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  • Jennifer Bradford

10 things to help you improve your overall wellbeing

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There are probably more than 10 things that you can do to improve your wellbeing. Actually, I'm SURE there are more than 10. These are just the 10 that stick out in my mind. What do you think?

healthy food on a plate

1. Eat good food

This should not come as a shock. Right? Eat well, feel well. I think this goes two ways, though. More so, from a biological standpoint, we want to eat overall "whole" and nutritious foods. You know, your usual suspects: fruit, veg, lean protein, whole grains, lots of water...just to give your body the macro- and micronutrients it needs to function and perform well. BUT I think you can also look at it this way-->

Eat good eat GOOOOD food. Yummy, tasty, get-in-my-mouth-now food. Like food you eat out with friends and have a good time. Yeah, this will improve your wellbeing on a social level and give you all the feels since food is also social, not just nutritive, and we are social beings. I'd obviously probably aim for more good food in my first point, but I think this point is also valid.

man running on trail in sunshine

2. Be physically active daily

This should also come as no surprise. Go do some things, lol. Go play basketball. Go hike. Go lift. Go take your kids to the park. Go walk your dog. Just go. Move. We sit way too much, myself included. If I didn't try to get activity and movement in, I'd get about 3K steps in per day just by going to work and doing usual daily activities. Moving improves both mood and physical health. It can also help with #3 while we're at it...

baby sleeping peacefully

3. Sleep well

So many people suffer from poor quality sleep. I see a lot of kids in my practice who don't sleep well and parents are all too quick to want them on a medication (for real) instead of trying to adjust their lifestyle. Better eating habits, increased exercise, and less screen time would overall help a majority of people sleep better without the need for pharmaceutical sleep aids (I'm obviously not including people who have sleep disorders). So, let's work on #1, #2, and #7, which will help with #3 and then we can move on to #4. (Catch that?)

book open by two hands

4. Keep learning new things

Yes! Always keep learning! I'm a nerd and I love to read so this is a no-brainer for me. This keeps you in the know and keeps that brain working well. I think what might cause some people trouble is being taught a new way of doing something. Like, some people are stuck in the, "this is how it's always been done" camp and don't want to change their ways when presented with new evidence. They dig their heels into the ground and are stubborn. Don't be like this, please. It can be a hard hit to our egos sometimes, though, especially if you are being told something you believe in or are doing is "wrong". BUT if you are presented with substantial evidence, I think it is a good show of character to at least consider what you are being presented with and not just outright refuse to learn and adapt. It might not be easy to change. That brings us to #5.

person rock climbing in sunshine

5. Do hard things

Did you read the book "Do Hard Things" by Steve Magness? I am about half way through it. Give it a go. Doing something hard to exert yourself in a way maybe you thought was not possible can be groundbreaking. It can make you feel amazing to do something at one point you thought was impossible only to turn around and do that exact thing. Maybe it was a 1 rep max deadlift. Maybe it was apologizing to a friend after an argument. Maybe it was choosing to study over going out. Making these types of decisions, acting on them, working on them, and eventually succeeding helps us grow as individuals. Keep growing, friends.

text that says think positive in red cursive

6. Embrace a positive mindset

This can be harder than it looks. It's even harder amid a seemingly negative environment or obstacles. Again, though, the more you practice it, the easier it gets. Just having a better attitude towards things or interpreting events more positively, can help your overall mindset. For example, if you're at work and you keep getting handed assignment after assignment, you have a headache, and now school called that your child has a fever and needs to be picked can you be positive through this? I think the best thing to do is to stop and think it through. What are your priorities and how best to handle the situation? Step up and get done what needs to get done. Go take an ibuprofen, drink some water, and tell your manager you have to leave to take care of a sick kid. Work can wait. Making the best out of what you have to work with might be the best and most positive outcome in some instances.

cell phone

7. Decrease screen time

Guilty of needing to do this pronto. It can be hard if your job requires you to be on a computer for a majority of the day. Limiting screen time allows you to be more present in your physical space, too. It can also free up time for more social activities or exercise. Try to add up how much time in a day you're on screens (some phones will tell you this) and then decrease it from there. On your phone 6 hours a day? Go to 5. And then continue from there. You won't know what to do with the new time on your hands!

dog with tennis ball on mouth

8. Go outside more 

...and since we're getting off the phones and TV, we're getting outside more, right?! It's almost summer time in the US and that opens up more opportunity to get out there. The sun, the air, and all the sensory input you receive from being outside can be so refreshing and just make you feel good. Now is the PERFECT time to make a resolution to get out there more and you might be able to work in #2 while you're at it.

man sitting on beach alone back to camera

9. Enjoy the present

Live in the moment. Be present. Don't dwell on the past. Don't worry about the future. We've all heard these phrases multiple times. I mean, I think to an extent it is ok to remember the past and prepare for the future within reason, but I wouldn't let it overtake your thoughts and actions on a daily basis. I remember being really excited as a kid about going out all day with my friends to an amusement park. I remember thinking to myself to stop and just feel the excitement. I was probably about 13. It was a great day. I promise I'm not dwelling on the past, but I on purpose stopped and tried to be present in that moment because it was such an awesome feeling. Let's all try to stop and just be.

4 people sitting in restaurant drinking coffee and laughing

10. Have positive and meaningful social relationships 

Last and not least on this relationships that provide love, comfort, a sense of belonging, trust, and fulfillment are so necessary in our existence. We need other people to rely on, to help and support us through difficult situations, and to just be there for us. Having this emotional support can be the difference between succeeding in a weight loss plan or succumbing to old habits. I'm not saying you need to have like 50 million people on your go-to list, but a handful of people who sincerely care about you and your well being could make all the difference in your life.

So what do you think? What else would you add to this list? Let me know! Like, comment, and share!

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