Whether you’ve been dusting the cobwebs off your dancing shoes, office shoes or gym shoes recently, we’re all finding ourselves getting deep into our regular busy lives, so it’s never been more important to not lose focus on putting your wellbeing first. Particularly as we head into the cooler months where hibernating on the couch, snack in hand, beckons. While we all know our health and wellbeing should be a top priority, it’s often hard to know where to start and what actions you can take to improve it. Here are our top 13 tips to get you on your way:


1.  Put you first!

Establishing great habits starts with putting yourself at the top of your to-do list. The single best thing you can do for yourself immediately is visit your GP for a thorough health check. Over the last few years, many of us put these aside, and many of us are behind in regular screenings like mammograms and cervical and bowel screenings. So, it’s time to get up to date, put your health first and get everything from niggles to general bloods checked. It could quite literally save your life.


2.  Eat the rainbow

Eating a well-balanced diet is widely regarded as one of the most powerful things you can do to maintain overall health and protect yourself from chronic disease. But what does that look like? According to the Australian Dietary Guidelines, Australians generally need to eat more vegetables, legumes, beans, fruit and wholegrain cereals and reduce consumption of starchy vegetables, refined cereals and high and medium fat dairy foods. A well-balanced diet means eating a variety of foods from the 5 food groups in the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating and generally cutting back on refined foods in favour of foods closer to their natural state.


13 Steps To A Healthier You - And It Starts With Putting You First Healthy food


3.  Choose how you snooze

While 7-9 hours each night is the sweet spot for most adults (despite Beyoncé famously telling Vogue Paris she only sleeps 3-4 hours a night), everyone is different and has different sleep needs. Sleep comes only second to diet in contributing to our overall health, so how can you ensure you’re getting what you need? It’s worth understanding your chronotype. This helps you figure out when you’re most productive, how much sleep you need and “how your internal clock works and how you can synchronise it with your daily activities and duties to use your time most efficiently”.


4.  Fall in love with exercise-induced endorphins

We’ve all experienced that post-workout high, and whether that endorphin hit comes in the form of a light walk, yoga session, Pilates class, or a run – the outcome is the same. Not only will you feel a burst of positivity, but your body will thank you for keeping it moving. The key to incorporating regular exercise into your life is keeping it intuitive – forget dragging your unwilling mind and body to the gym simply to tick it off, and embrace listening to what your body wants and needs on the day – is it a walk in nature or an intense sweat sesh at the boxing gym? Intuitive exercise is about changing things based on how you feel and not being bound by burning calories.


5.  Get financially fit

Get your finances working smarter (minus the penny-pinching) by looking at frivolous expenses you can cut back on and renegotiating contracts that have been sitting idle. By giving your current spending a thorough and regular once over, you’ll quickly become aware of areas where you can make changes. Give yourself a quick financial fitness assessment here.


6.  Plan a well-earned break

From staycations to long weekends and mini breaks, getting away from your routine will have you feeling refreshed and ready to tackle whatever comes your way. And with a lot less uncertainty around travel plans these days, it’s time to make it happen and reap the benefits of a holiday circuit breaker. Ready to get planning? Here’s what tourism operators say you should think about.


7.  A chore no more

We’ve spent a lot of time inside our own four walls, and it’s felt at times like a treadmill of chores. Take a break from chores and call in an expert cleaner or order takeaway now and then to mix up the monotony. Here’s a little game, choose the task you dislike the most, enter it into Google and see what comes your way. Book it in, and it might even be life-changing – you could wind up with a regular cleaner or a regular take-out every Tuesday night.


8.  Clear the clutter and feel the calm

Whether it’s the junk draw or an overstuffed wardrobe, just seeing cluttered spaces can put your head in a spin. Excess clutter is a cause of stress, so by simply clearing this, you’ll feel instantly calmer, happier, and more in control. In feng shui philosophy, clutter is thought to stop the flow of energy that creates health, wealth, love and abundance and instead invites stagnation, exhaustion and exasperation. Aside from that, it can cause dust mites, mould and mildew to flourish – yuck!


9.  Cut the stressors

Stress comes in many different shapes and forms, so it’s essential to take some time out to review what might be causing you unnecessary stress and what you can do to overcome it. Whether it’s physical stress, emotional or financial, by identifying it, you can put a plan in place to either instantly or gradually reduce its impact on your life.


10.  Check in with your mental health

The last few years have had many of us facing situations like no other. From lockdowns to work worries and health concerns, it’s time to check in with your mental health and acknowledge any strains. It’s crucial to understand when something’s not quite right and get the help you need as soon as possible. After some quick tips you can implement today? Here are our 10 Mood-Boosters for your Mental Wellbeing.


13 Steps To A Healthier You - And It Starts With Putting You First Meditating


11. Get social

Jump off social media and get social in person by booking some long-overdue catch-ups with friends and family. Human connection is essential for emotional and physical well-being, and you’re bound to have some fun at the same time! And if you’ve let dating slip by the wayside, it’s time to get back on the scene – here are the Best Dating Sites for 2022.


12.  Make time for some fun

Fun often takes a back seat to more pressing tasks, so make a conscious effort to schedule it into your week. Whether booking yourself in for Zumba or pottery classes, signing up for surf lessons, or simply carving out a regular time slot for trying out new recipes, prioritising fun will inject some much-needed, well, fun into your life. Not only will it give you something to look forward to every week, but it can be an opportunity to socialise, meet new people and discover new passions. If you’re stuck for ideas, here are some cheap ways to have fun.


13.  Toys aren’t just for kids

There’s a gadget for just about anything these days – from robot vacuum cleaners to kitchen appliances that prepare and cook your dinner at the touch of a button. But when it comes to health, there’s one that trumps them all – the Apple Watch. No longer just a device that acts as an extension of your iPhone, the Apple Watch can multitask (just like us) and help you get enough sleep and exercise, track your menstrual cycle, and even detect abnormal heart rhythms. Not convinced? Here are all the ways an Apple Watch can make you healthier.


Put you first, and the benefits will flow

While many of us are used to putting others first – whether it’s our kids, spouses, family, or friends – it’s important (now more than ever) to take stock of your mental and physical health and make sure you’re putting you first. We’ve also got some Men’s Health tips that provide male-specific advice but remember, we’re all different, so what a healthy lifestyle looks like for you individually is different to the next person. One thing we all have in common, though, is that a healthier, happier you means you’ll have more energy and enthusiasm to share with others.


The information contained in this article is general in nature. The information is not intended to be used for medical purposes. Please consult your GP or medical practitioner for advice and support that suits your individual needs. Contact Lifeline, Beyond Blue or Kids Helpline to speak to someone now.