Healthy Tips Challenge

Week 5

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This is the fifth week of the Healthy Tips Challenge! One more to go!

Week 5: Get motivation by showing gratitude, being compassionate, and appreciating others

In Week 3, we've discussed accountability buddies—friends, family members, coworkers, etc., who help us stay committed and accountable to shared health and wellness goals. Today we're expanding on this concept to explore the power of leaning on and helping others with goals, as well as the general benefits of volunteering, commiting time and energy to a cause, and showing gratitude and compassion for others.

Research has illuminated the exciting effects of showing appreciation and gratitude, being kind and supportive, and—in general—having compassion for others. Turns out that giving or receiving these positive feelings gives us a sense of purpose, inspires and energizes us, makes us feel happy, and even boosts our immune system. For these reasons (and many others), we recommend finding ways to give and receive acts of kindness, compassion, and gratitude as part of your health and wellness routine.

There are lots of ways to build giving, compassion, and gratitude into your life. The good news? The more you do these things, the more automatic they become. Put a sticky note on your computer or set a calendar invite reminding you to tell someone you appreciate them and you're grateful for things they do for you. Also, internally, try to feel grateful for the successes and challenges in your life. Sometimes thinking about negative or difficult situations can help motivate and inspire us, and remind us of the positive things in life.

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Explore the tips and tools below

Keep an eye on community calendars and event lists for year-round exercise events with charitable causes. In Vermont, RunVermont has an up-to-date calendar listing upcoming fitness events, many of which have a cause associated. Or use Eventbrite to search for Charity & Cause related fitness events in your town.

Have friends or family members trying to work out more or change their fitness habits? Make an effort to check in on how they're doing, ask how you can best support them, and show your appreciation for their motivation and commitment. You might be surprised to find that this will inspire you too!

Charity Miles
Charity Miles

Charity Miles lets you turn a neighborhood jog or weekend hike into a fundraiser for good. Just choose a charity and start moving. The app tracks your movement. For every mile you log, you help to earn money for your chosen charity.

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Across the board, this is one of our all-time favorite apps for exercise and healthy eating goals. We also love MyFitnessPal's friends features that remind and encourage you to support and applaud your friends' achievements throughout their own wellness journeys. Learn about all of MFP's friend features here or click LEARN MORE to visit the full site and download the app.

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Here are some ideas for cultivating gratitude and compassion:

  • Write a thank-you note. Good vibes come from nurturing and fueling relationships with others. Try writing a thank-you note expressing your appreciation of a person in your life. Send it, or better yet, hand-deliver it and read it in person. Make a habit of sending at least one gratitude letter a month. You may even start to get some in return!
  • Appreciate or thank someone mentally. Don't' have time to sit down and write a letter? It can help just to think about someone who has done something nice for you, and mentally thank the individual.
  • Keep a gratitude journal, writing positive thoughts and things you're grateful for. We recommend a few apps below or use a physical journal and keep it by your bed.
  • Meditate. Mindfulness meditation involves focusing on the present moment without letting thoughts and feelings intrude. Although people often sit in silence, focus on a word or phrase (such as "om"), you can also spend time meditating by focusing on what you're grateful for (a helpful coworker, the warmth of the sun, caring friends and family, etc.).

The DoSomething website and app takes breaking news and gives you immediate ways to take action. Whatever your cause and whatever the headlines, you’ll get a way to make a difference in that moment. It also makes it easier than ever to upload photos of yourself in action. And now, with a public profile, you can connect with a community of members like you in over 130 countries.

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Grateful (iOS phones only)

Grateful, a free gratitude journal app, was created to make expressing gratitude in your life both easy and fun, as well as to remind you, during those down moments, of the many good things in your life. This app will greet you with one question, such as. 'What made you smile today'? or 'What made today a good day?'. All you have to do is answer. It can be a simple word. Or a simple paragraph.

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Bliss (Browser plug-in & Android phones only)

Bliss works like a daily diary or gratitude journal that allows you to record thoughts and meditation on the previous day. Each journal entry helps you increase mindfulness, find inspiration, and build self-confidence. As you continue writing notes in your gratitude journal and completing the other exercises you begin to change your outlook to focus on the positive, get more enjoyment from life, and become more effective at everything you do.

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Research and locate local farms and food companies serving your community. If you shop at a large grocery store, ask the staff what local farms and foods they stock. Most towns have winter farmers markets stocked with both winter items as well as greenhouse grown, fresh produce. NOFA Vermont has an up-to-date list of summer and winter farmers markets. Local newspapers and event lists will also include farmers markets.

Additionally, there are numerous look-up apps and websites that allow you to compare food products and brands and find affordable, healthy, and ethical options for nearly any type of food or drink. We like EWG's Food Scores, an easy-to-navigate database created to help you make healthier, greener food choices.

Foodstand App
Foodstand App

Ditch calorie counting to get (and stay) healthy once and for all. Foodstand is an app that helps you eat healthier through our community-powered Good Eating Challenges. Challenges are based on basic good eating principles that apply to everyone—things like eating less processed food, eating more plants, eating fewer animal products, and eating more mindfully.

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Good Fish Guide
Good Fish Guide

You can play a key role in securing the health of our seas and marine wildlife by making more environmentally responsible choices when buying seafood. Use the Good Fish Guide to find out which fish are the most sustainable (Green rated), and which are the least sustainable (Red rated).

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Great job! You're on your way to completing this week's Healthy Tips Challenge. Keep an eye out next week for the next email with new tips, tools, and prizes.

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