We’ve all heard the list: drink plenty of water, get enough sleep, limit your screen time, take breaks from sitting… But what if we’re already doing all those? Is that it? We’ve reached peak wellness potential?
Don’t worry, the journey isn’t over yet. (Sorry.)
Health and wellness is all about making sustainable tweaks and edits that will improve our physical, emotional and mental wellbeing. It’s an ongoing process, not an end goal.
But taking things to the next level doesn’t have to be difficult either. Sometimes it’s just about re-evaluating our current habits and identifying things we may be doing to cause unintended stress or anxiety.
Try these 8 simple (and potentially surprising) tips for feeling healthier and happier… And yes, snacking is one of them!
Sleep (and wake up) well
You know the drill: get at least seven hours of shut eye, no phone before bed… But feeling refreshed in the morning is as much about how you wake up as it is about your bedtime routine. If you’re regularly jolted awake by your buzzing alarm, try a wake-up light that gradually emits light (mimicking sunlight) starting 30 minutes before your alarm to help you wake up more naturally. It’s also beneficial to get lots of daylight in the morning hours, so fling open those curtains!
Enjoy your coffee…a bit later
Coffee is delicious – no argument there. But despite what your favourite mug might say, you may want to rethink the “no talkie before coffee” and postpone your first cup by a few hours in the morning. Your body releases cortisol as you wake up which helps you feel more alert – just like caffeine – and adding actual caffeine to the mix may limit its effects and cause more stress. Try grabbing that latte when your cortisol isn’t at its peak, like when you get to the office or after dropping off the kids at school.
Let the little things go
Let’s be honest, perfection can feel pretty great: a pristine kitchen, an evenly woven pie crust, a well-organized email inbox. But striving for perfection can also be really stressful, especially when we’re tight on time and our list is long. If you feel yourself getting caught up the little things, make a conscious decision to let some of them go. You may be surprised just how easy it becomes to acknowledge that the world will move forward as it does, and you’ll be more rested to contribute in more meaningful ways. Try making a goal to move on from just 1 or 2 things a day, whatever feels manageable for you, and enjoy feeling a little bit lighter.
Make a furry friend
This one is easy (and obvious) if you already have a furry family member, but for those who are pet-less, consider the many benefits of spending time with a four legged friend. Take a stroll to the dog park, sign up to a pet sitting service, or ask to hang out with a friend’s dog or cat for a few hours. Chilling with animals can literally make you happier by increasing your oxytocin levels.
Clean your workspace
This one may seem like a no-brainer, but when was the last time you sorted that stack of papers in the corner of your desk? Or wiped down your keyboard? Or your phone? (Ick.) It’s true in some cases that a messy workspace inspires creativity, but it can also trigger stress and anxiety – not to mention the germs! Just think of how you’ll feel with a freshly organized workspace, kitchen or car. It’s an instant mood booster.
Say ‘no’ more often
Easier said than done? It doesn’t have to be. Saying “no” or “not right now” is one of the simplest ways to create much-needed space and time in our lives. You may worry about how you’ll be perceived, or what will happen if you don’t step up, but we bet you a bag of Maple Praline Almonds that you’ll be thanking yourself later. If it helps, set up a few guidelines or boundaries that you can fall back on – like only 2 social events a week. It might make it easier to decline that party invite. You can also try this template for saying “no” to a friendly request while still being supportive.
If you’ve been waiting for an excuse to snack, this is it! (Not that you need one.) Snacking has a number of benefits: it can increase energy, stabilize moods and blood sugar, and help you achieve your healthy lifestyle goals. We make it easy to snack mindfully and deliciously by offering boxes of 5, 10 or 20 snacks delivered straight to your door or desk. Plus you can choose from over 20 (soon to be 30…) snack options, including vegan, gluten-free and nut-free!
Photo Credit: Lindsay Pleskot