10 Easy Ways To Improve Your Wellbeing Today
By the Wild Women On Top Team | Experts in hiking adventures for women
If you're anything like us, you might be feeling in need of a little extra TLC this week. Fires are burning across Australia, and many of us experienced a more difficult Christmas than usual.
In times like this, it's important to make sure we're giving ourselves the care we need to remain hopeful, productive and strong.
Here are ten simple ways you can immediately improve your wellbeing today.
1. Go outside and immerse yourself in nature
Put your phone away and spend five minutes in the park, by the coast, in a forest or just staring at the sky. Research shows nature helps to improve memory, relieve stress, restore mental energy, reduce inflammation, improve concentration, improve vision, improve creativity, make you smarter, improve your immune system and can help reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression. And you don’t even have to do anything – just sit.
2. Deep belly breathing
When you breathe slowly and deeply into your belly, it signals to your body that you’re safe. Deep belly breathing calms anxiety, dulls pain, relieves stress, improves blood flow, increases energy and improves overall health. And it’s so easy to do.
3. Give someone a long hug
Hugging is fun and feels good, but it’s also great for your health! Hugging is scientifically proven to strengthen the immune system, elevate mood, reduce loneliness, boost self-esteem, reduce tension, relax muscles, balance the nervous system and strengthen relationships.
4. Chat to a friend
Humans thrive on connection – our relationships are key to our health and happiness. So, spend a few minutes building yours. Tell a funny story to a workmate, meet a friend for coffee or call your mum. It will give you both a boost.
5. Drink a glass of water
Drinking water is a fantastic way to ensure you’re feeling (and looking!) your best. Being hydrated will immediately improve digestion, improve mood, prevent headaches, energise you, improve kidney function and keep you alert. It also keeps your skin clear and supple. Aim for 8-12 glasses (2-3 litres) today.
6. Go for a gentle walk
A gentle walk or hike is a fantastic way to improve your health today. It doesn’t need to be hard or arduous, just getting your legs moving in the fresh air is an immediate health-booster. Walking lifts your mood, improves creativity and increases mental acuity – and it’s fun! Grab a friend, plug in a podcast or just walk with your thoughts – and enjoy the health and happiness benefits.
7. Pay it forward
Doing something for somebody makes you happier but it doesn’t have to be fancy. Simple things like inviting a friend to join your walk, saving the last mouthful of a treat for your partner, washing a work mate’s coffee cup, smiling at a stranger or just remembering somebody’s name are all ways to get a boost of happiness. We also recommend donating to those impacted by the fires.
8. Take a nap
The Mediterraneans have it right - a little siesta might be just what you need. Just ten minutes of napping is scientifically proven to rejuvenate you, improving your overall health and wellbeing.
9. Speak positively to yourself and others
Give yourself and one other person a genuine compliment. It doesn't need to be complicated, but it's better if it's not looks based. For example, you might say to yourself: "I made an excellent, delicious, nourishing lunch - go me!" Or "I loved the way you expressed that idea" to a colleague after a meeting. If all else fails, we love "You look so happy!" There’s a whole industry devoted to helping us learn to speak positively to ourselves and others, so start by having one happy thought that you share with somebody else.
10. Fill half your plate with green veggies
The more goodness we add into our diet, the more health and vitality we have to give! It can be as simple as a handful of spinach or as fancy as steamed beans with flaked almonds, lemon and olive oil. If all else fails, just add some peas and a dollop of butter - yum!
Taking care of your wellbeing during challenging times doesn't have to hard, and it doesn't have to wait until tomorrow, next week or next year. You can boost your wellbeing and feel great TODAY, right now, with these easy, small habits. What are you waiting for?
To learn more about how to deal with the emotional impact of a disaster, our friends at Beyond Blue have some great tips.