It’s that time again when we turn the page on another year. A lot of us use this time to think of ways in which we can better our lives. New Year’s resolutions can be hard to keep, but there’s never a bad time to think about how to improve things – particularly in relation to your health. Keeping your body and spirit healthy and vibrant helps make the rest of life that much easier. Here are some resolutions you can make to get healthier this year.
This is the old classic, and might be the hardest resolution to keep for most people. The fact is, it’s very difficult to cut out foods we know aren’t good for us, particularly if they’re our favourites. To achieve success, don’t expect to cut everything out at once. If you try to do it all, you may get discouraged when you slip up. Slow and steady wins the race. Start making smarter choices for meals every day, and your body will respond. You’ll start to feel all the better for it – so keeping up with it will get easier.
Stay in touch with loved ones
It’s strange that with all of the technology available to us, people seem to grow more and more disconnected all the time. Studies have shown that losing touch and being isolated can lead to serious health problems, and conversely, that people with strong social ties live longer than those without. It’s never been easier or cheaper to stay in touch, so pull out that phone, close the browser with the cat videos, and call, text, email, or tweet your loved ones – or better yet, meet them in person!
Exercising provides a host of health benefits. These include increased circulation and weight loss, plus prevention of stroke, cancer, arthritis, and depression. If you’re having trouble finding time in your busy schedule for workout sessions, try to do your best to incorporate exercise throughout the day. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, take a stroll around the office every hour, or walk to the grocery store instead of driving. If you’re feeling like you need extra motivation, sign yourself up for a fun run or half marathon, so you have a goal to work towards.
Get rid of clutter
A cluttered home doesn’t just cause disorganisation and unsightliness. Studies have shown that a cluttered house can lead to increased stress levels, which can have all sorts of negative effects on your health and your energy. Also, the more “stuff” you have, the more it can lead to the presence of dust and allergens, which can be especially difficult and dangerous for those with asthma and other lung issues. If the task seems overwhelming, start working on it a little bit at a time. You’ll find that over time your home seems much cleaner, more organised, and more inviting.
Cut back on alcohol
Alcohol can cause a lot of damage to your health. Plus, it can leave you feeling lethargic and sick the day after consuming it. If you don’t think you’ll be successful quitting altogether, try to cut down a little bit at a time. You can also switch to less harmful drinks like red wine, which luckily has some health benefits when consumed in moderation!
Get back to the kitchen
Cooking a meal can be one of life’s great joys. There’s the sense of accomplishment, plus the satisfaction of knowing that you’ve pleased those to whom you’ve served it. Plus, cooking at home is generally healthier than eating out, even if you don’t usually eat fast food. There’s no way of knowing all of the ingredients and preservatives used on food at a restaurant, but at home you have control over everything. You can make your most sinful dish, but modify it to make it healthy. Plus, it’s fun and quite soothing being in the kitchen and focusing solely on the process of cooking for a while.
Make an effort to unplug
Thanks to smartphones, smartwatches, and the fact that many of our jobs increasingly involve computers, we’re switched on and tuned in 24/7. Since this doesn’t give us much time to think for ourselves, let alone unwind, it’s not surprising that research has shown that media overload can increase the risk of depression, social anxiety, job burnout, and even allergies. Make an effort to unplug daily – even if it’s just for 10 minutes. Go for a walk, sit outside, get a massage, or meditate. You’ll likely see your stress levels go down and maybe even your imagination run wild.
Start with one change, and once you’ve mastered it you can move on to another. Don’t worry if you have a setback. Setbacks are temporary. Pick yourself up and get back in the game.
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