getting good sleep is linked to a better immune system, increased mental health, and a stronger memory. Lack of sleep may not sound like the worst thing you can do to your body, but it in fact makes you more susceptible to major health problems such as high blood pressure, diabetes, heart attack, heart failure, and stroke. Consider getting to bed a little bit earlier each night to adjust your sleep schedule. Having trouble falling asleep? Your phone may be to blame. Blue light suppresses the secretion of melatonin, a hormone which is responsible for getting us to sleep. If you’re used to using your phone up until you close your eyes, try putting your phone down 10 minutes before bed and increase that number over the next couple days. You will notice a huge difference!
Practice gratitude journaling: Ever watch the news and feel like the world is crashing down around us? It's hard to remember that mass media from every political ideology is fear-based. Events are exaggerated and only the negatives are highlighted. It may seem that everything is horrible, but the reality is that so many more good things happen every day than negative things! The easiest way to center yourself and bring yourself back to reality is by gratitude journaling. You don’t even have to buy a journal! You can start off by logging one thing you are thankful for each day in the notes on your phone. By starting with this one small change, you force yourself to pay attention to the positivity around you that you may otherwise take for granted!