The moment you become an adult, you acquire a lot of responsibilities. From voting to registering your car, to be legally held accountable for all of your own actions, and even to simply taking care of yourself, because the reality is that no one has to do it for you now. While many people are blessed with family members that still contribute to their overall well-being long into their 20’s, when it comes straight down to it, you’re really responsible for taking care of your own mind and body. Learning to do so, no matter at what age can be difficult. However, most people find that so long as you cover the basics, you’re doing alright. Here are 5 basic tips to better care for your mind and body that will leave you with a more fulfilled and healthier lifestyle.
1) Hit the gym
Okay so, the gym just isn’t your thing. It’s sweaty, smelly, and your idea of a good time is not listening to grown men grunt and smash around weights—that’s understandable. If you’re not into going to the gym—that’s totally fine, the point isn’t to be a bodybuilder, the point is to get your body moving. For some people that will mean the gym, for others however it could mean taking a thirty-minute walk with your dog. No matter what you chose to do, be it a walk, soul cycle, a Pilates class, riding your bike or hitting the gym, by getting your body moving, you’re caring for not only your body but your mind as well.
In addition to being good for your cardiovascular health, exercise is also great for your mental health as well. Your elevated heart rate releases endorphins that make you happy, upping your overall mood. A simple 30-minute walk will have you with a smile on your face the whole rest of the day.
2) Drink water
Forget everything you have ever learned when it comes to water because the standard that’s taught is actually wrong. You’re told that if you drink 8 cups of water a day you’ll be the picture of health, but actually how much water you need is highly dependent on your activity levels as well as one of the biggest factors: your gender. Regardless of activity levels, it’s recommended that women drink 11.5 cups of water a day and that men drink 15.5 cups of water a day. If you’re extremely active, in a dryer climate, or have unique health struggles, you should adjust this number accordingly.
While it might not always be easy to make sure to drink as much water as you should, it’s become easier than ever to be more mindful of how much water you drink daily. From Yeti’s that keep your water cold all day long, to water bottles that give you goals on how much water to drink by when, to apps that allow you to track your water intake for the day, if you struggle with staying hydrated, there are plenty of ways to help yourself get back on track and improve your overall physical and mental health.
3) Get better sleep
This is another tip that may be easier said than done. While it’s an easy fix to simply try to get more sleep, that’s not always an option for busy people. Life is busy and sometimes how much sleep you get is determined by your schedule instead of your needs. What you can control, however, is your quality of sleep. Getting better sleep is a great way to take care of your mind and body when getting more sleep simply isn’t an option. Some great ways to get better quality sleep are with a new fan, a white noise maker, essential oils, and even using a sleep tracking app that can wake you at the best possible time in your sleep cycle.
Getting better sleep will be extremely personal and what works for one person may not work for another, so be sure to try out a variety of methods in order to find what works best for you. If you’re unsure of how well you’re sleeping, however, try tracking your sleep with an app on your phone. This can be a great starting point and a great way to test different methods.
4) Be more mindful
Being more mindful can mean a bunch of different things to different people. For some it means meditating more, for others, it simply means taking time to be present. Whatever it means to you, the goal is the same: to have a clearer and less stressed mind. Taking care of your mental health and learning to be more mindful is important not only for your mental health but for your physical health as well. Those who are too stressed or tired tend to be the first to fall sick when the dreaded flu-season hits. By practicing mindfulness, you take care of your mental health and improve your overall well-being as well.
If you struggle to be mindful, try meditation or yoga. You can find beginners classes, guides, videos, and apps online if you’re unsure of where to start. If you don’t feel you have the time to be more mindful try Headspace. It’s an app that you can take with you wherever that doesn’t take long and helps you to get started with being more mindful.
5) Get your vitamins
Just like Mom’s told you from day 1, getting your vitamins in is essential to your health. While eating fruits and vegetables in order to do so is ideal, if you can’t get all of your necessary vitamins in with what you eat, try taking a multi-vitamin to start. Just this one simple step can really set you up for success as you get older and start needing to supplement your diet with more vitamins.
If you’re trying to care more for your own physical and mental well-being, don’t feel overwhelmed by the plethora of information available out there. Take it one step at a time and start mastering and developing healthy habits little by little. Start by incorporating one of these basic tips and then build upon that, before you know it you’ll be the picture of perfect health—just like your mom always wanted you to be!