A-to-Z Wellness Handbook

by Allie Allsup

Cheers to a fresh start! Here are our top wellness recommendations for 2022. 

a 

acupuncture  

Acupuncture is used to treat an abundance of issues, including relief for chronic pain, arthritis, or back pain. Believed to stimulate the nervous system, acupuncture releases chemicals into muscles, stimulating the body’s natural healing abilities. It is done using hair-thin needles that are inserted into the skin and are thought to promote one’s Qi (pronounced “chee”).  

 

b  

biking 

Did you know biking is one of the most common modes of transportation in the Netherlands? Not to mention, an estimated one billion people ride bicycles every day for transportation, recreation, or athletics. This aerobic activity, which means that your heart, blood vessels, and lungs are all being worked out, is a healthy, low-impact exercise that can be enjoyed by all ages.  

 

c 

chlorophyll drops (in water) 

The same chlorophyll that plays an important role in making plants green can be used to boost your own immune system. Containing vitamins, antioxidants, and therapeutic properties, many people take it as a health supplement or apply it topically. Whether or not you decide to take a chlorophyll supplement, dieticians still recommend incorporating vegetables containing chlorophyll into your diet. Dark green, leafy vegetables are often the richest. Not a big fan of vegetables? Then there are some fruits, like green apples, kiwi, or green grapes, that can have this effect, too. 

 

d 

deep breathing  

Breathing is something we do every day, but when is the last time you’ve taken a deep breath? Deep breathing has tons of benefits, and is one of the easiest, most natural tools to help fight issues like stress and anxiety while helping to bring better circulation about the body and reducing blood pressure. Go ahead, take a deep breath.  

 

e  

exercise (which creates endorphins)  

Even when tired, exercise will give you more energy. Exercising regularly can increase your lifespan by keeping you fit and healthy. General fitness and moderate exercise are crucial to a healthy body, mind, and life. Even if it’s just walking around the neighborhood for a few minutes every day, get up and get your body moving.  

 

F 

Flaxseed  

Flaxseed has been around for hundreds of years and is known for its superfood properties. Jam-packed with protein and fiber, you can find flaxseed in quinoas, cereals, and nutritional milkshakes. To reap the benefits, you can either eat a tablespoon per day or use the oil while cooking.    

 

g 

Gua Sha stone  

This tool is used to relieve tension, sculpt skin, and increase circulation. Regularly used on the face, it is often made of a natural jade stone and designed to improve and increase the circulation of facial blood vessels. This tool isn’t just for the face and neck, though; it can also be used on the back of the hand, wrist, shoulders, and feet.  

 

h 

hydration  

Water is the body’s natural medicine. Did you know drinking at least five glasses of water a day can reduce your chances of suffering a heart attack? And not getting enough water can have a negative impact on your mood and energy levels. On top of that, water is great for a clear complexion. If not a fan of the taste, spruce up your cup with fruits or vegetables (lemons, berries, orange slices). Bottom line, there’s really no downside to it, so drink up! 

  

i 

incense  

incense has been around for hundreds of years and in many forms. Simply put, incense is any plant matter that is burned for aromatic or spiritual properties. It can also be used to aid in meditation and mood improvement. Overall, incense is used as a calming mechanism and can be burned in several scents. Whether you want it to spruce up your home, or are using it to calm your nerves, incense has many benefits. When we take in smells, signals are sent to our limbic system. This is part of the brain that deals with memory, emotion, and hormone regulation. Therefore, breathing in pleasant aromas can reduce stress, aid sleep, stimulate creativity, purify your space, or simply be there for your enjoyment.  

 

j 

journaling  

Did you know writing out your thoughts and feelings can boost your wellbeing? Journaling can better help you achieve your goals, gain self-confidence, improve your writing and communication skills, strengthen memory, and reduce stress and anxiety. And while journaling may not be for everyone, it is important to note that there are many different types of journaling you can try out. Still not convinced? Well, even famous figures such as Albert Einstein and Leonardo da Vinci kept journals or diaries to record their experiences, thoughts, and feelings. It’s a good way to decompress and destress from a day’s worth of issues and struggles. Go ahead, tell us what you’re feeling.  

 

 

k 

kale 

Kale is one of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet. It’s loaded with powerful antioxidants, Vitamin A, K, B6, C, potassium, and manganese. Made of fibrous material and rich in iron, kale is great for helping with digestion. The stems even have high levels of probiotics, which will help increase the number of good flora in your gut. If we know one thing, it’s to keep a healthy gut. This is a good step in that direction. Often eaten raw, you can find kale in salads and smoothies. Yet, it can also be enjoyed steamed, sautéed, boiled, or baked.  

 

l 

laughing  

ever heard “laughter is the best medicine”? Did you know that laughing 100 times is the same as exercising for 15 minutes? Or that it’s a natural painkiller? Laughing is good for the heart and can increase blood flow by 20%. Laughing also boosts your mood and releases endorphins to relieve stress, anxiety and chronic pain. 

