Here are ten simple ways you can get healthier right now.
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.
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.
Big breath in. Big breath out.
Give someone a (virtual) hug
Hugging is fun and feels good. But in times like these we have to be a little creative when it comes to showing affection. While a virtual hug isn’t the same as the real thing – which helps elevate mood, reduce loneliness and reduces tension – we can still boost our happiness by checking in on our loved ones and reminding them why they’re so special. Our relationships are key to our health and happiness. So, spend a few minutes building yours.
Find time to laugh and smile
In these times, it’s important to find some light and laughter. Smiling – a big, broad smile – can help boost your mood. Tell a joke to your colleague, smile at a stranger, or have a laugh with a loved one.
Drink a glass of water
Drinking water is a fantastic way to ensure you’re feeling (and looking!) your best. Being hydrated will 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.
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.
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, supporting small businesses who might being doing it rough at the moment, or just remembering somebody’s name are all ways to get a boost of happiness.
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. If you’re working from home, this is even easier!
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 really miss your jokes” to a colleague if you’re still working remotely. If all else fails, “thinking of you” works a treat. 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.
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 frozen 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?