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Five Life Hacks to Try to Stay Well and Healthy

The last few weeks have been a rough one for me in terms of my health. At first, I got food poisoning and diarrhoea that lasted for more than a week. My stomach was bloated all the time to the point that I could not tell the difference between my stomach feeling hungry or aching. Last week, I sprained my shoulder and even doing simple tasks like washing my hair felt almost impossible. And this week, I am recovering from a severe flu that made me lose my voice and my throat sore. Now, I am just hoping that I can get back to normal. Because of all these incidents that have happened to me in such a short period, I am slowly preaching to people around me about how important it is to take care of our health. Wouldn’t it suck if we can’t do the regular things we used to enjoy because we are sick?

Coincidentally, I was shocked to read a piece of very unfortunate news regarding a food poisoning case that happened in Taiwan recently. In late March, two people passed away and more than a dozen were ill after eating at a Malaysian chain restaurant in Taipei. The autopsy result presented that the bongkrekic acid was found in one of the customers who died, and it is believed that the chemical might have contaminated the foods they consumed. This incident baffled me because of how eating out, which is something everyone does normally, could lead to such an unfortunate event. It reminds me of how vulnerable we as human beings are when we do not take enough precautionary steps to take care of our health.

Speaking about health, I am 100% sure we all know the basics. From eating healthy, doing exercises regularly, getting enough sleep, to avoiding alcohol and cigarettes, these are among the long list of things we can do to stay healthy. These days, I have been paying more attention to my health by being more attentive to what I consume and staying active by hitting the gym after work. Moreover, I have been trying to incorporate some other things into my lifestyle that I want to share with you in this article. Who knows, these tips might be helpful to you too! 

  1. Take probiotics If you are struggling with your bowel movement, I highly recommend you to start taking probiotics. Depending on the products, most probiotics should contain live gut-friendly bacteria that support our digestive system, which makes you pass stool a lot easier. It has helped me immensely with my indigestion and bloating stomach. Also, do you know that our gut can influence our brain, especially our mood, cognition, and mental health? So, a healthy gut can make a happy you! If you can’t get your hands on probiotics, fermented foods like yoghurts, miso, and kimchi make some good alternatives.

  2. Sign up for vaccination programmes Here in the UK, flu cases tend to spike during the winter months, and I would notice adverts from the National Health Service (NHS) advising people to take their flu jabs in autumn or early winter. As the virus that causes flu can mutate from time to time, it is essential to sign yourself up for vaccinations every year, which could minimise the symptoms of the illness. Even though flu in Malaysia might not be as widespread as it is in the UK, my recent firsthand experience has taught me that prevention is always better than cure. This also applies to preparation before any future trips to a foreign country where certain diseases might be more common than in our home country. Nonetheless, please consult your doctors before signing up for any vaccinations.

  3. Minimise dairy products Two years ago, I minimised my intake of regular milk and replaced it with plant-based milk, such as oat and soy milk in my diet. My initial plan was to reduce acne on my skin after reading some articles online, and it did wonders! Not only does my skin have fewer pimples dotting around now, I realised that I have a less bloated stomach these days, and it also makes my morning coffee taste better! Research shows that lactase non-persistence is the most prevalent among people of East Asian descent, with 70 to 100 per cent of people affected by it. Due to genetic reasons, the activity of lactase, which is a type of enzyme that breaks down lactose in our intestinal lining, is relatively lower compared to people of other descent. Therefore, by all means, just aim to reduce having dairy products in your diet if possible. It is fine to not eliminate dairy products completely from your daily diet, but just try to minimise the intake.

  4. Cook more at home One skill I have certainly learned from my time studying at university here in the UK is cooking. Meal prepping at home has not only saved me a lot of money compared to eating out at restaurants where food prices may come across as ridiculous at times, it is a healthier option too! Honestly speaking, it is such a blessing in disguise to have so many cheap food options back home. However, most local foods tend to be greasy and are hard on the stomach, especially when the dishes are spicy and deep-fried. Cooking at home can save you these problems, as you get to control how you want to season and prepare your meals. If you do grocery shopping yourself, you will also learn to check the nutrition labels on the back of the packaging to compare different products and decide which are healthier options for yourself. As a trade-off, more time will be spent preparing meals, but it could be a great bonding session with your family or partner.

  5. Have a positive mindset I recall the times when I was sick, I would often feel unmotivated to do anything, thinking that I was trapped, as I would not be able to get rid of the illness right away. While it is important to give yourself enough time to rest, having a positive mindset dealing with your health problems is equally vital. Try to get some sunlight by taking easy short walks outdoors, or talking to people around you to share how you feel. Just know that there is always help around when you need it, so don’t push yourself too hard especially when your body is not at its prime.

As I was recovering from different health problems, I discovered that now is the best time to write this article, as a way to also remind myself to always take care of my health. While there are so many exciting plans and experiences in life to live out, ideas like these will not be made possible without strong physical and mental health. I hope this article can inspire you to try out some tips mentioned above, and may you be in the pink of health!


Ronin Lim,


Charisma Movement 23/24.

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