 

m 

meditation  

Did you know that meditation helps calm and relax you? Meditation is known as a habitual process that helps to train your mind to focus and redirect thoughts. Many people use this practice to help boost positive moods and outlooks, practice self-discipline, breed healthy sleep habits, and even increase pain tolerance. It also helps to lengthen attention span, reduce anxiety, and improve memory and mental relaxation. 

 

n 

nutrition  

A healthy diet throughout life promotes a number of things in the body. Proper nutrition is the foundation to preventing chronic diseases and sustaining a long and healthy life. It’s important to be aware of what it means to be healthy. Therefore, nutrition is the study of nutrients in food and how the body uses them. Not having the right balance of nutrients in one’s diet can be problematic and lead to other issues, so it’s important to make sure you are eating the most nutritious foods. It’s time to start being more aware of what we are putting into our bodies.  

 

o 

oat milk  

A great substitute to dairy milk, oat milk is a plant-based milk that’s  high in fiber and vitamins. Oat milk consists of steel-cut or whole grain oats that are soaked in water, blended, and then strained. It’s good for people with allergies, dairy intolerances, or those who follow  plant-based or vegan diets. Its creamy consistency also makes it a perfect substitute in coffee drinks.  

 

p 

positivity  

Your thoughts can have a major impact on the way you view others and situations. Remaining positive is key to maintaining a general wellbeing. With thousands of thoughts rolling through our minds all day, it’s important to start using positive language. The more we do, the better our chances of thought patterns changing for the better. 

 

q 

quiet time 

With  social media and the need to perform, it can be easy to forget to give yourself time to recuperate the mind and spirit. That’s why giving yourself some quiet time to reflect is important for your health. Start by giving yourself a few minutes every day to just be quiet. No noise, no distractions, just quiet. Silence offers opportunities for self-reflection and daydreaming, which activates different parts of the brain. It also cultivates mindfulness which helps you stay content and appreciative of the present moment.  

 

r 

running, reading  

Feeling stressed? Overwhelmed? Try running! People who run more frequently tend to have a stronger immune system and can increase their bone mineral density. Not to mention it’s a good way to unplug and unwind.  

 

Forgetting what’s outside those pages for a short while can significantly lower levels of cortisol and other stress hormones. Put on your favorite/coziest sweats, curl up with a good book, and lose yourself for a few hours. Reading also helps with memory and strengthens the mind.  

 

s 

spinach  

Spinach is known to affect not only your digestive health, but also your mood. Being high in fiber and holding lots of vitamins, spinach is one of the top leafy greens when it comes to digestion. It also helps with acne, heartburn, hair growth and sleep.

 

t 

tea 

There’s a reason the Queen of England drinks it. Tea helps to lower risks of heart attack, certain cancers, and other health issues. The good thing to know is that there are many different varieties and flavors of tea to choose from. 

 

u 

unplug & unwind  

Unplugging from your devices helps you to unwind your mind. Turning off or monitoring your time on social media can help you become more productive, reduce anxiety and depression, improve your relationships with others, and give you more focus. It also allows us to better self-reflect. 

 

v 

vitamin D 

Sunshine is vital to life. That’s why it’s important to get your fair share of it. Known as the “sunshine vitamin,” vitamin D is here for anyone who needs an extra boost. Getting sufficient amounts of vitamin D is important for normal growth and development. So, while the best source is the sun itself, there are supplements you can take for those cloudy days.

 

w 

water chestnuts

the water chestnut is a grass-like plant native to Asian countries like China, India, the Philippines, and Japan. Despite its name, it’s not actually a nut. It’s an aquatic vegetable normally grown underwater in marshy or muddy areas. Full in nutrients and low in calories, water chestnuts are highly versatile and can be added to a variety of dishes. While a great source of antioxidants and fiber, these aquatic vegetables are also very tasty.  

 

x 

Xanthan gum  

if you’ve ever baked anything gluten free, you’ve probably heard of xanthan gum. Used as a thickener and made from fermenting corn sugar, this food additive improves texture, consistency, flavor, and shelf life of many foods. It’s also a popular ingredient in gluten-free baking because it provides the elasticity and fluffiness that gluten gives to traditional baked goods. 

 

y 

yoga  

yoga reaps many health benefits. It can help boost your cognitive function, bolster your immune system, and lower stress. Not to mention, it’s great for stretching, which increases blood flow to your muscles and helps avoid injuries. 

 

z 

Zumba 

a great alternative to traditional fitness, Zumba is exercise made fun by using dance as the main component. Great for weight loss, this exercise has you burning up to 600 to 1,000 calories per hour. Being that it’s made up of dancing, Zumba helps you to de-stress and let your body loose. It’s also great for any age and can be adapted to any fitness level. You don’t even have to be a good dancer to get out there and do it.  

 

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