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Jen Rosio, University of Utah Health
Top 10 Tips for Enhancing Your Well-Being
With the change of the season upon us, now is a great time to focus on self-care. Well-being specialist Jamuna Jones shares her top 10 tried-and-true tips aimed at optimizing your health and nurturing your mind, body, and soul during this seasonal shift.

the seasons change, embracing a holistic approach to self-care becomes pivotal for nurturing our well-being. Here are the top 10 transformative self-care tips I share with my clients for optimizing physical, mental, and emotional health. These practices, rooted in scientific research and practical wisdom, offer a comprehensive guide to fortifying your resilience and enhancing your overall quality of life during this season of change.

1. Prioritize sleep   

Getting quality sleep is critical for maintaining both physical and mental health. Lack of sleep can exacerbate burnout, depression, and anxiety!

  • For more information on how to optimize your sleep, take a look at these tips from U of U Health.  

2. Practice self-compassion 

According to Dr. Kristin Neff, a pioneer researcher, self-compassion is simply the process of turning compassion inward. Treating ourselves kindly and giving ourselves support and encouragement rather than being judgmental and harsh when challenges arise. Research indicates that self-compassion is one of the most powerful sources of coping and resilience.

  • Try out some of her exercises to start practicing!  

3. Don’t skimp on nutrition 

Nutrition is a critical component in health promotion and the treatment/prevention of disease. Research indicates that adopting whole food, plant-dominant dietary patterns can positively impact physical and mental health. Try making small steps to reduce sugar and processed foods and replacing them with whole foods. You might be surprised by how much of an impact it will have. 

4. Get some movement in daily 

The benefits of movement and exercise seem endless! Regular exercise can improve mood, help with healthy weight management, increase energy, and even promote better sleep. In Dr. Michelle Segar’s book Joy Choice, she discusses why our exercise and eating plans often fall short and how to incorporate positive, sustainable behavior change in our busy, fast-paced world.   

5. Practice mindfulness and meditation 

Mindfulness is the practice of being fully engaged in the present and aware of what you are doing, feeling, and sensing, without interpretation or judgment. Numerous clinical trials have demonstrated the benefits of mindfulness practice, including reduction in stress, anxiety, pain, depression, insomnia, and high blood pressure.

  • Check out Mindfulness Programs and different exercises offered right here at the U!  

Meditation is a practice that has been around for thousands of years! Like mindfulness, it involves observing your thoughts and feelings without judgment. The difference is meditation is often referred to as mental training techniques such as guided meditation, breathwork meditation, or visual meditation. These practices can help establish a mind-body connection that brings mental and physical peace. There are several apps to learn how to meditate, including Headspace, Breathe, Calm, and Insight Timer. Don’t get discouraged if it is difficult at first. It takes practice and consistency, so stick with it!  

6. Get outside every day  

Who knew going outside daily for a few minutes could be so impactful? Research has shown that spending time outside can reduce stress, cortisol levels, muscle tension, and even heart rate! A 2019 study showed that spending at least 120 minutes a week (that’s only 17 minutes a day!) in nature can significantly increase health and well-being.  

7. Spend time with others 

One of the many things COVID-19 taught us is that loneliness and isolation can harm our physical and mental health. According to one meta-analysis, lack of social connection can heighten health risks as much as smoking 15 cigarettes daily! When stressed or burned out, we may be tempted to decline invitations for social connection, but say yes to those opportunities when you can! It can help your overall well-being

8. Laugh and Cry 

Laughter can help reduce stress and induce physical changes in the body. Some short-term benefits include stimulation of the organs, deactivation of the body’s stress response, and soothing tension. Long-term benefits include improving the immune system, pain relief, and improvement in mood. 

Some may have a stigma against crying, but did you know letting yourself cry is actually good for your health? Some benefits included emotion regulation, reducing distress, and toxin and stress release. We have stress hormones in our tears, so when you allow yourself to cry, you get it out of your body, which may provide relief from intense feelings

9. Hydrate 

Dehydration (even mild dehydration!) can negatively impact physical and mental health. Our bodies rely on water to operate properly. Research has shown that dehydration can lead to problems with blood pressure, heart rate, and body temperature problems. It can also be the cause of headaches, fatigue, and dizziness. Because our brain is made up of primarily water, dehydration can cause stress and put us at increased risk for depression and anxiety.

  • For more information on how much water you should drink, check out this article from the Mayo Clinic.

10. Practice gratitude 

This is a simple practice that has enormous benefits! Studies have shown that practicing gratitude regularly can help improve mood, sleep, and even immunity. It can also decrease depression, anxiety, and pain management. Gratitude can be practiced in many ways, such as texting someone, making a phone call, or journaling what you are grateful for. Need some ideas to get started?


Jamuna Jones

Well-Being Specialist, Resiliency Center, University of Utah Health

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