40 Ways to Prioritize Your Well-Being
Best life and well-being go together. To live the kind of lives we want, we must tend to all dimensions of wellness. In this article, I share 40 simple things you can do to prioritize your well-being and achieve your highest potential.
The single overriding objective in wellness is creating constant personal renewal where we recognize and act on the truth that each day is a miraculous gift, and our job is to untie the ribbons. ~ Greg Anderson
It was almost a year ago, November 6, 2022, to be exact, when I had been out walking my Whoodle Marley. It was a warm November morning, and I remember thinking I had overdressed for the weather. It was just a passing thought. I took Marley to the park next to my community, and on my way back home, I suddenly felt lightheaded. I sat down in a patch of grass to stop the swirl in my head. After a few minutes, I tried to will myself to make it back home. After a few steps, I realized I couldn’t. I sat down again just trying to gather myself. I thought maybe I was overheated, and I just needed to cool down. But the dizzy feeling remained.
Soon, one of my neighbors was passing by in the car. She stopped and asked if I was okay. Normally, I might have said something like, “I’m okay. I’m just resting here.” But I knew something was not right. I responded, “No. I’m not okay.” She parked the car and came over to me. The next thing I knew, I was laid out on my back. My neighbor was elevating my feet. She told me I had passed out for a few seconds. Her husband had called the ambulance. A week after celebrating my birthday with friends, I was riding in the back of an ambulance for the first time in my life.
It turned out that my hemoglobin level was extremely low. The doctors were concerned that there might be internal bleeding. After a series of tests that went on for months, they finally found what they thought might have contributed to the incident. Thankfully, it was treatable. But those months of not knowing were extremely stressful. It was the first time that I earnestly imagined my mortality. I’m one who has a fairly healthy diet of fruits and vegetables. I’m pescatarian, within normal weight, don’t smoke, and drink only on occasion. My biggest problems were, I would skip meals, not hydrate enough, and not get enough aerobic exercise.
After my health scare, I realized more than ever that I can’t have my best life, my Aha! Life, if I am not well. I have learned to prioritize my health and well-being, and I encourage you to do the same.
“Wellness is not a ‘medical fix’ but a way of living – a lifestyle sensitive and responsive to all dimensions of body, mind, and spirit, an approach to life we each design to achieve our highest potential for well-being now and forever.” ~ Greg Anderson
40 Ways to Prioritize Your Well-Being
There are eight dimensions of wellness, and they are mutually interdependent. When one area is unwell, it impacts other areas as well. Below are the eight dimensions of wellness and 40 simple things you can do to prioritize your well-being and achieve your highest potential. I’ve included several links for you to learn more.
Physical Dimension – caring for your body.
- Hydrate – in an article by the Mayo Clinic, men should have about 15.5 cups of water daily and women about 11.5 cups. About 20% of daily fluid intake comes from foods.
- Sleep – on average, try to get between seven and nine hours of sleep/day.
- Eat nutrient-dense foods – examples include salmon, kale, seaweed, garlic, sardines, shellfish, berries, potatoes, liver, and dark chocolate. Read this article by Healthline to learn more. Nutrient-dense foods have lots of nutrients, but relatively few calories.
- Exercise – on average adults need about 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity and 2 days of muscle strengthening exercise. Read this article by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) to learn more.
- Schedule your wellness – and advocate for your healthcare. Get regular checkups. Click here to learn the age appropriate health screenings and consider your family’s health history when speaking with your doctor.
Intellectual Dimension – growing in knowledge and skills, being curious, investing in lifelong learning.
- Read – reading boosts your brain’s strength, increases memory, and reduces stress.
- Stay curious – find something you’re interested in and sign up for a class to learn more or watch a documentary.
- Try something new – take on a stretch project at work or try a new hobby.
- Teach – one of the best ways to strengthen your knowledge is to share what you know by teaching or mentoring others.
- Play brain games – try finishing a crossword puzzle or Sudoku, answer trivia, or play checkers or chess. Click here to learn more ideas from BrainHQ.
Emotional Dimension – understanding and respecting your feelings and the feelings of others; managing emotions.
- Practice self-compassion – be kind to yourself.
- Set boundaries – communicate how you want to be treated and set boundaries regarding your time, energy, and personal safety.
