100 Ways to Wellness Challenge

Family Health Care, Oncology, Orthopedics, OB Health Services: Caribou, ME

100 Ways to Wellness Challenge

CLICK THE IMAGE ABOVE to watch Wellness Wednesday LIVE from 6/10/20 with Healthy You Program Director, Bethany Zell, as she outlines the upcoming challenges and how you can get involved!

Summer plans get disrupted? Join Heathy You for the 100 Ways to Wellness Challenge from anywhere! Learn 100 simple ways to move toward improved health and wellness with daily challenges and easy action steps. Completely self-paced, you decide how involved you want to be and how you receive your daily challenge information – by email, on the Healthy You Facebook page or by visiting this dedicated page on the Cary Medical Center website. Join the Healthy You Community Facebook group and join in the conversation for extra accountability and to connect with others who are taking the 100 Ways to Wellness Challenge with you!



Music stimulates many areas of our brains and is a fantastic way to maintain intellectual wellness. It has a powerful impact on our minds. Playing a musical instrument can improve intellectual wellness by creating sounds, patterns, and emotions.

Since the voice is also a musical instrument, singing can also stimulate intellectual wellness. Singing increases listening skills as the voice blends with others or with musical accompaniment. It enhances breathing and increases lung capacity. Our intellect is challenged to memorize the words and feel the rhythm. 


A SERVING is a specific measurement of food — such as a tablespoon or cup. Serving sizes — along with nutrition information — are commonly listed on food packages. A PORTION is completely up to you. It is the amount of food you choose to put on your plate. In dishing up food for meals and snacks, many of us take more than a single serving size, often without realizing. Multiple studies have shown that when provided larger plates and bowls and unlimited access to food, most people — no matter age or weight — will serve themselves more, and, as a result, consume more.

So, how do you begin to downsize your portions in an effort to maintain a healthy weight? Follow these steps to help put your portion sizes into perspective:

Use smaller plates and bowls — they leave less room for super-sizing your meals.

Avoid eating family-style, and instead, dish up individual plates with the appropriate serving sizes.

Pay attention to when you get full, and try not to eat past that point. 

Think before you ask for — or help yourself to — seconds.

When eating out, plan to take half of your food home, or split an entrée with your dining companion.

When snacking, take one serving size from the bag or box, and put the rest back on the shelf. Eating right out of the container will practically guarantee eating more than what you really want or need.


Hugs help us feel better and here’s how:

  • Hugs instantly boost oxytocin levels which decrease stress hormones and heal feelings of loneliness, anger and isolation.
  • Hugs build trust and a sense of safety.
  • Hugs lift one’s serotonin levels, elevating mood and creating happiness.
  • Hugs strengthen the immune system.  The gentle pressure on the sternum and the emotional charge this creates activates the Solar Plexus Chakra which stimulates the thymus gland regulating and balancing the body’s production of white blood cells.
  • Hugs boost self-esteem – they provide a tactile sensation that show us we are loved and special increasing feelings of self-worth.
  • Hugs relax muscles, release tension in the body and take away pain because they increase circulation into the soft tissues.
  • Hugs balance out the parasympathetic nervous system through the change in skin conduction (moisture and electricity).
  • Hugs teach us how to give and receive.
  • Hugs are similar to meditation and laughter in that they teach us to let go and be present in the moment – they connect you with your heart and your feelings and your breath.
  • Hugs are a form of investment in the relationship between the two people hugging, which encourages empathy and understanding. 

 Be sure to ask before hugging someone you aren’t 100% sure would welcome one by simply asking “Can I give you a hug?” or “Would you like a hug?” 


More and more people are incorporating essential oils into their daily lives in a variety of ways. From household cleaners to skin treatments, those wishing to live a more healthy lifestyle are ditching the chemical-laden products of the past, and embracing a more natural way of life.

