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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!



Overall, it can impact our health and wellness in a positive way when we choose to focus and reframe our thinking with positive mantras like those in the image above. Today, we challenge you to adopt and implement a positive mantra.

YOU CAN DO IT! <~~~~ a very simple mantra

Follow these simple steps to get started:

  1. Begin by Identifying something that is worrying you. For example: I am overwhelmed with all I have to do.
  2. Create a sentence that is what you want in your life: I can prioritize things and do what needs to be done.
  3. Begin saying your mantra out loud at least once a day as you reflect on the words. Focus on allowing your mind to believe the words as truth for your life.


Scientists are continuing to investigate the biological and behavioral perks that come from connecting with others. For example, they’ve found that it helps relieve harmful levels of stress, which can adversely affect coronary arteries, gut function, insulin regulation, and the immune system.
This is encouraging news because connecting and fostering relationships with others may be one of the easiest health strategies to access. It’s inexpensive, it requires no special equipment or regimen, and we can engage in it in many ways.
Our challenge to everyone today is to call – yes, CALL – someone you care about that you haven’t spoken to in at least 6 months. It will be good to hear their voice and for them to hear yours. Let that person know that you still care and you want to be better about staying in touch. These connections matter and it might just be up to us to make the first move…regardless of who may have fallen out of touch.
You might even make someone’s day…including your own.


Aside from the joys of reading to learn something new, there are neurological and mental benefits of reading, too. Studies show stress reduction, mental stimulation, memory improvement, and improved focus are just a few of the immediate benefits. It turns out there are several benefits to reading in addition to de-stressing:
• Increases lifespan
• Increases memory
• Diminishes risk of Alzheimer’s
• Reduces illness ~ physical & mental
• Reduces stress & anxiety
• Enhances sleep quality
• Enhances creativity
• Improves problem solving
• Improves analytical, writing, & conversational skills
• Expands vocabulary
• Increases learning and knowledge of the world, people, or particular subject matter
• Increases your perceptiveness when reading people & situations
• Increases your empathy
• Low cost

It may be hard to do, but try to find time – even just 15 minutes a day – to sit down and read something for fun. Reading, especially something you enjoy, can improve your intellect by stretching your mind to think about things you normally don’t think about! Whether it’s a book, blog, newspaper, or magazine makes no difference. Open up your mind to learning new things and expanding what you already know.

The easiest way to find the time for reading is by planning it into your existing routine, whether in the morning or before bed. You can also set reading goals for yourself…maybe you want to aim to read one book a week or one a month. Work up to it by starting with a set amount of time each day or blocking off a couple hours for reading on your weekend schedule.


Reflection involves consciously considering and analyzing our beliefs and actions for the purpose of learning. Reflection gives the brain an opportunity to pause amidst the chaos, untangle and sort through observations and experiences, consider multiple possible interpretations, and create meaning. This meaning becomes learning, which can then inform future mindsets and actions and encourage growth and development.

Research at Harvard demonstrated that people who spent 15 minutes at the end of the day reflecting about lessons learned had a 23% performance improvement within 10 days over those who had not spent time reflecting. An additional study of UK commuters found a similar result when those who were prompted to use their commute to think about and plan for their day were found to be happier, more productive, and less burned out than people who didn’t.

15 minutes may feel like a lot, but work up to it by starting with just a few minutes and building up to 15 minutes gradually.
You can become more reflective by practicing a few simple steps.

Identify some important questions. But don’t answer them yet. Here are some possibilities:
What are you avoiding?
How are you helping others achieve their goals?
How are you not helping or even hindering their progress?
How might you be contributing to your least enjoyable relationship?
How could you have been more effective today?

Select a reflection process that matches your preferences. Many people reflect through writing in a journal. You can sit, walk, bike, or stand, alone or with a partner, writing, talking, or thinking. The choices are endless!

Schedule time. Schedule your reflection time and then commit to keep it. If you find yourself trying to skip it or avoid it, reflect on that!

Do it. Go back to your list of questions and explore them. Be still. Think. Consider multiple perspectives. Look at the opposite of what you initially believe. Brainstorm. You don’t have to like or agree with all of your thoughts — just think and then, examine your thoughts.


