How to get an instant well-being boost.
Right now - I'm the healthiest, fittest and happiest I've ever been. Hooray for me! But it came through many years of adjusting different aspects of my life, til I struck the right balance. Which is super hard to find. I've been sick this week, for the first time in about 6 moths. Which is a new world record for me, usually I get sick like 10 times a year. And when I did get sick, it would wipe me out for like 2 weeks. Whereas right now, I'm only a little bit sick and my body seems to be fighting it off like a trooper.
So it got me thinking, what have I done to so drastically improve my wellbeing in the last 6 months? I'm definitely exercising more... eating better... all that general stuff. I tried to put my finger on the smallest changes that have made the biggest difference, so that you too can reap the benefits!
Here are the two smallest things I did that have had the biggest impact:
1. Turn off push notifications.
Huh? What? Aren't I talking about wellbeing here, where did push notifications come from? If I could go back in time 5 years, the first thing I would tell myself is to turn off push notifications immediately. Which may seem slightly dramatic, but I cannot even explain how important this has been for me. For those of you who don't know, push notifications are the little alerts your phone gets from various apps. For example, when you get a FB message, a comment, an email, an Instagram like, etc. All those little alerts from all those little apps are push notifications. It's when you don't have to actually go into the app to know that there's a notification there. It's pushed to your phone.
Now, as a Samsung user, not only did I get little push notifications piling up in the little bar at the top of my screen, I'd also get a colour coded flashing light letting me know what notifications I had waiting for me. Green for message, blue for text, red for something or other. So I didn't even have to look at my phone to know I had something there waiting for me!
What's so bad about this, you might be wondering? I didn't think there was at first. But somewhere along the line I realised they were STRESSING. ME. OUT. I'd see that flashing light from across the room out of the corner of my eye - and I'd have to go check my phone, even though I hadn't intended to in the first place. Or, I'll want to send someone a message, open up my phone, and it lets me know that I've got a comment on Instagram. So I end up checking my Instagram and wasting time on there instead of just popping on to send a message. Constantly being disrupted, diverted and 'switched on' was not good for my brain. I didn't realise it at the time, but having constant notifications pouring in had my body and brain on the edge. And we all know that prolonged stress is hella bad for everything.
So, I switched them off. All my push notifications. Now, if I want to see what's on FB, I'll open the app. Or if I want to see how many likes my Insta post got, I'll open it up. When I choose to, and when I have the time. Not just constantly. It's such a RELIEF; I feel like I can breathe. And I fully believe that taking away this small but constant stress has improved my mental and physical health drastically. I highly recommend that everyone turns off their push notifications now, as an act of being well!
2. Eat blueberries.
Yep. This one needs less explainin'. Whilst I did a complete diet overhaul, I feel like the blueberries were a major factor in improving my immune system. I eat them every day (or maybe 5 days a week) mixed in a bowl with greek yogurt, walnuts, almonds, oats, honey and banana or peaches. So there's all that other good stuff in there too. Plus I cut out eating bread every day, which let me tell you, is also a good move. But blueberries were specifically chosen in the mix, and I've been eating them solidly for about 6 months now. No coincidence I haven't been sick that whole time. These little bad boys are a superfood for a reason. Holy crap, they're so full of amazingness that I can't believe they aren't prescribed as compulsory eating for all humans. They pretty much make you an invincible machine. So, if you wanna do something for your health, but aren't really sure what to do about it, buy some blueberries. They are so nutrient rich and calorie-less that it's like eating pure healthiness. Get on that.