A New Year is like a fresh page in your journal, the dawn of a new day, time for a brand-new start! That’s why a new year is often accompanied by a wealth of resolutions – most commonly: lose weight, quit smoking, spend less, etc. Did you know that studies show that less than 20% of people are still following their resolution by the middle of January? So, let’s change things up and make 2019 the year that you ditch the normal New Year’s Resolutions! Instead of focusing on quitting, stopping and losing, let’s instead focus on creating 3 healthy habits for 2019 that can help to change the way you see yourself going forward.
Get more sleep:
One of the greatest gifts that we can give ourselves is the gift of better sleep! Each of us should be striving for a consistent 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night. This is sometimes easier said than done, but there are some healthy bedtime habits that you can start to incorporate that will help to make this dream a reality.
- Start a sleep schedule and stick to it! Keep the same bedtime and don’t sleep in on weekends
- Exercise daily, but not too close to bedtime
- No screens or electronics within one hour of bedtime – put the phone away!
- Avoid caffeine late in the day
- Learn to meditate or use a deep breathing technique to help clear your mind close to bedtime
People tend to associate exercise with weight loss, but that is not always the case. Exercise not only has a positive impact on your physical well-being, it is also has a profound impact on your mental and emotional health. Regular exercise has been proven to help relieve stress, improve mood and promote better sleep! Start small. Start by scheduling a purposeful 15 minutes per day that you will devote to exercise. Perhaps a short walk with the dog, walking to pick up your lunch or even taking the stairs instead of the elevator!
Take some time for yourself:
This is perhaps the hardest habit to change and yet it is the most important thing we can do for ourselves. Taking time for yourself can mean a number of things, but, primarily, it is all about self-care – taking the time to rejuvenate your mind, body and soul. Taking this time for yourself doesn’t need to be complicated or expensive, but it should be purposeful and planned. For some, taking 30 minutes twice a week to have a nice bath and read a good book is enough, while, for others, it may be taking a weekly painting class. The most important part of this time is that you are using it selfishly.
As you ring in 2019, don’t simply become another statistic of New Year’s resolutions gone wrong – Make 2019 the year that you focus on you. Start slowly with these new habits and don’t expect miracles overnight! If you are currently going to bed late and only getting 5 hours of sleep per night don’t set yourself up for failure by stretching for 8 hours! Start by going to bed 30 or 60 mins earlier to gain an extra hour of sleep, – once you have done that every day for 2 weeks, add another hour! Committing to hours at the gym every week can be an overwhelming goal also. Try instead walking for just a few minutes per day to work up to a larger goal. Remember, these habits are for YOURSELF, not for anyone else – so set yourself up for success!
It is not easy to take that first step to putting yourself first. For some, taking on these new challenges may cause stress or anxiety. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Reach out to a friend or counsellor to talk about your journey to a healthier mind, body, and soul for the new year.
If you are looking for some professional counselling our team in Calgary would be pleased to help. Book now for a free no obligation 15 minute phone call.