11 Health and Wellness Tips Everyone Needs to Know
Category: Healthy Living
Canada has a well-deserved reputation for being a healthy nation.
Evidence suggests that the mortality rate has declined over time while the life expectancy has gone up. Compared to other nations, Canada is doing well in terms of general health. Incidence rates have also declined, thanks to a decline in smoking rates.
Still, we could always be healthier—and not only physically. Health encompasses mental and emotional, too. When you learn how to live well, you'll understand the many factors that come into play.
If you're trying to get (and stay) healthier, you might be searching for some wellness tips.
Luckily, there's no lack of information about healthy living out there. Here, we've compiled some of the top tips into one convenient list, giving you something to access time and again and share with friends and family.
1. Give Yourself a Break From Screentime
We are not robots—we are not meant to be connected to a screen!
Whether that's your Nintendo Switch, your cellphone, your TV, or your laptop, it's imperative to take breaks throughout the day. Bonus points for spending those breaks in the great outdoors. Doing so offers several benefits to your brain, mental state, eyes, circadian rhythm, energy, mental clarity, posture . . . The list of compelling advantages goes on (and on).
Taking breaks can be simple and quick.
If you work online for a living, practice the 20-20-20 rule often. Every twenty minutes, look at something twenty feet away from you for twenty seconds.
If you have a slight screen addiction, you may need to schedule your breaks to remind yourself to take them. For example, if you're playing the new hot game, set your alarm for an hour. At that point, get up and stretch, make a snack, do the dishes, walk your dog, or do some other form of mindful movement.
2. Make Sleep a Priority
Some people brag about their lack of sleep. "I'll sleep when I'm dead," they say, or "I work great with only four hours of sleep!" Sure, it sounds cool—but is it really?
Lack of sleep, or lack of good sleep, can be extremely detrimental to our well-being. After all, we spend about a third of our lives in bed. Why would we want anything but the best in that area?
That means doing several things:
- Investing in quality pillows or a supportive mattress
- Setting up your sleeping space for success with cool temperatures, no lights, no distractions, etc.
- Being consistent in your schedule, i.e., aiming for the same bedtime and wake-up time every day
- Reduce blue light exposure in the evening
- Forgo those late-afternoon cups of coffee or caffeinated tea
- Lowering consumption of alcohol, especially late into the evening
- Similarly, avoiding meals late at night
You can also take measures to relax and wind down before you settle into bed. You may practice techniques such as consciously relaxing (i.e., taking a bath), meditating, reading, or listening to soothing music. Whatever calms your mind will work!
3. You Know This One: Exercise Regularly
Regular aerobic exercise is crucial to a healthy brain and body. Really, any type of mindful movement is beneficial.
Many people avoid exercising because they don't have time to visit a gym, they're not in the mood for something intense, or they're not naturally athletic. Don't let these reasons stop you from moving your body.
Exercise looks different to everyone and can mean:
- Power-walking around your neighborhood or walking slowly but steadily
- Vinyasa yoga or yin yoga
- Lifting heavy weights or using your body's weight
- Jumping jacks or chair exercises and stretches
If you haven't exercised in a while, begin slowly and build up your strength and flexibility over time and with practice. Start small (think: 15 minutes of cardio or a half-mile jog) and grow.
4. Consider Your Diet (And Start Meal Prepping)
Here's an adage for you: you are what you eat.
Over your lifetime, you've probably heard this phrase tens or hundreds of times—but have you ever actually considered it? Really thought about what it meant?
If so, you'd realize that everything you put into your body does two things: helps it or harms it. Are you feeding your body with the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients it craves, or are you prone to indulging your sweet teeth? A dessert here and there is only natural, but a consistently poor diet will start to manifest itself in several ways.
A poor diet can have adverse effects on sleep, mental health, skin, mood, and more. A nutritious diet supports your bodily functions, promotes longevity, and might even leave you feeling happier.
One way to combat poor eating habits is to consider meal prepping. Often, we reach for what's quick and easy, which doesn't also mean what's healthy. This is especially true when we're late to work, exhausted after a long day, or just not in the mood to cook.
If you spend a few hours one day a week meal prepping, you'll reap the benefits several times that week. Batch-cook your ingredients, split them into containers, and heat them up or have them on-the-go. Double or triple your recipes depending on your household size.
5. Take Care of Your Skin
A skincare routine is something that both men and women can benefit from having.
First, it establishes a routine, as the phrase implies. This habit brings structure to your day—twice a day, if you do it morning and evening—and can help bring stability. This consistency is fantastic for mental health.
Pampering your skin can also boost your mood as it releases feel-good chemicals in the brain. When you care for your skin, try facials, or bond with loved ones over their routines, you're improving mental health one dab of your moisturizer at a time.
