Simple lifestyle strategies to boost your health in the New Year By Taylor Shillam
If you’re looking to make a health-related lifestyle change in 2023, it could be time to think outside the box and allow your New Year's resolutions to evolve.
It’s no secret that the start of a new year is a perfect time to revamp your wellness routine. Once the holiday buzz has settled down, the opportunity to take a breath and reset your habits for the year ahead arrives.
While overhauling a nutrition and fitness routine is often at the forefront of health-based goals for a new year, maybe 2023 is the year that sees you add something more to that list: elements of mental health support, building community, and small, simple lifestyle habits that can add up to a major life change.
Start with these easy-to-implement habits and strategies to level up your commitment to health in 2023:
Make time for digital detoxes. If you feel exhausted by the pull of constant screen time, responding to messages, and checking social media, making the conscious choice to regularly “unplug” this year could be highly beneficial for you. Disconnecting from technology and social media is a welcome form of self-care for many, and it doesn’t have to be extreme.
Start by turning off notifications or implementing your phone’s “do not disturb” function for a set amount of time each day. Start small and progress to an amount of daily digital detox that works best for you. Taking some technology-free time at night to wind down before bed is also known to be highly beneficial—set your goal time and stick to it for putting away your devices.
Allowing yourself to release the constant availability and stimulation that comes with being very active on your phone, on apps, and across social media, can help you set healthy communication boundaries and stay present in the current (off-screen) moment.
Find your fitness community. Have fitness goals for 2023? Take them a step further by embracing what can be one of the best added benefits of adopting a fitness routine: community. With group fitness and studio workouts in full swing, it’s a perfect time to take advantage of opportunities to both get your sweat on—and join a healthy new community.
Chances are, you’ll find a fun group or accountability partner who will keep you motivated to show up. Whether it’s trying a new fitness class or joining a running club, challenge yourself to break into a more social sweat scene this year.
Incorporate small doses of movement. Physical fitness doesn’t necessarily all come from a gym, or from a single workout session in the day. More often, fitness is being considered an all-day practice, and breaking up an exercise routine into bites of movement throughout the day can be just as effective.
Along with smaller bites of movement throughout the day come smaller rushes of energy and endorphins—those after-effects of exercise that provide a healthy, addictive rush.
It’s likely you’ll find enjoyment from small doses of mood-boosting movement that you can do at your convenience, such as taking a short walk at lunch time, standing for a few minutes every hour, taking the stairs, or incorporating brief workout sessions during the day. It’s also likely you’ll feel less pressure to get your workout in, if your schedule doesn’t always allow a long stretch of time to dedicate to fitness.
Treat yourself at home. Boost your mood and your outward glow with at-home skin care. Self-care certainly includes caring for your skin, and preserving your youthful glow can be as easy or as advanced as you make it. Whether it’s adopting a completely new, targeted skin-care regimen this year, or simply starting with a relaxing face mask during the week, it’s likely to boost both your mood and confidence to pay more attention to your beauty routine. And with more innovative beauty products constantly hitting the market, it’s easier to have spa-quality treatments for less, all within the comfort of your own home.
Practice expressing gratitude. Experts have found an association between expressing gratitude and improved feelings of happiness, better sleep, and more manageable levels of stress and anxiety. Working to maintain an attitude of gratitude and joy, even in the smallest ways, can help balance your mental health. A quick tip: Keep a gratitude journal and use it to take note of at least one item you’re grateful for each day.
Get outside. The benefits of time spent outdoors each day (for no matter how long) are undeniable. Making time to go outside at some point of your day to soak up some natural light can do wonders for stabilizing your mood and energy levels throughout the day. The real challenge? Implementing outdoor time daily, regardless of weather. Even when it’s cold in the early months of the year, challenge yourself to make a habit of getting outdoors each day, even if it’s for a quick step and a few deep breaths outside.
Add nutrition (don’t subtract). To boost your nutritional health for the long-term future, focus on adding nutrients, rather than giving up the foods you enjoy. Adding healthier foods to your diet releases the feeling of deprivation and allows you more freedom to choose. Start your nutrition cleanup by focusing on implementing more colorful produce to your plate, rather than subtracting from it. The nutrients and fiber within these natural foods will likely leave you feeling fuller and more satisfied, while leaving less room for indulgences.