Let’s face it, 2020 and 2021 weren’t the best years for anyone to excel when it comes to thinking about healthy minds and bodies. In June 2020, it was reported that 40% of adults were struggling with mental health issues, which is almost 1 in every 2 people.
So what can you do this year to make a difference and promote a healthy mind and body? You can take many small steps that will all equate to giving yourself a greater sense of well-being.
In this article, we will explain 21 ways for you to feel fitter, healthier and happier in the new year. It’s a lot simpler than you might think! Read on to find out more.
Drink Water (and Plenty of It!)
One way to immediately reap the benefits of what you are putting in your body is to swap out any sodas or juice and replace it with water. Water is the healthiest drink for your body, it keeps you hydrated, prevents headaches, and will keep you feeling at your best.
Experts say that you need around 3 liters of water a day, so if you aren’t drinking enough during the day, this might be why your body is feeling sluggish and tired. Carry around a refillable bottle of water with you and make sure you’re getting your quota!
Say Your Affirmations
One way of checking in with your mental well-being is to practice and remember what you are grateful for in your life.
Sometimes it can be tricky to identify the good parts of your life and what you have to be happy about, especially if you’re busy or stressed.
Take the time each morning and evening to remind yourself what you’re proud of, or what you love about your life. This can get you in a positive mindset to start and end your day, allowing yourself to be present and reflective within the moment.
Get out into Nature
A change of scenery can do anyone a world of good. If you are in the city or in a heavily congested area, you might need to find a way to connect to the outdoors again.
Have a look at what natural spots are close to you and plan to spend the day walking and hiking. Being in the fresh air boosts your vitamin D levels as well as allows your body to get some gentle exercise.
Cut Down on Caffeine
It’s no secret that, as a society, we are heavily reliant on caffeine. In fact, the average consumption of coffee drinkers in the US is 3 cups a day. The problem with this is that an excess of caffeine in your diet can lead to stress, feelings of anxiety, and trouble sleeping.
By switching to decaf or replacing one of your cups of coffee with water could leave you feeling calmer as well as better hydrated.
Start an Online Exercise Class
Perhaps you’ve always wanted to join an exercise class but haven’t had time to fit it into your schedule. With the pandemic, many fitness businesses now offer online classes for people to join.
This means you don’t even need to leave your home to work out. So whether you are interested in yoga, Pilates, or HIIT classes, there will be something for everyone to enjoy.
Eat More Fruit and Vegetables
What you put into your body greatly affects how you feel physically and mentally. If you aren’t getting at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables into your diet then you’ll need to take a look at altering your meals.
If you’re unclear at how to do this, take a look at some healthy meal prep recipes online that can offer you a great-tasting meal, as well as leftovers for several days.
Learn a New Skill or Hobby
A lot of people have had more free time as a result of 2020, why not use that extra time to start a new hobby or learn a skill? Have a think about what you’re interested in or something you’ve always wanted to do, and do it!
Whether that’s learning Spanish, playing the violin, or restoring old furniture, focus on you for a change! They say it takes 10,000 hours to master a skill, so why get a head start?
One way to relieve stress is to take a look at your daily habits and remove some of the unnecessary strains and complications. We’re naturally inclined to be productive and want to achieve things, however, what cost does this have on your mental health?
Take the opportunity to reassess your output and be more mindful of your work and life balance. It’s important to take regular breaks and recharge your batteries.
Make Sure You Sleep for 7-9 Hours
Proper and uninterrupted sleep is worth its weight in gold. Experts recommend that the optimum level of rest is between 7 and 9 hours. Without a good night’s sleep, this can have serious implications on your mental health as well as your physical health.
If you’re having trouble sleeping make sure you don’t look at screens an hour before bed and have a dark room with adequate blinds and curtains. Listening to podcasts or meditation music is another good way of drifting off to sleep.
Take Natural Remedies
If you’re finding that your stress levels are not subsiding, it might be that you need to invest in some natural remedies that are helpful in decreasing anxiety and making you feel calmer.
Products such as Delta-8 THC are a cannabinoid that you can take each day to help with various stress-related ailments and issues. If you want to plan ahead, click the link to find out more.
Reduce Your Screen Time
Especially these days, we can be prone to scrolling through apps, hardly taking in what we are reading or looking at. A rise in time spent looking at screens can also be linked to stress levels.
You can put timers on your phone or on certain apps, limiting your use of your screen time and preventing you from becoming too dependent on it.
