Mind-Body Reboot: 6 Simple Tips to Achieve your New Years Health Goals
It’s nearly two weeks into the New Year, and some of those resolutions might already be starting to slip by the wayside. While January is the perfect time to set intentions for the year ahead, it can also be challenging to maintain your new habits.
Whether you’ve made resolutions or set personal goals for the year, we all have something we can be working on to promote our mental, physical, and emotional health. We are ALL works in progress, but it doesn’t have to be a daunting lifestyle upheaval to force us to change our behavior. Rather, here are a few small steps you can take to start shifting your behavior for a sustainably healthful year ahead.
Here are 6 tips to help you reboot your Mind and Body for a health conscious 2019:
1- Find the exercise routine that’s best for YOU.
Not everyone feels comfortable in the gym. If you find gyms intimidating or uninteresting, take yourself outside for a brisk walk, hike, or bike. There are also tons of workouts of varying levels on YouTube or other apps that you can do from the comfort of your own home (check out my HIIT workouts on my website!). Group classes and team sports are also great options. In order to be consistent with your exercise regimen and really see the results you’re aiming for, you need to find something that you actually enjoy and participate in on a regular basis.
2- All Green Everything.
Seriously, whatever you’re eating, add a handful or two of dark leafy greens to it. Start the habit of eating greens and other non-starchy veggies at every meal. This can mean adding spinach to your smoothie or scrambled eggs, or ordering a salad (dressing on the side), or side of steamed veggies when you go out to eat. Greens are packed with nutrients, and they also have a lot of fiber that will keep your digestion regular and tummy full. My personal faves are arugula, bok choy, and zucchini. I also love vegetable soups this time of year. They’re filling, and lower in calories (as long as they’re broth-based and not cream) than many other meal options.
3- Limit your sugar.
During the holiday season, sugar is EVERYWHERE. This is a highly addictive substance that we have constant access to. Challenge yourself to limit your sugar intake to 1-2 servings of fruit per day, and a 1-inch square of dark chocolate (72% cacao or more), if you need a little extra fix. You’ll notice, the less sugar you eat, the less you’ll crave.
4- Cleanse your space.
Keeping a tidy workspace, closet, kitchen, etc. is a great way to help you focus. Taking a couple hours to clear out your refrigerator of old condiments and foods, your closet of anything you haven’t worn in two years, and sorting through emails and papers on your desk can create mental space to be more organized, creative, and productive.
5- Make time for yourself.
We all have busy schedules, some certainly more than others. Starting a habit of taking just a couple minutes per day to yourself will allow you to be more helpful for others, and more peaceful in your own body and mind. This might literally be 3 minutes you dedicate to sit in silence (even in the bathroom, if that’s the only place you can find privacy!), journal your stream of consciousness, or write down three things you’re grateful for. I find the Headspace app to be a useful tool to guide me through meditation everyday.
6- Get those ZZZ’s.
This might be the most difficult task of all, for some people. Sleep is the most restorative activity we can do for ourselves, and there is no substitute. Sticking to a schedule of when to hit the sack every night (even if that means reading in bed for a while until you get sleepy), will help you be more alert and deal with stress more effectively during your waking hours. If you’re having a hard time falling asleep early, or are waking up in the middle of the night, try the following:
Lay on your back with your eyes closed, arms by your sides.
Replay your day in your mind, from start to finish (take only about 30 seconds).
Scan your body from head to toe, relaxing each part as you go.
Once your body is relaxed, focus on long exhales until you drift to sleep.