New Year, Better You - 5 Wellness Resolutions You Should Consider This Year
We always say it… “This year is MY year” and while many of us work hard at our resolutions, we don’t always follow through. Resolutions in the New Year can look like many different things and usually depend on the person’s goals for themselves. But some can be hard to stick to if they are too large or too time consuming; one may feel disheartened and quit while they’re ahead. However, making many small resolutions that all work towards a common goal may be better suited for you than you think. Below are 4 key resolutions we feel may make 2021 YOUR year.
Get Up and Eat Breakfast
This resolution is multi-faceted and contains a few aspects that may better enhance your mood, energy, and sharpness throughout your days.
First, getting your 8 hours of beauty rest is a must and many of us would benefit from a proper bedtime routine. Creating a specific time to unwind and relax before bed is vital to achieving restful sleep but sticking to it creates routine… and your body loves routine. You’ll notice that falling asleep and waking at the same time every day allows your body to regulate and prepare for the day ahead.
Once you wake up, don’t skip breakfast. Because we live such hectic lives, many of us skip breakfast just for sheer convenience. That or we run through the drive-thru line and scarf down whatever calorie ridden foods we find on the menu. To counteract this, set aside time to prepare your breakfast in the morning. If you’re one to hit snooze a few times before you get up, meal prep your breakfast the night before so you can just grab it and go. This allows you to be conscious of the foods you’re putting into your body and you can choose super foods that give you the most energy for your day. Once you’re in the swing of things, try meal prepping your lunch as well instead of ordering in!
Drink More Water
Our bodies are composed of approximately 60% H2O so when we say water’s important, we mean it. On average, a male is suggested to consume 101 ounces of water a day whereas women should aim for 74 ounces minimum. Some of us are lucky if we even consume a single glass of water with more convenient options like coffee and soda so readily available. But the importance of water is not just that your body composition requires it, but that lack of water can cause headaches and dehydration which can affect mood, energy, and overall kidney function. Do yourself a favor and drink those 8-9 glasses of water a day!
Limit Your Social Media
It’s hard to believe there was ever time we didn’t have social media. Platforms like Facebook and Instagram are excellent ways of receiving real-time updates about current events, gatherings, and the lives of friends and family. However, some may start to feel their self-esteem and mental health are built around social media and the “likes” and “reactions” they receive to their own content. And while social media offers instant gratification to many, the long-term effects of negativity, etc. on your news feed may end up being too much. In 2021, we recommend taking some pauses from social media. Don’t delete the app from your phone but limit your exposure to social media to only an hour or two every day. Some believe this disconnect from social media helps to realign yourself mentally and live more in the present than online.
Workout for At Least 30 Minutes
Not only is it good practice to exercise regularly for your physical health but you benefit mentally as well. While cortisol is pumping through you during times of peak anxiety, endorphins, the feel-good chemicals, skyrocket during exercise. This can relieve some of the nervous tension you may be feeling otherwise. In fact, 62% of adults who say they use physical activity to relieve stress also report that it’s an extremely effective technique for managing stress, according to the American Psychological Association. And while this helps to improve your overall mentality, it can also improve the way you see yourself. Many say “when you look good, you feel good” and though improved body image is not the goal, improving your physical health offers more benefits to you and your body than to not and struggle with built up stress. Based on the same statistical analysis, 53% of adults recognized the positive benefits of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. It’s a win-win!
Recommended durations for exercise are 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise, or 15 minutes of high-intensity exercise at minimum per day. Another excellent way to refocus your mind is to set aside specific time for meditation or yoga exercises. Because both require a strong focus on the movements and feeling of “center,” the common stressors you may feel begin to fade while relaxing.
There are many ways to relax and they all vary from person to person. Some listen to classical music and partake in self-care while others lose themselves inside their favorite novel. You can even be doing something active to relax and take your mind off your everyday stressors. Regardless, make time every day to relax and unwind all those pent-up nerves and frustrations that may be bogging you down. And if you can feel the stress physically affecting your body, try massage therapy.
Massage therapy can be as simple as applying direct pressure to a sore knot and can be done anywhere – even at work! There are many forms of massage therapy and can be performed by a professional if you have a specific technique in mind. Otherwise, trigger-point therapy uses the act of direct and sustained pressure on a knotted muscle to cause a soothing release of tension. Below are a few of our favorite tools for at-home – or anywhere -- use for quick and easy pain relief.
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"Exercise: A Healthy Stress Reliever." American Psychological Association, 20 Jan. 2014, www.apa.org/news/press/releases/stress/2013/exercise#:~:text=Fewer%20than%20half%20(43%20percent,when%20they%20were%20feeling%20stressed. Accessed 8 Jan. 2021.
Marcin, Ashley. "How Much Water You Need to Drink." Edited by Daniel Murrell,
M.D. Healthline, 7 Mar. 2019, www.healthline.com/health/
how-much-water-should-I-drink. Accessed 8 Jan. 2021.