10 tips for improved health and wellness at home and work

What if you engage with your health and wellness everywhere you go?

A lot of us have bought into the “work hard, play hard” philosophy—essentially cutting our work selves off from our real-life selves. But when we spend tens of thousands of hours during our lifetime at work, why aren’t we looking to bring good, healthy life practices into our work life, too?

This year, what if you scrap the whole ‘work hard, play hard’ philosophy and start to look at work and home a bit differently—what if everywhere you spend time is an opportunity to connect and engage with your health?

From Carebook’s research team, here are ten things you can do at home and/or at work to start improving your overall health and wellness.

1. Say no to added sugars

  • FYI: Did you know that some yogurt and energy bars actually contain more added sugar than cake, ice cream, or sweetened cereals?
  • Benefits: Ridding yourself of added sugars could lead to weight loss, feeling more focused, improving your metabolism, decreased risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease, and more.
  • Ideas: At work and at home, ban sugary drinks! Look at labels and limit your intake of foods that are high in added sugars.

2. Create a healthy sleep routine

  • FYI: Lack of sleep has been linked to obesity, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes—and most experts agree high-quality sleep is as important to health and well-being as good nutrition and exercise.
  • Benefits: Getting enough sleep can improve your sex life, lower the risk of injuries and accidents, and boost your mood.
  • Ideas: Get rid of the screens before bed; Try to go to sleep at the same time every day; Exercise during the day—at least three hours before bedtime.
  • Read more from harvard.edu

3. Meditate

  • FYI: Did you know even a few minutes of meditation is better than doing nothing and it can be as simple as focusing on breathing or silently repeating a mantra?
  • Benefits: Mindful meditation can lower anxiety and stress, improving mental health and well-being
  • Idea: At work or at home, take the time to stop and take deep breaths; Try a free guided mindfulness meditation by Dr. Ronald Siegel, assistant clinical professor of psychology at Harvard Medical School—available here.
  • Read more from harvard.edu

4. Practice food mindfulness

  • FYI: Mindful eating is simply slowing down, paying attention to what you’re eating, and expressing gratitude for it.
  • Benefits: Eating mindfully can help you become aware of your current eating habits and then take control of them—potentially helping you to lose weight.
  • Ideas: Chew your food really well (try putting your utensils down between each bite and chew 30 times per bite); At work, break the habit of eating at your desk (you deserve the chance to rest and refuel body and brain, and to connect with colleagues); Eliminate distractions so you can focus on your food—that means screens and phones!

5. Move more

  • FYI: Regular exercise can improve your physical and mental health.
  • Benefits: Move more to lose weight, strengthen your muscles and bones, increase your energy levels, reduce your risk of chronic disease, and more.
  • Ideas: Set your phone to remind you to get up from your desk every 30 minutes for a 2-3 minute walk or stretch; Challenge your office colleagues or family to a daily step (or other activity) challenge.

6. Schedule your preventative health screenings

  • FYI: Using preventative services can improve your health and most are covered, in part or completely, by most insurance plans, including Medicare and Medicaid.
  • Benefits: You can lower your risks for many kinds of cancer with screening tests, vaccines, and healthy choices.
  • Idea: Check with your healthcare provider for the types of screenings that you and your family should be doing.
  • Read more from CDC

7. Be a non-smoker

  • FYI: Smoking cigarettes harms nearly every body organ and is a leading preventable cause of death—but there are a lot of strategies and medications that can help you quit.
  • Benefits: Quitting lowers your risk for smoking-related diseases, and can add years to your life.
  • Ideas: Talk to your healthcare provider about smoking cessation programs or drugs; If you’ve tried to quit, or quit before, don’t give up.
  • Read more from CDC

8. Show gratitude

  • FYI: It’s a simple and easy practice to express thanks.
  • Benefits: People who practice gratitude consistently report a host of benefits including stronger immune systems, lower blood pressure, feeling more alert.
  • Ideas: Make it a daily practice to thank a colleague for being awesome, or doing great things; At home, be sure to take time to appreciate the small things that make life good.
  • Read more from berkeley.edu

9. Connect

  • FYI: It’s healthy to invest in your valued relationships—whether community, friendships, or family.
  • Benefits: Feeling supported through life’s ups and downs is important for mental health and well-being.
  • Ideas: Take time each day for friends and family—if you need to actually put it into your busy schedule, consider these connections as important as any business meeting you have; Shut off the screens and make time for games or just chatting.
  • Read more from nhs.uk

10. Wash your hands often

  • FYI: Handwashing helps battle the rise in antibiotic resistance
  • Benefits: Handwashing can prevent about 30% of diarrhea-related sicknesses and about 20% of respiratory infections—it’s one of the best ways to protect you, your family, and your colleagues from getting or spreading sickness.
  • Ideas: Scrub your wet, soapy hands together for at least 20 seconds before you dry them; If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Read more from CDC