These days, it seems everyone is so busy and caught up in their own lives that it can be easy to forget even the simplest actions that help us look and feel our best. Don’t forget these crucial steps for peak health and wellness, and make sure to adhere to them every day:
- Fit in time for active walking and movement throughout the day. When all you’ve ever known is a sedentary life of sitting down at school all day, working a desk job, or unwinding on a couch, it’s easy to forget how crucial a little movement in our day is. Find ways to incorporate walking and being active even into your school or work. Take the stairs, park in a further parking spot, walk to any and all accessible and safe destinations, volunteer to run an errand at work that requires moving throughout the office, etc.
- Take a breather. With work, school, and the everyday stresses of a busy modern life, it’s easy to forget to give yourself a break and time to breathe. Remember that small breaks are good for your health - they ensure you don’t overwork yourself and become too stressed out, and they’re also great for relaxation. Try some breathing exercises, meditation or yoga, or just take a minute to yourself. If your work involves a lot of computer screens, maybe incorporate a conversation with another person or a walk outside into your break. It’s important to interact and look at something real outside of a computer screen when your technology is busy soaking up your energy all day. No matter how much work you have to do, you always have time to put your health first, regroup, and refresh with a quick break. Your body and mind will thank you, and you’ll be more productive in the end.
- Protect yourself from the sun. So many people walk around every day exposing themselves to the sun’s harmful rays and won’t think twice about it. Sunscreen, sunglasses, hats, and clothing are great ways to protect yourself all year round - not just during the summer! Find a moisturizer with SPF in it and use it every day on your face. Use sunglasses to shield your eyes and the skin around your eyes, one of the most prone areas to skin cancer. It’s important to wear sunscreen and sunglasses and be mindful of your time in the sun all year. This is not only for the health benefits to the look and feel of your skin, but to protect yourself from skin cancer; a disease that is often overlooked when a person thinks they aren’t at risk because they “don’t sunburn.” Everyone is at risk, regardless of skin tone!
- Start seeing water as your main drink. We all know how important water is; after all, it keeps us alive. We also have heard plenty of times the tropes about how much water we all should be drinking each day. While these recommendations might fluctuate, it’s still not a bad idea to make water your main drink of choice in order to get the proper amounts. It’s easy to forget to meet your daily amount when so many other options are out there: coffee, juice, tea, etc. We think we’re staying hydrated when we choose these drinks instead of water to accompany our meals, but this is how we fall behind on meeting our water recommendations. When you reach for water in place of these drinks, you’re much more likely to reap all of water’s benefits to the fullest extent. If you can’t give up other liquids, at least try pairing them with a glass of water each time you’re craving those different drinks.
- Go to sleep! This is another one of those concepts, like drinking lots of water, we’ve heard plenty about and know it’s good for us and that we should be trying to do better at it. But now is the time to actually do better at going to sleep at a reasonable hour and getting a full eight or so hours! Set an alarm on your phone not only for when you need to get up, but also when you should go to bed. Don’t overcompensate on the weekends for a lack of sleep during the week; try to go to bed and wake up at the same time each night and get the same amount of hours each night. Try to avoid frequent naps as they can interrupt your sleep cycle and lead to grogginess. Avoid things like coffee and exercise late at night, as they can hinder your ability to get to sleep. And finally, avoid “all-nighters” at all costs. They do not help you accomplish more of your work and they only lead to worse performance the next couple of days.