When it comes to the key priorities in life, wellness often takes center stage. While physical and mental health tend to lead the pack, there are several aspects of wellness that are equally critical for overall wellbeing.
“Fortunately, boosting wellness doesn’t have to complicate your lifestyle or break the bank,” says Laurie Mitchell, AVP of Global Health and Wellbeing at Unum. “The key is to commit to a sustainable and realistic wellness plan, and with a little a time and consistency, you will enjoy the benefits of improved health.”
Physical Health – Get Moving
Exercise has been shown to support nearly every area of your health, including weight management, better sleep, and stress reduction. Fortunately, you don’t have to run a marathon to reap the benefits of exercise.
The key is to find a fun activity you like and do it 30-60 minutes a day at least five days a week. Low-cost exercise options include walking, hiking, yoga, and jumping rope. And, yes, house and yard work also count as exercise!
Mental Health – Shut Down by 9pm
We’ve all heard the studies that link screen time with adverse health and behavioral effects in children, and adults can benefit from this advice as well. Excess screen time has been linked to increased weight, depression, and sleep disturbances.
Fortunately, the solution is simple – shut down by 9pm. Instead of screen time, develop a relaxing routine before bed – pick up that book you’ve been hearing about or take a warm bath or shower to wind down and get your body ready for sleep. Adults need 7-8 hours a night of restful sleep each night.
Emotional Health – Breathe Deeply for Stress Reduction
You just realized that the project you were expected to deliver in two days is now due in two hours. On top of that, your car’s ‘check oil’ light came on this morning. Suffice to say, stress levels get high, which usually leads to rapid and shallow breathing.
The next time stress levels rise, use this exercise to reset your breath and energy levels:
- Inhale deeply.
- As you breathe in, hold your breath at the “top” and count to three.
- Exhale deeply.
- Repeat for one to three minutes, or until breathing returns to normal.
Social Health – Get Connected
Humans are social animals by nature, with social connection shown to boost health and even lengthen lifespan. Plus, social interaction can ease depression and stress.
The solution is to make, strengthen, and restore relationships. Set aside time each day to chat up a neighbor, check on a family member, join that new improv class you’ve been dying to try, or volunteer for a cause you care about.
Financial Health – Pay Yourself First
When it comes to financial advice, one tip has stood the test of time – pay yourself first. This investment in your future means a commitment to save, pay off debt, and protect loved ones down the road with life and long-term disability insurance.
In addition to a 401k, many companies offer perks employees may not be aware of, including programs to help pay off student debt and even set aside money for emergencies. The key is to save more now so your financial health is robust for the long run.
*** These cost-free tips across five different areas of health are a simple way to build positive wellness habits that leave you more energized and balanced each day.