Today we’re sharing our tips on how to improve your wellbeing and overall health. Incorporating a few small healthy habits into your daily routine can make a great impact on your mind, body and soul and are much easier to stick to than overhauling your entire lifestyle with huge changes. And best of all, they needn’t cost a penny!
1. Get outside
With winter finally behind us and brighter days ahead, there’s no excuse for not getting out for some fresh air. Even a 10-minute walk down your street and back can lift your mood and make you feel more energised – and once you’re out you’ll probably find you want to keep going.
2. Eat more vegetables
Ok, this is an obvious one but you can make things more exciting by putting vegetables centre stage. Try switching to a couple of meat-free dinners each week and have your favourite vegetarian side dish as the main event, for example cauliflower cheese with a side salad. If you are cooking a meat dish, bulk it out with inexpensive veg to up your intake – try adding grated courgettes and carrots to meatballs or lentils to a Bolognese.
3. Walk more
It can be hard to find the time to go for a walk just for the sake of it so look for ways to incorporate it into your daily routine, whether it’s getting off the bus a couple of stops early, walking to the local shop instead of driving to the supermarket or meeting a friend for a walk rather than coffee – you’ll find it less of a chore if there’s a practical purpose to it.
4. Get an early night
We’re all guilty of staying up too late to watch one more episode of our favourite show only to wish we went to bed earlier come morning. Nobody ever regrets getting more sleep – start by bringing your evening routine forward by just half an hour. The next episode of Stranger Things can wait till tomorrow.
5. Go on a social media detox
You don’t have to deactivate all your social media accounts to reap the benefits of going offline, but if scrolling through your feeds is the last thing you do before you sleep, it might be a good idea to switch to a more healthy habit – try listening to a meditation podcast or read a book. Not only will you feel much more relaxed, reducing blue light exposure promotes better quality sleep.
6. Change up your routine
Try taking a different route to work or school to help keep your brain active. Studies have shown that doing something differently to how you normally do could increase your creativity levels and expand your mind. By being psychologically flexible, you’re more likely to spot new opportunities and be willing to take them – sitting at a different table at your favourite café or wearing your watch on your other wrist can have similar effects.
7. Have fun
With all the stresses of life, it can be easy to forget to do things just for the sake of having fun. Think back to being a child and you’ll remember how much you enjoyed riding your bike, drawing a picture or playing a game. Whether you rediscover an old hobby or take up something completely new, try to incorporate a fun activity into your weekly routine. Failing that, put on some music, grab the kids and dance in the kitchen!
8. Get organised
We have Marie Kondo to blame for this one, but an uncluttered home really does help destress the mind. Keeping your belongings organised gives you a sense of control and makes finding the things you need quick and easy – essential for keeping stress levels under control when you’re trying to get the kids ready for school or rushing to catch the train to work. Start by getting rid of things you no longer need and encourage the rest of the family to do the same.
9. Mindful eating
In a world of countless fad diets and being bombarded with perfectly toned Instagram models it can be difficult to enjoy our favourite foods without the guilt. Good food really is one of life’s pleasures so take the time to appreciate each meal. Put your phone down, switch off the TV, assemble the perfect forkful and savour each mouthful before moving onto the next. By slowing down, you’ll find you’ll feel pleasantly full with less food, so there’s no need for guilt or restriction.
10. Do something good
One of the best ways to get that feel-good factor is to help somebody else feel good. That doesn’t have to mean you need to give up your whole weekend to volunteer at a soup kitchen – the little things count too, whether that’s picking up some milk for an elderly neighbour, saying good morning as you pass a stranger in the street or emailing a friend just to tell them you were thinking of them.
11. Take a day off
You don’t need a reason to take the odd day off work – having a day to yourself with no specific plans is reason enough! If you can bring yourself to, take your work emails off your phone to really help you switch off. Use the day to do something that makes you happy – get your nails done, go to an exhibition, try out a new recipe or even catch up on the laundry if it means you’ll feel more relaxed later.
12. Plan your meals
Whether you’re a culinary wizard or a kitchen novice, everybody can benefit from a weekly meal plan. If you’re new to meal plans, start with just dinners and make sure you allocate each meal to a specific day, remembering to keep in mind your schedule and how much time you’ll have for prep. Soon you’ll reap the many benefits of meal planning – saving money and time, reducing waste, sticking to healthy options, and finally getting round to trying all those saved recipes.
13. Drink more water
We all know we’re supposed to drink at least two litres of water a day but don’t beat yourself up if you fall short. You might find it easier to make swaps rather than consume additional liquids, so try swapping that second coffee of the morning for a glass of lemon water or alternating alcoholic drinks on a night out with some sparkling water and a slice of lime.
14. Less booze
Speaking of alcohol, we don’t need to tell you that less is more. How you unwind is up to you, and if that involves booze there are ways to consume less without sacrificing a good time. Look for ways to make your drink last longer, be it a dash of soda in your wine or ordering an extra bottle of tonic with your G&T and topping it up as you go. You’ll spend less time waiting to be served, you’ll feel better in the morning and you’ll spend less money – win win!
15. Physical contact
With social media, instant messaging and video calling at our fingertips, it’s easier than ever to keep in touch with our friends and family, no matter where they are. There’s no denying technology has its place but remember to make an effort to physically meet up with the people in your life who make you feel good! Nothing beats face-to-face contact with a loved one, even if it’s just for a quick coffee.