New seasons bring a whole new opportunity to put your best foot forward! And there's something about springtime that is particularly suited for starting fresh. With spring just about here, today we are sharing eight ways to spring into better wellness.
Springing into better wellness
We know this past year has come with all kinds of new challenges, and not just for our physical health. Many of us have been struggling with mental health, financial and job insecurity, social isolation, and a number of other issues.
While there's not an immediate fix for all of these things, doing whatever you can to improve your overall wellness will go a long way in helping you feel better.
How many times in your life have you heard the phrase "go get some fresh air?" Chances are, it's a lot! But there's a good reason this advice has stuck around so long: it can really work! Getting fresh air has been shown to have a number of physical and mental benefits.
Here are just a few of the ways getting fresh air can help you spring into better wellness:
- Improving blood pressure and heart rate
- Lowering stress levels
- Improving concentration
- Strengthening the immune system
- Improving digestion
Increasing your step count
Along with getting fresh air, some of the most frequent wellness advice you hear has to do with getting 10,000 steps each day. While 10,000 steps isn't necessarily the magic number for everyone, there are undoubtedly benefits to getting more movement into each day! For some people, using a step tracker just happens to be the best way to do this.
In addition to getting outside for walks (where you'll also get fresh air!), look for opportunities to add more steps and movement throughout your day. Even something as simple as choosing a new parking spot that's further away at work can make a big difference in how much movement your day includes.
You can also take the stairs instead of the elevator, walk to your coworker's office rather than emailing them, and finding an accountability partner to meet your step count goals.
Perform a spring clean
Not only can a deep clean make your home look great, but it can actually come with wellness benefits.
There are some health immediate benefits like removing dust and other allergens from the home, but it can also be beneficial for your mental wellness. With so many of us now working from home, it's more important than ever our homes are organized, calm, and conducive to feeling good.
A clean and organized space can help promote feelings of calm, improve your productivity, benefit your sleep, and even heighten your attention space!
Bring the outdoors inside
As the weather warms and plants start to bloom, consider bringing some of these plants indoors to enjoy not only their beauty, but their wellness benefits too.
It's true: the wellness benefits of having indoor plants have solid scientific evidence supporting them.
Here are just a few of those benefits:
- They may reduce stress levels
- Some studies suggest live plants can improve your concentration levels
- Plants can promote well-being in people with depression, anxiety, and dementia
- Live plants can help boost productivity
- Plants help improve the air quality in your home with the process of phytoremediation
If you're particularly interested in the air-cleaning benefits of indoor plants, here are a few plants you might want to consider: bamboo palms, Boston ferns, spider plants, Ficus trees, and dwarf date palms.
Challenge your brain
Sometimes, especially this past year, the days all seem to blend together. We get stuck in a monotonous routine and there's nothing keeping us on our toes. Spring is the perfect time to change things up!
Break out of the norm and introduce regular activities that challenge your brain. This could be something as simple as downloading an app with brain exercises, completing crosswords, doing Sudoku, or reading a book.
Try something new
Things like crossword puzzles and Sudoku are effective at keeping your mind sharp, but another option to consider is trying something new. Maybe there's an instrument you've always wanted to play, a recipe you've always wanted to try, or an activity that intrigues you.
Now is the time to give these things a try!
When you break out of your routine and practice new skills, studies show this can come with all kinds of wellness-boosting benefits. From fending off depression to improving sleep and strengthening social connections, there are so many good reasons to give a new skill a go.
Drink more water
There's a reason we're always reminded of the importance of drinking more water: it really does promote better health and wellness.
Take it from this list of benefits from Harvard Health Publishing:
- carrying nutrients and oxygen to your cells
- flushing bacteria from your bladder
- aiding digestion
- preventing constipation
- normalizing blood pressure
- stabilizing the heartbeat
- cushioning joints
- protecting organs and tissues
- regulating body temperature
- maintaining electrolyte (sodium) balance
There are a few different tactics that can help you boost your water intake. Start by carrying a water bottle with you everywhere you go. If you regularly drink multiple coffees, soda, or juice each day, start by replacing at least one of these drinks with a glass of water instead. And if plain old water doesn't do it for you, try adding berries, lemons, limes, cucumbers, and other flavors you love.
Vagus nerve stimulation
Vagus nerve stimulation might sound a lot more complicated than "drink more water" or "get more steps," but we're here to tell you it doesn't have to be! Before we get to how easy it can be to stimulate the vagus nerve, let's talk about the wellness benefits of doing so.
Consider this: your vagus nerve is the ultimate ‘chill-out’ machine. It signals the brain to release calming neurotransmitters like acetylcholine and serotonin. You might know of this as the "rest and digest response."
Sometimes this response kicks in on its own. But when we can harness the power of response when and where we want to, the benefits can be nothing short of astonishing. (You'll find a bunch of research on vagus nerve stimulation here)
When the vagus nerve is stimulated and its tone is improved, it can mean:
- Better sleep
- Improved mood
- Better concentration and focus
- Less stress
- More tranquility
As for how to stimulate the vagus nerve, our favorite way is with vagus nerve stimulating headphones like the ones from Xen by Neuvana. It can be as easy wearing your Xen by Neuvana headphones using the patented Xen device while you listen to your favorite music or sounds. Learn more about how Xen works and the science behind it here.
What's your plan for achieving better wellness this spring?
Now we've shared eight ways to spring into better wellness this year, and we want to hear from you! Which of these eight tips are you most excited to try? What would you add to the list? Let us know!