When people hear the word “wellness,” it often brings to mind the idea of physical health—getting enough exercise, eating nutritious food, going to the doctor for regular physicals, etc. And while that definitely plays a part in your overall well BE-ing, there are so many ways beyond your physical health to improve + impact your wellness, too.
So in honor of Global Wellness Day (which takes place this Saturday, June 10), we put together a quick list of 15 simple changes you can make + actions you can take to increase your sense of well BE-ing—today + every day.
1. Drink lemon water. Whether you enjoy it warm in the morning or over ice throughout the day, this zesty refreshment is packed with vitamin C and makes for an instant detox. Lemon is also known for aiding in digestion, rejuvenating skin + even giving you a much-needed energy boost.
2. Call a friend (or better yet, see one). Friendships aren't just key to a healthy social life. They're also good for increasing happiness, reducing stress, improving your self-confidence + giving you a shoulder to lean on when times get tough. Plus, studies also show that adults with strong relationships have a reduced risk for conditions like depression + high blood pressure.
3. Find a form of exercise you actually enjoy. While exercise is crucial to maintaining your health, it shouldn't feel like a chore every time you have to do it. So if you hate running (or spin class...or the elliptical), don't do it. Instead, try out different forms of exercise until you find the one that's just right for you. Bonus: When you find it, it probably won't even feel like exercise.
4. Get some sleep. It's no secret that a good night's sleep can make the difference between feeling great and feeling like you need five cups of coffee the next day. But did you know that just 18 hours without sleep can result in a marked decrease in short- and long-term memory, your ability to focus + make decisions, cognitive function + spacial orientation? Keep that up night after night (or even just one or two nights a week), and you could be headed for some major health issues. So instead of working (or watching Netflix) into the wee hours of the morning, try to get at least 7 hours of restful sleep each night. Even better: Keep a regular sleep schedule throughout the entire week, and turn off all technology an hour before you plan to get some shut eye.
5. Go outside. Not only does nature help to reduce stress + increase creativity, but it's also rumored that a brisk, 20-minute walk outside can wake you up more than a cup of coffee. If you're up to it, try exercising outside, too, as some studies show that nature's green hues make workouts feel easier. Plus, enjoying the great outdoors gives you a much-needed dose of vitamin D, which stimulates bone + cell growth, reduces inflammation + increases immune system function. But if you're going outside...
6. Wear SPF. In this day + age, being sun-safe should be a given. But it bears repeating that any time you're heading outside (or will be exposed to the sun's rays via windows, for example), applying sunscreen is a must. Stick with a formula that's SPF 30 or higher, and look for options that provide broad-spectrum UVA/UVB protection.
7. Meditate. At Mala and Mantra, this is probably our favorite way to boost wellness every day. That's because meditation not only quiets the mind + soothes the spirit, but it also increases self-awareness, fights stress + anxiety, and improves mental capacity. Try meditating with your favorite mala + mantra to get even more wellness + self-affirming benefits.
8. Make a meal plan. Thinking through what you're going to eat during the day or week ahead can help you make smarter + healthier decisions. After all, if you've already planned out a few healthy meals, you're less likely to cave and order pizza after work because you don't want to put the time or effort into thinking about what to make for dinner.
9. Enjoy a nice soak. Not only is a warm bath a relaxing, easy little luxury that you can enjoy on a regular basis, but it can also help soothe your muscles + relieve joint pain. Try adding some epsom salt (and lots of bubbles!) to your bath for added benefits, such as flushing out toxins from your system + reducing inflammation.
10. Show some gratitude. We all know that saying "thank you" is polite, but counting your blessings is also proven to increase happiness, enhance empathy, reduce depression + improve self-esteem. Keep a journal on your nightstand, and write down three things you've grateful for each night before heading to bed. You might be surprised at how quickly you see the benefits of being thankful for everything you have.
11. Be creative. Whether it's dancing, writing, painting, cooking, playing an instrument or even gardening, finding a creative outlet (and enjoying it regularly) can lower stress levels, renew brain function, instantly boost your mood + even help you find new friends.
12. Laugh. If a smile alone can release endorphins, then imagine what full-on laughing can do for your health. (Hint: fight stress, improve lung functioning + release pent-up emotions, just to name a few). Next time you start to feel stressed, take a time out to watch a silly video online, read a chapter from your favorite funny person's memoir or just think about that joke your partner tells that makes you LOL every time.
13. Get some puppy love. Did you know that simply spending time around animals can lower your blood pressure + cholesterol, fight feelings of loneliness + even increase your life span? That's why cuddling up to your pup (or cat or bunny or bird) each day can go a long way toward increasing your well BE-ing and overall health.
14. Add some heat. Many spices and spicy foods contain capsaicin, which is known to boost metabolism + increase happiness-inducing endorphins. So the next time you're cooking up something in the kitchen or dining out with friends, don't be afraid to enjoy a dish with some kick to it.
15. Pamper yourself. From massages and facials to wraps and scrubs, enjoying a spa treatment (either at home or at your local spa) can have major benefits for your health. In fact, studies have shown that visiting a spa can improve your quality of sleep, enhance blood circulation, rid the body of toxins and of course leave you feeling more relaxed + rejuvenated.
Do you have any simple tricks that you find especially helpful for instantly boosting your sense of well BE-ing? Try a few this Saturday to celebrate Global Wellness Day (and don’t forget to follow us on Instagram @malaandmantra for a chance to win your own Be Well bracelet in honor of the international holiday!).