Scent is so powerful in affecting our limbic brain, creating change in our moods, emotions and our everyday experience of life. For a comprehensive list of suggestions, recipes and safe usage information visit:

Dr. Josh Axe‘s Essential Oils Guide: https://draxe.com/essential-oils-guide/ 


It may not be possible to workout with someone in the current season of physical distancing, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t identify and maintain a successful fitness friendship. Thanks to technology, you can work out together through a communication app or you could look for opportunities to be physically active together outside while following proper precautions. Either way, making concrete plans and sharing them with a friend means you’ll be far less likely to cancel in favor of the couch and after a few weeks of being held accountable, your routine will be second nature.

Friends can also provide an extra boost of motivation when it gets tough. Everyone has those days when they just don’t feel like exercising and those times when they want to call it quits. A fitness friend can offer encouragement to keep you going. Just be sure to return the favor.


If you are trying to resist an addictive temptation or change a bad habit, a good initial step is to remove the object of your desire or at least make it difficult to get to. For example, if you are trying to stop drinking caffeine, remove caffeine products from your refrigerator and cupboards. If you are trying to get better sleep and reduce screen time at bedtime, leave your electronic devices outside of your bedroom and close the door. It is much easier to resist temptation when it is not dangling in front of you like the proverbial carrot. Remember the brain is all about what is happening right now. If the object of your desire is not in your cupboard, the brain will have an easier time moving on to something else. 


Stress isn’t always bad. A little bit of stress can help you stay focused, energetic, and able to meet new challenges in the workplace. It’s what keeps you on your toes during a presentation or alert to prevent accidents or costly mistakes, however when it  goes unaddressed indefinitely, it can begin to take a toll on your overall health and wellness. Common causes of workplace stress include:

  • Fear of being laid off
  • More overtime due to staff cutbacks
  • Pressure to perform to meet rising expectations but with no increase in job satisfaction
  • Pressure to work at optimum levels—all the time!
  • Lack of control over how you do your work

Sometimes having a plan or changing your perspective are all that’s really needed to begin turning stressful situations around. Part of stress is the feeling of being out of control. Having a plan and executing it or choosing to accept your circumstances can both be very empowering tools in the quest for less stress in our lives because in both instances, you are taking charge – either of the plan or your emotional response to the status quo.


Grief is a normal and natural reaction to loss or change of any kind. It is not pathological and it is not a personality defect. While grieving the loss of a loved one is serious and life-shattering, there are many other major life events that can elicit a similar response from us and our emotions. Losing opportunities, losing our place in an important community or career — these are all things that can cause us to grieve in unexpected ways. Grief does not make us weak or less worthy for experiencing it and in these uncertain times, many of us might feel as though we are losing more than ever before.

Grief is one of the most intense and unpleasant emotions we ever experience in this life. It seeps right down into our souls and has the power to change us at our very core. Because these feelings are so strong, we often want to do something — anything — to dull or stop the pain. 

Learning how to deal with your grief means learning how to identify and understand it. Trust yourself and trust your emotions. Let your feelings out and give yourself the time you need to heal. Reach out and share your pain with someone that you trust and find distractions that can help shine a light on the beauty of the world around you once again. Eventually the pain will recede, but it takes time and an acceptance that is often painful in nature. Take responsibility for your healing and give yourself permission to mourn the things that once were. Your loss is real. Mourn it and then lead yourself back to the light.


Once you have made an action plan, write it down and post it where you will see it every day. Thinking through an action plan is one thing. Writing it down makes it more likely you will take action. Keep track of how you are doing and problems that you encounter along the way. 

If your action plan is well written and realistically achievable, it will be generally easy to accomplish. Check off things as they are completed. This will give you guidance on how realistic your planning was and will also be useful in making future action plans. 


These days, work-life balance can seem like an impossible feat. Technology makes workers accessible around the clock. Fears of job loss incentivizes longer hours. In fact, a whopping 94% of working professionals reported working more than 50 hours per week and nearly half said they worked more than 65 hours per week in a Harvard Business School survey. Experts agree: the compounding stress from the never-ending workday is damaging. It can hurt relationships, health and overall happiness. Work-life balance means something different to every individual but knowing how you prioritize things is a starting point.

Although not scientifically based, the quiz at the following link can begin to give you an idea if things are out of balance in your life between work and home. You may already have an idea that things are out of alignment, but use these questions to begin thinking about areas where you may not have noticed imbalances.