How to Reset Your Wellness Habits
By Heidi Baldwin, MS, Holistic Health Coach
Sometimes, all we need is a fresh start. Whether it's the new year, new month, or new week, it's never too early or too late to reset your habits and start building new ones. Many people put off their wellness goals during the summer because they just want to bask in the summer warmth, and indulge in all of the things we can only enjoy during the summer months. For others, back-to-school time brings a sense of new beginnings, which can make this a good time to get back on track or create healthier habits. Below are some ways to reset your wellness habits, and start improving your well-being in every aspect of your life.
Since 2020, social life for most people has changed dramatically. Now that life seems to be getting back to normal, it's time to start rebuilding some of those social habits, whether it's through phone calls, video calls, or in-person get-togethers. Check up on your family and friends, call them, and ask how they're doing. Many people are struggling to get back into the swing of life as we once knew it. Make a habit of reaching out to the people close to you regularly. It will not only help your relationships, but it will also improve your mental well-being. Set aside some time in your calendar so that you don't forget.
One of the best ways to improve your intellectual wellness is to read more books. Read books about your hobbies, how-to books, fictional books, non-fiction books - whatever you enjoy. Make a habit of reading for at least 10-15 minutes or more each day. Set aside the time, whether it's before bed, on public transportation, or during your lunch break, and get those readings done. Books will teach you new things, help you discover new hobbies, and improve your creativity and imagination. If you don’t have time to get physical books, consider an audiobook you can listen to while you’re doing housework, getting ready in the morning, or commuting.
Physical wellness habits are common, but not all of them focus on your well-being. It's easy to get swept away in the diet mindset, but try something different this time. Instead of making a goal to lose 'X' amount of weight, focus on taking care of your body. Move your body daily, even if it's a short walk around the block. Eat healthy whole foods such as vegetables (especially lots of leafy greens), legumes, fruits, nuts, and seeds. Whatever your physical goals may be, make sure you put your health first and don't be hard on yourself. Positive self-talk only! Everything flows much easier that way!
Emotional wellness can be a difficult aspect to work on because it requires a lot of self-reflection. You don't need to be cheery and optimistic all the time; emotional wellness means that you know how to understand, process, and work through your emotions, bad and good. Try journaling every day to write down how you're feeling and where those emotions came from. Over time, you will communicate these emotions more clearly and work through them instead of suppressing them.
You do not need to have any specific religious or spiritual beliefs to tend to your spiritual wellness. Spiritual wellness is all about creating deeper connections with the earth, with yourself, or with a higher power that you believe in. Meditation is a proven way to decrease stress, increase mindfulness and gratefulness, and has many other wellness benefits. Start with a few minutes each day, and build up to 30 or more minutes once you feel comfortable.
Work can either be a passion and joyful, or unsatisfying and unfulfilling. Realistically, and for your own health and well-being, it should be the former. Whether you make more time for other aspects of your life by improving your work/life balance or find a side passion project that fulfills you, try to improve your occupational wellbeing somehow. We tend to spend a LOT of hours of our life at work, and it should always be something that brings you joy.
It's not always easy or possible to control our environment, but try your best to situate yourself in an uplifting and inspiring place. This includes not only the physical place but also the people in it. If you are in a negative environment, try to get outside and in nature at least once a day. Nature is always grounding and will help you clear your mind. You can easily pair this with your daily walk while working on your physical wellness.
Taking stock of every aspect of your life can help you see some imbalances, notice what needs some focus, and will help you consistently lead a well-balanced life. Remember that everything is interconnected, so when one aspect of our lives is out of balance, it will affect everything else in our lives.