Dressing your part, whatever that part may be, is vital to communicating the impression of who you are and who you want to become, and ideally it should be the first thing on your mind each morning. Whether you work in an office or at home, getting dressed is one of the first steps to getting off on the right foot each day. People who pay attention to their personal appearance tend to have increased confidence and overall performance. Think about it…if you take a few extra minutes to dress yourself for success, you feel better and naturally have more energy from those feel-good hormones! Even if you don’t work, getting dressed can set the tone for a great day. If you stay in your pajamas, you are always ready for bed. If you get dressed, you are ready for ANYTHING! First impressions mean a lot and you never know who you may encounter throughout the day.

WORK NOTE: Take time to evaluate the culture of your workplace. Obviously if you work in construction, wearing a suit and tie every day may not make sense, but you can still find ways to take it up a notch by dressing for success in a way that fits appropriately with your work environment.


If someone told you there was a low-impact activity that could do right outside your door to soothe the spirit, increase coordination, boost self-esteem, and positively impact the brain, wouldn’t you be interested? It turns out GARDENING positively impacts wellness in these and other ways. Check out some of the benefits:

• It relieves stress. Gardening can lower cortisol levels that cause stress and increase blood pressure. It also increases serotonin, which helps people feel happy.
• Friendly bacteria in the soil can boost immunity.
• Planting provides great exercise. It is low-impact and can be comfortable work with the right padding or protective gear.
• It involves hand-eye coordination and sensory intake. Both of these factors can positively affect cognition.

Today, plant some seeds or pick up a seedling or other plant that you can nuture and grow.


According to information from the Produce for Better Health Foundation (PBH), phytochemicals may act as antioxidants, protect and regenerate essential nutrients, and/or work to deactivate cancer-causing substances. Including a rainbow of colored foods in a diet plan ensures a variety of nutrients and phytochemicals. Kathy Hoy, EdD, RD, nutrition research manager for the PBH, says eating a variety of foods helps ensure the intake of an assortment of nutrients and other healthful substances in food, such as phytochemicals, noting that color can be a helpful guide for consumers. “Nutrients and phytochemicals appear to work synergistically, so maintaining a varied, colorful diet with healthful whole foods is a pragmatic approach to optimal nutrition.”

Since the average American is eating less than five servings per day of fruits and vegetables overall – when it should be upward of seven to 13 servings for most adults – many consumers could be unknowingly missing out on a gold mine of disease prevention. If you’ve gotten into a vegetable rut, you further limit your access to a diverse array of nutrients and antioxidants. Today, try a new vegetable or retry one you haven’t liked in the past. Finding a new way to prepare a veggie you haven’t liked before might help!


Gossip isolates people from one another by breaking trust. Through the passage of a story, things often get told inaccurately or distorted along the way. Be diligent in trying to avoid gossip – don’t start it or share what you hear from others.
Gossip is unconstrained and often derogatory conversation about other people, and can involve betraying a confidence and spreading sensitive information or hurtful judgments.

Research shows that people who gossip the most have very high levels of anxiety. They are generally not particularly popular because they cannot be trusted. Spreading private information or negative judgments is painful to others and reflects poorly on the gossiper.

Today, we are asking you to flip gossip on its head. Tell someone something good about someone else – not private information – but something you like and value about that person. Brag them up and tell how they have made a positive impact in your life. Let “good gossip” change the negative narrative that spreads like a wildfire.


If we look at emotional health using a cup analogy, we can begin to target ways to improve our emotional wellness. As a cup, we have a very limited amount of space for our emotions. If we reach capacity, things overflow and if your cup is filled with negative emotions, what will flow out will also be negative and will have damaging impacts on your total wellness.

Likewise, if you fill your cup with positive emotions, what flows over will also be positive. Things happen throughout each day that add negative emotions to our cups – disappointments, frustration, loss, grief, stress – and things happen that pour positivity into our cups – joy, love, faith, encouragement, people. The key is to be aware of the things that are currently filling your cup – your levels – and to always know what will keep it filled with positivity. It’s hard to reach out for positivity when you hit a rough patch. Sometimes the darkness holds you there or you drown in the negative flood overflowing the brim of your cup. We need to have a plan for the day when our cups are overflowing with yuck.

Take some time today to make a list of 12 things that “fill your cup with positivity”. Maybe it’s time in a special place, a phone call with a trusted friend, baking, crafting, massage, a relaxing bath, a scenic ride or a run. Keep the list handy so that when your cup is filled or overflowing with negative emotions, you have easy access to ideas that have been proven to help turn things around.