After the celebrations, gatherings, and good times of New Year’s Eve have concluded many people set out to make the coming year their best one yet by setting one or more New Year’s resolutions. The most common ones revolve around weight loss and slimming down. However, this ignores a multitude of other areas that are important to our overall health and wellness.
The following 15 New Year’s resolutions can help you achieve better physical and mental well-being without focusing solely on your waistline.
1: Drink More Water
Replacing common beverages like juice, soda, and alcohol with water. This can have a significant impact on your health and wellness! Appropriate water intake can improve physical appearance and support feelings of wellness – just make sure you use a BPA-free container and here’s why.
2: Avoid Electronics Before Bed
Blue light emitted by phones and computers has been found to significantly inhibit sleep quality. Turning off your devices well before bedtime can help you achieve greater rest resulting in a healthier and happier body and mind.
3: Practice Yoga
Yoga provides many physical health benefits including greater strength, flexibility, and healthier breathing.
Additionally, yoga may incorporate mindfulness or meditative practices that can prevent or combat anxiety and depression. Studies have found that beginning your morning with a short yoga session also better prepares the body for the entirety of the day.
4: Keep a Journal
In its own way, journaling also provides similar benefits to mindfulness and meditation, which can relieve stress. Journaling can help you keep better track of important events, goals, life changes, and is an easy way to practice gratitude. Taking note and being grateful for the events, people, and experiences that enrich your life has been shown to improve mental and physical well-being.
5: Be Willing to Say No
Overburdening yourself with commitments can have a significant impact on your health. Engaging in too many activities without enough rest or self-care can result in major mental and physical breakdowns! Be sure to make room for “me time” by having a willingness to say no.
6: Try a Team Sport or Activity
Engaging in a team sport promotes comradery and community. This can expose you to new skills, friends, and unexpected experiences.
In addition to any possible physical health benefits associated with the activity, studies have found that engaging in team sports and events is good for mental health.
7: Pack Lunches Instead of Buying Them
Not only does packing a lunch reduce the burden on your wallet it can also be an effective way of improving food and meal quality during the week.
Avoiding processed foods and other products commonly found in fast food restaurants can notably improve nutrition resulting in feeling better and healthier.
8: Keep Good Posture
Back pain and poor posture is a notoriously common occurrence among office workers and those who regularly use computers. Perfecting posture while working or out in the world can prevent long-term damage. Maintaining good posture has also been shown to improve confidence, which may improve social interaction.
9: Reduce Social Media Exposure
Even though being able to stay up-to-date with friends and family is great, constantly engaging in social media can be harmful to your mental health.
Overexposure to social media can result in social comparison which can lead to a depressive state. It’s better to look at life through your own lens rather than use others as a metric for success.
10: Maintain a Safe Space
No matter your living situation be it living in a studio, home, or boarding with roommates, it is important to make that space feel safe and welcoming. Keeping it well-maintained increases the likelihood of cooking at home, promotes relaxation, and even improves sleep quality.
11: Walk and Talk
Scheduling time to walk with friends provides a healthy outlet for both physical and social wellness. Not only does interacting with other people help clear any mental fog or stress that has built up, but the physical activity can improve mood too.
Furthermore, according to the Mayo Clinic, brisk daily walks reduce the risk of developing heart disease, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes – walking can also lengthen your life; here’s how.
Research shows that regularly volunteering improves many aspects of health, specifically heart health and mood. Volunteer opportunities are a great way to improve the world around us by supporting those who are less fortunate while also bolstering your own happiness.
13: Try Therapy
Even though therapy is frequently pigeonholed as a treatment for specific issues, it can also be an excellent way of learning more about yourself. Dedicating time to learning about yourself can help you decide on future goals, ease current difficulties, and build up confidence and personal understanding.
14: Forgive and Forget
Holding on to grudges or feuds has a negative impact on mental health. If maintained for too long, physical manifestations can develop as a result of the stress and anxiety. Letting go of the past helps everyone involved achieve better health.
15: Practice Healthy Self-Talk
Being overly critical of yourself is incredibly detrimental to your happiness and well-being. Changing the script and actively being accepting of yourself is necessary to be satisfied and happy with your life.
Being realistic has its place, but important or serious internal conversations don’t have to be cruel. Keep self-talk encouraging and understanding rather than vindictive and judgmental.
Striving for Success
Anyone who has tried to maintain a resolution all year long knows how challenging it can be. Regardless of the difficulty, many goals can simply fall by the wayside and be forgotten as the year continues.
No matter what resolutions you choose to make, be forgiving and don’t allow mistakes or forgetfulness to get in the way. If a resolution doesn’t get done on a daily basis, it’s okay to pick it up again and keep going. Achieving your New Year’s goals doesn’t require perfection it simply requires persistence.