During December and January, many people ask themselves, how can I prepare for the new year?
There is no doubt that 2020 has been a year that we will never forget. As we enter into 2021, it is an ideal moment to reflect, consolidate, and plan. At the turning point of each year, it’s natural to expect and hope for better things ahead. That’s why the concept of making a new years resolution is so widespread. However, the uncertainty of life and the possibility of failing to achieve our objectives have made many people choose to avoid this yearly practice. Can you relate? Have you ever resolved to pursue a new habit only to find that you’ve “run out of steam” after just a few weeks or months?
Does this mean we should give up? Absolutely not. If 2020 has taught us anything, now more than ever, we should strive to make the very most of our lives and be determined to be the best version of ourselves by pursuing habits and a lifestyle that will bring us lasting benefits. The key is to set realistic and attainable goals, preferably goals connected to things we are passionate about, making us happier or healthier. Setting goals that improve our health, both physical and mental, is, without a doubt, a worthwhile endeavor. So, how can we prepare for the new year?
Be More Active – Physically
Being active doesn’t mean going to the gym 3 or 4 times a week. You can find different ways of incorporating more movement into your day. For example, taking the stairs instead of the elevator or increasing the number of steps you take every day. Going for walks or riding a bike. Since many people currently spend more time at home, finding simple activities that keep you moving is essential for your physical and emotional health.
If you’re someone that has a job that involves sitting at a desk all day, it is imperative to make sure that you incorporate movement and stretching exercises into your day. Sitting at a desk for long periods has been associated with an increased risk of high blood pressure, obesity, cardiovascular conditions, and cancer. While such changes might seem small, over time, they can provide you with huge benefits. Furthermore, if you want to prepare for the new year by increasing your activity levels, consider practicing a sport that you enjoy or some other fun physical activity.
For more information, read our article: Lifestyle and Diet Changes to Improve Health and Wellness.
Be More Active – Socially
For many of us, the new term “social distance” can evoke negative feelings. It’s natural for us to spend time with our loved ones and friends. It’s also vital for our emotional wellbeing. Our social relationships have a significant impact on our health and that of our loved ones. People who spend a lot of time with their friends or family tend to feel more relaxed and less anxious. Despite that pandemic, we must remember that “social distancing does not mean social isolation.” Under the current circumstances, we have to become more creative to ensure that we connect with the outside world even though we may be spending more time at home. How?
To prepare for the new year, we encourage you to make the most digital tools like Zoom, Skype, Facetime, etc. Don’t hesitate to call friends on the phone to talk. There are even new features on many streaming platforms where you can watch a movie with friends simultaneously, which creates the feeling that you are all in the same room enjoying the film together. Many people are now using video conferencing platforms to play board games and quizzes with friends and family. These tools may not always feel “natural,” but the reality is, they’re better than nothing. So make the most of the tools, do whatever is necessary to stay in touch, and to have quality time with quality people.
For more information, read our article: How To Cope With The Lockdown – 10 Tips.
It seems after the holiday period, many people, out of guilt, make the New Year Resolution to “eat better.” However, guilt and regret is not always the best motivator. We encourage our patients to imagine being the best version of themselves – physically. Imagine having more vitality and strength. Being more alert and motivated, feeling lighter, and happier. Then we ask the question, how is it possible to feel this way? The answer, a balanced and nutritious diet.
Using the power of our imagination, once we can “see” and “feel” the benefits of eating well, we are much more likely to do all that we can to make whatever sacrifice necessary to achieve that goal. As with all the objectives discussed in this article, the key is to start with small, attainable goals. Additionally, education is the key. Get into the habit of learning what nutritious food can do for your body and what unhealthy food does to it. You will be shocked to learn about the types of chemicals used in those delicious cakes, candies, and treats. For example, did you know that many brands of ice-cream contain a chemical also used in antifreeze?
Knowledge is power. The more you know what you are putting in your mouth, the easier it will be to opt for healthy alternatives. You could start with small things like drinking water, smoothies, or natural juices instead of beverages that contain sugar, fizzy drinks, sodas, etc. By making these little exchanges, you will end up eating better and seeing a significant difference in your diet and overall health.
For more information, read our article: Your Guide To The Budwig Diet and Food Plan.
Focus on the Positive
Your thoughts have power. If you choose to think positive instead of negative, you will notice an improvement in your mental health. Focus on the things in your life that you are grateful for and that makes you happy. It’s so easy to spend time on the things that we don’t have, which can lead to a pessimistic outlook in life—so spend time reflecting on the things you do have, the blessings. List them and keep them at the forefront of your mind.
Being determined to think positively and dwelling on good things may seem trivial, but this simple exercise has many benefits for our health and welfare. It will also help us to manage stress and anxiety better.
Learn more in our article: How to Manage Anxiety
For some people, this is easier said than done. There are many reasons why a person does not get sufficient sleep. For some, it could be just a matter of better scheduling and forcing oneself to go to bed at a reasonable hour. For others, there could be hormonal issues, or perhaps their diet is impacting their sleep patterns. Whatever the case, it’s vital to know that people who sleep less than seven hours every night tend to be less active and have an increased risk of suffering from obesity.
Not sleeping well has also been related to other conditions such as arthritis, asthma, coronary heart conditions, diabetes, and depression.
Healthy adults should sleep a minimum of seven hours every night. It can be challenging to achieve this, especially if you have a busy lifestyle or difficulties sleeping.
So if getting quality sleep is an issue you face, make it the subject of study and research. If you suspect that you suffer from a sleeping disorder, don’t hesitate to speak to a professional about it.
For more information, read our article: 8 Ways to Beat Insomnia.
Spend More Time Offline
Being connected to the internet 24 hours a day has become a new issue that many of us are facing. Our online lives do not seem to have a timetable. People (or advertisers) are always demanding our attention. It can be very stressful, and it can impact our health negatively to be reachable all the time. When always connected to our digital devices, we tend to become more anxious and distracted. Being overly attached to digital devices is also considered to be a reason behind sleep issues.
Start small and set a specific time throughout the day to shut your devices (or notifications) off. Perhaps start with 15 minutes and then later increase to half an hour and so on. Emotional health experts have highly recommended getting out of the habit of looking at your phone for at least the first hour after you wake up. Set an “online” and an “offline” timetable for yourself. Make it clear to the world when you’re reachable and when you’re not. These steps will help you prepare for the new year, and you’ll ensure that you have much needed “me-time.” Thus, you will benefit from quiet periods throughout the day when you can be alone with your thoughts.
Learn more in the article: Tips For a Healthy Morning Routine
Quit What is Harming You
Whether it’s smoking, drinking too much alcohol, or being overly stressed, reduce what you know is not doing you any good. Most people are aware of the habits and behaviors that don’t do them any good but find it hard to quit. One of the best ways to prepare for the new year is by simply – making a decision. Choose to leave the bad habits behind and be determined to make significant changes in your life.
To prepare for the new year, make time to learn about the dangers of the habit. Look for inspirational stories of people who have overcome these bad habits and have changed their lives for the better.
For more inspiration, read our article: Pursue Healthy Habits.