Happy Wednesday everyone! Thanks so much to those of you who shared what you’d like to learn more about when it comes to wellness last week! I’m getting to work on those and will have some posts done soon addressing those things.
For today, though, since we’re 20 days into our ‘One Thing for Wellness’ Challenge I thought I’d do a little recap of the challenge so far. Here are the things we’ve been doing for our wellness each day:
Practice Good Posture
Practicing good posture can help us look, feel, and breathe better. Try to be aware of your posture throughout the day, and make adjustments as necessary to correct it.
Here are some tips to help you make sure your posture is good:
– Keep your chin parallel to the floor.
– Your shoulders should be even and relaxed, not hunched up toward your ears.
– Keep your spine in a neutral position (your spine should maintain its natural S-curve).
– Your hips should be even, with weight distributed evenly on both feet when standing.
– Your knees should be even and your kneecaps should be pointing straight ahead.
-When you’re sitting down, keep your chin parallel to the floor and your shoulders, hips, and knees at even heights. Your knees and feet should point straight ahead.
Is good posture something that comes naturally to you or do you have to work at it?
Eat 1 healthy meal.
Sometimes we think we have to eat healthy all the time in order to be well, but that puts a lot of pressure on us. It’s hard to eat perfectly all the time, and let’s face it — sometimes we just need to eat a piece of cheesecake.
I like to use the Pareto Principle, also known as the 80/20 rule – eat well 80% of the time, and if you don’t eat as healthily the other 20% of the time, you can just enjoy it and not feel guilty about it.
Do 1 thing for your spiritual wellness.
Spiritual wellness is defined as “expanding a sense of purpose and meaning in life.”
For many of us, doing things that contribute to spiritual wellness means participating in faith-based practices. For others, it may mean participating in activities that make us feel we’re contributing to the betterment of our world.
Spend a few minutes out in nature.
Spending time in nature has many benefits. Some of those include:
– Reducing stress
– Improving concentration and creative thinking
– Increasing Vitamin D levels
– Helping our bodies regulate sleep patterns
– Helping us develop a deeper sense of spirituality
If you can’t get outside, even viewing the natural surroundings outside your window can be relaxing. And if you’re an animal lover, you can always check out explore.org and watch their animal cameras.
Increase water intake by 1 glass.
We all know how important it is to drink enough water, but sometimes it’s hard to remember to get it all in. The general recommendation is 6 – 8 glasses per day. If you’re not currently drinking enough, an easy way to work your way up is to just add one glass each day until you reach your goal.
Move around for at least 1 minute each hour you’re awake.
Sometimes we think we have to get in a certain number of minutes to receive any benefits from increasing our movement. The fact is, those minutes add up, and we can benefit from even small increases. Also, once we get moving a little at a time, we can start to build on what we’re already doing and increase our activity as we get stronger.
Remember, movement doesn’t have to be structured exercise. It can be something as simple as walking around your home or doing some stretching every hour.
Make 1 of your quarantine foods just a little healthier.
Right now, because fresh food may be harder to come by, or because we’re buying things that will last for awhile, we may have some foods that aren’t ideal. That’s okay – as we already talked about, nobody can eat perfectly all the time. And right now, we’re having to adjust to the circumstances.
In yesterday’s Wellness Wednesday post, I talked about some ways we can make those quarantine foods a little healthier. https://reclaiminghopecoaching.com/…/wellness-making-your-…/
I started with Rana chicken tortelloni, then added broccoli, herbs, and extra-virgin olive oil to make it healthier.
Do one thing for your brain health.
Whether it’s learning a new skill, playing brain games, or working a crossword puzzle, keeping your brain engaged can keep it healthy. For more ways to keep your brain healthy, you can go to https://reclaiminghopecoaching.com/…/wellness-wednesday-how….
Name 1 Thing you’re good at.
What does this have to do with wellness? Too often, we allow our negative thoughts to take over and convince us that we’re not good at anything. This can make us hesitant to try new things or take away our motivation to make ourselves a priority.
