When it comes to our wellbeing, there's a dizzying number of blogs out there, all tempting us to procrastinate at work. But it's hard to know which facts are truly trustworthy, entertaining, informative, (and Pinnable). So we went ahead and scoured the blogosphere to narrow it down to these 5 fundamentals for cultivating wellbeing:
- Prioritise self-care: If you’ve been on an airplane, chances are you’ve heard the flight attendant say ‘ in case of an emergency, put your oxygen mask on first, then help others’. This instruction isn’t born out of a self-help mentality. Rather, the idea is that if you run out of oxygen, you won’t be able to help others, anyway. When it comes to self-care, the same rules applies. Self-care isn’t a pursuit of the selfish- in our everyday lives, we have to take care of ourselves first if we want to take care of others. There’s more to self-care than simply eating well and exercising more, though. Taking care of our mindset plays a huge part in helping us develop into confident, self-compassionate and healthier people. So take the time to actively plan a little self-care, rather than letting it turn into something that just happens. It’s an active choice, so treat it that way!
- Eat real food: It’s no secret that the food we eat plays a massive role in determining our health, our energy, and our mood. So, it’s not surprising that the introduction of industrial food processing has walked hand in hand with detrimental effects on our health- more so than any other factor in the last few hundred years! New research comes to light each and every day, revealing the harm these newfangled processed foods have on us. One such study even demonstrated that emulsifiers used in packaged foods ranging from mayonnaise to bread and ice cream increases intestinal permeability (“leaky gut”) and causes a chain reaction of inflammation and autoimmune disease. To avoid the harm caused by processed and refined foods, a general rule of thumb is “if it comes in a bag or a box, don’t eat it.” Of course that’s not to say all foods that come in bags and boxes are harmful. So rather than taking this literally, consider it more of a helpful guideline that will help you avoid most common food toxins- and that’s more than half the battle!
- Hydrate: Dehydration is a lot more than not drinking enough water. The side effects of being dehydrated involve numerous body systems, and symptoms range from mild to life threatening. In fact, many health problems are often linked back to poor water intake, and are remedied by simply upping the anti on your daily hydration hit. Given that more than half the human body is made up of water, it’s not surprising that replenishing our bodies with plenty of H20 is pretty vital. Hydrate throughout the day with fresh, clean water , or even mix your bevvie up with some refreshing fruit or herbal infusions for a little excitement! Moral of the story- as long as your nourish your body with water, you will flourish!
- Move your body: When many of us focus on the importance of exercise, it’s generally because we’re preoccupied with the thought of abs, or burning enough calories to eat whatever we want. The fact is though, that exercise is critical to good health and far too many people aren’t getting enough movement into their daily lives. Being sedentary does even more harm to our bodies beyond just gaining a few kilos. The effects of a sedentary lifestyle range from rapid and dramatic changes in skeletal muscle (specifically reduction in muscle triglyceride uptake); the reduction of HDL (good) cholesterol; an increase in plasma triglycerides and LDL cholesterol; and an increase in insulin resistance. Whether you’ve accumulated a little extra body fat or not, your health and wellness is at risk when spending excessive amount of time being sedentary.
- Connect: Whether you’re an introvert, an extrovert, or somewhere in between, us human-beings are naturally sociable and need to connect and develop relationships in order to thrive. Across multiple mammal studies, from the tiniest of mice all the way to us humans, data suggests that we are profoundly shaped by our social environment and that we’re subject to suffering when our social bonds are threatened or severed. This is definitely not to say that all your relationships or social bonds are made of ‘forever’ material. If you feel your confidence or happiness become more and more shot as you progress further into your relationships, it’s likely you’re connecting with the wrong people. The point of ‘connecting’ is to find peace, kindness, compassion and joy within ourselves and others. In making an effort to connect with those around us and further establish a feeling of belonging, we’re ultimately able to better establish our own sense of wellness.