When you think about wellness and living healthier, it’s easy to focus exclusively on your body: Look better. Exercise more. Lose weight.
There’s nothing wrong with striving to look physically fit, but there’s so much more to wellness than how you appear on the outside. Shift your focus to goals that have your whole-person health in mind — and most importantly, make sure they’re realistic for your life.
Lisa Souza, ACE CPT, manager of AdventHealth Wellness Center Zephyrhills, is here with simple, doable CREATION Life-inspired ideas that encourage spiritual and emotional growth as well as physical accomplishments. Try to incorporate them into your daily routine. Your body, mind and spirit will thank you.
1. Set Activity Goals
Staying active gives you energy, helps you maintain a healthy weight and may even help you live longer.
Lisa recommends, “Find ways to be active that you find enjoyable, rewarding and achievable — whether it’s joining a gym or taking long walks on the beach. Mix it up so you’re not always doing the same thing. That way, activity will be something you enjoy.”
2. Make Room for Mindfulness
Studies show that meditation has wide-ranging health benefits, from calming a stressed-out mind to depression and pain.
According to Lisa, “Meditation can seem daunting for a beginner, but it doesn’t need to be. Start by focusing on your breath for five minutes per day. Then, slowly work your way up. You might even take a guided meditation or yoga class to learn the basics along with reaping the benefits of community.”
3. Get More Sleep
Sleep regenerates your body, boosts your memory, protects you from illness and improves your overall health. “If you’ve been skimping on sleep, pledge to go to bed just a little earlier each night,” says Lisa. “Or, embrace habits that prepare you for a more restful sleep, such as limiting screen time before bed, reading a book and practicing deep breathing.”
4. Give of Yourself
Volunteering has been shown to increase happiness and reduce stress. Lisa explains, “It just feels good to give back. From community volunteering to helping out at a church or school, there are many ways to be of service.”
Volunteering is especially beneficial for older adults, and it can be a great family activity. Along the way, you’ll gain a stronger sense of purpose, satisfaction and spiritual growth.
5. Enrich Your Diet
Eating healthy isn’t always about eating less or loading your plate with vegetables you don’t like. Rather than forcing yourself into a rigid diet plan that can leave you unsatisfied, practice moderation and resolve to make small improvements here and there.
Lisa advises, “Incorporate leaner meats, replace white rice with brown (or other whole grains) and sneak dark leafy greens into delicious smoothies. Remember, eat to enrich your health, not to lose weight.”
6. Take a Weekly Media Break
Is constant exposure to news, television and social media making you stressed, frustrated and depressed? Try implementing a media-free family night one day a week. Play a game, go for a walk, read quietly or catch up with friends.
“You may miss your social media feed at first, but eventually, you’ll remember how nice it feels to slow down and simply enjoy the company of others,” says Lisa.
7. Spend Time Outside
Mother Nature can be a powerful healer. That’s good news for the millions of Americans who spend almost every day sitting behind a desk.
“Carve out more time to answer the call of the wild. Spend the day by the beach or a lake. Work in a garden. Visit new parks and walking trails. Aim for at least one outdoor activity a week,” is Lisa’s recommendation.
8. Learn to Love the “Now”
Pause and consider this question: How many of your thoughts today have been about the past or the future? If you’re like most people, you spend a lot of time fretting about old conversations or stressing about what hasn’t happened yet. What we don’t seem to have time for is the present.
Lisa affirms, “So many studies have shown that the age-old concept of ‘being present’ can help us achieve greater happiness. Remind yourself to be grateful for the gifts in your life, notice the beauty in your surroundings and appreciate the present moment for what it is.”
Your Partner in Whole Health
Our whole-person-health promise includes physical, mental and spiritual support. At AdventHealth Wellness Center Zephyrhills, our team of health and wellness experts is here to support you on your journey to whole health and physical fitness.
Visit our website to learn about our group fitness classes, spa services and monthly memberships.