Five Healthy Habits for the New Year

Shutterstock photo

Shutterstock

Shutterstock photo

Kylie Record, Staff Writer

Roughly a quarter of Americans make a New Year’s resolution at the beginning of each year, but only about 20 percent will accomplish them. Instead of having a set guideline, try incorporating a few healthy habits into your day. Rather than strict dieting or depriving yourself from things you do daily, introducing new practices would create an easier way to have a better year.

Take time for yourself

Amy Morin, a psychotherapist and author, said that alone time increases empathy, productivity, creativity, mental strength, and allows you to better know yourself.

“When I suggest spending a few minutes alone to clients in my therapy office I often hear comments like, ‘I’m too busy to make time for myself,’ or ‘I need to be productive,” she said in Forbes magazine.

Taking time for yourself includes a number of things such as reading, yoga, watching a movie, taking a long bath or shower, walks, shopping or any hobby you enjoy.

“Inserting a little solitude into your overfilled schedule isn’t a waste of time, however.  The busier you are, the more likely you are to benefit from some quiet time,” she added.

Reconsider dieting

If you’re looking for a better way to eat, try incorporating whole foods into your diet. Eating whole foods is the easiest and most sustainable way to  improve your body’s health.

Chronic dieting is bad for your body and mind, and most people who lose weight through restrictive dieting gain most of it back within a year, according to the website Healthline.

According to Healthline, it’s been proven that a whole foods based diet is shown to reduce chances of heart disease, diabetes, weight gain and blood sugar spikes.

Put down the phone

The average American teenager spends about seven hours on their phone per day, according to the website Teenwire. When half of the day is spent on a screen, numerous opportunities are missed. Excessive screen time interferes with real social interaction, self esteem, mental health, and even physical health.

“Putting down your phone and going outside or doing an activity you enjoy can be a mood booster. It can make you feel more accomplished and improve your well-being,” according to the Mayo Clinic Health System. “Depression and anxiety can cause a person to withdraw and isolate themselves from others. Engaging in social activities helps you connect with others and improve symptoms of these conditions.”

Immoderate screen time can also take a toll your physical heath. Weight gain, lack of sleep and eye fatigue, headaches and concentration difficulties all are common results of excessive time on electronics.

Get more quality sleep

Consequences of continuous sleep deprivation include high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, ability to regulate the body’s blood sugar, weight gain, immunodeficiency, hormonal abnormalities, more sensitivity to pain and mental health issues, according to the Sleep Foundation.

Besides the long-term health risks, the U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that as many as 6,000 deaths each year are caused by drowsy driving in the United States alone.

The first step to improve your sleep quality would to be to adjust your environment. If you are in an environment that is relaxing to you, it is easier for your body to allow you to rest. Also, try to avoid things that would interfere with your sleep such as electronic devices, caffeine, and naps.

When you have a constant sleep schedule, a consistent bedtime routine and set boundaries between school or work and sleep, you are  creating a stable frame to a good night’s slumber. To get better sleep, you have to make sleep a priority.

Have a positive outlook

Having a positive outlook can range from feeling confident about a test, introducing yourself to new people, or simply waking up in the morning.

Being sanguine has many health benefits, including lower rates of depression and distress, greater resistance to common cold, better physiological and physical well-being, increased lifespan, and better coping skills during hardships.

In the end

Although most New Year’s resolutions are rarely kept, these simple, healthy practices are sustainable ways to improve your entity and can be followed for life. From new eating habits, to better sleep and just an optimistic outlook, can create an overall positive life style.