8 Tips to Live Well Every Day

Black woman standing on rural hillside
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Knowing how to get the most out of every day is the skill of a lifetime. Let me give you eight tips to shorten that learning curve.

Some days are tougher than others. Life plays hardball, or an illness like thyroid disease slows you down. Or the sky is bright blue and you just need to get started on something new. Highs and lows are a normal part of life. The key is to keep simple things in mind, to live well, and make each day one of your best.

Self-help tips are not in short supply. But sometimes, an idea to pick up and make your own is not so easy to find. Young, or older, cruising or just getting by, here are eight tips to bring health of all kinds back into your life:

  1. Work it: It feels good to move. Whether across the room, up or down a few flights of stairs, fitness class, a spin, or your scheduled run—the ability to stretch, bend, turn, twist, tip-toe, walk, or run are benefits of everyday health. Enjoy your body by giving your muscles permission to move you faster, or slower, through each day. No pain, no gain? Not so much, unless it works for you. Exercise keeps heart and mind healthy.
  2. Food: Nutrition, energy exchange, and diet are complicated topics.There is no question that what you take into your body affects your day, your health, and how you think and feel. Standard advice is to avoid processed foods, enjoy a varied menu, and eat only until you are no longer hungry. Change up what you eat by choosing colorful fruits and vegetables—it helps you get more vitamins and fiber, and makes for an inviting dinner plate!​
  3. Sing: Yes, hum a tune, or sing along, making music has a positive impact on your health. You don’t need to be able to hit the notes. Everyone has a favorite song, and singing solo, or in a group, can release endorphins in your brain that help you feel better throughout your day. Just you in the shower, on the way to work, or with a choir or group, stand up, sit down, out loud, or softly to yourself—singing is ​a super way to put a little more of you into your day.
  1. Look, see, feel: Fresh air and fresh sights stimulate your body and curiosity. Feed yourself with different scenes and sounds to keep your imagination open, meet new people, or renew old acquaintances. Do what you love, or try something new. Pick up a book, or walk a different way home. While there is no lack of novelty on the internet, try to physically build something new into your life from time to time.
  2. Sleep: To get the most of your day, be sure to get enough sleep out of your night. Lack of sleep contributes to daytime distraction, depressed mood, poor decision-making ability, and diminished immune function, and even inability to lose weight. The quality of your day, and your health, depend on a regular night of sleep.
  3. Give help: Like singing, offering kindness to others releases chemicals in the brain that engender good feelings. Humans are social beings and generally thrive when they can offer help to those in need. Open a door, step back if someone is in a hurry, or say a kind word. Small, positive actions have a big effect on others—and you.
  1. Find beauty: Humans seek and respond to beauty. Not the magazine, photoshopped kind, but the beauty of a city waking up, or falling asleep. In the eyes of a loved one or the contented sigh of a pet—the way your expression looked just now, or fragile red paint on rusted metal.  Only you know what is beautiful to you—and recognizing that means something, and makes every day better.
  2. Don’t don’t: Look around, there is plenty of advice about what not to do. Don’t smoke, drink, consume too much sugar or salt, drive too fast—or use your computer at night. So forget the don’t, and give try a chance. On your way to a good day, try to make choices that help your mind and body feel right. At the end of the day, you can feel good about what you did do, instead of what you should not have done.

No matter where you are in your day, or your life, the joy is in the journey. Value your body, and your time, find meaning in your work, and in those with whom you share your space. Take your best shot at living well, every day.