Last Updated on May 30, 2022 by Thalia
It’s been a while since I wrote a post solely dedicated to wellness.
It’s one of my favourite topics right now and one that I care deeply about.
So today I’m taking things back to basics, and talking about the realistic ways you can practice wellness daily without spending a fortune.
Table of Contents
- What’s the deal with wellness?
- The basics of wellness
- 5 ways to practice wellness daily
- Final thoughts
What’s the deal with wellness?
As I’ve explained a few times before, wellness is about moving towards a healthy lifestyle. A lifestyle that has a positive impact on your physical health; both inside and out.
However, I feel as though over the past few years, the core meaning of wellness has become misleading. And the term, which is essentially supposed to be a positive word, is becoming more and more intimidating, toxic and quite frankly pretentious.
The global wellness industry is now worth $4 trillion.
From ridiculously expensive beauty products and treatments to luxury retreats and bizarre health diets, everyone is buying into the latest wellness trend to make them feel younger, be healthier, fitter and eat cleaner.
There’s always a strive for more.
And I feel a backlash towards the wellness industry is becoming more and more apparent.
TV shows now only focus on the dark side of wellness.
The Dropout (which is based on a true story) and documentaries like Bad Influencer and (Un)well, show wellness industry experts, who are in a position of authority, take advantage of vulnerable people seeking to get “well”.
Leaving an even worst taste in people’s mouths.
It’s enough to put anyone off a journey to wellness.
But wellness doesn’t have to feel scary or intimidating. It doesn’t have to be expensive either.
Wellness can be simple.
So let’s go back to basics and strip wellness back to its core.
In the hopes that you will start to feel less overwhelmed when thinking about wellness and what it means for you.
And embark on a wellness journey that makes you feel good.
“Does wellness bring health and healing? Or are we falling victim to false promises? Are we really getting well?”(un)well | netflix
The basics of wellness
Whatever your definition of wellness is, there are 5 basic wellness principles that are all within our reach.
Yes, everyone can benefit from them!
And the good news is, they all begin at home.
Practising wellness daily is simply about putting these 5 principles into action.
You’ll also find that they all support one another.
Regular exercise improves sleep quality.
Good sleep reduces your cravings for sugary and unhealthy foods.
A well-balanced diet provides energy for exercise.
Self-care advocates for rest and allows you to make these wellness practices a priority daily.
Building habits encourages exercise, nutrition, sleep and self-care.
Because to do all of these things, you need to get into the “habit”.
So let’s break down these practices even further so you can truly incorporate them into your daily life, and boost your overall health and wellness.
“Mental and physical health are inextricably linked — you can’t take the mind out of the body — and human beings need rest, food, and movement to flourish.”shondaland
5 ways to practice wellness daily
It’s not rocket science to realise the combination of these 5 things will lead to a better, healthier and more fulfilling life.
But thanks to modern-day living, daily distractions and busy schedules, it can sometimes be difficult to find the time to practice these wellness practices.
Or we just simply forget.
So let’s look at how we can combine all 5 of these “wellness habits” into a daily practice.
A daily practice that will make you feel good both inside and out.
But remember, you need to be the driving force.
No one is going to come and remind you to get plenty of sleep, eat well, exercise, build good habits or dedicate time to self-care.
You need to set the intention yourself and take action.
Be your own motivation.
1 | Get at least 7-hours of sleep
Do I really need to explain the numerous benefits of sleep and why we need to get plenty of it?
Surely, it goes without saying. Get at least 7-9 hours of sleep a night.
But saying it is the easy part.
Actually implementing it is the hard part.
Especially when you’re 3 episodes deep into Euphoria and you want to see what happens between Nate, Cassie and Maddie.
But when you force yourself to stay up, you are disrupting your natural sleep pattern.
You are telling your body that it’s not a priority. That watching HBO or catching up on work is more important than sleeping.
You are not allowing your mind and body the time it needs to repair itself in order to function.
And you will most probably wake up the next morning feeling tired, groggy and miserable.
Not a great combo especially when you have a heap of work to get through and need to be productive AF.
