Given the recent year living through the scare of the COVID-19 Pandemic, it would make sense to set goals to ‘get healthy’ and, also remain it in 2021. Different people might interpret the word ‘healthy’ differently, however, it is commonly known as a state of good physical, mental and social wellbeing. Being healthy ultimately means you can live a full life. To create a successful New Year resolution, which will also get you sustainable results, you need to remember a few things. It is important to identify what your idea of being healthy is, and ideally, this means acknowledging when you are at your happiest.
When health goals involve keeping fit or losing weight, ensuring they are S.M.A.R.T and creating work-out plans are essential. If health goals involve improving the condition of your mental health, you may focus more on exercises or activities that are good for the mind and that are relaxing such as yoga. Prioritizing your social well-being could mean stepping out of your comfort zone, encouraging interaction with others through group activities, team sports, or pilates reformer classes! Many important elements in our lives determine our overall health. Becoming healthy is a journey, it will not happen overnight, but it can change your life forever. Having patience with yourself and the process is extremely important. Here are a few objectives you can use as inspiration and guidance to get you started and feeling motivated heading into the new year. Get your whiteboard out and start taking some notes!
Goal 1: Avoid drinking alcohol, smoking and, taking illegal substances
Doing the aforementioned things can have serious negative effects on a person’s overall health. Staying away from them can ensure you avoid developing a long list of health conditions including cancer, heart disease, cirrhosis of the liver, and so on. Research and analysis show that high alcohol intake can also damage our mental health, impairing memory skills and reducing fertility. Drinking and taking harmful substances can lead to addiction, destroying your own life, and your loved ones’ lives. Excessive alcohol consumption can also cause weight gain in a few different ways. Alcohol often stops your body from burning fat, it is high in kilojoules, causes you to feel extremely hungry and less satiety, leading to poor food choices. Alcohol can contribute to excess fat, as the extra calories end up stored in the body. We often have no control over where the body tends to accumulate fat, but extra weight is commonly found to end up in the abdominal area. Drugs and alcohol change the way your brain and body work, causing an imbalance of chemicals that help you to think, create, feel and make decisions. It is found that half of the people with a mental illness also have a substance abuse addiction. It is sometimes hard to remove yourself from the drinking scene entirely. If you and your mates are playing a game and making use of the new dartboard cabinet, having a beer or two won’t hurt. It is important to remember, everything in moderation!
Goal 2: Move More
There are many benefits of regular exercise and movement, extending far beyond building muscle and feeling fit. If you work in an office as a managed service provider, or sit in a truck driving all day, it is even more important to make time for exercise. Physical activity can reduce your risk of chronic disease as well as maintaining your reproductive and sexual health. Movement and exercise play a key role in maintaining healthy body weight. Aiming for as little as 30 minutes of activity at least five days a week, and starting small means creating achievable goals. This could mean a 10-minute walk every morning, lunchtime, and evening, joining a sports team, or even reaching target step goals daily. By moving, your body is improving muscle strength, which improves balance, stability, and coordination. Movement and activity can also improve the state of your mental health. Some find it can be an ‘outlet’ and reduce stress. Grab your friends, put on your basketball jerseys, and have some fun on the court! Get moving!
Goal 3: Prioritize your Mental Health
Prioritizing your mental health ultimately means looking after yourself, and dedicating some ‘TLC’ in areas you feel you need to address. Sleep can play a big part in all aspects of our lives and have a big impact on our mental health. Without restful sleep we can become quite exhausted, this leads to a short temper, further impacting relationships at work or with family and friends. Being able to share what’s on your mind and finding someone you can talk to you regularly, who will listen to you without any judgment, is a great way to improve mental health and avoid things being bottled up. If you are not comfortable sharing with someone, writing your thoughts down in a journal, out of your head, and onto paper is extremely beneficial. Meditation or body flow yoga can help bring you into the present moment and encourage you to quiet the chatter in your mind. Whether this is a few minutes in the morning every day, impacting how your day will play out or a few minutes at night, to rest your mind and body before sleep. Reading a book or listening to self/personal development audio podcasts can also be a great tool in improving your mental health.
Goal 4: Unplug
Setting a goal to spend less time on your phone, or even putting it away has a positive impact on both your mental health and physical health. Socially you will be able to develop deeper relationships with people by interacting with them in real life. When you are on your phone or laptop you are probably sedentary, meaning you are not moving. A significant amount of time using electronics every day can also lead to being exposed to unrealistic perceptions of reality, leading to depression or anxiety. Of course, there are many benefits to the advancement of technology, however, it is important we take a break from time to time and remove ourselves from the virtual world, as often we can forget about our real one. Instead of Facetiming your friends, encourage them to come over for a game of pool, make use of those billiard accessories you never use!
Goal 5: Stay Organized and de-clutter
Health benefits of decluttering your home include boosting your productivity and creativity, reducing stress and anxiety, and also improving your sleep. Your home is often your escape, your ‘sanctuary’. Clutter affects everyone, regardless of whose mess it is. It is important to keep tidy as this cultivates a happy environment for everyone. Cleaning can also get you moving around… vacuuming can leave you more breathless than you think! Getting rid of old items can also mean letting go and moving forward in your life.