Taking the time to stop and make note of the things we’re good at can remind us we’re worth taking care of. It can also give us a starting point when we start to make wellness changes. When we start with something we’re already good at and build on it, we increase our chances of success with making and maintaining those changes.
Learning to calm our minds and be in the present can have many wellness benefits. Many people are not comfortable with the idea of meditation because they think it involves ’emptying the mind.’ Rather than emptying the mind, mindfulness meditation teaches us to be present in the moment. You can read more about the benefits of mindfulness meditation at https://reclaiminghopecoaching.com/…/wellness-wednesday-co…/
If you’re not comfortable with mindfulness meditation, why not try meditating on Scripture? As someone who relies on the Lord to get through each day, I can tell you that this can help calm our minds and give us a deeper understanding of Who God is.
Use ‘hand’ portions to fill your plate at each meal. This is an easy way to ensure you get a good balance of protein, carbs, and fat without weighing or measuring.
For an explanation of the hand portions, check out this post https://reclaiminghopecoaching.com/…/wellness-wednesday-ea…/
Do 5 minutes of gentle stretching.
Gently stretching our muscles can improve blood flow and reduce soreness. Just remember – to reduce chances of injury, warm up your muscles first. You never want to stretch cold muscles.
Review your sleep hygiene.
Sleep is vital, but many of us don’t get enough of it. Reviewing our sleep can help us determine whether we’re setting ourselves up for success when it comes to sleep.
For some tips on how to get a better night’s sleep, check out this post https://reclaiminghopecoaching.com/…/11-tips-to-help-you-g…/
Have a good belly laugh.
When we can find the humor in everyday life, we can contribute to our sense of wellbeing and perhaps even improve our overall wellness.
For information on the ways laughter can help improve our wellness and some suggestions for ways to have a good laugh, check out this post https://reclaiminghopecoaching.com/…/wellness-laughter-rea…/
Call or send a note to a family member or friend.
Our relationships are important for our overall wellness. Sometimes we tend to undervalue the social dimension of wellness, but it’s critical to our overall wellness. We don’t exist in a vacuum, and we have to depend on others in some capacity pretty much every day. Good communication skills. treating others with respect, and forming meaningful relationships are key to optimal wellness.
You can read more about social wellness at https://reclaiminghopecoaching.com/…/wellness-wednesday-le…/
Get 5 minutes of fresh air and/or sunshine.
Today’s challenge is to get some fresh air. Whether it’s getting out for a walk or just sitting on your back porch, breathing some fresh air and getting a little sun can help us feel better. Of course, if you’re going to be outside for any length of time, don’t forget your sunscreen.
Read or listen to a good book.
Reading can be relaxing, but it can also be good for brain health. Whether you’re reading for knowledge or pleasure, you can’t go wrong with a good book.
I’ve recently discovered Audible, and I like that it allows me to learn something while I’m doing other things. I can listen to a book while I clean, cook dinner, or even while I’m painting.
Eat to only 80% full at meals.
Did you know it takes your stomach 20 minutes to let your brain know you’re full? This means that by the time you feel full, you’re probably actually over-full.
The purpose of eating only until we feel about 80% full is to keep us from overeating by accident. It can help us reduce both the volume of food and number of calories we eat.
Do something creative.
Today’s the day to unleash your creativity! Whether it’s a more ‘typical’ creative pursuit or getting creative by “thinking outside the box” about a project or challenge, do something to allow your creativity to flow.
Try a new type of exercise.
Our bodies are so amazing! When we do the same type of exercise over and over, they adapt to what we’re doing. It doesn’t take as much effort and they don’t have to burn as many calories when they get accustomed to the demands placed on them.
Changing up our exercise routine can give our bodies the little jolt they need to get out of adaptation mode and get back to work burning those calories.
So that’s our recap. There’s still time to join in….
We still have 11 more days of May’s ‘One Thing for Wellness’ Challenge. I’d love it if you’d join us for the rest of it. Just follow me on Facebook at https://facebook.com/HopeReclaiming.
Have you been participating in this month’s challenge? Which things have you found easiest? Which were more difficult? Please share!