Surround Yourself with Positive People
The company you keep can have a direct effect on your mindset and mental health. If your family members or friends are overly negative this can become a toxic environment, even passing some of that negativity onto you.
Having a positive circle of people you can rely on will in turn boost your mood and energy levels. Remove yourself from negative situations and people, it’s not a healthy environment to be in.
Start Reading Every Day
Reading has been shown to reduce stress levels by up to 68%. It’s apparently more effective than sipping tea, taking a walk, or listening to music. If you aren’t an avid reader, start reading a novella or book with themes that interest you and aim to read a few pages every day.
Reading fiction is a great form of escapism as well as allowing readers to learn and feel empathy for characters and their narrative arcs.
Limit the Amount of Alcohol You Consume
Alcohol might make you feel happy and sociable at the time, however, the after-effects can take a considerable toll on your mental and physical well-being.
Some alcoholic drinks such as beer or cocktails can also be high in calories which can lead to weight gain, as well as putting additional stress on your liver to detoxify the alcohol.
Eventually, this will have a knock-on effect on your health, especially if you are regularly exceeding the recommended amount of alcohol a person is meant to consume every week.
Give Back to Charity
Sometimes the best way to positively impact your health is to help somebody else.
Giving a donation to charity can boost your own mental well-being, as you’ll feel like you’ve made a positive change to the world around you. If you like, you can schedule a monthly donation, which can help you receive this feeling every month.
Make sure to research some relevant charities and find one close to your heart. The more you relate to their efforts, the more positively contributing toward them will benefit you.
Live in the Present
With the busyness of modern life, we can feel bogged down by things we need to do in the future.
But this can cause stress, anxiety, and apprehension. It’s important to remember to focus on the here and now.
Take care of your present wellbeing – if you’re having a bad day, try to take time away from work or your responsibilities to reflect. The key to a healthy mind is knowing your own limits and responding to them.
Worry less about the future, and less about the past. It’s already happened, and you can’t do anything to change that. But what you can change is what you do right now.
Laughter Is Medicine
Who doesn’t love to laugh? Laughter helps build a positive mental attitude towards the world around you.
If you’re feeling anxious or distressed, maybe watch an episode of your favorite sitcom. Or, search for a stand-up comedy routine.
This isn’t a solution to every problem, but it can help you take a moment to relax. Then, you’ll be able to look at any problems you’re facing with a fresh mind.
Note Down Your Thoughts
If you’re having a lot of anxious thoughts, a good approach is to note them down.
Writing down your emotions is an excellent way of processing them in your own mind. They’re given a physical presence on a page, allowing you to read through them and consider each in turn.
Keeping a journal or a diary of notes like this can help you better understand your own head. It can also help to look back on old notes, perhaps if you’ve gone through a particularly stressful time.
Looking back on how far you’ve come shows you that you can and will succeed and that any stress you feel is temporary.
For a Healthy Mind and Body, Take Risks
Risky behavior can be the last thing you think about if you want to relieve stress. But doing the same thing all the time can negatively impact your mental health.
You might feel trapped inside a routine, unable to escape. Or, you might feel like you’re not living life to the fullest. Routines are helpful, but sometimes you need to think outside of your comfort zone.
Challenging yourself with risks can allow you to prove to yourself what you’re capable of. You might find a new hobby, or recognize personal strengths you never knew you had.
If you don’t take a risk, you’ll never know for sure the benefits it might’ve had.
A lot of people meditate regularly to help destress after a long day at work. Or, they might meditate to process their current emotions or to escape.
There are several reasons why meditation might be a helpful technique for you. Millions of people around the world meditate because it allows them to pause for a moment of reflection.
It can help your mind and your body sync with each other, resting both at the same time.
Do Whatever Makes You Happy
Ultimately, the best advice that can be given about improving personal health is that everyone is different. There are hobbies or activities we all enjoy to different degrees.
Make sure that you recognize what helps you, be it the TV you like to watch, or the sports you like to play. Acknowledging these aspects of your life means that you can rely on them when you’re at your lowest.
We are all unique and individual, and accepting that is a surefire way of improving your own personal wellbeing now and in the future.
Where Can I Find Out More?
There’s no one-stop solution to a healthy mind and body, but these 21 tips should help set you off on the right path.
Remember that health is a long-term process, not a quick-fix solution. You have to keep up with these methods regularly to feel their benefits.
If you’re looking to find out more about maintaining a healthy lifestyle, make sure to take a look through some previous health posts on our website.