So let me repeat that again. You need to get at least 7-hours of sleep a night.
Not only will it reduce stress and boost your mood but sleep also improves focus and productive energy.
“Sleep is the single most effective thing we can do to reset our brain and body health each day.”MATTHEW WALKER | WHY WE SLEEP
HOW TO GET YOUR RECOMMENDED DAILY DOSE OF SLEEP
- Be consistent. Fall asleep and wake up at the same time every day. Invest in a sunrise alarm clock to help regulate your pattern or set a bedtime routine on your smartphone
- Get outside every day and move your body
- Limit your caffeine at least 6-hours before bed and switch to tea
- Build a shutdown routine at the end of your working day to prompt you into winding down
- Follow all of this by indulging in soothing wind-down rituals and you’re in for one incredibly relaxing evening
2 | Move your body daily
Daily exercise keeps us healthy – both mentally and physically.
It gets your body moving, boosts energy, elevates your mood, reduces stress and… should I keep going?
Exercise is extremely beneficial.
It’s so simple to move our bodies every day, yet many of us still go a day without moving our bodies.
So make working out feel easy.
Keep it simple. Go for a brisk walk around the park in the morning, or do some light yoga. Even go swimming and try aqua aerobics.
Your exercise routine doesn’t need to be overly long either.
“Research has found that low-intensity aerobic exercise for 30–35 minutes, 3–5 days a week was best at increasing positive moods.” (mentalhealth.org)
You can also set the intention of trying out a fun, new workout every week or month to refresh your exercise routine.
HERE ARE 8 FUN WORKOUTS to inspire you
- Reformer Pilates
- Any type of dancing lessons
- Pole dancing
- Rock climbing
- Acro or aerial yoga
3 | Eat well
Good nutrition supports all aspects of your life.
From boosting energy levels and immunity to promoting physical wellness and supporting your mental health.
What you put inside your body has a knock-on effect. If you’ve eaten a lot of sugary and fried food the night before, chances are you will wake up the next morning feeling bloated and sluggish. But if you’ve eaten a well-balanced meal, you will wake up feeling energised and ready to start the day.
In all honestly, eating super healthy is still a work in progress for me.
I LOVE my food.
Maybe it’s the Greek in me, but I have a big appetite and a major sweet tooth.
However, now that I’m in my 30s my body is no longer as forgiving as it once was and my weight fluctuates rather regularly.
It’s therefore so important for me to control my portions and not over-indulge.
I’ve also come to realise that, for me, eating “well” really consists of eating in moderation.
I will always allow myself a glass of wine at dinner (sometimes lunch if I’m feeling boujee) and dark chocolate to sweeten my palette after a meal. But in general, I try to stick to a well-balanced diet during the week and limit bread and other white carbs as much as possible.
It’s been harder since I’ve been travelling because, after 5 months, I still seem to be in “an eating as though I’m on holiday” mindset but I am getting better.
And like I’ve said before, wellness is a journey and it takes lifelong dedication.
You won’t always get it right. Sometimes you’ll lose balance, feel guilty and wish you hadn’t eaten that extra scoop of ice cream.
But life is for living too.
Don’t get so distracted counting calories that you purposely avoid eating the foods you love. Have that extra slice of pizza!
Because as Elizabeth Gilbert says, “to lose balance sometimes for love is part of living a balanced life.”
I mean, I assume Liz is talking about pizza in this quote right?
Because it sounds pretty accurate if you ask me.
“To lose balance sometimes for love is part of living a balanced life.”Elizabeth Gilbert | Eat Pray Love
Here are a few extra tips for eating well
- Plan your meals ahead of time and consider meal-prepping
- Try to avoid refined carbs and processed foods as much as possible
- Cut down on saturated fat and sugar
- Try not to give in to your cravings and over-indulge* (unless you’re on your period of course)
- Drink plenty of water
- Beige was so 90s, it’s now all about colour so eat those rainbow-coloured veggies friends!
*A rather large side note on healthy eating. A lot of my inner healing and journey to wellness has been about supporting my mental health. So sometimes my physical health comes second but I’m working on being able to balance them both.
