7 Gifts that will make you healthier, joyful, and cost you nothing

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Gifts

You can easily get caught up in the holiday frenzy of buying gifts for everyone you know. But the littlest (and often the most inexpensive) things are the most important. You can also give yourself these gifts to show someone you care. The gift of good health is a gift that never ends.

1. Gift of friendship

Our friendships often suffer in the chaos of our lives. We don’t spend quality time with those who are important to us. This holiday season, take time to catch up with a family member or friend. (Texting doesn’t count!) You can also write a note by hand to include in your holiday card. Sit down and talk with them in person. You’re not just celebrating companionship; according to a study published in Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, friends can motivate us, bring us happiness, and even make us live longer. ?

2. A silent night is a gift

Turn off the TV and the phone. Pick up the book you have been meaning to read, or take a long bath and let it soak out your stress. We are bombarded with noise and information, and live in a “smog” of digital noise and noise. Too much noise can even increase our blood pressure, heart rate and stress levels. Quietness and living in the present moment can help us to better understand our problems, our relationships and our future. Imagine it as meditation without having to meditate. William Penn said, “True Silence is for the spirit as sleep is for the body. It is nourishment and refreshing.” It’s so true!

3. The gift of motion

Even though we all find it difficult to fit in exercise (e.g. A simple morning stretch, or a stroll around the block are easy to do and don’t cost anything. Sometimes, others may need some help. Allow someone to enjoy the joy of exercise this season: invite a friend to walk with you in the morning or evening, or watch the kids of a neighbor (or grandchild) while she attends a yoga class.

4. A gift of good health

We don’t appreciate our health until we lose it. Thomas Fuller, a British writer, said that “Health isn’t valued until illness comes”. Celebrate your health this month by taking care of yourself. Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins, and take your daily multivitamin. Share the gift of good health with someone you love by making them something delicious and healthy, or walking with them.

5. The Gift of Laughter

The old saying “Laughter is best medicine” might be true after all. University of Maryland Medical Center research in Baltimore has found that laughter can help to prevent heart disease. Researchers believe laughter can reduce mental stress. This, in turn, may help prevent inflammatory reactions that lead to fat or cholesterol accumulation in arteries. This month, invite a friend to share a comedy or a funny story with you. You’ll thank your heart for it. Other ways to protect your heart’s health.

6. A good night’s rest is a gift

Consider it. When was the last great sleep you had? This simple pleasure is difficult to achieve for many people. This month, make it your goal to sleep well by following some simple sleep tips: Make sure that your room temperature isn’t too high (a good room temperature is 69degF), not too dry (run your humidifier to keep humidity levels between 40 and 50%), and not too bright (a dark room stimulates the production of melatonin which is the sleep hormone).

Also ensure that your room isn’t too stimulating (turn off your phone and leave it out of your bedroom) or too loud. Finally, avoid using the computer or exercising at least two hours prior to going to bed. Both are stimulants and can prevent you from falling to sleep. When you finally do get some shut-eye, and wake up feeling energized, you’ll be amazed at how valuable sleep is.

7. Time is a gift

It’s way too common a statement these days: “I don’t have time…”, “I’m crazy busy…”, “Maybe next month I’ll…” … the no-time-to-do-what-I-love syndrome is reaching epic proportions in our society. Spend quality time this month with someone you care about: share a meal, catch up (without your smartphone), or do an activity. This is a gift that’s more valuable than any other you could buy.