- Start a journal – writing down your feelings helps to release what you’re feeling inside and can provide perspective. Try journaling for 10 minutes daily.
- Share your feelings – share your joys and sorrows with people who care about your well-being. Don’t keep things to yourself. Accept your feelings without judgment.
- Focus on what you can control – let go of what you can’t control. Check out the 15 Things You Can’t Control and What You Can Control Instead by Tiny Buddha blog.
Social Dimension – maintaining healthy relationships, enjoying being with others, contributing to your community.
- Get involved – look for ways to get involved with others and make new connections.
- Spend time being active with others – exercise together, go to a ballgame, join a book club.
- Volunteer – choose a charity, non-profit, or local school, and give your time.
- Nurture your relationships – call a friend you’ve been meaning to catch up with; send birthday, holiday, or thank you cards to your siblings or close friends. Place a call to your parents or an elderly relative just to check on them. Let the people you love know how much they matter to you.
- Resolve conflicts – learning to forgive yourself and others can reduce stress.
Spiritual Dimension – finding purpose, value, and meaning in life; participating in activities that align with your beliefs and values.
- Meditate and/or pray – spend time in meditation and self-reflection; pray to your Higher Source.
- Practice yoga – yoga is not only good for your body, but also for your mind and spirit by reducing stress, anxiety, and depression.
- Connect with your faith community – gathering with others who share your religious beliefs can provide affirmation, encouragement, and support.
- Engage in purposeful activity – when you engage in activity that is meaningful and purposeful, you enhance your own awareness of why you’re here and the unique gifts you offer.
- Spend time in nature – nature has a way of reducing stress and opening our eyes to rhythms, order, interdependencies, and synchronicities in the Universe. Learn more by reading 8 Ways to Take Care of Your Spiritual Health.
Occupational Dimension – prepare for and participate in work; contribute your unique skills, gifts, and talents to work that is personally meaningful and rewarding.
- Set meaningful and realistic goals – we are energized when the goals we set are intrinsically motivated and lead us toward the lives we want.
- Pursue work that interests you – when you find work that interests you and utilizes your skills, you will feel more motivated and fulfilled.
- Balance work and leisure time – work and leisure are part of your life. Just as every area deserves your attention, moderation, and balance, so does work.
- Develop positive relationships with coworkers – communicate and collaborate well with coworkers. For other ways to improve occupational wellness, click here.
- Speak positively about your work to others – be mindful of the positives and benefits of your current job, even as you may have ambitions for more. Maintain a positive and grateful attitude toward your work. Staying focused and succeeding in your current role can lead to other opportunities.
Financial Dimension – managing your resources to live within your means.
- Budget – track your income and expenses; set a budget that allows you to stay within your means.
- Contribute to a savings plan – establish a savings and automate your contributions to pay yourself first from each paycheck.
- Plan for major purchases – set aside money each week or month to plan for major purchases or emergencies.
- Limit credit card use – be mindful that every time you use a credit card, you’re taking out a loan, often with high interest rates. Make sure you have the means to pay back the loan on time or earlier.
- Be careful in loaning money to family or friends – if not receiving the repayment will place you in a financial bind, it’s best you do not make the loan. Read 25 Tips to Achieve Financial Wellness in 2023.
Environmental Dimension – understanding how your surroundings affect your health and well-being; contributing to environmental health and sustainability.
- Limit your exposure to smoke – avoid first- and second-hand smoke and other toxins.
- Replace chemical cleaning supplies – opt for natural cleansing alternatives instead.
- Declutter your space – routinely clean and declutter your workspace and home, getting rid of old papers, clothes, books, etc., that you no longer need or use.
- Recycle and compost – get rid of waste responsibly in a way that reduces harm to the planet.
- Dust and purify the air in your home – invest in an air purifier and duct cleaning service to get rid of allergens in your home. For these and other suggestions on improving environmental wellness, read 7 Strategies to Improve Your Environmental Wellness.
These 40 actions are practical and will make a positive impact on your health and well-being. One way to approach the list is to identify the dimension you’re most in need of improving and try those actions for the next 30 days.
Here’s to our well-being. May we be well and live long.
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My purpose is helping others get to know, believe in, and accept themselves so that they live their best lives – lives with more joy, more purpose, and more fulfillment. Their Aha! Life. I’m so grateful you’re on the journey.
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