As I found out, sometimes feeling better doesn't take a whole lot of effort or money. For me, just changing my diet was one of the best things I've done and helped improve my health tremendously.
I've been thinking about other – sometimes overlooked – little things we can do to make our lives healthier and better. Here's a few that I've come across that I hope benefit you. Please let me know if there are other thrifty things you employ that don't cost anything (or very little) but improve your way of life.
Remove your wallet
For us guys – this is a biggie. If you suffer from back pain or intermittent aches or pains in the lower extremities, be sure you aren't sitting on your wallet. Having a wallet in the back pocket causes your spine angle to get out of whack and poor posture. I always try and remember to remove my wallet before I sit down to save the back!
Drink tea or warm liquids
My father-in-law is a strong advocate of drinking everything warm as he believes it is much easier on your digestion. And, according to a UCLA study, drinking 3 cups of green or black tea each day can help lower your risk of having a stroke – by 20%! I usually get in at least 1 cup a day so I need to work on this.
Add more pillows when you sleep
This is one that I didn't find out about until I saw a physical therapist a few years back. After having some neck pain, I went in to see a therapist and was interested to see how she would position me on the therapy table. When I was laying down on my side, she put a pillow in between my legs to give them support. She told me this is how you should be sleeping when you're on your side. I've been doing it ever since and I sleep a lot better.
Hot water bottles or…
One of my favorite childhood memories was filling up the hot water bottle in the wintertime and taking it to bed. Since the folks keep the house pretty cool at nighttime, the added warmth was a blessing and made for better sleeping. According to their book, Who Knew? 10,001 Easy Solutions to Everyday Problems (which you can get at Amazon for a penny + shipping used), Bruce and Jeanne Lubin write that you can add uncooked, long-grain rice to a sock, tie it shut and stick ‘er in the microwave on high for 1-2 minutes you'll have an excellent heating pad.
Lay off the sugar
One of the best things I did for myself the past couple of years was eliminating a lot of refined sugars from my diet. I ate a lot of candy bars and sweets and my day typically was a roller-coaster of emotions. Tired one moment and hyper the next. Often, I'd want to go to sleep in the early afternoon. But having laid off the sweets (I do still have the occasional candy bar) my energy is better and I don't have all the ups and downs during the day.
Do things for others
While it may sound selfish – I think one of the best things we can do to feel better is to give our time to others. This could be using your talent/skill to the benefit of someone else without expecting anything in return. Could mean spending time with someone who doesn't have close family/friends. Time is valuable – and, more often than not – it's valued more than money when gifted freely.
What are some thrifty or frugal things you do to help you feel better?