Alert

COVID-19 Updates


*Vaccine availability and appointments* | Additional COVID-19 resources.

Please be aware that mask-wearing is required at all UNC Health facilities.

Published on August 25, 2021

30 Days of Wellness

30 days of wellness

Many people want to form new habits that will make them healthier and bring peace. However, that can feel daunting and intimidating. If you’re looking for small ways to make a big impact on your daily health and wellness, this list can help! It’s 30 days’ worth of small changes that, if implemented regularly, can lead you to a happier, healthier, longer life. These small changes don’t require a lot of money, time, or skill. After you implement one, you’ll want to do more because the results are often very significant.

  1. Try a green smoothie – if you’re a regular smoothie drinker, throw in a handful of leafy greens to ramp up the nutrition value of your smoothie. Try this great recipe!
  2. Stop and breathe – a quick session of deep breathing can help you feel more relaxed and less stressed. It only takes a moment but can relax your body for hours.
  3. Eat out less – when you cook at home, you know what’s in your food. Processed restaurant food has added sodium and fats and more calories. Even if it’s a simple salad, home cooking is best.
  4. See your physician for a yearly checkup – your physician can keep an eye on what’s going on with your body year after year. Find a doctor and schedule your checkup today.
  5. Try a new healthy food – if you’ve been looking for an excuse to try that kumquat or asparagus, do it! You never know when you’ll find a new favorite healthy snack.
  6. Do some yoga – yoga is relaxing and good for your physical self. If you’re a beginner, this New York Times guide will help you get started. You’ll be an expert in no time!
  7. Drink more water – even a glass more a day will help. Increasing water intake may boost your energy levels, help you obtain weight and fitness goals, and improve the quality of your skin.
  8. Take a break from social media – stay off for a whole day. Studies have shown that social media can lead to a bad mood, low self-esteem, and anxiety. A break can be a refresher.
  9. Pamper your feet – feet do a lot of work! They need some love. Schedule a massage, get a pedicure, or lather them in lotion and wear soft socks. Buy supportive, comfy shoes.
  10. Lower your sugar intake – sugary foods age your skin, mess with digestion, and can make you moody and tired. Eat a banana, some watermelon, or some frozen grapes instead.  
  11. Write down your goals – writing down goals makes them more tangible and realistic. You might even create a vision board; more on how-to here!
  12. Take a walk – walking is a great form of exercise and getting outside is good for your mood and health. Do it with a friend or family member for some extra-healthy quality time.
  13. Declutter – you might think you need the things you have, but you really don’t. Reducing clutter lowers stress and makes life simpler. Organize one spot at a time so it’s not overwhelming.
  14. Try a new recipe – you may be in a rut with food or want to add in more fresh ingredients. This resource from Eating Well has a lot of different recipes so you’ll find something you love.
  15. Lift some weights – bring out those dusty dumbbells and lift for 15 minutes. It’s one of the best types of exercise to improve your body’s composition. Even a couple of canned veggies will do!
  16. Do something you love – this can be as small as reading the chapter of a book, practicing a hobby, or eating a food you adore. It’s a great way to enhance your feel-good hormones.
  17. Eat one dark leafy green vegetable per day – have broccoli at dinner, add spinach to pasta sauce, or kale in your soup. Green veggies help protect us from disease and promote mental wellness.
  18. Get your rest – Americans are notorious for not getting enough rest. Find out your sleep sweet spot (for some seven hours, others 10) and aim for it. Have a bedtime and wake-up routine.
  19. Plan an outing – it could be a visit to a local brewery, time with friends, or a vacation. Making future exciting plans gives you something to anticipate, making dreary days more palatable.
  20. Ditch the salt – use fresh herbs and pepper to season foods instead of dumping salt in. Salt can contribute to high blood pressure, which can lead to a number of physical issues.
  21. Do some cardio – get your heart pumping for 30 minutes, three to four times a week. It will help you lose weight, regulate your blood pressure, and lower the risk of disease.
  22. Be kind to yourself – you’re your own worst critic. Negative self-talk can impact you physically and mentally. Be as kind to yourself as you would be to another. 
  23. Add a superfood to your diet – superfoods offer a high level of nutrition and are an immediate upgrade to your diet. Harvard Health has a great list of superfoods on its site.
  24. Stretch at your desk – stand up every hour and stretch your body for two minutes. It’s good to get your blood flowing. Stand up straight and check your posture during the stretch.
  25. Take the stairs – using the stairs instead of elevators is a great way to boost your fitness and doesn’t feel like a huge commitment. Little changes make a great impact!
  26. Pump up your breakfast – try a bowl of whole-grain oatmeal with berries or a plain yogurt parfait with berries and a little granola. It’s great to start the day with a healthy kick.
  27. Take your B vitamins – B vitamins can help reduce some types of cancer and heart disease. They are found in many foods, including leafy greens, bananas, avocados, and eggs.
  28. Share a compliment – compliments benefit the giver and the receiver. Making others happy boosts our own happiness, leading to more wellness.
  29. Drink green tea – Green tea improves mental alertness, promotes weight loss, and has been studied for possible impact on reducing heart disease and cancer.
  30. Switch up your evening routine – wind down before bed by taking a bath or reading a book. Stay off screens. They stimulate your brain and make healthy sleep more difficult to achieve.

For help tracking your wellness goal, try a wellness journal. You can do it with traditional paper, or you can download an app that will work. You can find a list of great wellness apps here. Tracking your progress can help you stay motivated and focused. Good luck with your goals!