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Mind

Gemma McCaw's 30 steps to wellness

Don’t just rely on new years resolutions that fizzle out after a few weeks – try to incorporate these simple life hacks until they become a habit.

By Gemma McCaw
Wellness is something we can all have and enjoy. At its core, it's the state of being in good health, especially as an actively pursued goal.
It's not a destination you arrive at, but rather a journey consisting of small daily habits. Wellness is the greatest gift to yourself and one which will enhance the quality of your life.
1. Drink water when you wake
Water fires up the metabolism, helps flush toxins from the body and hydrates you.
2. Start the day right: eat breakfast
Breakfast is essential for lifting blood sugar levels that have dipped during the night. It also boosts your metabolism and helps weight loss.
3. Get back into cooking
Cook and prepare your own meals so you know exactly what you're putting into your body. Have a weekly plan and shop accordingly.
4. Ditch the sugar
Reducing sugar intake helps concentration and combats fatigue.
5. Eat healthy fats
These are great fuel for the brain and will keep you fuller for longer.
6. Five-minute stretch
Take time to stretch first thing in the morning and before bed at night. This will help keep your muscles supple.
7. Do 30 minutes of exercise a day
For mental and physical wellbeing, set the alarm 30 minutes earlier and head outside for a walk or jog.
8. Incidental exercise
Take the stairs instead of the lift or park further away from work and walk there. Every bit of movement adds up to keep you fit and healthy.
9. Make half of your plate consist of veges
The more vegetables we eat, the more vitamins and minerals we're getting.
10. Make sleep a priority
Set a bedtime and stick to it. Consistency will help you stabilise circadian rhythms and help you sleep better each night.
11. Get outside
Boost your exposure to vitamin D and breathe in the fresh air. Your mood and energy levels will thank you.
12. Go for green
Add two serves of green to your day – perhaps kiwifruit in the morning or spinach at night.
13. Ditch the inner critic
Turn down that negative voice in your head and replace it with a friend's kind, caring voice.
14. Smile!
Positive energy is contagious, so aim to be that person who lights up a room when they enter it.
15. Get social
Make time to plan something with your friends and family. We are hard-wired for connection and investing in our relationships boosts wellbeing.
16. Find some peace
Take 10 minutes in the day to sit in silence, get your to-do list organised or simply enjoy your cup of tea. These moments of solace will provide you with the energy you need for the day.
17. Unplug
Ensure you have screen- free time each and every day to properly connect to the real world around you.
18. Try something new
Learning is good for the brain – it increases the white matter that helps improve performance across a number of tasks.
19. Make time for your hobbies
These are important to decompress from the stress of everyday life.
20. Do something just for you
Self-care isn't a luxury – schedule in some "me time" and don't feel guilty.
21. Book worm
The benefits of reading go way beyond enjoyment. Reading can decrease cortisol levels, making you feel calmer and more relaxed before bed.
22. Volunteer
Helping others boosts our self-confidence and sense of accomplishment, plus it will boost the recipients' happiness too.
23. Reuse and recycle
Choose reusable bags and reusable mugs – do your part for the planet and save our resources.
24. Walk or bike to a destination
Take the chance to appreciate the beauty around you while reducing your carbon footprint at the same time.
25. Random Act of Kindness
Doing something kind will give you a hit of dopamine, the feel-good hormone.
26. Treat yourself
Do something you really enjoy, like getting your nails done, having coffee with a friend or doing absolutely nothing! Practising self-compassion will boost your happiness.
27. Be minimalist
Declutter and ditch all the stuff you don't need. It's good for mental clarity and the bonus is someone else can benefit from your goods.
28. Give thanks
Write down three things you're grateful for every day. Gratitude is hugely beneficial for our wellness. Say thank you to someone special in your life each
day too.
29. Be present
Take time to be mindful and focus on the moment. Practise breathing – even just three deep breaths three times a day will make a difference. Correct breathing helps lower your heart rate and even encourages the digestive tract to relax!
30. Move it!
Each hour, stand up and move your body. It's important to keep using our muscles, plus moving gives us more energy.

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