From what we know of this past year, your overall wellness can be a great place to focus your New Year’s resolutions. Your wellness and health are intertwined, therefore when you focus on the dimensions of wellness — emotional, physical, social, and environmental — you’re actively contributing to your overall health.
As you reflect on last year, think about how these areas of your life were impacted. Did anything leave you emotionally drained? Was your workout regimen or sleep affected? Did you struggle with social connections? Did you allow for a change of scenery?
If any of these resonate with you, we have some ideas for you to adopt and practice to improve overall wellness.
Focusing on your health means taking care of yourself. And there are many ways to do so.
Take care of your body.
Obviously, we had to start here, but if you’ve got sore muscles or pain — or want to return your nervous system to a parasympathetic state — book a massage with us. It also might mean making that long-overdue appointment with your doctor to have an overall assessment done or to address problems you’ve been putting off.
Make healthy food choices.
Whether that’s skipping takeout once a week, sitting down as a family for dinner, or just making small — but better — food choices, eating healthy can be quite simple. Focus on eating a large, healthy breakfast. Next, try replacing your regular snacks for more healthy options like fruits or nuts. Eating healthier also starts with meal planning, so you don’t fall into the rut of ordering out. Whether you grocery shop once a week or once every two weeks, it helps to plan out your meals and make a list. This way you don’t waste, you save money, and you eat healthier.
Focus on exercise.
This doesn’t mean you have to go to the gym five times a week. You can plan exercise around your schedule. It can be as simple as standing every so often at your desk, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or parking further away from the entrance. If you have a dog, take them out for a walk. If you incorporate little things into your daily life, you can see a change over time, and you’re less likely to get burnt out from your resolutions.
Get more sleep.
Getting a good night’s rest is not only important for the following days, but it also is a great long-term solution to help with your health. An easy way to get to bed earlier is by staying off your phone an hour before you fall asleep. Instead, read a book, meditate, write in a journal or reflect on your day.
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“I’ve struggled with sleep most of my adult life. Implementing a night routine has had a huge impact on the quality of sleep I get now and that makes for better days.”
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Emotions are a strong feeling originating from a circumstance, mood, or relationship. Emotional wellness is the ability to express feelings, adjust to emotional changes, cope with stress, and enjoy life.
Practice mindfulness through meditation.
Not only does it help relieve anxiety and stress, but it also helps you reflect on the life you’re currently living and helps you to be more positive and grateful for the things you do have.
If you’re not caring for yourself, how are you going to care for others? Give yourself time. Whether it’s a daily 10-minute walk or a weekly nail appointment, practices of self-care can lift your spirit and emotions. Also, consider speaking words of self-affirmations. Positive thoughts equal a positive mood and attitude.
Hit pause and disconnect.
It’s never a bad idea to get away from the regular stressors of life. Relaxation in your daily routine can help reduce stress, boost working memory, increase focus, create less emotional reactivity, and increase cognitive flexibility.
This is an area of wellness many seem to forget about. What does setting goals for increasing social wellness even mean?
Cut out bad relationships.
Explore the people in your life who drain you and add more negativity to your life. Reassess how much time you spend with these individuals, asking, “is this a healthy relationship?” and potentially cutting these people out of your life. Now, in some cases, cutting people completely out of your life isn’t fully possible (especially if they’re family). But you can set better boundaries and focus on setting up time that is both reasonable and sensible for good social health.
Spend time with the people that matter most.
Now fill the holes in your life you just opened up. Surrounding yourself with supportive, caring and loving people is important to help you achieve wellness.
Rely less on your social media relationships.
It’s no secret that social media can cause anxiety, unrealistic expectations and more. Schedule time away from your phone and focus on your in-person life, instead of comparing it to others. Make real, genuine connections, instead of connections online.
Every achievement, big or small deserves some kind of celebration. Focus on your relationship with yourself, remind yourself of where you’ve grown, repeat positive affirmations for the future, and focus on being grateful for the life you’re living.
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“I make sure I have at least one friend coffee meeting on my schedule every week. It fills up my cup to get to connect with friends regularly.”
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You interact with the environment constantly. According to the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, maintaining a healthy environment is key to increasing the quality of your life and the years of a healthy life. With that in mind, how can you maintain environmental wellness in this new year?
Get outside and enjoy the fresh air.
Take a hike or ride a bike around Colorado Springs. Become familiar with your environment and gain a new appreciation for what’s around you. This is good for both environmental wellness and physical wellness. So, no matter what, spend time outdoors.
Consider new ways to go green.
Going green means living life in a way that is friendly to the environment and sustainable to the earth. By practicing a green lifestyle, you have the ability to contribute to a cleaner breathing environment, safer food, and safer water systems. Other actions can include recycling or working on making your home more energy efficient, replacing harsh chemical cleaners with natural alternatives, and using personal products free of parabens and phthalates.
Reduce your clutter.
Studies have shown that your well-being can be directly affected by the clutter in your life. An overflowing email box, a kitchen countertop covered with mail, snacks, and random items, closets overflowing with junk….the list goes on. Taking time to organize your environment can create calm and feelings of satisfaction. Whether it’s the overflowing email box or the closets, make a goal to tackle the clutter in one area of your life.
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“I love to take trips to have a new found Perspective on life, to experience other cultures, and to feel refreshed.”
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With the ideas listed above, it’s time to choose which ones best apply to your life specifically and put those goals and resolutions into action. Take only a few reasonable goals and make them specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-based (SMART). Overall wellness doesn’t just start with hopping on a treadmill. It involves every area of your life in order to promote balance you need for a successful year.
Looking to add new ways of rest and relaxation into your wellness routine? Give us a call today to book a massage appointment!