What is wellness? According to the National Wellness Institute, the term refers to an active process where people make conscious choices to ensure a happier, healthier existence.
Many people probably think of diet and exercise as integral to wellness, and they are. However, this concept involves much more than your physical self. It also encapsulates your emotional, mental, social, and spiritual well-being.
What can you do to ensure you and your loved ones have a successful, well-rounded existence? Why not use these six wellness tips to help your family thrive?
1. Do Some Good
You don’t have to subscribe to a specific faith to nurture your soul. Appealing to your higher self reminds you of what it is to be fully human. It reminds you that you are a logical creature, armed with the power of choice, and able to direct your energy in any direction you desire. Making positive changes in your world reminds you that you are not a victim of circumstance while manifesting the reality you want to see.
Nurturing your spirit is crucial to total wellness, helping you experience positive growth and encouraging sustained happiness. Think of the rush of feel-good emotions you enjoyed the last time you helped somebody. Your brain releases a flood of neurotransmitters like oxytocin and serotonin that boost your mood and create a sense of purpose.
There are tons of things you can do. Here are a few ideas for volunteer activities you can do with the whole family:
- Help a lonely kitty: Animal shelters always need volunteers to walk dogs and socialize cats. It’s a glorious activity if your lease says, “no pets allowed.”
- Make a little free pantry: Many people struggle to afford the basics. If you have more than enough, a little free pantry invites those in need to pick up canned goods and sanitary supplies.
- Participate in a cleanup: You might be unable to stop climate change singlehandedly. However, you and the fam can participate in a beach or highway cleanup or help plant trees at a local park.
2. Adopt Some Active Hobbies
Physical fitness is a part of total wellness. However, you don’t have to insist each family member hops on the treadmill for 30 minutes daily. A far better idea is adopting healthy, active hobbies together.
For example, why not get in the habit of going on a family walk after dinner? Your kids might feel more secure opening up about school or friendship concerns when strolling side by side versus sitting across the table. On the weekends, go hiking or biking or rent a canoe to row down the nearest river.
3. Make Simple Kitchen Substitutions
Eating right also plays a significant role in a total wellness plan for your family. However, you don’t have to overhaul your entire diet or eliminate your favorite dishes. You can elevate your nutritional intake and improve your overall health by making healthier substitutions like the following:
- Milk: Swap out whole milk for a skim or low-fat version. Better yet, try one of the plant-based milks that often contain as much calcium and a fraction of the calories.
- White flour: This stuff is double trouble for your pancreas and diabetes risk. Switch to whole grain or play with chickpea or lentil flour for extra protein.
- Butter: If you’re baking, try mashed avocado or canned pumpkin.
- Sugar: Try substituting honey in tea or even coffee. Although high in calories, honey has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antimicrobial properties.
4. Learn Something New Together
Your brain is as important to keep healthy as any other organ. How can you preserve your mind power? Research suggests that lifelong learning can help you stay sharp and even ward off dementia.
Learning something new can be fun for the whole family. Do you have a budding carpenter on your hands? Why not DIY a birdhouse together this weekend? Is your little one interested in art? You can tour many of the world’s greatest museums online for free.
5. Get in the Garden
This tip ties together mental, physical, and spiritual wellness. You stimulate your minds as you and your kids discuss what to plant and how to design your garden. Digging in the earth gets your heart pumping and reminds you of your connection to other living things.
Gardening can also improve your nutritional intake. Fresh, organic fruits and vegetables are your family’s best source of phytonutrients and antioxidants vital to good health. Supplement your homegrown stash with goods from the farmer’s market.
6. Get on a Sleep Schedule
Sleep is essential, but many people struggle to get enough of it. Roughly 70 million Americans struggle with sleep difficulties, including children. Inadequate rest increases your accident risk and can lead to chronic health problems over time. For example, research suggests insufficient slumber affects appetite, leading to weight gain and an increased risk of diabetes and heart disease.
Follow these tips to help your family get better Zzz’s:
- Keep a schedule: You should try to go to bed and rise at roughly the same time daily, including on weekends.
- Ban electronics: Blue light from screens can make it harder to sleep by affecting melatonin production.
- Make it cozy: Let your kids decorate their bedrooms. Include soft night lighting if it calms fears and plenty of soft blankets, pillows, and favorite stuffed toys.
Help Your Family Thrive With These Wellness Tips
Total wellness involves more than diet and exercise, although they are vital components. You also have to tend to your mind and soul. Help your family thrive by using these wellness tips. You’ll feel better and enjoy life more, improving your relationships in the process.