Everyday life seems to get busier and more demanding all the time. Most of us are adulting hard. We have busy jobs and a ton of daily tasks and responsibilities at home. Taking care of our health—both our mental and physical wellness—can become a last priority, or even something we overlook completely.

Our health affects how we feel, how well we function, and our overall happiness, so we should focus on it. The good news is that living a healthier lifestyle is easier than you might think; it doesn’t have to take a lot of time, and it doesn’t have to be expensive. 

Here are some easy and affordable (most of them are even free) health hacks to help you feel better and be more productive in your day to day life.

  1. Water, water, and more water

Our bodies are 50-70% water. Water literally is life. But it has benefits beyond just survival—did you know that drinking enough water has a big impact on your energy levels and brain function? It also optimizes your physical performance, and can even help you lose weight.

The ideal amount of water to drink each day is about 16 cups for men, and 12 cups for women. That ‘cup’ is 8 ounces. To help you visualize, an aluminum drink can is 12 ounces, so 8 ounces is two thirds of a can. And it doesn’t have to be just plain water—milk, fruit juice, coffee, tea, coconut water, flavored sparkling water—anything without a lot of added sugar is a good drink to help meet your goal.

  1. Find ways to move throughout the day

Sometimes it’s hard to find time to get to the gym, or do any kind of formal exercise. But that’s okay—even a few minutes of movement a day can have measurable benefits for your health! If you can go for a walk, run around with your dog or children in the yard, or even do some vacuuming or other active tasks for 20 minutes a day, that’s ideal. But even if you can’t devote that much time, try to remember to get up and walk around for a few minutes every hour, and also do some stretching. Every little bit can contribute to better health and lift your mood.

  1. Get some sun

Even though we’re told to stay out of the sun, getting a few minutes of exposure to sunlight each day is important to our health. It provides us with Vitamin D (which we absorb through our skin, so it’s ideal to wear short sleeves if you can), and it makes us feel more awake. It also helps to regulate our circadian rhythms, which affect our sleepiness and alertness.

  1. Learn something new

Have you always wanted to learn to play the piano? Do you dream of planning a trip to Italy and want to learn Italian in preparation for it? Or maybe it’s as simple as wanting to take a cooking class to expand your skills in the kitchen. Whether you do them online or via in-person classes, learning new things is great for your mental health and keeping your mind sharp.

  1. Do things you love

What makes you happy? Is it getting outside in the fresh air? Going to hear live music? Shopping for antiques? Even if it’s hard to find the time, it’s important to do activities that light you up as often as you can. Doing things we enjoy actually releases dopamine, a chemical that makes us happy—and that’s always good for our overall health.

  1. Take the stairs

Going up? Avoid the elevators and escalators! Walking up (or down) stairs is a great way to add a little cardio to your day. This is perfect for 1-4 floors, for most people—but if you’re going up or down more floors than that you may have to consider whether you have the time and stamina. A good compromise is to take the elevator part of the way and leave yourself 2-3 floors to get that exercise in.

  1. Eat a little less

Most of us eat more than we really need to. Eating enough is definitely important, but it can be very helpful to be mindful of not eating more than enough. Try to split your meal with a friend or partner, save part of it for another meal, or get part of it to go and give the rest to someone hungrier than you. Eating less can help us maintain a healthy weight, feel better, and avoid ‘food coma’ sluggishness after a meal.

  1. Eat slowly

In addition to eating less, there are several benefits to eating more slowly. First of all, it’s just more civilized—especially if you’re eating with other people. Take some time to talk with them and enjoy the meal together. But even if you’re alone, eating more slowly and chewing carefully helps digestion. It also usually makes you feel full faster, which goes right back to helping you eat less.

  1. Get enough sleep

How much sleep we get basically affects everything—from our mood and mental focus to our metabolism and energy. Good sleep hygiene—yeah, it sounds funny, but that’s the term for it—is important for sleeping well. It means forming healthy habits around things that impact our sleep: avoiding caffeine within 4 hours of bedtime, minimizing screen time before bed, and creating rituals that help us wind down for sleep. That can be things like reading, taking a warm bath, or meditating.

  1. Eat more ‘whole’ foods

We’re not talking about the market here, though that is a place you’re likely to find a lot of these types of foods. ‘Whole’ foods are things that aren’t processed and don’t have any artificial ingredients. Fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meat and fish, eggs, grains, and nuts are all good whole food options for eating healthier.