Paying attention to your own health and well-being is extremely important. This is true every day of the year, and even more so during a pandemic. When you’re feeling good, you’re likely to have a better outlook on life and it can even help you become more focused on your goals.
Fortunately, we’ve got some eco-friendly actions to help you get started (or move along further) on improving your overall health and well-being.
1. Soak Up Some Natural Vitamin D
Natural Vitamin D, like you get from the sun, is highly beneficial to the human body. It is also essential in helping you absorb calcium and, therefore, key in strengthening bones. Vitamin D has many other benefits too. It has the ability to strengthen muscles, improve oral health, help fight hypertension, help with weight loss, assist in battling depression and build immunity.
Getting 15-30 minutes of midday sun per day, a couple of times a week, should be enough for most people to get the natural Vitamin D they need.
2. Exercise (Preferably Outdoors)
Having a regular exercise routine can go a long way towards improving your overall health and well-being. Combining your daily/weekly exercise with getting outdoors is like getting two, or three, for the price of one. You get to have the fresh air, enjoy the beauty in nature around you and get in some exercise.
Some exercise ideas include:
- Ride your bike
- Go for a walk or run
- Take a hike
- Go rollerskating
- Go for a swim
3. Drink Lots of Water
The importance of drinking water throughout the day cannot be understated. You must keep your body hydrated. Lack of adequate hydration can contribute to countless physical, and mental, problems.
Luckily, drinking water is a pretty simple thing to do. Start by filling up your reusable water bottle in the morning. Skip the plastic water bottles please. Those only contribute to the plastic waste problem we currently face. Once you’ve filled up your reusable bottle, keep drinking water throughout the day. I try to fill mine up at least 6-8 times a day, even more if it’s hot outside, and that doesn’t include other water I drink at home.
It is very important to unplug on a daily basis. We are so attached to our electronic devices, whether it be for work, school or trying to keep up with friends and family we can’t see in person, we often tune out the world around us.
You can unplug in many ways; turn off your computer, put your phone down, let your work know you are unavailable after office hours, limit online gaming time and more. Try picking up the phone to reconnect with family and friends. Schedule visits, when and where it is safe to do so.
Unplugging is a simple way to reduce stress and allow you the opportunity to do other activities beneficial to both body and mind.
5. Take a Few Deep Breaths
Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. Sometimes life can get a little overwhelming. Instead of getting sucked into the chaos, take a moment to close your eyes and breathe deeply. You should feel yourself starting to relax right away. Don’t forget to relax your neck and shoulders, then wrap it all up with a nice stretch.
As an extra tip, you can add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to a diffuser to help you breathe deep and relax. Oil diffusers actually have numerous benefits to you and your immediate environment.
The nice thing about deep breathing is it can be done multiple times throughout the day. Whenever you are feeling a little overwhelmed or down, simply close your eyes, take a few deep breaths and allow yourself to refocus.
6. Eat Organic and Healthy
What you put into your body can have a significant impact on your overall health and well-being. Load your body up with junk food and chemicals and you can pretty much guarantee you’re going to be feeling the impact.
Skip the chemicals and harmful pollutants. Try eating organic. You can do this by either shopping for organic produce or growing your own. Either way works. When it comes to meat proteins, try limiting your meat consumption and focusing on getting your protein from plant-based sources. If you feed your body well, you will notice the difference in both how you feel and your overall outlook.
7. Spend Some Time Out in Nature
Although I mentioned this earlier, when talking about the importance of regular exercise on your health and well-being, spending some time out in nature is extremely helpful. Even if you choose to exercise indoors, be sure to take time to go outside. Breathe in the fresh air. Look at the beauty of nature around you. Touch the leaves or bark of a tree. Smell the roses. Watch the birds fly overhead.
Whatever you decide to do outside, be sure to focus your attention outward, not inward. The whole point of going outside is to get some space, clear your mind and help you reset a little bit. Often times, going for a walk or spending time in nature, can help alleviate the stress you’re feeling. You may even be able to find solutions to problems you once thought unsolvable…all from spending a little time in nature.
Give it a try. It definitely won’t hurt.
8. Get Sufficient Rest
When a person doesn’t get enough rest, he or she will often have trouble coping with day-to-day problems. What may have been a simple problem to solve after a good night’s rest, can appear to be an overwhelming situation to someone suffering from sleep deprivation.
Schedule your day to allow yourself to get sufficient sleep at night. Figure out a nighttime, wind-down routine and stick to it. Unplug at least an hour before bedtime. If you find your mind continues to race at night, try writing down a list of things you have your attention on. This can help you relax and get to sleep, as you don’t have to try and remember everything you need or want to do, it’s all written down.
9. Do Something Nice for Someone Else
Although some may not consider this action to be something beneficial to their own health and well-being, let me reassure you it is. Doing something nice for someone else is a simple action, yet one capable of bringing about quite a bit of happiness. The person you help feels happy and you feel happy in return.
Even though your acts of kindness should not be done with the purpose of making yourself happy, I’m pretty sure you’ll find you feel better when you focus on being kind to others. In actual fact, there are scientific benefits of helping others.
So, do something nice for someone else. It can be for a loved one or just a random act of kindness for another. Besides, when you do something nice for someone else, you’re spreading kindness into the world and that’s something from which we all can benefit.
10. Take Some Time For You
Last, but not least, take some time for you. Taking some time for yourself, or to focus on yourself, is of the utmost importance. Not everyone, myself included, is always good about taking time for themselves. We focus on your kids, our spouses, our loved ones, our friends, but falter when it comes to taking some time for us.
If you truly want to improve your health and well-being, you will need to take the time to do something good for yourself. This can be taking some time to read a book, doing a DIY spa day, riding your bike, getting your hair cut, making your favorite meal, visiting friends or whatever it is YOU want to do. The key is to focus on doing something nice for you.
Of course, nothing in this article is designed or written to replace your doctor’s expertise when it comes to your physical health and well-being. These are simply, eco-friendly actions you take to help improve your overall well-being naturally.