National Nutrition Month is celebrated in March. Created by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the campaign stresses the importance of making good food choices and developing healthy eating habits.
This week, AU Health’s dietitians provide general lifestyle tips for staying healthy and getting to most out of your life.
Social wellness is something most of us don’t pay enough attention to, but we should for long-term health. Even if you enjoy alone time, keep in mind that we are all social creatures by nature. Engaging with others can relieve stress, enhance our mood, and even promote longevity. Spending time with friends, family, or chatting with someone at the gym, park, or the office is an important way to stroke your social needs.
Learn to Love Sleep
Why has sleep become something we have (and even hate) to work into our schedules? Sleep is a gift, something that’s just as important as the food on our plate and our exercise habits. It’s the time of the day that our body resets itself, detoxifies, and allows us to be able to conquer the next day ahead. Depression, weight gain, stress, and even food cravings can all occur when we don’t get enough rest.
Become a Minimalist
Having nice things is great; however, we should never forget how much joy that being a minimalist can bring to our lives. Being a minimalist can be as small as reducing the amount of products we use, to learning to prepare more simple meals. It means that sometimes less is more, and sometimes, the little things can give us the most joy. Try scaling down your wardrobe and donating what you don’t wear anymore. Ditch the pricey beauty products and use more natural options instead. Clean out your kitchen and stick to whole foods with simple preparation tips. This is a great way to make life simpler, which can make you healthier and happier.
Try a New Activity Once a Month
Our schedules can turn us into creatures of habit. We can easily just start going through the motions, but this can also make us bored, unhappy, and possibly lose our passion for things we care about such as being active, our jobs, and even our healthy eating habits. So the answer is to try a new activity when you can, possibly once a month. Expose yourself to new activities and see how great it can make you feel!
Do Something Nice for Someone When You Can
Many of us see giving as a form of sacrifice. This is simply not true. When we give, we often get so much more in return. It can be as simple as sending a card, an email, making a dish for someone, running an errand for a friend, sending flowers, taking someone to lunch, or even just letting someone ahead of you in line at the grocery store. Doing small things for the good of others is an important part of long-term wellness. Try it and see how fulfilled it makes you feel.
Bring Energy into a Room Instead of Taking it Away
No matter what we have going on in our lives, one of the most important things we can all do is bring energy, not steal it. This means maintaining a positive outlook and energy, even if our lives are not as they should be or we wish they were. This is important for our health, along with the health of others around us. People who have a positive spirit can make a huge impact on people around them.
Spend Time in the Quiet Each Morning
If you work out in the morning, this is a great time to get some quiet time to yourself, but even if you don’t, try to spend a little bit of your morning in the quiet when you can. This can help reduce the stress hormone cortisol in the body, which peaks first thing in the morning. It also gives you some time to think to yourself before the busyness of the day begins. Taking just 10 minutes each morning, perhaps over coffee, is a great way to take care of yourself in a small way each day.
For some more tips on how to cook healthfully while socializing and for additional information about National Nutrition Month, visit the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics site.