Wellness doesn’t just happen. It’s a choice that requires prioritization and accountability. From how you spend your time to who you spend it with, it all requires a balance that’s often challenging to find.
Emily Byers, DVM, a swine veterinarian with Prestage Farms, offers three tips to help people improve their wellbeing.
1. Eat well and be active.
What are you doing to take care of your physical body? Byers says physical health encompasses a variety of things, including the foods we eat, our daily activities and exercise.
“Eat healthy, nutritious food and stay away from junk food as much as possible. Research shows the correlation between what we eat and how that impacts our microbiome and our brain, and how we think and feel,” she says.
Exercise is a critical component of good physical health. Byers says working out every day or several times a week is a great stress relief that provides mental and emotional benefits, too.
2. Practice positivity.
Mental and emotional health is an essential component of wellness. In fact, Byers practices self-reflection, positivity and gratitude every day.
“Research has shown that if you create a habit of 21 days of starting your day with three positive affirmations or three points of gratitude, your quality of life and emotional wellness improves,” she says.
Positive thinking is a conscious effort and helps you overcome the brain’s negativity bias. This allows you to be more productive.
“It’s something you have to commit to do – make yourself do – then over time it becomes more natural. But it's amazing how your day can change when you look at the positive first,” she says.
3. Find your tribe.
Physical health and mental and emotional health tie into your social well-being. Find people that you can count on to support you in life. Stay in contact with them and find ways to lift them up.
Humans crave the feeling of being part of something bigger than themselves, writes Lissa Rankin, MD, in Psychology Today. Scientific data shows over and over again that loneliness is a greater risk to your health than smoking or lack of exercise, and finding your tribe is better than any vitamin, diet or exercise regimen.
“I have my people that are dear and close to me in several different circles, and I know I could reach out to them anytime I need them,” Byers says. “Having that community, that tribal support system is essential.”
Watch a short interview with Byers here.