What does “wellness” actually mean? That we’re taking care of ourselves from the inside out.
Wellness is holistic: a consideration of the whole self. That means that we need to consider every aspect of our being—from our beauty products and daily routine to our progress on our life’s passions and what we eat—and determine what makes us feel complete, happy and in love with our lives. Then we need to do it.
These wellness tips target individual, everyday components that compose our overall sense of wellbeing. They’re not rocket science; in fact, they’re very obvious. The trick is doing them every day. The TED Talks below them give you the motivation you’ll need.
1. Get more sleep, and nap if you need to. Put a sticky note above your bed that says, “Sleeping is not a waste of time.” Ultimately, we get more out of the day when we have the energy to take it on full-throttle. Not getting enough sleep compromises our creativity, our energy, our relationships and your own happiness.
Why? Here’s Russell Foster’s TED talk on why we actually need sleep:
2. Stop counting calories. Scientists tell us that the calorie system doesn’t accurately measure the energy people get from food. Lay-woman’s terms: a calorie isn’t just a calorie. We can have a chocolate bar for dinner that’s fewer calories than a well-balanced meal, but we’re not any better for it. We’re not even any skinnier! A good diet consists of calories that keep us fuller longer–and not just so we’re satiated, but so our bodies can perform their basic functions.
Here’s how eating heals us:
3. Stand up. Get a standing desk… but don’t spend all day at it! Standing for long periods of time is as taxing on the body as sitting for long periods of time. A balance of positions — sitting, standing, walking, lying down, doing yoga, etc.— is what our bodies were made to do. Use your body’s full capacity as much as possible.
This is why sitting, specifically, is terrible for you:
4. Walk more. A study published in PLoS Medicine showed that adding 150 minutes of brisk walking to your routine each week can add 3.4 years to your lifespan. Even taking a ten-minute walk around the block mid-workday can jumpstart your metabolism, lower your blood pressure and revive your energy.
Here’s Ben Saunders’ excellent and hugely popular TED talk on why we need to leave the house:
5. Watch what you’re putting on your face and body. Stalk your body products, cosmetics and cleaners on www.ewg.org. They’ve set up a super handy rating system that determines how toxic a given product is on your health and the environment. If one of your products has a rating of 8 or higher, don’t finish it up; recycle it or donate it. Simplify your life and save your health.
Here’s Stacy Malkan, the leader of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, on the connection between plastic pollution and cosmetics:
Author: Meera Watts
Editor: Caroline Beaton
Image: YouTube still