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Better You! Healthy New Year’s Resolutions That Don’t Have to do With Weight Loss

365 new Days, 365 New Chances
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2021 is a new year and is ready for the best version of you. And while it may feel like weight loss goals are always at the top of everyone's New Year's resolutions, let's be real — there is so much more to you and your overall wellness than the size of your jeans. 
 
Instead, you might want to try new resolutions not having to do with weight loss and everything to do with enhancing your quality of life, while still improving your health. We’ve come up with five healthy resolutions worth considering.

NYR 2021: Keep a Journal

Journaling can be a form of catharsis, a way to release and regain control over your emotions. Journaling can help alleviate stress, reduce anxiety, and even deal with depression.1 When you write in a journal, you can:
• Track how you’re feeling each day and then start to recognize your triggers for stress or anxiety
• Sort out and prioritize your worries, fears, and concerns

• Identify your negative self-talk and start inserting more realistic, positive behaviors and thoughts in its place

 
Writing down inspiring quotes or mantras can also help you feel better. Doing a simple internet search for quotes every day and writing one down that stands out can help you sort through conscious — or even latent — thoughts and feelings.


NYR 2021: Practice Simple Meditation

Meditation is a centuries-old practice and has recently been the subject of scientific studies showing its efficacy in relieving physical and emotional stress.2 Taking even ten minutes out of your day to meditate can heal your body and mind.
 
How should you get started? The way many choose to meditate is in the lotus pose.3 Using this general pose can help keep your body composed as you draw in deep breaths and slowly release them.
 
Focus on your breath and be mindful of when your thoughts begin to wander away from it. Where does your mind want to go? You do not need to block out your thinking entirely; sometimes, it is best to let your mind lead the way and follow it.
 
Guided meditations can be helpful if you crave a bit more structure. They can cater to those who need help with sleep, curbing their anxiety, or feeling more energized in the morning. Whatever your need may be, there is most likely a guided meditation for it. We love the Headspace and Insight Timer apps for guided meditations!


NYR 2021: Lean Into Practicing Gratitude

Practicing gratitude—and, of course, being able to express it—can help boost your mental health! Those who actively show gratitude tend to be happier in life overall.4 They reap the benefits of having improved interpersonal relationships and better physical health since they express more gratitude toward their bodies and health.
 
Start being more mindful of what you’re grateful for by writing it down. (This is a perfect way to get those journaling skills flowing!) Pick a time every day to write down what about the previous day impacted you. Positive, negative—acknowledge it all. Dig into those unexpected moments and uncover the gratitude you feel, not just for the material things you have but what they allow you to do in life.


NYR 2021: Dial Back the Social Media

Dialing it back on social media is good for the soul. Limiting your time on social media could improve your mental and physical health.5 We’re only human, and it’s easy to lose your sense of self when you spend too much time in the digital world. Check your social media as little as necessary, and place more value on in-person interactions. You do not need to compare yourself to those you follow online, and living life for yourself in the present moment can help reduce daily anxiety and stress you may not even be mindful of.


NYR 2021: Drink More Water Y’All

There's no undervaluing the importance of hydration. Almost all of us probably get at least mildly dehydrated at some point. Feeling thirsty is a sign of dehydration but so are things like dark-colored pee and cramps. Keep your body and mind functioning at optimal levels by following either the bodyweight or 8x8 method of consuming water.
 
We recommend carrying a reusable water bottle everywhere you go. Refill, refill, refill. Once you do it enough, it will become second nature. If this doesn't work, try adding some spicy foods to your diet since those will get you needing water quickly!
 
Whatever resolutions you set for yourself for this new year, resolutions require flexibility. Change doesn’t happen overnight. Be patient with yourself. Life happens, and things change. Start the year with a positive mindset and some realistic goals, and you’ll be setting yourself up for success!

 

RESOURCES:

https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?ContentID=4552&ContentTypeID=1
https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/mindfulness-meditation-may-ease-anxiety-mental-stress-201401086967
https://www.yogajournal.com/practice/seated-in-the-self/
https://www.health.harvard.edu/healthbeat/giving-thanks-can-make-you-happier
https://www.mcleanhospital.org/essential/it-or-not-social-medias-affecting-your-mental-health

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