Six significant steps to wellness in 2022

It feels like 2022 is racing by! If you made New Year’s resolutions perhaps they already feel like a distant dream?

But it’s never too late to start developing new habits. Better habits that will improve your life, health and wellbeing. So even if your grand plans for 2022 have not got off to the best of starts, why not try something new from this point forward?

The Covid-19 pandemic has triggered many of us to think more about our health and wellbeing, and we have identified various emerging trends related to these areas. We reckon if you try implementing one or more of the following steps, you will start to feel a greater sense of wellness and positivity, that in turn can help you to make the most of 2022.

Our six steps are:

  • Strengthen your immune system.

  • Improve your gut health.

  • Learn to handle stress.

  • Exercise mindfully.

  • Reduce your drinking.

  • Embrace a more eco-friendly lifestyle.

Strengthen your immune system

The Covid-19 pandemic has really brought home the importance of having a strong immune system. Anything that you can do to boost your immune system will not only protect you from infections but also increase your sense of wellbeing.

Six things you can do to help boost your immune system are:

  • Eat a healthy diet, with as few processed foods as possible.

  • Get plenty of sleep. 

  • Exercise regularly.

  • Get outside in the fresh air as often as possible.

  • Ensure a regular supply of Vitamin D: you may need supplements during winter.

  • Remember to keep washing and sanitising hands to reduce the possibility of infection.

Improve your gut health

Research indicates that our brain, gut and skin are all closely interlinked. If our brains are stressed, this can cause changes in the balance of bacteria in the gut, which can then manifest itself in a range of physical symptoms.

So it’s important to do all you can to maintain healthy bacteria in your gut. One of the ways to do this is to ensure that there are plenty of wholefoods, fresh fruit and vegetables in your diet. Some people also like to add in fermented products such as yoghurt, kefir, kimchi, miso or sauerkraut. Also reduce the amount of processed foods in your diet, as these tend to be high in additives and preservatives which can disrupt healthy gut bacteria.

Learn to handle stress

We have just referred to some of the side effects of stress. Unfortunately, stress is an inevitable part of life. But what can you do to handle it and minimise its effects on you? 

Here are five things to try:

  • Monitor your own stress levels, either by using a smart tracker or keeping a mood diary. Learn to recognise how your body deals with stress – for example joint pains, skin rashes, butterfly stomach, racing heart or buzzing head.

  • Also use your monitoring to understand what kind of things trigger stress in you, so that you can either avoid them or prepare in advance to deal with them.

  • Take time when you are not stressed to explore some breathing or mindfulness exercises, as these can help as an immediate antidote when you are plunged into a stressful situation. The NHS website is a good place to start with this.

  • If your stress is caused by ongoing circumstances, you need to deal with those causes rather than just the symptoms. Whether relationship issues need confronting, home repairs sorting, or financial problems tackling, longer term stress factors will not just go away by themselves, you have to deal with them.

  • However busy you are, build in time for regular exercise, as this releases endorphins – feel good chemicals – in your brain. Outdoor exercise is especially good as it exposes you to both Vitamin D and the beauty of nature. All these elements are key stressbusters.

Exercise mindfully

Whilst on the subject of exercise, there is another element to consider. Try to find a form of exercise that benefits your mind as well as your body.

The concept of mindfulness means being fully present in the moment; being focused on where we are and what we’re doing, rather than being reactive or overwhelmed by things going on around us. 

You will benefit much more from any type of exercise that helps you to be mindful and switch off from everything else around you.

Whether you choose running, swimming, walking, yoga, stretching or any other type of exercise, focus on what you are doing and how your body is moving. Try to be totally in the moment, aware only of how your body feels and the sensations of your immediate environment rather than any other external or internal distractions.

If you need some serious time out, you may also want to consider either a short break or longer holiday that incorporates your chosen type of exercise. This could be an investment in yourself well worth making. If your finances need a boost to be able to do this, remember that Munzee offers online loans that may be able to help.

Reduce your drinking

There is a growing trend among many people to reduce the amount of alcohol they drink. 36% of people admitted to drinking more during the first Covid-19 lockdown, and many now want to break that habit.

The important thing is not necessarily to give up drinking altogether, but to ensure that you have an ongoing healthy relationship with alcohol. There are various ways that can help with this:

  • Have a break from alcohol for a while to break the habit. If you decided not to do Dry January, you can choose any other time to do this.

  • Have days when you aim not to drink. For example, only drink on alternate days or don’t drink on weekdays.

  • Find some appealing alternatives to alcoholic drinks so that you have other viable choices in social situations.

  • If you fancy a drink, ask yourself why. For example, is it something you genuinely want, is it a social nicety, is it to alleviate stress or is it just a habit?

Hopefully the above ideas can help you to regulate and rationalise your drinking. However, if you are secretly beginning to feel that it is getting beyond your control then do seek help from a support group. The NHS website has a list of useful contacts.

Embrace a more eco-friendly lifestyle

Many of us are feeling an increased sense of anxiety about eco and climate-related issues. Even though as individuals we can all feel pretty hopeless and helpless about things, it’s important not to just ignore or suppress these feelings but channel them into some kind of positive action. 

Our recent article Is it time to make your pledge to the planet? outlined some small steps that each of us can begin to introduce into our daily lives. Steps that, together, will start to make a difference.

These include:

  • Reducing, reusing, recycling;

  • Being aware of what you eat;

  • Using your car more carefully;

  • Saving energy in the home;

  • Buying less new clothing.

You can read more about the above steps – and more – in our previous article.

We hope that this article provides some useful ideas about how to look after yourself better and move towards wellness in 2022.

For more lifestyle and financial tips visit us again soon at Munzee Loans.