Ten Easy Ways to Improve Your Life Right Now

September 16, 2019

Most of us have heard the conventional wisdom on what it takes to stay healthy as we age – exercise, eat right and abstain from smoking and drinking to excess. For some of us, these things can be challenging – either because physical limitations make it difficult or we simply lack the willpower to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

With that in mind, we thought it would be worthwhile to share some things that can improve your health that are easy and perhaps even enjoyable.


One of the major benefits of laughter is that it reduces stress – almost immediately. Have you ever been in an awkward situation that was broken because someone cracked a joke? Laughter releases a plethora of beneficial hormones while reducing the level of stress hormones. According the Mayo Clinic laughter may strengthen your immune system, relieve pain and ease depression.

Spend time with friends

As we grow older, keeping connected with family and friends continues to be critically important to our overall well-being. Several studies have shown that people who are more social get sick less and have healthier minds. A study from the Rush University Memory and Aging Project concluded that a higher level of social engagement is associated with better cognitive function.

Explore the world – or even your neighborhood

It’s a big, beautiful world out there, just waiting for you to appreciate it. Getting up off the couch and going outside has all sorts of benefits. It makes exercise feel easier, so you’ll be inclined to do more. It can increase creativity, reduce stress, and may even help us age more gracefully. Those who get out of the house more often have significantly fewer complaints regarding pain, sleep problems, and a decline in the ability to perform activities of daily living.

Get a puppy

Studies have shown that pet owners are healthier than those who live without pets – they provide companionship, unconditional love, and a quick pick-me-up after a hard day. They also provide an opportunity play, walk and get off the couch.

Give thanks

A study conducted by Robert Emmons, University of California, Davis, and Michael McCullough, University of Miami, discovered that people who practiced gratitude regularly were more optimistic, which led to an increased sense of well-being. By practicing the simple act of becoming aware of what we have to be thankful for, we can drastically improve the quality of our life.

 Bring the green indoors

Indoor air is often more polluted that the air outdoors. Many common houseplants help purify indoor air, reducing carbon dioxide, formaldehyde, benzene and xylene. As a bonus, plants add beauty to almost any space in your home.

 Take a nap

If you have trouble getting the sleep you need in a single 8-hour span, try taking a nap. A team of researchers at Saarland University in Germany conducted a study of the effect of napping on memory. According to the study, “even a short sleep lasting 45 to 60 minutes produces a five-fold improvement in information retrieval from memory.”

Have a glass of wine

In moderation, red wine has been shown to improve heart health. Red wine is high in antioxidants, raises HDL cholesterol (that’s the good cholesterol), reduces the formation of blood clots, and, according to the Mayo Clinic, may help prevent coronary heart disease.

Drink more water

Our body is composed of about 60 percent water and needs constant replenishing in order to perform at its peak – it effects virtually every part of your body, including the brain. A University of Connecticut study showed that even mild dehydration can alter a person’s mood, energy level and ability to think clearly.


Meditation is a practice with a long and rich history. While its roots are in religious traditions, it has evolved to become a mainstream practice for anyone looking to reduce stress, improve their job or athletic performance, sharpen their mind or simply improve their overall health and well-being.

Taylor Peguillan, of our Social Services department comments, “As caregivers it is easy to put everyone else’s well-being before your own, but taking care of yourself is the best way to ensure that you can provide excellent care and support to residents, patients, and families.  Taking five or ten minutes out of your busy day to practice self-care can make all the difference and help you to feel more balanced and prepared for challenges that come up at work and at home.”