Every year after the hustle and bustle of the holidays, we always vow to be better in the new year. We’ll lose weight, wake up earlier, be more present. You know the drill. We tend to make drastic changes at the strike of midnight, but do we stick to these new ways of life for longer than a month—or two, if we’re lucky? Not usually.
Why is that?
It’s probably because it’s never a smooth transition from what we’re used to. We jump full force into this healthy lifestyle that’s completely foreign to us. Why not take baby steps into the land unknown, so it’s more likely for us to continue these healthy habits?
This year, I want you to take your time getting used to your new healthy way of life. If you don’t already have these resolutions on your list, you may want to add them.
Together, we’ll dive into the three healthy resolutions you should make this year.
1. Get better sleep
Maybe you’ve forgotten all the tips we gave you back in our July 2018 issue on “Why can’t we sleep?” or maybe you’re dying to know more. Either way, these tips are bound to help you get a better night’s sleep and wake feeling rested.
1. Give yourself enough time to sleep.
According to BusinessInsider.com, the vast majority of people need between seven and nine hours of sleep a night. There are some outliers for biological reasons.
2. Limit the screen time before bed.
You should stop looking at blue screens an hour before you plan to fall asleep. The light emitted from phones, tablets, computers and TVs is detrimental to falling asleep and getting quality sleep.
3. Go to sleep and wake up at the same time daily.
Getting on a sleep schedule is very beneficial to your overall health. The whole idea of catching up on sleep on the weekend is a myth. According to BusinessInsider.com, getting off your sleep schedule is like telling your body that you’re in a different time zone. Nobody wants that!
4. Make sure your room and bed are the right temperature.
According to BusinessInsider.com, the ideal temperature for sleep is 68º F. You should make sure you’re not too hot or too cold when falling asleep. If you’re chilly, put on a pair of socks.
5. Don’t exercise too close to bedtime.
You should finish exercising four to five hours before bedtime. Exercising raises your body temperature, which is not conducive to sleep.
6. Set up your room for proper sleep.
Your bedroom should be a sleep haven. You shouldn’t have tons of distractions or “work” in your bedroom. It will add stress, and stress will not help you fall asleep.
7. Avoid caffeine in the afternoon and evening.
Your java might be the only thing that keeps you going some days, but it’s a bad habit to become addicted to, especially in the afternoon.
8. Limit alcohol intake.
Drinking alcohol in the late afternoon and evening can disrupt your sleep. The quality of your sleep will dip if you have alcohol late.
9. Avoid taking naps too close to bedtime.
You shouldn’t be taking naps that are longer than 20 minutes, and you shouldn’t be taking naps too close to bedtime. You don’t want to mess with your natural circadian rhythm.
2. Make your gut happy & healthy.
Nobody really likes to talk about it, but a lot of people have digestive issues. Read a health blog, and you’ll see just how common it is. Whether you suffer from constant bloating, leaky gut, IBS or inflammation, these tips from WellandGood.com will help you achieve a happy, healthy gut.
1. Eat more fiber.
Fiber helps balance out your gut, and upping your fiber intake will give your body extra bacteria that will keep your gut happy.
2. Take probiotics.
Probiotics help balance the microbiome that is your gut, and they help keep you regular. According to WellandGood.com, “more and more research supported the impact probiotics can have on both the body and the mind. One study showed that keeping your gut healthy has a big impact on your mood and mental health.” Sounds like a win-win.
Drinking adequate amounts of water is highly overlooked when it comes to digestive health. You should make sure to drink lots of water throughout the day, as it helps break down food and move it through the digestive tract. Make it a part of your routine, and start your day with a tall glass of water or two.
4. Exercise regularly.
It doesn’t matter how you exercise, but you should work up a sweat. Exercise increases microbial diversity in humans. Exercise also has been found to help IBS symptoms, and a researcher found that athletes who better optimized their diets for digestive health performed better.
3. make time for self-care.
You’ve been hearing it for years now: You need to make time for self-care. But what does that look like? And how does it help? Our lives are filled with stress now more than ever, and we need ways to cope with that and reset. MindBodyGreen.com offers wonderful tips for integrating self-care into your schedule.
1. Start or sustain hobbies.
Hobbies are a way of reminding you that you’re “multidimensional, complex individuals.” They give you a purpose outside of your job, relationships and responsibilities. The key is to have fun.
2. Learn to say no.
People-pleasing won’t make you happy. Learn to say no when it’s just too much for you to handle. You don’t need an explanation. Saying no helps you to show up as your best self and be fully present when you’re needed.
3. Make lunch time your self-care time.
Instead of hunkering down at your desk for another sad lunch staring at the computer, schedule this time to go for a midday walk to boost your energy levels or stroll to your favorite cafe or lunch spot for a bite or coffee pick-me-up. You’ll feel energized by the time you get back to your desk.