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24 Wellness Tips for 2024

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A new year is a perfect time for renewal and rejuvenation. By dedicating a few minutes every day to your physical and mental wellness, you can begin seeing benefits to your health in both the short and long term. There are a few things you can do all year long to help you stay energized and engaged, as well as develop positive coping mechanisms during life’s inevitable challenges.

Tips for Maintaining Your Physical Health

Your body naturally adapts to the seasonal changes throughout the year, but there are things you can do daily or weekly to help your body stay healthy. From increasing your physical activity to getting good sleep, here are a few things you can do to help boost your health: 

  1. Wake Up at the Same Time Every Day. By having a fixed daily wake-up time – even on the weekends – you are training your circadian rhythm, also known as your body’s 24-hour clock. This helps your brain know when to activate – or wake up – the systems in your body. 
  1. Eat Right. This is more than getting your daily intake of veggies and fruits. What you eat and when can really impact your day. For instance, a high-protein breakfast can support and control your appetite throughout the day. 
  1. Water, water, water. According to a Centers for Disease Control & Prevention study, adults are not drinking enough water. Water is essential to your body’s health. It helps regulate body temperature, keeps your spine and blood healthy, aids digestion, and much more. If you find it difficult to drink plain water, try fruit-infused or flavored water, tea, or coffee. 
  1. Move and Groove. The American Heart Association recommends that adults get 150 minutes of exercise a week. That can seem like a lot, but when you break it down, it is about 20 minutes a day or 10 minutes twice a day. Think of some active things you can do throughout the day so exercise doesn’t feel like a chore. This can be a wake-up dance party or an after-dinner walk. 
  1. Monitor Your Caffeine Intake. Did you know caffeine can stay in your body for up to nine hours? So that afternoon pick-me-up of coffee at 4 p.m. could disrupt your sleep. 
  1. Get Back to Nature. As part of your daily exercise, consider walking on the beach or riding your bike to a friend’s house. It has been proven that being outside can boost your energy and reduce your stress, helping to improve your health. 
  1. Sit Less. This can be difficult to do if you work at a desk, but you can do things to help, such as scheduling short breaks throughout the day to stand up, stretch, and walk or investing in a standing desk. 
  1. Reduce Alcohol Intake. By drinking less alcohol, you can lower your risk of high blood pressure, improve liver health, get better sleep, and help your body absorb essential nutrients. Think about taking up a new hobby, like mastering delicious non-alcoholic mocktails. 
  1. Read More. Research has shown that reading for 30 minutes can have the same stress-reducing effect as yoga. Additionally, reading can improve your brain health, and help you better fight cognitive decline as you age. 
  1. Set Alarms for Bedtime. Just like a fixed wake-up time helps you sleep, having a consistent bedtime can do the same. Get your body ready for sleep by setting an alarm on your phone an hour before bedtime. That will help your brain and body know that it’s time to slow down and rest. 
  1. Think About Your Tasks. When you go through your day, are there times you feel rushed? Are you trying to do much before bed, or is your blood pressure skyrocketing because you are running around in the morning? Break the cycle and think about how you can structure your day differently. 
  1. Schedule a Doctor Visit. Even if you feel great, it’s vital that you see your doctor (and dentist) at least once a year. Be sure to keep track of any health changes and share them with your physician. 

For more tips, the National Institutes of Health has an online Physical Wellness Toolkit.

Tips for Caring for Your Mental Health

Your mood can significantly impact all areas of your life: job, home, friends, physical health, etc. It is okay to occasionally not be okay and focus on self-care. Maintaining that self-care all year can help you feel fulfilled and strong enough to meet life’s challenges. Below are some tips on how you can strengthen your mental health: 

  1. Write it Down. Is something bothering you? Are you upset or angry? Or do you have a happy memory you want to hold on to? Writing your thoughts in a journal can help you work through your emotions. Your writing does not have to be formal; it can be as easy as taking five minutes to write two sentences about your day or how you feel. 
  1. Relax. Taking the time to relax can reduce stress and depression symptoms, as well as boost brain and heart health. It’s important to find what is relaxing for you, like playing golf, taking a warm bath, or listening to music. Relaxation is as unique as the individual. 
  1. Spend Time with Loved Ones. This can be human and furry! Playing a game with friends or throwing a ball around with your canine companion is a great way to decrease your stress and anxiety and give your mood a happy boost. 
  1. Eat Good-For-You Food. We know what we put in our bodies turns into energy. The food you eat also affects your brain and gut health – both of which can impact your mental health. 
  1. Add Omega-3 Fatty Acids to Your Diet. Research has found a link between omega-3 fatty acids and reducing depression and anxiety. So, including seafood, nuts, seeds, and plant oils is not only good for your physical health, but it could help your mood, too. 
  1. Get Up & Move. Just a little bit of physical activity can boost your mood and self-esteem while improving your sleep and reducing depression symptoms. 
  1. Take a Screen Break. You may not even realize it, but the constant binging notifications and interruptions we get from our smartphones and other devices can increase our anxiety and stress. Dedicate time daily or once a week to turn off all your screens to help improve your mental well-being. 
  1. Schedule Me-Time. Most of us know that self-care is important, but it can take a backseat to other priorities. So, schedule it on your calendar and keep the appointment to take the time you need to relax and re-group. 
  1. Meditation. Taking time to be mindful and present each day can protect your mental well-being and preserve your happiness. There are many apps available to help you get started in as little as 5 minutes daily. 
  1. Set Boundaries. You know best what and who makes you feel comfortable and safe. If you are feeling overwhelmed, saying no and asking others to respect your time and well-being is okay. 
  1. Show Yourself Kindness. As you would show compassion to friends and family, practicing self-compassion is essential. Setbacks and hurdles are part of life and help us learn, so don’t beat yourself up. Tell yourself what you would say to a friend in the same situation. 
  1. Ask for Help. If you are feeling depressed, overwhelmed, or anxious, it is alright to ask others for help. Whether it is from your support system or a mental health professional, speaking up is one of the best things you can do for you. 

If you are looking for more tips, the National Institutes of Health also has an online Emotional Wellness Toolkit

Bonus! A Final Tip from Family Integrative Medicine

Whether you need help achieving your health goals or are looking for non-surgical, non-drug solutions to alleviate your body pain, the experienced, compassionate team at Family Integrative Medicine is here to help you live the life you love – and thrive. 

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