A new year often signifies a fresh start for many people, and what better way to start 2021 than by making habits that can improve your overall wellbeing? Healthy routines and habits create a structure that can have a positive impact on our lives by helping us become more productive and organized. Check out the 10 habits for a healthier new year!
1. Review 2020 and set goals for 2021
Take a moment and reflect back on the last year of your life. While reliving 2020 may not sound like fun, many psychologists say it can bring a positive start to the new year. What went right for you in 2020? What in your control can you change to bring a better 2021? Set realistic goals for 2021 and check-in on those goals throughout the year.
2. Start a morning routine
Do you ever feel like as soon as you wake up you have a thousand things to do? It’s overwhelming, to say the least. Setting and sticking to a morning routine allows you to start your day with confidence, peace, and increased productivity. Typical morning routines involve waking up at a specific time, fueling your body with proper nutrition, moving your body, etc. Morning routines allow you to control your morning, without your morning controlling you!
3. Practice optimism
Optimism is a hopeful and positive way of thinking about yourself, those around you, and the future. While it may be hard to be optimistic about 2021, start slowly by replacing inherent negative thoughts with positive ones. 2021 may feel very similar to 2020, but many scientists forecast an end to the pandemic in 2021. What good news that life may begin to return to normal soon!
4. Focus on foods with ingredients you can read
Have you ever heard, “if you can’t pronounce it, don’t eat it”? This simple saying can make a big change in your overall health. Processed foods typically have the highest amount of chemicals in their ingredient list and can lead to increased cancer risk and malnutrition (That’s right! Even If you are eating many processed foods, you can still be malnourished due to the lack of vitamins in the foods). Eating foods free of chemicals encourages a diet centered around whole foods that are good for your body!
5. Consider dietary supplements
A healthy diet should give you all of the vitamins and minerals your body needs to function, but it is hard to always get adequate levels of fruits and vegetables in our diets. A daily multivitamin or other supplements can help aid in getting your body all of the nutrition it needs to be fully-functioning. As always, talk to your healthcare provider before beginning any additional supplements.
6. Get in your 8 glasses of water every day
You probably read this in every article related to health, but it is so important to drink enough water each day. Among dozens of benefits, being properly hydrated increases energy, promotes weight loss, improves brain function, and flushes out toxins. 8 cups a day is the usual recommended water intake, but many nutritionists suggest more than 8!
7. Sit less and move more
Most of us sit more throughout the day than we should, either due to a sedentary job or simply an inactive lifestyle. Sitting too much can have a big negative effect on your health and can lead to things like heart disease and anxiety, and can contribute to obesity among other negative side effects. If you have to sit throughout the day, make it a goal to go on a walk during lunch or get up and stretch for 5 minutes an hour.
8. Make time for yourself
Taking time for yourself is not selfish! Doing something that makes you happy (even if it is just for 15 minutes a day!) can lead to positive overall health. If you’ve got a busy schedule it may take some careful planning on your part. But don’t forget, before you can take care of anyone else, you must take care of yourself. Take some time to read a good book or go to your favorite pilates class, whatever makes you feel good.
9. Limit screen time
Studies show that staying on our electronic devices for too long has been linked to anxiety, loneliness, and depression. Additionally, the American Heart Association states that those who spend less time in front of the TV are likely to live more years and without cardiovascular disease. Start limiting screen time slowly, turn your phone and the TV off 30 minutes before bed and replace it with a book.
10. Be easy on yourself
Last but not least, be easy on yourself. 2020 was not an easy year for anyone and you deserve not to be so hard on yourself!