I don’t claim to be perfect when it comes to nutrition. I have days when I eat well but then I have other days when I could have been a lot more balanced. But that’s ok, I’m trying. And I know I’m not damaging my body in the process because overall I am healthy and I have a healthy relationship with my body. Yes, I wish I was a bit slimmer but that’s my own fault for not exercising enough.
So don’t hate yourself for over-indulging. Be mindful of what you eat but don’t allow it to take over your life. Yes, your weight may fluctuate, but so does everyones. Just work on building that healthy relationship with yourself and making peace with your body first and everything will be a lot easier in the long run.
4 | Build healthy habits
Building and maintaining healthy habits daily is essential for your overall health and wellness. And as we discovered above, if your well-being isn’t being taken care of, then you can’t show up and perform as well as you want to.
Those small habits we choose to maintain every day, turn us into the person we want to be.
Which ultimately leads to a healthier, happier and more fulfilling life.
As James Clear, the author of Atomic Habits puts it, “success is the product of daily habits.”
If you truly want to live a “successful” life (placed in quotation marks here as success is subjective and its definition is up to you) then you need to put in the time and effort daily to build healthy habits that support your wellness.
And if you need help building better habits, then James Clear is your guy.
Because Atomic Habits makes building habits fun!
Honestly, this book changed my life.
So to make it easier for you to build habits that actually stick, let me summarise a couple of his main points.
Get super specific
The trick is to be more precise and obvious with the habit(s) you are trying to build.
Instead of saying “I’m going to read more this month” you need to be clearer with your action. State when you are going to read. What will you read more of?
So the habit you want to build would be, “I will read 5 pages of ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows’ every night this month as soon as I get into bed after having brushed my teeth and before I fall asleep.”
Build habits that suit your personality
Mind-blowing right? Honestly, my head nearly exploded when I read that.
I never even considered it before. I just assumed there was something wrong with me because I couldn’t stick to building the habit of waking up at 7 am every morning.
But James Clear implies there’s nothing wrong with you if you can’t build a habit.
It’s just not the right habit for you.
Guess I’m not a morning person then! But hey that works for me.
And I’ve applied this rule, not only to my habits but to my productivity as well.
I now build my daily schedule and wellness habits to work for me rather than against me.
“Success is the product of daily habits – not once-in-a-life-time transformation.”James Clear | Atomic Habits
5 | Dedicate time to self-care
Simply put, self-care is essential.
Not only for your mental and physical well-being but for your productive energy too.
The more you rest and take care of yourself, the more nourished you feel, so you can keep showing up as the healthiest version of yourself.
Self-care also allows you to develop and maintain a healthy relationship with yourself which is built on self-love and respect.
I won’t bang on here too much about why everyone needs to practice self-care because I will go on for ages, and chances are I’ve said it all before.
So, instead, let’s look at the ways you can dedicate time to taking care of yourself, even with a busy schedule.
“Self-care doesn’t always have to be external like indulging in bubble baths, watching Netflix or meditating. Self-care can be entirely internal where you set boundaries, practise self-love and find a deeper respect for yourself.”notes by thalia
How to make time for self-care
- Find a gap in your schedule and commit to just 10-mins a day
- Keep your self-care routine short and sweet, so it easily fits into your schedule
- Set an alarm to prompt you
- Say it out loud, “it’s time for a self-care break”
- Focus on your needs
- Indulge in self-care activities you actually enjoy
I hope you found this post on these daily practices helpful, and the next time you hear the word “wellness” you feel less overwhelmed.
Just remember, there is no right or wrong way to do wellness.
As long as you feel healthier and happier than you did the year before, then you’re doing it right.
And don’t get so caught up self-improving that you forget to actually live your life and have fun.
Don’t always strive for more. Instead, take a moment to congratulate yourself for how far you’ve come.
I encourage you to bookmark this page so you can refer back to it at any time.
And if you need any further guidance, my inbox is always open.
Until next week,
♡ Thalia xx
“Don’t get so caught up self-improving that you forget to actually live your life and have fun.”Notes by Thalia