As 2020 comes to its end, many of us are going to be rolling out our New Year’s resolutions! If you’ve had trouble with last year’s resolutions, don’t beat yourself up. We came up with some mentally healthy resolutions for the coming year that you can stick to. This year, here are a few you can try and ways to stick with it.
1.Drink more water.
Many people struggle with drinking water and keeping hydrated. Some cannot bear the thought of water. Research has revealed that nearly 80% of working Americans say they don’t drink enough of it. If you’re part of this group, let’s get you hydrated.
Get a water bottle.
Start with finding a bottle you like that isn’t going to feel like a burden for you to carry as you should take it with you every time you leave the house.
Keep it filled up.
At the start of your day, make sure to have water in your bottle. Keep it near you and in your line of vision throughout the day as a reminder to keep drinking. Make it your goal to get through at least one bottle a day to start.
If you are the forgetful sort or tend to get tunnel vision throughout the day, you can set reminders to help you with this. For example, try finding a water reminder app or simply setting a reminder on your phone to take a few sips of water every half-hour.
2. Daily Meditation
Meditation can be a powerful tool for those who want a clear mind or those who have anxiety and stress. Practicing mindfulness carries out into your life and helps you enjoy it, change your habits, and live in the moment. Meditation has shown to have mental health benefits. It improves your memory, happiness, ability to focus, and self-discipline. To start follow these steps:
Set a commitment time.
In the beginning, if you are struggling to focus, try starting by committing to 5 minutes daily. If you feel good with this time commitment, try meditating once in the morning and once around half an hour to an hour before going to bed.
Find a comfortable spot.
Get comfortable, sit upright. You can sit on a pillow or yoga-mat or just the floor. If you want to lean on a wall to feel more comfortable, feel free to do so. Make sure the area where you are meditating is quiet. Begin by focusing on your breath. Breathe in deep through your nose, filling your lungs and stomach with air. Close your eyes and continue the breathwork. Clear your mind and try to focus on nothing but your breath. Don’t let your mind wander, should it, recognize it, and return your attention to breathing.
Ta-dah! You are now meditating, it’s really that simple. Now that you know the steps to take, make it part of your everyday life!
Self-care is sort of a broad spectrum of things. However, we are highlighting the ones we feel would be the best; like getting more/better sleep, eating right, and becoming more active.
Getting better sleep
Sleep plays a vital role in your health. Getting less the 7-8 hours per night can increase your risk of developing heart disease or diabetes. It would be helpful to ask your doctor about ruling out any sleep disorders that may be the cause of getting little sleep. About an hour and a half before going to bed, take a hot shower or bath. Studies have found it improved sleep and helped get deeper sleep. With this, you can start developing a bedtime routine. After your shower, try relaxing your mind. This may be done by reading a book, listening to some music, and breathing exercises.
The start of eating right begins with making better choices. Eat more vegetables, fruits, and cut out sugars. Find less processed food, choose something fresh, or make your meals. If you are on a time crunch, prepare your meals the night prior, or even at the start of the week. You can take it up another notch and add vitamins and supplements to your new diet! Always consult with your doctor first.
Becoming more active whether your goal is to workout at the gym or just take a quick walk around the block. If you aren’t typically active, start with walking more. Whether you are parking farther from the office or the furthest spot at the grocery store, these little things help get the ball rolling. If you have stairs at your office, start taking them, and encourage your co-workers to join you! If you have a dog, go for walks together. This will not only benefit you but your pet as well. Last but not least, try working out for at least 10-20 minutes. Work out long enough to get your heart pumping. The longer you continue these habits the more active you will become!
Don’t let the pressures of anyone else dictate what your New Year’s resolutions should be. For the coming year, focus on picking healthy goals that you want and know you can accomplish. Keep in mind, no resolution is too small, start where you are comfortable. Those little strides can turn into big strides – the first and potentially the hardest step is starting.
Happy New Year! Grab 2021 by the horns. You can do it!
Dr. Steffanie Stecker a licensed psychologist and the owner and clinical director of Mountain Vista Psychology, PLLC.
In addition, she is a board certified neurotherapist (BCN E5669) and board certified in QEEG (QEEG-D). Less than 100 people world wide are board certified in QEEG, which indicates competency in reading QEEGs and choosing neurofeedback protocols. Dr. Stecker is passionate about brain based effective therapy and creating a safe relationship for her clients to create change. She loves what she gets to do each day!