2020 was truly a dumpster fire of a year. As we do every year, ‘tis the season to reflect on what changes you want to make for the new year. I don’t do resolutions. You either succeed or you fail and let’s face it, that’s added stress no one needs after the year we’ve had. Instead, I like setting intentions. Intentions are mindful actions you wish to take. I’m a believer in adding to your life, rather than limiting or removing things. It’s so much more positive to think about what you can add to bring you more happiness, joy, content, etc. than the daunting task of removing whatever it is you think you need to. So, here are four things you can incorporate into your life for a healthier you in 2021.
1. Drink more water
Does anyone else feel they are perpetually dehydrated? I feel 100x better when I drink a good amount of water. I think I heard you’re supposed to drink half your weight in ounces of water a day. Well, even that sounds intimidating to me. Instead, get your favorite insulated cup, a straw (you drink more water this way) and some sugar-free lemonade or ice tea powder mixes to help you want to drink water more.
2. Add more greens to your meals
I’ll be adding a salad to one of my meals each day. Not because I’m going on a diet, but because I’ve noticed when I eat a salad I feel fuller, more energized and more alert. Don’t get me wrong, I love my cheeseburgers and they’re not going anywhere, but I also really like having a salad for breakfast. For real! Lettuce, chicken, cheese, croutons, pickled red onion, green onion, tomatoes, cucumbers and easy ranch dressing. Yum!
3. Make sleep a priority
I love to sleep. I also really love naps. There was a time over the summer that I was not getting anywhere near enough sleep and it negatively affected everything. I would stay up until midnight, go to bed, scroll through my phone and then not fall asleep until 1:00 or 2:00 am and then had my kids barging in the room by 6:00 am. You can’t function on four hours of sleep every night. Decide on a time to be in your bed by. For me, that realistic time was 11:00 pm. I also decided not to have my phone next to me so I wouldn’t be tempted to scroll. I’m not going to lie. This was hard. After a while though, I was able to fall asleep earlier and faster, and I felt better as a result of making quality sleep a priority.
4. Add stress relievers / mental health care
2020 has brought increased stress as we’ve been living through a pandemic and not seeing friends and family while experiencing job loss, children e-learning and all other personal battles. Relieving stress can be easier said than done, but small little actions can have a big impact.
– Walk around the block each day
– Take a bath
– Call a loved one
– Enjoy your favorite treat
– Color or paint
I am a HUGE advocate for mental health care. I’ve personally struggled with anxiety and depression for about fifteen years and understand the ups and downs associated. If that’s been something you’ve struggled with, I encourage you to seek help via therapy or medication. If that seems like an overwhelming process to you, ask a trusted family member or friend to help you find the help you need. One resource I highly recommend, especially if you don’t have insurance, is Cerebral. I don’t get anything for sharing this resource with you – I just think it’s an amazing mental health resource. ?
At the end of the day, give yourself grace and know you can start over fresh each day, but also celebrate those wins, no matter how big or small.
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