For an easy routine to do AM and PM, simply cleanse the face with a product that suits your skin type, and then apply a moisturizer for hydration. Hydrated skin will appear more youthful, healthier, brighter, and more blemish-free.
6. Check in With Your Mental Health
How are you feeling?
Now—how are you really feeling?
Asking yourself mental questions every day allows you to gauge your mental health status, learn your triggers or hang-ups, and make improvements. There's tons of value in understanding what you're feeling, what's taking up space in your brain, and how to do actionable, joyful things to instill some peace or quiet. You can do this in whatever form makes sense for you, whether that's journaling, meditating, or something totally different.
Caring for your mental health also means checking in on your physical health. When was the last time you ate a good meal? When was the last time you had a glass of water?
Once you have a better understanding of your feelings, you can act. Perhaps that looks like speaking to a therapist, taking a nap, giving yourself a break from social media, or taking some alone time. Even little things might have a significant impact, so don't knock any feel-good activities—such as trying a facemask or watching a movie.
7. Drink More Water
In your quest to learn how to be healthier, no health living tips are as simple as this one: drink more water.
Water is essential for many things in the body, such as organ function, hydration, and other essential bodily functions. Water can help with weight loss, lower chances of skin disorders or wrinkling, and deliver oxygen throughout our bodies. It also regulates body temperature, helps our digestive tracts work better, and flushes waste.
And guess what? That's not all.
Water is a wonderful, fascinating, useful thing that everyone should incorporate more into their lives. While there's no universally agreed-upon amount of water to drink daily, the consensus is simply: more. Starting your day with a glass of water, having a glass of water before meals and after exercise, and so on, proves to be advantageous.
8. Enjoy the Outdoors
Going outside is another of the simplest wellness tips you can follow. It seems that the simplest things have some of the best results—enjoying the outdoors is no exception.
Similar to exercise, going outdoors is different for everyone. To you, that may look like a strenuous, 5-mile hike. For someone else, it might look like watching the sunset from their front porch.
Being in nature is a humbling and uplifting activity. Some of its many benefits include:
- Improvement in short-term memory
- Stress relief
- More energy
- Better focus levels
- Enhanced critical thinking and creativity
- A boost in the immune system
- An improvement in mental health
Another bonus of going outside is getting a healthy dose of Vitamin D from the sun.
Sun exposure boosts Vitamin D levels, which is good news. It's hard to get Vitamin D from your diet, as very few foods contain significant levels of it.
If you're attempting to do this, midday is best—the sun is highest, and your body can absorb it more efficiently at this time. Because of that, you won't need as much sun exposure when compared to a cloudier day. Keep this in mind to protect the skin from harmful UV rays, and always use SPF.
9. Call Your Friends
Friendships—like relationships, they must be maintained. The best relationships take work, communication, and effort. But it's all worth it because friends can enrich our lives and improve our health.
That's true for several reasons, besides the obvious feel-good ones. Friendships can foster a sense of belonging and acceptance, boost our happiness, improve our self-confidence, and in the best of times, act as a mirror for our own selves. In that way, friendships may help us stop bad habits or help us go through a divorce.
So, the next time you're feeling isolated (and maybe even a little unmotivated to be social), consider giving your buddies a call. Could you have a chat or invite them to hang out? The result might surprise you.
10. Do a Good Deed
When was the last time you volunteered? Paid a stranger a random compliment? Bought the coffee for the person in the drive-thru lane behind you?
Small, good deeds are anything but. They're a fantastic boost in the mental and emotional health of the doer and the receiver. Good deeds exude compassion, respect, kindness . . . whether it's helping your mom carry in the groceries or opening the door for someone with their hands full.
11. Keep a Planner
If you don't have a planner, it's time to get one.
If your scheduling leaves much to be desired, it's time for a reset.
If your planner is on your phone, you might want to consider a tangible copy.
Staying organized is excellent for reducing stress. When deadlines are missed, bills are late, or birthdays aren't remembered, it's a recipe for anxiety. Planners do more than organizing your appointments—they keep your life scheduled and orderly, and there's great comfort in that.
Wellness Tips for a Better You
Your self is already pretty great as-is—but how can you truly be your best self?
When you follow the above health and wellness tips, you'll be one step closer to Total Health Town, population you. As you make your way through the list, do what feels right. If anything feels strange, stop right away and call your doctor.
Health and wellness do look different for everybody, so as you absorb this guide's lessons, consider your body and its nuances. What's right for you may not be right for someone else, and vise versa. As we compiled this list, however, we attempted to be as inclusive as possible.
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