The new year is almost upon us and, of course, we are being inundated with commercials for diet and weight loss products. ‘Start this program’ or ‘take this pill’ are old and uninspiring messages from companies that survive off of the failure of their products – there is something really messed up with that, isn’t there?!!
If you want to make a resolution or two that will REALLY benefit your health and well-being, here are some meaningful ones to choose from:
- Work on getting seven hours of sleep per night for adults; at least eight for adolescents. Turn off all devices an hour before going to bed and store them in a location other than the bedroom while sleeping.
- Make it a regular practice to eat a family meal together three or more times per week. Family meals support healthy emotional functioning.
- Start every morning with breakfast – an English muffin with real peanut butter and a glass of milk or juice is a great way to start the day.
- Reduce the amount of sugar in your diet by switching from no-fat or low-fat foods to the normal fat versions. When the fat content in food is reduced, sugar is used as the filler, so it’s not healthier nor does it taste as good.
- Schedule that appointment you have been putting off for a mammogram, pelvic exam, dental cleaning, yearly physical, labwork, eye exam, therapy or other health-related appointment.
- If you have trouble relaxing, try guided imagery to help you. Guided imagery lets you listen to a relaxing meditation that supports the mind-body connection. Research shows that the more you listen, the greater the benefit you will experience. Try “Relaxation and Wellness” http://www.healthjourneys.com/Store/Products/Relaxation-Wellness-Health-Journeys/96 or any of the choices found at Healthjourneys.com.
- Think of one thing you want more of in your life this year and one thing you would like less of in your life this year. Make an effort each week toward getting some of what you want more of and letting go of what you want less of.
- Try to do one simple, random act of kindness on a regular basis – hold a door, give up a prime parking spot, smile at a stranger, give someone a helping hand, donate blood, be on time, make dinner for a friend, give a compliment, sign up to volunteer, etc.
- Work on changing negative body image thoughts. Degrading yourself will not motivate positive changes or make you feel better in any way. Find a neutral statement like “This is how my body is today so I’ll take care of it the best I can” to challenge and replace thoughts about feeling fat or not liking parts of your body. Donating your scale to Goodwill along with clothes that you don’t wear will also decrease negative body image thoughts.
- Examine your relationships – Are there friends or coworkers that take advantage of you? Are there people you would like to get to know better? Do any of your relationships feel ‘toxic’? Give some thought and then take action to let go of unhealthy relationships and cultivate those that are reciprocal and bring meaning to your life.
Happy New Year to a healthier you!